Saving the best for Last

Heading West 2.6

July 26, 2008

Saving the Best for Last

So the morning dawned hot. What else is new? But I headed out on the I70/Hwy50. The ride was just great. I was stopping every five miles to take pictures of some of the most beautiful scenery in eastern Utah before I realized that I would never get any where if I kept doing that.

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I pushed on to Salina, Utah where Hwy 50 truly becomes the ‘loneliest highway’ all on its own. It was all beautiful, although there was not a lot out there, especially gas stations. I motored along on a two lane highway doing a steady 80 MPH. Well at least until I came up on a line of Hardley riders. I passed them at a little over 100 just to get by them and to make certain they wouldn’t catch up with me and beat me with those ball peen hammers they use to tune those things.

Once in Nevada the temperature became nice steady low nineties with the scenery still being grand. I had to manage my fuel very carefully because it was a long way between facilities. . But the ride was interesting since I had to go through pass after pass and each of these had some windy roads that made things more fun. I pushed on and finally landed in Austin, Nevada. Somehow I was meant to be here.

Austin is a little town of 200 people out in the middle of nowhere that has three motels. I chose the one with internet access. So now I am ensconced in what is part of a mobile home in the smallest room I have ever been in. While it has Internet access it does not have a table and chair. It does have this HUGH lamp in it that I think I will get a tan from by morning. It also has a smell that I will call Early American Embalming Fluid for lack of a better word. My eyes are watering as I write this. You just can’t buy this kind of ambiance.

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It looked nice from the outside!

But you make your choices and live with them. So I wandered out in search of beer. The only thing stirring in Austin was the dust in the streets. As I ambled along I could hear the tinny sound of Merle Haggard coming from some lonesome radio. I went into the International Bar and there was one guy sitting on a stool lazily swatting flies. A big fat dog lay in the door way but I stepped around him and grabbed a stool before the Saturday night rush started. There was a life size painting of a nude woman over the bar. The guy swatting flies was the bar owner and he told me the whole story

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He had escaped from Serbia in 1961 by waiting until it rained so hard that the guards could not see him and he simply walked out of Serbia into Italy. From there he made his way as to the US where he got a job as a refrigeration mechanic. A couple of years ago he and a partner bought the International Bar. His partner bailed on him and he has been running it ever since.

The nude painting was Jesse Westminster or maybe it was Winchester. I get confused because she had some really big guns. (bigguns-get it?) She was a former whore, former Madame and a candidate for the Nevada Senate. Seems like a likely career progression to me.

The bar was beautiful having been shipped over from Virginia City when they discovered silver in Austin around 1860. So I had a few beers and pointed out flies that needed swatting. The fat dog, Olso, which means big fat dog in Serb, came and lay by my feet to get the occasional scratch behind the ears.

So here I am in a smelly tin can of a room, just one day from being back home. I have logged a lot of miles today, skipped lunch and I am looking forward to the last run home. The Recluse turned 15,000 miles today. After meeting the BMW rider yesterday with 352,112 miles on the odometer I felt bad. Then I met a couple who were bicycling from coast to coast. I realize I am a mere dwarf among midgets.

I will be coming down Highway 4 which is now my favorite route over the Sierras thanks to Mike Monez of Marina Boat Sales. I think I will go out to the International Café, next to the International Bar, for dinner. (Hey! If the House of Pancakes can be International then anybody can.) I am sure it will be delightful.

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