May 10: From jcn. of Antelope Valley Rd and Fishcreek Rd to CR-11 to CR-7/Rt-379/Duckwater Rd. Total mileage was 28 miles in app. 2 hrs of riding with 1300 feet of elevation gain.

Really easy, and relaxing day today…except for trying to find the damed start. Now as I mentioned yesterday, I’m doing the route backwards so I can scout out the starts with the ladies rather than have them hunt for the spot to meet me at the end of my east to west ride. And today was one such day where I was super happy to be there looking for the spot that I’d be starting at for a west to east day. I swear, I had to literally turn my gps on to do the turn by turn of the route, and then check out all these unnamed roads in order to ascertain where to begin. It’s just crazy how many tracks are out here. Had Judy and Vic been out there with the maze of roads on their own with nothing but the car gps and the gazetteer, they’d have had one hell of a day locating that road. 

Finally located the road, this by my gps saying that I was on course, but man, must have taken 1 hour to find this road - Fishcreek Rd. Got going at 10:30 AM and there was still a considerable nip in the air, about 53 degrees and full on sunshine. Felt chilly at the start, but heck, as I’ve said a hundred times already, “rather have this than 100 degrees in July!”. Descended down into the Antelope Valley basin and then began ever so gradually to climb up to this nose at the end of a ridge - Fishcreek Range. Felt really good today, with no back/chest issues. Maybe, just maybe it’s because I hunkered down the chest and breast straps rather than just let the pack hang by the shoulder straps as I had been doing. 

Had a northwest wind at my back and just this spectacular blue sky above and snowcapped ranges to my rear and in front of me. This basin and range topography is really cool to ride through, in that it really gives you diversity in riding. So anyway, I hit the low in the basin, and then began the leadout climb into the range. I knew from putting the route together on Mapmyride that I’d only be climbing 12-1300 feet today across 28 miles, so I was really just noodling today to enjoy the day and soak in the sights. No sufferfest today! The road just kept winding into the range, and try as I might to guess where I’d be passing through this wall of rock, I was wrong numerous times. I always love to look up ahead and watch where the roads are going, trying to figure out where the exact pass might be. And the one today kind of fooled me until the very end. 

These foothills out here in NV are analogous to any foothill you’d experience in CO, UT, WY, MT etc. Look, feels and smells just the same, but this is basin and range country out here, so when you hit a pass you can look to the east or west and just see the rows of basins and ranges spread out in front of you like corrugated cardboard. It’s pretty spectacular really. So I got to the pass, at an elevation of about 7100 feet, and then began this really cool descent down along this wash. And there were places where the wash was actually the road, really similar to the riding I’d done in UT down in the canyon country. 

Now what I’ve noticed on a lot of the descents here in NV is that they are really composed of loose gravel and cobbles, which makes for some pretty think, unconsolidated road surface. Means you have to be vigilant about washing a front or rear wheel. Got to make you turns nice and easy, kind of flowy, and at times letting the front wheel goes where it wants rather than making quick moves. So I really have to pick my lines going down most of these descents. The other thing that I have to watch is riding in wheel tracks on descents. The tracks out here are like fossilized, and you hit a lip of one of these going fast….ass over tea kettle you go! So I try to stay OFF of the fossilized tire tracks on descents, and instead ride on the crown or on the far left or right side.

So I had a great descent down to the next basin, the one I rode yesterday - Fishcreek Valley. From there I had a nice flat ride past the Fishcreek Ranch to meet up with Judy and Vic at the junction with Duckwater Rd. The ladies pulled in just as I arrive, so we were done by 1 PM today. Came back, soaked in the tub - maybe that’s my ticket now - and then worked my regular job and then worked on the next 7 days worth of segments to be downloaded into the gps. Later on we hit the Owl Cafe for dinner again, and were not disappointed. Great food for a little mining town that has a population of 600! Tomorrow is an 8K pass, so on we go!