May 5th, 2019 / (112km/70miles, 811hm)
I plan to start early today — and leave the Motel at shortly past 6am. First stop is the Toiyabe Cafe which opens at 6am and got recommended for breakfast. I have just ordered two eggs with bacon, coffee and an orange juice, when the door opens and in comes a guy in bicycle outfit — Marcel from Germany, a bicyclist that I had already heard about at a prior stop from a waitress who told me that there’s another guy with a bike and a trailer and a dog going that same direction. Now I got to know him. Marcel is firefighter in Schwerin and has 3 months off that he wants to spend to get to NYC, too. We spend an hour talking and telling each other about our plans, the trouble with the climbs, that we have too much stuff with us, etc.. Since we’re traveling at different speeds, we say good-bye after breakfast, but I am sure we will run into each other again.
The day turns out to be the loneliest day on the road so far. There are so few cars passing the whole day long. And it’s also the most uniform day of all the days so far — desert left and right and US-50 just trails endlessly towards the horizon. The usual pattern is a climb over some summit with the road winding steeply up, then a run down the hill and 20-30km of straight line to the next mountain at the other end where the pattern repeats.
Towards noon some heavy clouds develop almost out of the blue and I try to speed up to outrun bad weather. It gets quite windy and the wind gusts are somehow concerning with the bike and trailer being very sensitive so side-wind. But we make it to Eureka safe and sound — and dry.
Eureka, like Austin, is a small village (probably 3-4 times the population of Austin), businesses — or what’s left of them — are lined up along the highway which forms the main street of the town. Every second building is falling apart. Many places are closed. The kind of deserted town one has to expect when everthing else is 100km away in each direction.
I stay at the Gold Country Inn. There’s also a big supermarket right at the entry to town — a good opportunity to restock.