May 4th, 2019 / (80km/48miles)
US-50 again. Straight. One slight bend. Straight again. Arrived. More or less that was the day. I decide to have a rest day today in buzzing Austin, Nevada, with a stunning population of 120, declining though.
The route today went along the shoulder of US-50 (surprise) which was in excellent condition. Traffic was also very light with only few cars passing now and then. Today also had no really bad hills to climb and only the last few kilometers winding up to Austin where a little challenge.
It seemed more windy today than on the other days. Unfortunately from the wrong direction. Or perhaps that’s why I recognized the wind.
Austin is a tiny old town dating back to the gold mining times here in Nevada. It has definitely passed the zenith of its being and population is down to 120, declining year by year. Mostly the older people are staying here. Youth has moved elsewhere. Three restaurants are lined up on US-50, the main street of Austin. One has shut down, one seems to be good, and one is bad — I picked the latter one of course. I am still recovering from the handmade Burger patty…
I consider today a rest day. I planned to keep one day per week without biking or at least without biking intensively. With the distances between potential accomodations being pretty fixed out here, today was only 80km and heading further to Eureka would have been way too much. So I spent the rest of the day doing email, updating blog posts, learning more about my camera (cause I am not happy with the pictures/results) and walking around town to shoot photos of the remains.
I’m staying in the Cozy Mountain Model, a nice little motel which mainly lives from workers staying during the weekdays and a few tourists over the weekend. The motel is owned and lead by Sarah, as very kind person.
When I checked in after arriving with my bike and trailer, Sarah was curious to hear where I’m heading to and where I’ve been coming from. So she got the story. She told me that she’s into hiking and had done several hundred miles of the Great Divide trail thru the Rockies, gone hiking in Chile and Europe on her own and she seemed to be totally into it. So I took the opportunity to ask her a bit more about this place and what had brought her here. She had bought the motel a few years ago. She’d been a truck driver for 15 years and used the money she was able to save to buy herself into this place that she’s now running. I couldn’t stop myself from asking her what her dream in life was and without hesitating a second, she told me that she wanted to travel the world, hiking for the rest of her life! She had everything planned already — she wants to continue running this motel until she’s payed the mortgage, so that she can then use the money left to hire someone to run the place for her. With everything that’s left from paying that person and keeping the place up and running, she believes she can make that dream come true. Not rich, not luxuries, but able to travel the world for the rest of her life. Quite a dream! And quite a plan!