In a bed it’s so easy to sleep in, and that’s exactly what we did in Minden. We went to the hotel’s breakfast (a typical hotel breakfast) and tried to stop by the Big 5 Sporting Goods store (but it didn’t open until 10!) but we were off for Carson City by 930, ready to restock on supplies and do real research on strollers for our walk across the desert. In Minden Rebecca researched strollers at Wal-Mart and Target because Carson City seemed to be our best option, but there is a Wal-Mart in Fallon, which could be a better choice. Right outside of the city the landscape is still gorgeous. Every day we’ve been impressed with the views we have. We saw lots of cows and some geese, which Rebecca called ducks, on the way out.
We had a sidewalk for only about 20 feet from our motel to the edge of town, but were happily surprised by the nice side path along the roadway that would undoubtedly leave our feet dirty, but provided a mental break from watching all the cars. One of the most exhausting parts of the walk (besides just the walking) is being constantly aware of vehicles on the road.
We knew there was an In-n-Out in Carson City and Tim initially didn’t want to stop because of the bad experience in California (he was disappointed by the burgers after the first day of walking) but as we approached he changed his mind. This change of heart was a great decision for us. As we approached, a man sitting outside said he’d seen us walking the day before on 88 and asked about our adventure. It turns out he lives in Woodfords and grew up in Sonora! We gave him our card and excitedly discussed a few memories before we went inside to eat. Rebecca is usually the kind of person to always eat outside, but on this trip, the opportunity to be inside is a blessing. However, we did notice some awkward/uncomfortable stares as we set our packs down to wait for our food. In larger cities people assume we’re crazy or homeless, small towns are way more accepting of our position.
Wal-Mart was across the parking lot, so when we finished we started crossing to look at the strollers. Lucky for us we chose a good time to be inside because it started raining the minute we got in. We could hear the rain coming down on the roof as we tested out jogging strollers by putting our packs in them and walking around the baby section. I can understand some of the looks, because we really did seem crazy then! Oh, and we paused to enjoy the comparison to Wild that we’d gotten comments on since planning our trip.
We made it to the post office to mail off our first package of unwanted items and waited to meet with Lior (we were staying with him and his wife Jenny that evening, luckily very close to the post office). Jenny and Lior were amazing in allowing us to stay with them. We had great conversation, discussing all kinds of adventures, and ate wonderfully flavorful food. And of course, washed our clothes, showered, and slept in a bed!
The next morning we headed out late, stopped at a kitschy coffee shop for breakfast, and picked up a Highway 50 passport (thanks for the suggestion, Jenny!) at the tourism board. While there, we took pictures of both of us (there really aren’t any of those) and discussed the trip across Nevada with one of the people working there. He said Route 50 is great, way prettier than Interstate 80 and that we’d definitely love the beauty of Nevada (he was right) on the way. He also took a picture of us for their Facebook page and happily sent us on our way.
That Facebook post led Teri Vance to chase us down and interview us on the way out of town. Just so you all know, we were featured on Page 3 of the Nevada Appeal (http://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/16044391-113/teri-vance-pair-walking-to-new-york-city).
Carson City has an interesting history (as do many towns in Nevada) and the murals try to show that. There’s a big railroad history in Nevada because the state is so hard to get across any other way. Now cars make the process easier, but the roads are still long and often considered boring.
Outside of Carson City (after we made a last toilet bathroom stop in a Starbucks on the edge of town) we came to Mound House. Mound House is a totally unremarkable town, except that it has the highest number of legal brothels in America. So of course we visited one to see what it was all about. Moonlite Bunny Ranch had a reality show in the early 2000s and Lior told us you can get a tour if you go, so that’s exactly what we did. It was interesting, though not as glamorous looking as either of us expected and the idea of a legal brothel where prostitutes can safely live and work is intriguing. Rebecca had many more questions for the woman giving us a tour, but didn’t ask. We bought a pin in their gift shop to commemorate the tour and made our way back to Highway 50, stopping to take pictures of the road signs on the way out.
On the way to Dayton we saw lots of lizards, and they totally blended into the landscape.
We made it to Dayton before the Chamber of Commerce closed and got our second stamp in our Highway 50 passport (in the same day!). We only need 3 more! We thought the chamber was closed (it was in a bank and the door for the chamber was closed) but a guy at the bank counter knew exactly why we were there and helped us. He didn’t quite believe us when we said we were walking across the country, but once we convinced him he was excited about the idea of quitting his job and going on an adventure (everyone’s welcome to join for a bit or a long time if they want!).
That night we stayed with Nathan who lived at the beginning of town. We expected to sleep in his back yard (free camping!) but he took the day off of work and let us sleep in his spare room, shower, and he fed us some really great spaghetti with Italian sausage. He even shared a sour beer with us (Tim’s favorite!). We discussed everything from backpacking, to school, to sports and had a great time. He is in the Reserves so he shared some tips of his work and gave us an MRE which Tim was really excited to try. However, we’re now early risers so we were in bed by 930 ready for a long day (26 miles) of walking.
Today(s) we walked through:
Rebecca: 38,189 steps and 39,749 steps
Tim: 34,760 steps and 36,524 steps
327 miles finished