2 inches of fresh snow covered the ground as we left Tonopah, NV. Climbing the hill out of town was like crawling into the heavy, grey clouds. The road turned South and we followed into the swooping downhill curves.
With a tailwind we flew into the valley separating Goldfield and Tonopah. Dropping out of the cloud layer, snow, and cold we were drenched in sunlight. The climb into Goldfield was a breeze, literally, as the wind pushed us up. We seemed to be the only things alive in the ghost town until we came upon a general store that looked as if it was from 1901.
There we met Preacher Bill and a few other locals. Bill told us of the dangers we would meet in Vegas and blessed us on our journey. After a quick lunch it was time for the final climb to what I had been calling the Golden Line.
The Golden Line, Cheri in Hawthorne had told us, was where we would start seeing higher temperatures and lower elevations. Cresting the ~6000 ft pass we caught a glimpse of the imminent 15 mile downhill and took the plunge. Riding the white line only the hum of our well tuned bikes could be heard. We raced the floating dried petals through the wind in silence and sunshine.
We had entered a new land, one where the daytime temperatures stayed above freezing and the color green was normal. In the daze of speed we stumbled upon an abandoned gas station whose rusted vestiges stood against the wind for us as we ate. Into the sunset we rode. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better... surprise steep tarmac into twisty canyons! Oh and a whole turkey on the shoulder.
Slope and tailwind joined forces to aid us through this new land and bring us 123 miles closer to Las Vegas in a single day, breaking our personal records. The comfort of the roadside finally called. A passing drainage looked all too cozy and again we fell asleep under the stars in the brush.