Snow Day

The B.U.M.P Tour

Dashing Through the Snow

March 18, 2010

Thursday was a cold and windy day. I hopped on I-80 and headed to Wells which was a quick fifty miles away. When I got into Wells I could not find the houses of ill repute. It is not like they have those little icons on the side of the interstate that indicate what services are available at the next exit. You know the little knife and fork for food service and the little gas pump for fuels and the little bed for motels. There should be such an icon just for people on treks such as mine. I will leave it to your imagination as to what the little sign should look like but I would be interested in hearing your ideas on the matter.

So I stopped on one of the streets of Wells and studied my maps. Wells is an old mining and railroad town and none of the streets are very clearly defined. The entire old part of the town of Wells looks like it has been recently burned, hit with a demolishing ball and someone is now half-heartedly trying to rebuild. They apparently had an inside track on TARP funds because most of the roofs were covered with tarps.

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TARP funds at work

As is often the case, two guys in a pickup truck drove up and one of them jumped out to look at the bike. After giving him the run down on the Spyder, we had this conversation:

“Hey. Do you know where the whorehouses are at?”

“Sure. My wife works at one of them. Follow me and we will take you there.”

Only in America. In any case I followed them as we went down these muddy dirt roads to the two brothels that are on the edge of the town of Wells: Bella’s Gentlemen’s club and Donna’s Ranch. Donna’s ranch got high recommendations from my tour guide.

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I was shy and just took a picture

I turned south on highway 93 and headed towards Ely. It was a balmy 42 degrees and the scenery was just beautiful with a snow topped mountain range on each side of me. Highway 93 is 6,000 feet plus and it is 78 miles of absolutely nothing. And then you turn right and there is another 70 miles of absolutely nothing. I mean no houses, no cows, no turns, no signs. The only sign I saw was the “adopt-a-highway” sign and if there ever was an orphaned section of road that needed adopting then this was it.

So I buzzed along at 75 mph. And then it started misting rain. While I was traveling fast enough that I did not get wet, seeing through my rain spotted helmet was a bit difficult. But going forward was pretty much the only choice I had. It is 150 miles between towns out here. And then I started to run very low on fuel. So I slowed down to nurse my fuel tank in order to get to the next town.

I finally fueled up in McGill. After fueling I realized I was very cold. Very cold! I don’t normally pay much attention to such discomforts because if I did I would rarely get out of my driveway. But dang it, I was cold. The high speed run in this cold had taken my core temperature down and I was not feeling that well.

So I did the unthinkable and stopped for a cup of coffee in Ely. I had no sooner sat down at the lunch counter then it started to snow. I mean really snow. After my recent experience with black ice, I was not about to go skidding around any further on snow covered roads. So I checked into the Bristle Pine Cone Motel in Ely.

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Snowy day in Ely

The nice people at the Bristle Pine allowed me to park my bike under the cover to keep it out of the weather. I think they just wanted their guests to be able to go out and look at it without getting all wet. I checked into my room, got into my swim suit and went jump into the hot tub, which is something else I rarely do. It actually hurt me to get into the water because I was so cold.

Now this motel is rather interesting. Of course, since it is in Nevada, they have a casino. What is interesting is that the pool and hot tub were right on the casino floor. So I sat in the tub and listened to the clatter of slot machines and watched it snow. In this hotel the doors of the rooms open right onto the casino floor. Also the only bar in the place is on the casino floor but it is all walled in and is smoke free, which makes it the only smoke free place in Nevada. Interesting set up.

So I had a pleasant evening and spent a lot of time with it and may have actually fixed my sick computer. Friday has dawned bright and sunny so I am encouraged to get back on the road.

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