Overland Expo 2014, Part Four


 

(Sorry for the uneven posting schedule, I’m working on it)

I woke up in Vegas with both kidneys and with money still in my wallet (I had set a limit on my gambling the night before and managed to stick to it). I hadn’t unpacked much, and after another shower I was on the bike and headed north.

Photo May 20, 10 19 07 AM

Thanks.

One of the roads I’ve always wanted to ride was the ET highway, which is just Northwest of Vegas. I don’t buy into all the UFO/ET hype, but I am amused by some of the culture. The road itself isn’t much to a motorcyclist – a more or less straight paved surface through the arid landscape, but maybe there will be aliens.

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I realized right here I hadn’t brought any Tim Stickers along with. Sorry Tim.

There was only one town along the ET highway, Rachel. My map said there would be gas there, and I wanted to stop there for lunch anyway, so I headed off.

 

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There was a gas station in Rachel – the pumps were mostly stil there and the building was only partly collapsed. There wasn’t much I could do about it then, so I headed over to the Little A’Le’Inn.

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Photo May 20, 2 37 22 PM

The Alien Burger was good but not really large portioned. I guess aliens are little guys. The owner was there, a woman who’d moved there with her husband where there had been mining in the area. The mining was gone, and he was retired anyway, but she had bought the Little A’Le’Inn from the previous owners who hadn’t been able to make it work. It wasn’t clear if she was doing any better, but she was full of stories about strange lights and local history.

I shopped around a bit for souvenirs, picking up some shirts and a bottle of hot sauce (Best Hot Sauce this side of Uranus)

Photo May 20, 2 41 25 PM

I then asked about gas. The sold it at the A’Le’Inn – at just about twice the rate in the rest of the state. I decided to buy a gallon, just so I could be sure to reach the next fuel stop, and they sent someone I thought was a customer out back to meet me. There was a line of 5 gallon gas cans – the plastic kind – chained to the building. He unlocked one and walked it over, added about 2 gallons to my tank (basically filling it). I thanked him and asked about paying for the extra. He hefted the gas can in his hand a couple times, announced he didn’t think even a gallon had come out, chained it back up and went back inside.

I was just about to ride away when another rider rolled in. First thing he did was ask about gas, and I broke the news to him about the price. I tried to soften it some, saying they didn’t seem to mind giving some extra, but he was on a big adventure bike and I shudder to think about what that would cost to fill.

I headed for Salt Lake City, and had initially planned to spend the night there (Maybe meet up with some nerds I know there), but Sue had announced she wanted to meet me on the way back to Milwaukee, perhaps ride the last day with me. Since I was a little worried about her strength, I decided to try and shave at least half a day, maybe a full day, off my ride home. That meant I would have to press further and pass through Salt Lake around noon.

Heading north from Vegas there was one more place any decent motorcyclist has to stop when they are in the area.

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Someone on my Facebook Wall mentioned they had been through Bonneville a couple weeks earlier and the flats had still been under water. For my visit there were signs everywhere warning how soft the salt still was, and to use caution. Everyone was off driving on it anyway.

Photo May 21, 12 58 13 PM

I was a long way from home and without a trailer, so I wasn’t going to really see how fast I could get my loaded 250 going. It fun though, and I can see the attraction of speed. Leaving the flats I saw oil dripping from the engine again and made a quick call back to Milwaukee and The Shop, then I tightened some bolts and got moving. From here it was all east (and mostly downhill).

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