We said “goodbye” to the sunny state of California and were welcomed by an even sunnier and dryer Nevada. Famous for its empty, open space, lack of vegetation, gambling capital Las Vegas and hidden military bases, the state of Nevada sounded to us like a place worth visiting. We like deserts – their cleanness, lack of people, great camp spots and amazing night skies. The last time when we had a chance to experience the burning heat of the restless sun was in Australia (and we liked it a lot!), so we were curious what the deserts in the US had to offer.
The first look at the map of Nevada will give you a feeling of cycling over there – long, straight roads, that seem to have no ending. Luckily we confronted our demons in the past, so long stretches of burning hot asphalt were of no threat to our sanity. We learnt how to focus on positive thoughts in the moments like that, and just carried on.
From time to time we could focus on a feature of the landscape – an abandoned village, a bullet ridden road sign, a space-ship-like solar power plant.
To our luck, we had a bit of an overcast to protect us from the burning rays of the sun. With a bit of a tailwind, the only thing that was missing was an auto-pilot built into our bikes!
Finding a camp spot on the desert is always easy – all we have to do is to spot a piece of land big enough for our tent between spiky bushes. In the US wild camping on public land is totally OK, but with much higher traffic (and spectators) than in Australia, we had to hide a bit not to be disturbed too much.
The landscape of Nevada reminded us a lot of the one in Xinjiang, China!
From time to time, when being slow enough to spot an animal, we could sight eagles, desert foxes (like the ones below) or antelopes.
Not as sparsely populated as the Red Center of Australia, Nevada was much easier to stock up on food and water. Almost every day we had a chance to resupply, find phone reception or even wifi.
There were no trees for us to hide under – the only plants higher than our bikes were Joshua Trees.
These intricate plants grow on the West of the US and are the only protection from the sun one can find.
Almost every day in Nevada was the same – we had a mountain range to cross waiting for us at the end of every long stretch of a straight road. We were guaranteed to see yet another long stretch after the downhill…
Tired after cycling in the desert the routines of setting up camp and preparing dinner were calling us every evening before we could finally get a proper night rest: