Thank you once again to John, Sheri, and Sky for hosting us on such short notice in Hawthorne! The pancake and bacon breakfast got us through the worst of the day!
After a picturesque roll through the town of Hawthorne heading East we saw in the distance our imminent trial. Fierce South winds, kicking up sand and requiring a 20° lean to stay on the shoulder. We fought on, flanked on either side by munitions bunkers, until we reached brief shelter among the hills.
Leaving the calm we pressed on along the painfully straight and horribly windy road to Luning rest area for more than 10 miles. Drained from the effort we collapsed to eat honey, peanut butter sugar-cookies. Fearing the headwind our senses heightened in search of a new friend - one with a pickup truck.
Soon he arrived, eyeing us and our bikes curiously, headed our direction. Though it was only 18 miles to the junction where he turned off for Bishop, Palmer Oron got us through the headwind. The glorious lack of headwind was as good as a tailwind pushing us over the Esmeralda County Line and up Redlich Pass.
Then we dropped. Swooping into the alkaline valley towards the ghost town of Coaldale. We met a curious shrub, still covered in dried flower petals whose roasty, musky scent was unlike anything we had smelled. Pressing on we reached Coaldale at sunset and wandered around its abandoned, derelict structures. Not wanting to spend the night we had a late lunch and rode on under the stars.
Traffic was low and the moonlight bright. Heading East Orion's Belt welcomed us into the twilight sands. We laid our heads to rest under the rich blanket of stars, surrounded by sagebrush, 20 miles from Tonopah.