We continued into the desert today, surrounded by mountains (many snow-covered) as we cycled on flatter terrain. As you can see, vegetation is sparse. Pictured is a view of the outskirts of Battle Mountain, the town we sleep tonight. We were told that most of the residents work in the mines (gold, silver, tungsten,...). We also passed cattle, and saw some real cowboys. Cattle need far more land here to graise than back in the East.
Today the group I rode with was varied, including Rick (from Tucson) who normally rides very fast, and Greg (from Dayton) who takes a gentler pace. Rick is such a strong rider--we appreciate his spending "on the bike time" with us today. He has worked for the Dept. of Defense, and is a huge Arizona Wildcats fan. Greg is a meteorologist for the Air Force, and keeps the group posted about weather trends. He's getting a kick out of the varied conditions we've seen so far. As we all ride at different speeds, it was a real challenge keeping our group of riders together today.
Highlights included a visit to a convenience store/saloon along the Interstate, where our British friends, Andrew and Brian, got a real taste of a western saloon. Brian saw his first real cowboy, purchasing a six pack and a bottle of whiskey at 10:00 AM. Well, it is Sunday, I guess.
Today was our last "easy day" for awhile. Tomorrow we get back to some significant climbing, and the next two days will include consecutive "centuries"--a bike ride of (at least) 100 miles. Wednesday afternoon/evening will see our arrival in Salt Lake City, followed by our first day off the bike.