Middlegate is a great place to have breakfast – even for veggies – we had a veggie lovers breakfast skillet. A heap of fried veg on top of a two egg omelette certainly does set you up for a day on the bike, along with a couple of maple syrup pancakes. The tent, pitched around the back of the bar/cafe/grocery store had not been that warm in the night – I wore most of my clothes and that made it OK. Guy found it a bit too cool. Camping at Middlegate is free – obviously you eat at the cafe so they do benefit (the toilets are in the cafe, there are no showers but there are standpipes outside). So the big breakfast was very welcome. Free unlimited coffee and tea was available – a bit of a shock after a very low caffeine diet recently.
We headed off into the by now familiar westerly headwind – sometimes with a touch of north in it sometime a touch of south. Over two small hills (well, a mere 500′ sort of size, small for Nevada) then along a saltpan – with views of a big (couple of hundred feet high) sand dune with people going up and down in buggies. Looked a bit tedious – why not add a bit of fun with sails or parasails – a wasted westerly wind? Power sports, different folks/strokes, etc… At one point we tried cycling on the small and rather messy hard shoulder, half occupied by a rumble strip, (tho’ traffic was light, we know some drivers think that’s where a cyclist should be) but almost immediately I got a puncture so we said stuff that and got back on the carriageway proper! How much time and how many inner tubes should be sacrificed to the pea-brained?
The saltpans, complete with wading birds, went on for a long way, only petering out just a bit before Fallon where we celebrated ending another (8th) map by finding a cheap (youth hostel prices) motel – we are now out of the Great Basin area of mountain ranges and basins. The route now heads towards the Sierra Nevada and the biggest col of our journey (just beats the Emory Pass) – the Carson Pass (8573′) – but we won’t get there for two or three days… An Alt (German Alt, or Old Style) beer (some kind of malty not too strong beer in fact) was a decent celebratory drink. My pannier rear pockets are coming unstitched so part of the evening was spent very domestically doing sewing.