Today was an easier day than expected. There is a gap of ~110 miles between Fallon and Austin. In 2002, I had cycled that distance but found it pretty challenging, particularly with a lot of climbing. Hence, this time decided to split it into two days along with an additional 28 miles from Fernley. Last time I had also discovered Middlegate as a possibility to stay along the way.
Once again on the road early. Alt-50 was a four lane road with a good shoulder. First several miles were residential parts of Fernley. After that open desert areas until mile 18 where the road joined US 50. After that already some town areas of Fallon. Fallon is site of a Naval Air Station. I didn’t see much more than the plane below in town, though I did ride past some of the bombing ranges later in the day. The primary street is “Maine” street spelled with an “e”.
The road became narrower after Maine Street and there were some obnoxious rumble strips. At mile 32 was Harmon Store and last place to get anything for a while.
The road became wide through desert and signs gave me my next several destinations: Austin, Eureka and Ely.
The road was still flat. Along the way, people had spelled different words and pictures with rocks. Below is one of a bicycle I found.
At mile 52 I came past Sand Springs. This was location of a large sand dune as well as indication of a pony express station.
I didn’t cycle into the dune, but did spot this lizard nearby.
Also at this point, the road started its first major climb. A few miles of slow climb brought up to Sand Springs Pass. Look carefully at photo and you’ll see another cyclist ahead. Denise was cycling from San Francisco to Virginia on the Adventure Cycling route which goes along this way. Fun to meet up with another cyclist.
After this another descent and then a climb up then next ridge.
Without much difficulty started a slow climb again which brought me to the Middlegate Station. This is another historical pony express stop as well as bar, motel and restaurant. Surprised to even find wifi access now. Also a good place to stop for the day since signs indicate Austin is another 64 miles ahead and I believe a fair amount more climbing to do.