We enjoyed 7 miles of descent out of the Great Basin National Park this morning. It was great to just sit on the bike, admiring the view into the valley below, while gravity did all the work. These are “free miles”.
We headed straight to a cafe for breakfast. We went through almost all of our food while in the park, including the emergency stash of ramen noodles we found crushed up at the bottom of one of my panniers.
It’s been 6 days since we’ve seen a grocery store. We’ve had to restock at small gas station convenience stores. This means we’ve been eating a lot of tuna and tortilla chips for lunch and beans and a grain for dinner. The fruit and veggies we find come in cans. We’ve been told that the town we’re headed for tomorrow has a legitimate grocery store. I’m so excited for fresh produce. This is what bike touring does to a person. Life is reduced to its basic needs.
As we roll out from the cafe we pass the Utah border sign and then another reminding us that it’s 82 miles to the next town. The highway mile markers start over and we watch the “mile 1” marker roll by as if in slow motion. This could be a long 82 miles. In a car, this would not be a problem, but we are acutely aware of how isolated we are out here on these desolate roads.
We’re stealth camping tonight. I love this. It’s like we have this corner of the world all to ourselves. It’s peaceful. Campgrounds can be loud with generators, car alarms beeping and doors slamming, kids, dogs, etc.
We cooked dinner as the sun set. We’re up on a bluff, with the road below us. The few cars that pass are oblivious to our accommodations. The view of the surrounding mountains and valley is stunning.
The tent is set up without the rainfly so we can see the stars. The sky is brilliant at night. We’re in one of the darkest places in the country, nearly devoid of light pollution. Scott has a computer program that shows the constellations according to our location. Even with its assistance I still can’t manage to see giant creatures in the sky. I am successful at picking out the Big Dipper, which I’ve learned is the backend/tail of Ursa Major. The Big Dipper points to the North Star, so all is not lost, I can find the important one.
This would all be very romantic if it weren’t for the fact that our last shower was three days ago. We’re…fragrant, which is the other reason the rain fly is not on the tent. We’re maximizing ventilation.