Up at 6am for a 7am start as we have a fair way to go today through desert country. A free brekkie was supplied by the motel and it looked good too - if we could get near it. There was a convention in town, some al-anon chapter, and they were all there in the small dining room at the one time. We managed to grab a bowl of cereal then got out of there.
On the road and we headed out on US6. We had been told the Nevada Desert was boring, but we didn't think so. Sure the roads are long and straight between mountain passes, but the hills were ever-changing and kept us watching. The valleys were usually several miles wide and a thousand feet or so below the passes. Most of the passes were around 6000ft or so.
As we approached Area 51 district, we were assaulted by aliens - maybe. We had been informed that our GPS receivers might not work, but I didn't really believe that. Imagine my surprise when under a wide blue clear sky came the message "Lost satellite reception.". Huh? It happened! I rattled the aerial but nothing. Hmmm. We pulled alongside John and Kaz and using sign language inquired if theirs was out as well. We are using identical GPS receivers. John answered his was ok. Oh! So no aliens, just my old GPS receiver playing up again. After some swearing and a lot of button pressing, it came back to life with a re-start and everything was ok. But why just there, just then? Cue Spielberg music.
Shortly afterwards we came across the Extra Terrestrial Highway sign near the
little town of Rachel. The town plays up the Area 51/aliens angle for
their tourism bit, not taking it at all seriously. The sign has lots of
club etc stickers. We don't have one but soon transferred one of our
little Australia flag stickers to add to the sign. In the town, there's
spaceships on the back of tow trucks, spaceship parking bays, green men in the
windows. And inside, all the alien paraphernalia you could want.
Even a little green men poker machine. (This is Nevada, gambling is everywhere.)
You can check out their website at www.littlealeinn.com
After a nice stop and cool drinks (lemonade here is great - real), we were on our way again driving carefully to make sure we made the 220 miles between servos without running out. The bikes are good for 250+ so long as you don't overdo it. The big 1800s will chew the juice if you open them up and quickly shorten the travelling distance per tank.
We made it in to Caliente with a gallon to spare and refuelled and had lunch. Then it was just about 90 miles to Cedar City. We passed a couple of storms on the way but stayed dry. We were early so were deciding whether to go look at nearby Zion's Kolob Canyon, but a big storm put that idea to rest and we decided to have an easy afternoon.
Some people may be wondering why we, supposedly full grown adults, are carrying two toy bears with us. Of course GoldWing owners will know that most GoldWings have teddy bears attached, and Gold Bear is ours. He has spent many miles on the back of our 'Wings so couldn't miss this trip.
The other one, the koala, is called MMbear and is a very famous bear. He is the alter-ego of Peter (thebear)Thoeming, the editor of Australian Roadrider magazine. Peter is always being requested to attend much more than he physically can, so he made up the koala MMbear (short for mini-me bear) and it now stands in for Peter in places he doesn't have the time to go. Not that we would have invited Peter himself to sit in our topbox for this trip, but MMbear was between engagements and responded to our invite for a trip to USA. So here he is. Peter is one of the founding members of Ulysses Club, so MM enjoys all the same privileges which include growing old disgracefully, the Ulysses Club motto. Thus he is quite a cheeky little sod, but he gets away with it being so cute. Being cute, by the way is one way he differs greatly from his progenitor.
Here's today's pics:
|Long straight road. This was looking back, away from the sun so we weren't on the wrong side.|
|Plenty of cattle, mostly Herefords. They feed on not much this time of year. I've seen better looking Herefords, condition-wise in the Simpson Desert.|
|Unlike home, the horizon constantly changed.|
|Kaz rests the legs|
|The sign outside Rachel|
|Two aliens for sure - with their "ships"|
|Kaz needed some help to add our little bit|
|Didn't see any parked.|
|Fun in-store souvenirs.|
|Even the Navy was there with their recruiting van. We tried to get a ride, but the operator was away somewhere. Prime mover is a Peterbuilt, a very popular truck here.|
|Constantly in their mirror. Photo by Kaz|
|Where they can get water, the farms are in good shape|
|Canyon near Caliente|
|Closer to Cedar City, the road curves a bit, and there're trees!|
|Another one as we approach Cedar City|
|Cedar City has interesting pedestrian crossings. There are little red flags in a container. You are expected to take a flag and wave it while you cross, then put it in the opposite container. No way I was going to use that!!|
|The view from our motel room.|
|The view that made us decide to stay in.|