Next stop 150 miles

By: Mac Musick
November 19th, 2007


When I left Durango June 6th 2007 on my epic journey, little did I know that I would encounter snow on Hwy 50, The Loneliest Highway in the U.S. about 30 miles east of Ely NV.

I figured I had enough gas to head south on 93 so I could jump on 375 in order to continue west. I took the right at the intersection of 93 and 375 and here was this sign. Holy crap. Even on a full tank of gas I am not certain I can make it 150 miles.

For the past day and a half I had been running into strong headwind and this day was no better. I turned around and went to Ash Springs where I picked up the two gallon gas can you see strapped to the back of the bike and filled my tank and the can and headed west on a road that was even more lonely than the loneliest.

That evening I pulled in to Tonapah NV where it was still mighty cold. There were some light dry snow flakes but nothing to be concerned about. The next morning after a good breakfast and topping off the gas again, I bundled up and went on my way toward Yosemite Nat'l Park.

By 10 a.m. that day the sun was bright and the air warm enough for comfort as I crossed the Nevada - California line and got on one of the most fun stretches of whoop dee whoop roads you can imagine. You know the kind of roads where you catch air when you fly over one of the dozens of humps or jumps or whatever you call them.

As I approached Mono Lake I was glad that the weather had forced me to take the southern route. The road into Yosemite was open at Lee Vining and the only snow I saw after that was on the sides of the road and at the tops of the mountains where it belongs in June.

After several days in Yosemite, my ride continued to San Francisco and up Hwy 1 all the way to where Hwy. 1 rejoins 101 near the famous "Drive Through Tree" in Leggett. When I pulled in to the general store near the famous tree I met a couple from Phoenix who were riding double on a Goldwing. We swapped a few stories and I believe I mentioned the rally in Mancos, CO that I was involved in.

Four weeks later I was sitting outside the Absolute Bakery Cafe in Mancos when the same couple pulled in. What a cool coincidence, at least the three of us thought so. There is a lot more to this ride as I continued north to Seattle and then across the North Cascades Highway and on to Idaho and over Thompson Pass to MT.

Here is another picture (above left) with the VTX parked in ID and MT at the top of the pass. I'll pick up this ride story again in part two as I head on to Yellowstone and from there wind my way back to Durango.