On the 1st of June at 1 pm we were still in hot and windless California. We sat near the shop, ate watermelon, some ice-cream, drank some delicious ice-coffee. We ate a lot at that time. I could not believe how much we could eat. First time in my life I did not count the calories and I did not regret this abnormal amount of food that I ate.
In Mammoth Lake we went to the library where we could get connected with the net. Anna waited outside, watched over our bikes and relaxed. Strange was the fact that nobody went up to her. Around 5 p.m we set off on the Road 395 heading South. GPS worked from time to time. We rode straight as we had about 70 km to go. On the way we sang, talked and admired the views. The time went by and we moved one mile after another. Finally we got to the city. This place was full of tourists, calamity as thought it was not a real place.
At 11 p.m we were at the Mc Donald’s in Bishop. We got an sms from Anna’s friend Ola who has lived in the USA for a few years. The massage we got was as follows :” it is forbidden to ride through the Death Valley in summer, the mobiles do not work here. You have to watch out for vipers, scorpions, coyotes and many other. I suggest you take the detour to Las Vegas.”
We had a long discussion with Anna and considered all the pros and cons. We didn’t want to give up. We had wished to go South through the hottest part of the Death Valley. We had wanted to see Badewater.
We bought another fish burger, French fries, a Coke, refilled our water bottles and ate what we had on the pavement near the Mc Drive. It was a warm night, we had full stomachs so we went to find a place to sleep. Ania spotted a nice garden behind the church. We only had one foam mattress, two sleeping bags and our bag packs which we used as pillows. After about 2 hours sleep we packed our “sleeping room” and set of.
When we left Bishop it was only after a few kilometers that we got completely lost. We were in the middle of nowhere and thousands of strange thoughts went through my mind. They weren’t about bears attacking us but about coyotes, vipers, scorpions and serial killers which were now more probable. We didn’t see any lights and we didn’t know where we were. I fell one time after another. I didn’t know if the cause was me being tired or being scared. We rode in circle and the GPS directed us to the rode that didn’t in fact exist.
I didn’t manage the map so we went around and around. Suddenly we saw some lights. We rode and rode and couldn’t get to anywhere. After about 10 km we finally got to the main road. I tried to find out where we were and Ania dreamed about a little nap. It was the middle of the night
We were saved by the police. They really warned us about the idea of going south. They told us how to ge to the road that was not on our map. We had to make up our minds and in the end we decided to go by this safer way. We went towards Big Pine and then took Road 186 which run through the northern part of the Death Valley.
Wednesday, the 2nd of July. It was at night when Anna started to feel terribly. She was far behind me and had to push her bike. We had an argument about little sleep that we had. I tried to persuade her that the reason we came here was not to sleep and that she should wait with this till we got to New York. I tried to tell jokes but all of this didn’t really work and I myself was also fed up with everything. After a while the atmosphere got better and we started laughing. The daylight was about and we watched a beautiful sun rise. We rested for a moment on a bench and put our Odlo outfits on. We refilled our water bottles with water from an unknown spring. Anna drank first. After an hour she was still feeling well so we thought that this water was safe to drink.
It was hard to walk and even harder to ride. On our bike thermometer there was already 48 degrees. We went straight forward surrounded by rocks on both sides. Once again we admired the surroundings. We were really tired but also really happy. From time to time some cars passed by and the passengers couldn’t believe what we were doing there on our bikes. The temperature was around 56 degrees and we felt like fish in a water. The happiness took over the tiredness. The tears of joy appeared on my face. I tried to remember all the details. I rode first, Anna was behind. The road let us almost fly. The tears run down my face which in fact I didn’t want to stop. I had never been so happy and never felt so free.
In front of us a lake appeared and behind it I spotted an oasis. It was an incredible experience. We were so happy. We decided to take some photos for Odlo. There was about 5km more and we reached the oasis and met a friendly Jill who offered us some help. She told us that there were some houses in front of us and that somebody would for sure let us stay at their house.
After a while we met another Jill who gave us some food and drinks and let us take a shower and sleep for a while. We decided to have a 3hours break. It was 1p.m and really really hot.
We chose a shadowed spot in the garden and Anna fell asleep at once. I took a shower, did the laundry, checked our bikes and prepared the next part of our trip. When I woke Ania up she also refreshed herself. When everything was ready we went to have a lunch in Deep Springs. Then we had another short nap and we set off at 4 p.m. It was still very hot but we felt much better. We regained our energy and the tiredness was gone. Some photos were taken by us. From time to time we rode and then we rode. We talked about the hospitality of Americans. The wind blew in the right direction, the bikes went fast and the road was winding. So there came the moment when I could ride really fast. I thought that Anna stayed somewhere far behind me but I was wrong. This time she really enjoyed it and also sped up.
On the horizon we saw some lakes and oasis – it was the Gold Point. As the center was on the side and we would have to turn to get there and we still had some water we rode straight ahead. Just after a while it turned out to be a bad decision. We were thirsty but managed the situation. We stopped a white car. The family gave us some water, coke and fruit. They were wonderful. It didn’t last for long so we had to catch another victim. This time it was a couple but the only had water. During our trip through the desert we drank around 10 to 13 liters a day. Anna’s bike was equipped with two water bottles , 700ml each. Mine – 7x750ml plus the 1,5l bottle holder fixed on it. Together we had about 8 liters. We always got all of the bottles filled up, took some bottles into our bag packs – just in case. Finally we came to some farm. A nice, young American boy filled our bottles with iced water. We went down to the Road 95 in the direction of Scotty’s Junction. This trip would never end. It is getting dark and Anna felt asleep on the tarmac. She was lucky that we were not on a busy road. I stood above her with 3 head lights, checking if there was nothing coming that way. I looked after this “body” lying on the tarmac which didn’t even give a sign of being alive. A car passed by from time to time. There were fortunately no wild animals around. I tried to stand like that for about half an hour and then wanted to wake her up but it was impassible. I still waited for about a quarter but I lost my patience and woke her up. We moved on. It was a very dark night and there was no light on the horizon. Ania rode in a curved line. Fortunately we got to the crossroads. It was midnight when we got on the road 95 in the direction to Beatty. There was nobody out there and no bike lane either. On both sides there were some hootches and crashed cars. We wanted to find a place to sleep but all of them were really scary. Suddenly a truck stopped. Ania went up to him and asked if he could give her a ride as she didn’t feel like staying in that horrible place any longer. I was confused and said that we would meet in Beatty. It wasn’t in our plans. We should not use cars but bikes! Finally Miguel gave us a ride of about 30 miles. There still was no bike lane and the traffic was heavy. We reached Beatty at about 2 a.m. We were really hungry but all the restaurants were already closed. The gas station offered some crisps, ice-cream and toasted sandwiches. We were not in the mood for eating fast food once again. We looked for a place to sleep. Warm turmac at the casino and hotel seemed to be a safe enough place. The hunger didn’t let me sleep. I thought that my stomach gave five to the spine. It couldn’t fall asleep. Ania was still asleep when I drank some coffee at the hotel. I got the second cup of coffee free from a very nice lady at the hotel. Ania was still sleeping when I served her coffee to bed. She didn’t feel happy though. A thought of getting out of her sleeping bad made her feel even worst.
We ate some breakfast at the casino and refreshed ourselves. Ania was very tired and went to sleep for another 30 minutes behind the house. In the meantime I checked our bikes, did the shopping , planned the trip towards Las Vegas. We rode through Amarosa Valley, Mercury , Indian Springs on the 95 Road to Las Vegas. The traffic is really heavy, one car after another passed by us and still there was no bike lane. The worst thing is the strong wind. I drove at front . We had a break every 10 km but the wind was so strong that it was almost impossible to drink.
I was tired for the first time since we had started. This is my first breakdown. At that time I felt like we hadn’t been moving at all but were just standing there. My physical condition was perfect but mentally I didn’t feel right. I was angry with this crazy wind. I placed an order to the universe and got no answer. Unfortunately they had a day off. In the evening we got to the motel and a gas station. We were exhausted and bought some beers and a canned Margarita – it was awful. In addition we ate 2 ice- creams and drank ice- coffee. My sister dreamed about smoking and she really easily found some Mexican guys on motor bikes who offered her a cigarette.
I felt a little bit dizzy. We were dirty, tired and covered with sweat. We went to the hotel and rented a room for 3 hours. I had the privilege to have a shower as a first one. Ania fell asleep as usual. I did the laundry and drank beer lying comfortably in my bed. Then came Anna’s turn for having shower. We still had some time to rest.
We left the motel at around midnight. I had not enough pressure in my tires. We tried to find the hole in one of my air chambers but unfortunately we couldn’t. Ania pumped up the tires and we moved on.
We reached the outskirts of Las Vegas at about 4 a.m. Ania laid down near some shop. I was on guard as I didn’t feel like sleeping. I was hungry once again and that is why I bought myself a Burito with beans and cheese which was uneatable(there is not much to it for a Vegetarian in America). I ate it anyway. There came the police and looked at Ania sleeping there. I explained the situation to them, woke up Ania as too much of a sleep is not good and we set off.