We finally set off from our pit stop in Eureka, breakfast consisting of an apple and a granola bar and fueled by coffee.
It always feels weird riding after having skipped a day, like somehow in those 24 hours off I forgot how to grind in to gravel. A few miles of pavement welcomes us so it was an easy reintroduction. Quickly we changed to our typical terrain of Nevada – sand ruts, gravel roads, grassy double track. The trail was pretty tame and we were riding fast.
We came upon a giant hole in the earth, an abandoned gold mine. We detoured to check it out and what we found was amazing. I say a giant hole in the ground but to actually peer down it, with it’s multiple earth layers exposed, is something you have to see. It had filled with water, masquerading as a swimming hole, which we later found out some did use it as, cyanide and all.
The sun was bright and hot, I turn a gravel switchback and see Han stopped ahead, helmet off, parked in front of 3 ATVs. I pull up and a friendly group welcomes us. Says they are from Battle Mountain, right up the road. “That’s where we’re headed,” we say as they offer us a cold beer that we drink down like water. Andrea offered me the jug and I took a swig of wine and I was truly “on the road.”
Alyssa tells us she and Wade work in the mines, as do most people in this town. We chat and talk about our adventures and Alyssa so kindly offers her home to us for the night. With gratitude we except her offer as homes are few and far between for us moto hobos. We exchange numbers and head to town.
A deep water crossing, what they call “the puddle” is waiting for us just around the corner and it’s a nice cool down. Riding ATVs is “what they do for fun” around there and we see why.
We arrive in Battle Mountain (BM to the locals) and have lattes while we watch the golf carts drive people around for the “wine walk,” a first for this little town.
We met Alyssa at the Midway Market before heading to our home for the night. We made dinner, showered, did laundry, watched a movie. Her boyfriend, Jesse, readied the camp trailer outside for us and we snuggled in to the cozy bed after playing with their two snuggly dogs. One was a St Bernard with floppy paws and a giant head for squishing.
It was nice to make new friends in a lonely part of the country.