The next two days of riding are hellish! I know I’m not supposed to complain but the Great Basin can and will break a rider. It’s the head winds, the lack of water, the tough roads, and the same expansive view which your were in awe with the first day, become monotonous. We only rode 120 miles of it and for any Morman (Utah), Oregon, California bound pioneer, or pony express rider attempting this long harrowing journey through this waterless expanse, I have a great found respect of their journey, commitment, and sacrifice. The drive to complete it was perhaps the same that drove us to get out to the sanctuary of development.
We rode an extra 15 miles this day to a known spring of water to ensure that we had enough water. Once we filled up with an extra 24 pounds of water we kept riding until the sunset. We passed herds of cows, sheep, and many small herds of pronghorn. When I saw the animals I knew ther was a well or creek around and it made me feel better about water security.
In the mornings and evenings in the Basin the winds die down and the ride in the evening was quiet and beautiful. The skies shifted from bright harsh colors to soothing blues and pinks. The winds that evening were a southwesterly and gently pushed our bikes from the side as we headed east.
Along the way we found concrete markers of the pioneer trails. If we went off route we could find well worn wagon tracks encased in the land, the only remnants of their passing. According to the Great Divide book, these trails represented the longest grave yards in America.
We chose an undeveloped spot along the rode to camp as the sun faded. A spot without sage bushes. Most of the land that’s not fenced is BLM land. We had views from both sides of the tent and opened our rain fly for much of the night to let a gentle stream of wind in the tent. It was very quiet unlike many of the developed RV campsites which are along a major interstate. It was so quiet that our ears rang searching to filter the background noise of everyday life. We heard distant sounds of coyotes, the wind, and cows.