Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Idaho - Nevada
Despite having stayed up late talking about all things with my friend Ellis, I managed to leave his ranch by 11AM. It was enlightening to see the curvy dirt path over rolling hills from his house back to the dirt road by daylight, having navigated it blind the night before in the dark with a few feet visibility. Having inherited the ranch, settled by his grandfather way back, he has donated the 950 acres to a non-profit Idaho organization which preserves natural lands so as to prevent development, and he lives there under a life-long tenancy. It's good to know so much land will remain intact in its natural beauty, and that somebody cares.
I stopped in Pocatello after a few hours to shop for a bicycle and supplies. Home Depot (located in a mall found via iPhone) had no bikes; neither did Sears. So it was off to the often-maligned Wal-Mart, where I found a trim ladies dirt bike for $70. Turning south at Idaho Falls, I stopped to view a huge river canyon with a massive bridge built in the 1940's, and continued on down into Nevada. The rolling prairies of Montana become broader and yellower as you get to Nevada, interspersed with patches of desert.
Dividing up the remaining driving time to Burning Man, I stopped at Battle Mountain to leave a reasonable amount of driving the next day to still arrive at BM before dark. Already, every coffee shop and store has rows of slot machines - I sometimes forget this pervades the entire state, not just Las Vegas and Reno.