Highway 50 2017

Day 11

June 26

  Today's another long day of 650+miles - mostly on two lanes. It's a little longer because I've included a run down the Extraterrestrial Highway that goes by Area 51. So I get up and get Frost ready to go.  

As I'm packing up, Hiro is taking his humans out for a walk. He's a sweet fellow and allows me to graciously pet him. He looks to be a Greyhound or Great Dane mix as he has long legs and skinny hind quarters. One of his humans is a young feller about 5 years old and he really wants to see me take off on my motorcycle. Since the timing is good, I tell him -

"Hang around just a minute little buddy, and you'll' see me ride off."

He does, and I do and we're both happy.

  But I don't go far, as my favorite restaurant in Bishop - Jacks - is open at 6 AM which works out just fine for me.  
  I 'open' them up this morning as I am the first customer in the parking lot and ...  
  the first customer inside.  
  They also have a lot of funny signs in various places.  
  I think this salve could be much used in many motorcycle circles.  
  And I have no doubt this tonic would also be of great use to many.  
  I go 'California' this morning and order avocado with my omelet. My server lady keeps bringing me hot chocolate and I keep drinking it.  
  It's as good as remember it and I do my best to honor their work by cleaning my plate like my momma taught me.  
  With a great breakfast put away, I'm on the road to Flagstaff via the Extraterrestrial Highway. Coming out of Bishop I notice this old abandoned house ...  
  and the possible start for a new adventure. I did not realize until now that Highway 6 that shares some miles with Highway 50 runs diagonally across the United States. It is also known as The Grand Army of the Republic Highway. I'll have to check the route out when I get back to the Holler.  
  The sun is coming up over the mountains and it looks like it's gonna be another day in the toaster oven.  
  But another day on a long, lonesome highway is not such a bad thing in my head.  
  Thanks to some serious irrigation, they are able to grow some pretty serious hay in this area. It's as thick and green as any I've seen in the fields of Tennessee.  
  Highway 120 that runs through Yosemite National Park intersects Highway 6 at Benton Station. I came that way last year after getting my seats rebuilt at Russell Daylong.  
  Before long, I'm out of the state of California and back into Nevada.  
  A little snow still graces some of the mountain tops.  
  And back into Nevada means back into the land of 7,000+ foot passes ...  
  and long straight roads that disappear in the desert.  
  It's hard to imagine the difference in temperatures from where I sit to where that snow graces the mountain tops. But I sure could use a little bit of that cool right now.  
  Before long I am at the Coaldale junction of 6 and 95. If I hung a left, I'd be back in Ely in a couple of hours. But Highway 95 is my route for this morning as it will take me to Highway 375 - the 'Extraterrestrial Highway'.  
  Soon I'm coming into Tonopah where I've planned to stop for gas. Out here, I gas up a little more frequent as you never know when gas will be available.  

Giggle Springs is the first one I come too, so it gets my business. I do sort of wonder what the basis for the name is, but they have gas, refreshments, and a bathroom so I'm good. I ask the lady inside the store -

"Just how do you pronounce the name of this town?"

To my surprise, she pronounces it just like I thought. I've found though you never know until you ask as town names may look one way and sound another way.

  There's just not much out here after Tonopah, but you can make good time as the speed limits are 75 mph.  
  And there are some interesting sights, like this sign pointing to a naval firing range ...  
  and what appears to me to be a giant anthill.  
  But soon I arrive at the beginning of the road I've been seeking. I am a bit disappointed that someone has taken down the 'Extraterrestrial Highway' sign at this junction.  

This is what it looked like back in 2002.

  I wonder if this is the replacement for it and the creature pictured is the object of interest.  
  Further along, I do spot some aliens like on the sign who claim they are from the Planet Moo. They communicate with me via mental telepathy that they are just hanging out waiting for their mothership to land.  
  There is some new pavement that I guess makes landing a space ship a lot easier.  
  I'm beginning to wonder if I am in a time loop as this looks just like the view I saw a ways back.  
  But soon I arrive at the town of Rachel where the sign says there are definitely humans there but aliens they don't know for sure.  
  I'm happy that at least one sign for the highway still exists. Maybe the aliens just moved it closer to where they are in Area 51.  
  No ride through here would be complete unless you got a shot of the flying saucer in tow and the sign for the ALEINN.  
  It is with much relief that I find the aliens are welcoming to us earthlings and not shooting us with their space weapons.  
  I was planning on stopping by the store where a Tennessee boy used to manage. But it looks like it's been closed for a long time which makes me a bit sad.  
  As I head out the other side of town, I happen to glance down at my GPS. I notice that suddenly the road is disappearing off the screen. Soon it's completely gone and the only part that is working is the speed limit and what highway I am on.  
  As soon as I am on the other side of Coyote Summit, the road reappears on the screen and all functions are back to normal. Maybe there is something to this alien thing after all.  
  A little further along I come into a cactus patch which is quite interesting. They are scattered about just like little scrubby trees.  
  Then it's back up another pass where the color of the mountain sides are rather unusual.  
  At the top are these strange rock formations that almost look like twisted sculpture.  
  On this end of the highway I do see another alien of sorts beckoning for me to come over. But after the strange events so far, I believe I'll just mosey right along.  
  After all of that, it's time for a break and for gas. It's hotter than blazes and I know there is no relief in sight. So I double up on sunscreen and water as I take a short time out of the saddle.  
  Highway 93 will drop me onto I15 and right into the heart of Lost Wages, also known as Las Vegas. It's a long, dry highway like many others in the state of Nevada. As I am cruising along I see a semi coming and don't think much about it. All of a sudden a Mustang jumps out from behind him to pass. I've got about 50 yards to figure out exactly what I plan on doing. If I hit him head on at these speeds, it would be like hitting a brick wall about 150 mph - which ain't good. Off the highway to my right are large boulders and a ravine - not a very pretty option at 75 mph on a motorcycle. The Lord gives me the presence of mind to just nail Frost to the white line on the right side. Just to it's outer edge are some serious racket strips that would be a sure wreck if I got on them. I hope the guy in the Mustang has enough sense not to panic, cut the wheel or slam on the brakes or we're both probably dead. He whizzes by me like I don't exist and never looks over or brakes or anything. Once again my Heavenly Father has delivered me from certain death and for that I am thankful as I continue on my way to Lost Wages.  
  Since it's the quickest way to get to where I need to be, I enter into the craziness of the city with all my 'antenna' up for mobile phone booths and other such obstacles common in modern day traffic.  
  I escaped unscathed and am soon near the shores of beautiful Lake Mead.  
  Then I chase Highway 93 that drops into Kingman and will give me access to I40.  
  From this point, the route is quite simple - get on I40 and stay on it until I reach the Holler which is about 2 miles from it in Nashville.  
  As I get back into the rhythm of Interstate riding, I notice a horrific fire off to my left. It appears that a house or major structure of some sort is going up in serious smoke.  
  I've run this section of I40 many times but at least this time it's pretty good pavement.  
  With the heat and the distance I've covered, I'm happy to finally arrive at the Hojo for the evening. I was not aware that Wyndham also owned Howard Johnsons until I booked for this trip.  
  I quickly get Frost settled in for the evening and hit the nice cold showers.  
  There's Cracker Barrel really close which is one of the reasons I booked this particular motel. I figured by this point in the trip I wouldn't be interested in any culinary adventures - just good, predictable grub at a reasonable price.  
  And it is, but my server lady is not exactly a good listener. She gets close to what I ordered but sort of abandons me for other customers. I'm too tired to wait for her, so I just settle for what I have.  
  Since all I have is a motel room waiting and lots of miles on I40, breakfast here will be just fine. I head back for my room where I collapse into a tired heap that goes lights out like the flip of a switch.