Loneliest highway and the 40-mile desert
Following the previous day's uncertainty over freeways, I asked a traffic cop who I saw in a gas station how I should get to Lovelock. He said I couldn't go the direct way on the I-80 but would have to take the 50 then 95. This was another big triangular diversion. I was starting to think Nevada wanted me to visit all of it.
The US50 is the "loneliest highway" and that sounded strangely attractive so I wasn't adverse to cycling a bit of it to Fallon. At Fallon I got another 40 oz drink. I'm not sure why anyone other than a thirsty cyclist needs that volume of liquid and sugar but it seemed to be popular with the drivers too. Fallon had a strip, and this being Nevada, it was lined with casinos. Actually, the gas stations all had rows of one-armed bandits in them too just in case you needed to gamble whilst filling your tank.
A short distance north of Fallon, up the Nevada-95, takes you back into the desert. This is the 40-mile desert that Stevens mentions. In his day it was strewn with the decaying remains of animals who'd died pulling the wagon trains west. Now it was empty.
The traffic dropped to a truck/SUV every few minutes. The road was straight, well-surfaced, and the riding was good. As the road drew closer to the railroad I tried riding on the salt flats but, the crisp surface was a thin layer with less solid stuff undernearth so it almost impossible to ride with a laden bike. Stevens must have pushed his penny farthing through this or walked on the railroad line.