Ely, town of a million motels (because the mines and mills have people come in for just a couple of days at a time, or that’s what we think) felt like a city to us.
It only has about 4200 people, but after towns with fewer than 1000 people and open desert with no population, we felt like we’d hit an amazing city! But we woke up the next morning to continue walking. Rebecca was concerned about her foot and had hoped to find a bus to Wendover (state line of Nevada/Utah) or Salt Lake City, but when we learned they’re “kinda isolated” (everyone said that) we decided walking was the best option.
We made it the 14 miles to McGill before it started to rain. We then
took shelter under the awning of the old theater and ate sardines (an amazing break from tuna) on crackers.
From McGill we had 107 miles to Wendover, and with some whining, we were determined to make it! A state trooper (again!) stopped us to make sure we were ok and that we knew it was a long way to the next town. He also checked to make sure we had reflectors and lights in case we were out at night (we do). Every time we get stopped by a state trooper we worry they’ll tell us we can’t walk on the road, but every time we’ve been encouraged to keep up our crazy pursuit.
The day was fairly boring and uneventful except for the buffalo jerky (so good) and dates that we stopped to eat in the entrance to a state park. Cattle guards are pretty hard to get over with a stroller, we wouldn’t recommend it unless that’s the only shade you can find! And at about 520 a man in a truck with a horse trailer behind him stopped to ask if we wanted a ride. We would usually turn a ride like this down. We were just having normal pains (Rebecca) and were slightly tired, but the landscape didn’t look promising for finding a safe place to hide while camping and all of the rain hinted that the runoff ditches could fill with water over night, so they weren’t worth risking. So, we accepted a ride to Lages Station, our halfway point. Ry did not judge us one bit for taking the easy way out on this stretch. He’d seen us a few hours earlier on his way into town and figured he’d want a ride if he were out there. He was so nice he even offered to take us all the way to Wendover, but we refused, knowing we should at least make some attempt to walk most of it. We did accept his donuts, though! The next day had a couple of mountains and we knew we’d be able to find stealth camp sites.
Ry drove us through the barren fields, to the next potential campsite. Lage’s (pronounced La-g-ee-z) Station was once a gas station/convenience store/diner/RV park (similar to Middlegate minus the motel and bar), but today seems more like a home literally 50 miles from the nearest human/building/civilization. As Ry dropped us off there, luckily the family who lives there was pulling into the old parking lot to unload groceries, and we asked if we could camp on their lawn and set up the tent right as it started raining. They had picnic tables under a cover and a laundry room with a bathroom that we used. It
is nice to have a dry base camp when it’s supposed to rain all night. We’ve been very lucky with weather, the rain usually stops for us to set up and take down the tent, and the sun hasn’t been too hot.
It’s a good thing it rained a lot of the night. Our tent was dry, but there was a peacock and peahen at Lages, and when it stopped raining they made noises. If you’ve never heard a peacock, it sounds like a tortured cat. (Nathan, in Dayton explained what the noise was to us there). They’re gorgeous, but really, you don’t want to hear one.
So we settled in as the rain fell around us, feeling dry and relieved that we’d accepted a ride so at least we were safe from the rain for another evening.
Today we walked through:
Rebecca: 51,229 steps
Tim: 47,168 steps
649 miles finished