I woke up early and headed out of the Kaibab forest, hoping to beat the inevitable desert heat as much as possible. Bike was still running rough at first, but it smoothed back out as soon as I got below 8000 feet elevation. I headed west on 59 which gave me one last morning look at Zion.
Unfortunately, from here the only way to get from the Eastern edge of my trip to the Western side, Involved freeway and passing through a city. I got on I-15 and headed West. There was some decent scenery just after the St. George area, more of the mountainous southwest terrain I’d traversed over the past few days, but it became hotter and flatter as I approached Vegas. I’d initially planned to stop and find somewhere good for lunch in Vegas, but it was already uncomfortably hot at 11 and I didn’t want to stay longer than needed. I passed right through and headed northwest on 95.
A few miles outside of Vegas, it started to get windy. Really windy. According to my phone, there was a 45MPH sustained winds with strong gusts pretty frequently. Even on a 900lb bike, gusts would blow me a few feet one way on the road, and passing trucks would suck me a few feet the other way. I had to ride with the bike noticeably leaned over to brace against the wind. If that wasn’t sketchy enough, there was enough wind to blow sand for about a 50 mile section in the great basin. Visibility was terrible, and it stung any exposed skin. Thankfully my full face helmet prevented me from breathing any direct spray. This was easily the scariest part of the trip, I would have stopped and waited it out, but the only stopping points were two gas stations about 30 miles apart. I stopped at both, grabbed a cool drink, and dusted myself off. During all this the temperature was 105, but I barely noticed.
I arrived in Beatty around 1pm, plenty of time to take a break and press on... but the next leg was Death Valley and I was absolutely not going through there during the heat of the day. I checked in to a hotel and took a quick air conditioned nap to cool down. After the heat of the day had passed I went out and explored a bit. There were a bunch of test cars out and about.
A Jag SUV of some sort, which I didn’t grab a picture of before the employees quickly put it under a cover. And a MFG plated Fisker Karma, which I can only assume is being used as a test bed for new EMotion components.
Funny thing, they all (besides the Fisker) went through a lot of effort to hide the manufacturer by either removing or shielding all badging. However right on the big warnings affixed to each of their windows stating that photography of the vehicles was illegal, it stated exactly whose “intellectual property” it was. :p
I went to bed early to get an early morning start crossing Death Valley.
Total Miles: 1703
Total Miles for the Day: 341
Highest Elevation: 8200
Lowest Elevation: 1400
Killer Piece of Gear: Heavy bike, any lighter and I probably would have stopped
Best part of the day: Air Conditioning in hotel room
Worst part of the day: Riding through a sandstorm.