It’s A Quiet Day In Eureka
A good night’s sleep at last. I go down for my free breakfast in the in-house Denny’s to find it’s a prescribed order, no choice. Eggs, bacon, pancake and a drink. Poor, however, would not even begin to describe the quality of the food. Sunny-side up eggs only partly cooked, two practically non-existent pieces of bacon and two huge pancakes. This is breakfast? Well yes, I’ve seen it many times over the years but never ordered it myself. And I won’t be doing so in the future. Luckily I have half a banana up in the room to fill me up.
I’m driving off by 10.15 am on the second part of Hwy 50. It’s more of the same as yesterday, which is in no way to lessen the great drive that it is. Hilly sections with twisty road curving around rocks, and long flat straights with occasional bends to redirect the road towards the next set of hills.
In fact today might be the best day so far on the road because it starts great and continues almost all through the day. There are only two towns between Ely and Carson City. Fallon, later on in the day, is a reasonable size but Eureka is small. Exiting the latter I overtake a pickup truck that is turning right and only doing 5 mph. This manoeuvre however incurs the wrath of the local Sheriff who, unseen by me, is within seconds behind me with siren going and lights flashing. I pull over.
Apparently I was still within the town limits, which means a 25 mph speed limit. I accelerated to 41 mph to get past the truck, plus I crossed double lines to go over onto the other side of the road. I explained that the road was flat ahead and I could see there was no oncoming traffic so deemed it safe to move past. But clearly I had broken the law. So as usual with my past run-ins with US law enforcement, it’s best not to argue and just apologise profusely. Whether I believe I was in the right morally or not.
The chap was very reasonable actually, I think in part because of my attitude and of course being an ‘international driver’, as he put it. Also, whilst obviously a violation, it clearly to my mind wasn’t reckless or dangerous given the circumstances. So he decides to let me off and doesn’t even ask for my licence. Then we end up chatting generally, him giving me tips for the road ahead. He says there are loads of rabbits on the road and it’s best not to swerve and try to avoid one because I’ll likely end up in a ditch by the side of the road. “So just drive over it and kill it.” Nice.
I tell him about my trip: “Wow! You’ve come a long way!” Too right. He warns me about the Highway Patrol ahead who he says will definitely give me a citation if I’m caught speeding. Also, he tells me to make sure I’ve got enough gas and where the cheapest gas is. I then tell him I stopped in town to fill up, conscious of warnings not to cross the desert without enough fuel. He agreed I’ll have enough. It was clearly a slow day in Eureka for Officer Sylvester.
Carson City, Again
Eureka to Fallon is good. But the section of Hwy 50 after Fallon, of 60-odd miles to Carson City, becomes four lanes and quite busy. It still goes through nice countryside albeit mostly flat, with no real hills. Almost the entire road is in good condition. During the day on the flat I’ve been able to safely do 70 mph and on the hills achieve 50 for all but the trickiest sections, some of which are great to drive. I could go on and on about the drive but it’s suffice to say it was excellent. Really good fun.
I arrive in Carson City and find the Carson Tahoe Hotel, arriving at 4.15 pm. I stopped on the way into the city to buy breakfast for tomorrow. The city struck me as being quiet when I last visited on the Gold Rush trip and the main street is again empty as I pull into the hotel. The hotel room is good, very large and in good condition – and it has a real door key, not an electronic lock. How retro.
Around 7.45 pm I walk up Carson Street to the Fox BrewPub. The road is quiet and it’s quiet inside as well apart from the bar, which has only one free seat, that I take. Some ladies soon leave so I move along to get some space. They brew the beer in-house and the IPA was very good. The bar lady is very chirpy and chatty, offering food suggestions. I decide on wings. I watch baseball on TV for a while, the wings arrive and they are also very good.
Two guys arrive at the bar separately within a few minutes and sit either side of me. The older of the two on my right keeps looking my way, as if he wants to talk, but never says anything. There’s something a bit creepy about him I feel, and it stops me instigating a chat. After baseball and dinner are over, I decide I don’t want to talk to either of these guys, they both seem like losers. I mean I’m continuing to talk on and off to the bar lady, LindZee, but neither of them engages with her either.
So I move away from the bar to a table and write up some diary. Around 10.30 pm I’ve had enough and say goodnight to LindZee, who proved to be a very welcoming host. I walk the deserted streets back to the hotel.
The end of the trip is getting near, and today on US-50 W has been a very, very good day indeed.
Signs behind the bar at the Fox