Thursday, June 11, 2009

6/14 SLC Bound Eagle HiWheel Needs Gear Carriers (Sherpas)

At left is the parking lot in Elko where train tracks used to stand

Now that the weather is starting to climb into the low 60's, even though thunder and lightning are still in the forecast, I have a ride planned back into Wells, NV for tomorrow, Friday, so I can start riding to Boston once again. Between myself and the Utah border stands the Pequop Mtn Range. While they climb to 9,200 feet, I will summit them at 6,900.

And just as the California/Nevada state line is made up of casinos and other gambling operations, the Nevada/Utah border at Wendover, also is made up of gaming businesses. Of interest is the fact that it was from Wendover that the Enola Gay began its flight to drop the atomic bomb that decimated Hisroshima and pretty much ended World War II.

During my regroup here in Elko, while recycling and water conservation are foreign words and plastic bags are issued with reckless abandon, I have grown to really like this place. This is so especially as I learn more about it. I spent a good deal of time yesterday taking to Ross Andreson, the photographer from the Elko Daily, who came out to take pictures of me and the bike. A California transplant, Pacific Grove, no less, the city I used to ride to near Monterey when I was training for my 1986 TrasnCon, he told Lynette, Greg and I why there is an 'E' on the hills outside of town.

The 'E' was used for airmail drops as a way for pilots to be able to recognize the stops they needed to make along their way. I had always thought that the town fathers had initialized their mountain sides in an act of civic bravado. We laughed about the 'BM' for nearby Battle Mountain.

I also learned that since Nevada was a so called swing state during the last presidential election, Barack Obama made three visits to this city of 20,000 people during his presidential campaign. Also of note for Palo Altans, is the fact that Elko was the first city to move its railroad tracks from its downtown where a number of fatalities had occurred to less than a quarter of a mile away where there was open space which ended up being along the Humboldt River. And they did so with federal funding. Where the eight to twelve freight trains that came through once made life complicated for locals with crossing guards and the like, now sits a huge parking lot in what is now a revitalized and peaceful downtown. While not far away one can see the four new overpasses that carry cars over both the waterway and the railroad line.

With its at least 50 or more high speed trains roaring through its busy streets, why can not Palo Alto relocate its rail to its nearby baylands? Something worth studying in the face of all the other alternatives.....

Back to my ride, I still need a SHERPA(S)!! So that we don't have to involve fossil fuel in my ride, who wants to have the ride adventure of their life as we visit Mayors and other luminaries while carrying my gear and food (20 to 25 lbs) for me? An easy task on a regular bike, it would mean almost a 50% increase in speed for me from 7 to over 10 mph........

Also, if you are a Salt Lake City cyclist, who can come out to Lake Point in Tooele to help me get into your downtown? It would be truly awesome if there were a small brigade of such pedalers to help me carry gear and to navigate accordingly. Lou Mellini has outfitted me with directions, but I will have a lot on my plate as I try to document my arrival with pictures and the like. Here is my contact information.......

THX 4 all of U!!

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