We got up early and walked over to The Griddle per my brother in law, Brian’s recommendation. After a hearty breakfast and good coffee, we hit the road with full bellies ready to tackle our last 380 mile stretch.
After about 50 miles of sage brush landscape we rode up on the town of Battle Mountain, NV. Not much to see just passing by but the mountain was beautiful. Sometimes small towns in the West will put the initial of the town in white stone on a hill in the background. Battle Mountain also had it’s initials in white on a hill, so riding by you see “BM”. I giggled a little. Someone didn’t think that one through.
We rode on through much of the same scenery (and heat) as we made our way north to the border. We stumbled upon the California Trail Interpretive Center not far from Elko, NV. We decided to make a stop to check it out and we were not disappointed.
This place (the California Trail) is the place where the pioneers (including the Donner party) came in from the east, then broke off to their various trails, depending where they wanted to end up–California, Washington, Oregon etc. The main two were the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Trail. Some chose cutoff trails that supposedly would save time , and some were good cutoff s, but some ended up with devastating outcomes such as what happend to the Donner Party.
I think the part that stuck in my mind most was the story of the unexpected difficulty they experienced through the Great Salt Lake. They had no idea how difficult it would be and how long it would take them. It took two weeks for them to get wagons through the salt that was like deep sand, not to mention heat. They lost quite a few lives as well as their livestock just laying down and dying in the heat and salty terrain.
They had a box that simulated what walking through the Great Salt Lake smelled like–I could not help myself, I had to do it. It smelled like salty sulfur and made me cough as soon as I smelled it. So of course, I made Mike smell it.
We walked around the rest of the displays, and eventually headed out. It left me with thoughts of what it must have been like for them uprooting themselves and moving such a distance in covered wagons into something that was totally unkown.
We pressed on through Nevada and soon crossed the border into Idaho. We headed north on the small road of 93 which turned into 75. We kept dodging the rain clouds somehow but I was getting tired for the last 100 miles and not feeling well. My shoulders were sore and I was just ready to be done but we pushed on through.
As we got closer, the mountains became more massive as we went up in elevation and the air started to cool. I started to get excited, looking for the famous peaks of the Sawtooth. I rode over the next rise and there is where I caught my first glipse of them, my heart actually picked up pace and I felt like a kid in a candy shop.
We rolled onto a dirt road, leading us to our quiet little campsite buried in the Cathedral Pines. Easley Campground is the place I chose which is right next to Easley Hotsprings. It was even more beautiful than it looked online, and I couldn’t wait to set up camp. Arriving at around 5 pm, we had logged 782 miles in 2 days and I was happy to set up camp for the next several days.
More to come as we explore the lakes, forest and ghost towns…