Feed on

A not so amusing side-note I failed to mention the last time I logged on (by the way, I’m in Kingman, AZ right now…Hi!) is that I lost my driver’s license very, very early on in the trip…like possibly on the airplane heading for CA.  Anyway, for the past two-ish weeks, I have had no ID which has been kind of a hassle.

Before we’d left KC, I’d toyed with the idea of taking my passport along, too, but I decided against having to tote one more thing.  Well since my license showed up missing by the time we hit Yosemite, I’d come to regret not toting that one more thing.  Without a license, I can’t reserve a motel room, can’t use a public computer, can’t get on an airplane…oh, and can’t drive.  Heh.

So, back in Tonopah, we importuned James and asked him to ransack my workroom in search of my passport.  I was pretty certain it was in a divider on top of my desk.  It wasn’t.  Nor was it in any of the drawers.  James said he’d rummage around a little more and give me a call back.  An hour or so he called back reporting victory.  The passport had been knocked off my desk sometime (probably during the wedding when my workroom was doing dual duty as a spare bedroom) and had landed in a box of old hats.  The passport was hidden inside of a feather-trimmed 1940s hat.  Sneaky thing!

So, now I have ID and I can use a public computer (obviously) and so here I am.  I came in here yesterday, before my passport hit the Kingman post office and was practically shoo-ed back out with a broom!  You just wouldn’t believe the suspicion with which an id-less person is treated!  I got a LOAD of attitude from the library clerk in charge of the computers. 

Other than the difficulty of not having an ID, things have been otherwise going pretty smoothly.  Desert is not exactly my favorite kind of landscape.  So monotonous.  Oh. My. God.  Seriously.  I don’t think I want to cross the southwest again EVER….certainly not by bike.  There’s so much nothing it just boggles the mind. 

To that end, we’ve decided to cheat a little bit.  Tonight, at 2:05 a.m., we’re going to be boarding the Amtrak and heading for some little nowhere burg somewhat east of Santa Fe, NM…basically as far east as the line will take up.  We will have skipped a little over a state and a half of desert riding and some of the worst of the mountains which will give us more time to spend in other parts of the country that are a little more scenic, inhabitable, and easy to camp in.  We’ve camped amidst several semi-abandoned gravel piles left over from road work, and while it’s better than nothing, a stand of trees or an abandoned house or barn is much more inviting.

There have been a couple of highlights on the trip since last I checked in.  I wrote last time about Mr. Whitney’s bookshop in Tonopah, and I have some notes in my paper journal that will end up here when I get back home.  The other real treat came a couple of days after our stay in Tonopah, after an 89 mile day. There was an RV park/campsite just outside of Beatty, NV, run by a Native American man named Six-Toe, and offering hot-springs baths! There were two little cinderblock bath houses, one of which was a single chamber, and the other was divided in two. Each featured a slightly different temperature bath, from one which was relatively cool to another that was very, very hot. We chose to use the medium-heat one and had a lovely soak. If you have to ride 89 miles toting a load of gear on your bike, being able to have a hot bath at the end of it all is the best way to go!

Actually we have had a few very long stretches on account of towns being so sparse and decent camping sites being so thin on the ground. We had another day that was like 85 miles and another that was around 70. It’s pretty exhausting, considering the desolation of the countryside, the winds (which can be a real spirit-breaker) and the load. I think it will do my attitude a lot of good to get back into more populated (and greener) areas. I know we’ve got a ways to go…Amtrak cheat notwithstanding, there will still be about a third of NM, plus the Texas panhandle and quite a bit of western Oklahoma that are going to be pretty sparsely settled. Still…the desert…it’s not a part of the world where I feel very comfortable!

Well, sorry this entry was so dull, but I guess I wasn’t all too inspired by all of the Nevada I’ve just ridden through. I’m sure next time I will be able to give you impressions of the train and comparisons of the more easterly stretches of the southwestern desert!


2 Responses to “So…like for two weeks, I basically didn't exist”

  1. themis says:

    I am a little sad you don’t like my area of the country, I find it devastatingly beautiful — but then, you chose a more northerly route than I would have, so I can’t take that personally. And then you’re going to train through the pretty part, and hop off just in time to hit the High Plains — which is a whole lot more endless nothing and the wind just howls there, year round. Ai! I sure don’t miss it. I hope you don’t wind up hating the *whole* country from biking across it.

  2. meetzorp says:

    Well, we ended up riding into some of the prettier part – see my most recent blog.

    I think riding across country was a bit of a foolish gesture upon our parts – it’s not exactly a big ol’ barrel of laughs, but it does have its highlights. Still, this is definitely not an exercise that will bear repeating! Future tours will be maybe 2-3 weeks max, and chosen to take place in areas that are more specifically attractive to us.

Leave a Reply