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Thursday, July 28 2005

Mile 5663 Traveled today 341

We arrived today in Austin, NV on highway 50. The loneliest highway in the country so they say. From Sacramento we took I-80 to Reno and south on 395 to Carson City. Then we went east on US 50. It's pretty desolate country and few gas stops. We had traveled that route the other direction a few years ago so we knew what to expect. About 3 PM a storm chased us into Austin so we decided to stop. We stayed at the Pony Canyon Motel. It's a very rustic place with about 5 tv stations, no internet and no air conditioning. It was cool at night so we didn't miss it at all. A BIG bug found its way into the room and when Sue came back to the room and tried to sit on the bed to read her book, it plopped itself next to her.

Morgan crickets are over 2 inches long and are as shiny black as hot tar. They are a bit intimidating, but not dangerous. I understand from the locals that they are rather treacherous on the highways as they cross in the thousands at times and the roads get slick from the squashed bodies. We saw quite a few on the highway but not enough to be a danger.

Being a teacher, Sue inquired of a gent in a local jewelery shop about the schools. Turns out that there are only 5 teaches to cover grades K-12. Last year they only graduated 1 student from high school. Sounds like the smallest school district I ever heard of. No administrators, just teachers. The classrooms for the elementary school are trailers on the grounds of the high school.

We made friends with the local cat. She's a young black and white with mottled fur. Looks like someone took the shears to her and didn't do a very good job.

For those of you who have never traveled highway 50, it is a very interesting ride. You run through flat valleys between mountain ranges. It's just a series of valleys and mountains. It's quite arid and there are a number of sand flats in the valleys. There are even a few salt flats.

The storm that chased us into town, was a bust. We got a light show but only a sprinkle. Not near enough to clean the bike and trailer. I need to find a car wash somewhere. There's too much grunge for the spray wash I brought along. Not a lot to take pictures of here. Sue took a few and I'll try to upload them.

The pictures from now on will be on