Thursday, October 4, 2012

OATBRAN: September 29, 2012. Back to Stateline. 421 miles.

We arose bright and early and assembled in the parking lot for our farewell photo in front of one of Ely's murals. Many people in the group were singing "Oh my darlin' Curtis Fong" while Curtis shouted repeatedly: SHUT UP! I found that gratifying--glad to know they enjoyed and remembered the song.

We piled into vans and headed out for the long drive back to where we started. I was in Mike's van, which was great--he has a wealth of local information. We stopped a few times for coffee, and ate lunch at Cold Springs.  We drove into the Dry Creek Pony Express station near Hickison Summit. He had told us about it when we rode this section of the route, but it was 4 miles from the highway down a dirt road--not a good side trip on a long biking day.

There were many buildings still standing--we could imagine the activities that went on here back in 1860-61, when Nevada was part of the Utah Territory and the Pony Express was an active organization. After we walked around the site and took photographs, we got back in the van--next stop: Grimes Point Archaelogical Site to see the ancient petroglyphs.

We walked a trail through a large field strews with rocks, many of them imprinted with ancient markings from people who lived here thousands of years ago. In the distance we could see the striations on the mountainside caused by the lake that used to cover this area.

We got back in the van for the final leg into Stateline, NV and the Montbleu hotel. This whole day I have been extremely glad that we did not drive the route before riding it--I would have been totally intimidated by the terrain! The mountains that so impressed me on the bike ride are just as large and steep as they seemed on the bike; just easier to climb in the van!

Dianne's ATM card did not work AGAIN, so I had shared my cash with her to tip the volunteers, thus barely had enough money to eat lunch on the way back. So I went to the ATM in the casino at Montbleu to get more cash. I was blown away when the ATM spit out these bills! In my neighborhood you get $20s!

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