At this point in the trip Stevens had some advantages over me. He may not have had gears, much in the way of brakes, or panniers, but he did have a railroad town every 10 miles or so where the steam trains could stock up on water. Once the steam trains went, so did most of the towns. I had 130 miles of emptiness ahead of me. My Ikea bag was filled with food and every water container I had was full. My bike was now the heaviest it had been.
The wind had dropped to half what it was yesterday. I had breakfast in the Cowboy Bar then headed off. I followed the road for a while but then headed onto some unpaved roads to get to Tecoma. I wasn't going to see another paved road all day. I saw some great mountains and got a better view of Pilot Peak. Near the state line the sage brush seemed to thin out as if it knew we were in a new territory.
I'd been following the modern railroad line but just near the border with Utah I was to leave it. It headed across the Great Salt Lake but the Old Railroad had gone around the top of it. I found the Old Railroad grade road which went for miles in a straight line. Occasionally there were little diversions around the old bridges that no longer looked capable of supporting traffic. Along the way I spotted what I think was a racoon. It got a shock, jumped up in the air and ran off away from me. I also think I accidentally ran over a snake that was basking on the track. I say I think because I didn't hang around to find out. I sped off in fright.
It is weird cycling for hours in a straight line with landscape so huge that it changes at a snail's pace. I reached the ex-railroad town of Terrace, Utah at 2pm where I had some water and trail mix for lunch. Terrace had once been the largest railroad town on the Central Pacific line. It had had a 16 stall roundhouse, an 8 track switchyard, a population into the thousands. All that remained now were some red bricks, a graveyard and an information sign. Everything else had gone. It is amazing how entire towns can be so fleeting.
I decided I'd aim for Kelton tonight. It turned out to be further than I thought and I was pretty exhausted when I set up camp. All that remained of Kelton was the graveyard and, possibly, the street layout. I pitched my tent where I imagined the hotel had been but now was just empty ground littered with the empty shells from shotguns.
I had re-hydrated mac'n'cheese, some chicken rice and a nice cup of Earl Grey tea. The landscape was stunning and the clouds fewer. Sitting in my tent doorway I watched the sun go down. This was the life.