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Amazed while driving on the Western Express

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Amazed while driving on the Western Express

Old 05-10-23, 12:54 PM
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raybo
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Amazed while driving on the Western Express

My wife and I recently took a long car trip from SF to Santa Fe, NM and back via the Southern Utah National Parks. For some of the time, we were driving on USBRS (United States Bike Route System) 70 in Utah (west from Hanksville) and on USBRS 50 for the entire time we were in Nevada (we came home via Ely and South Lake Tahoe). I think both of these are part of the ACA Western Express route. I've never ridden past Carson City, NV (from the west), so virtually all of this route was new to me.

I was shocked at the difficulty of this route. At one point, it climbed from Hanksville, UT to Boulder Pass (9600+ feet). This climb seemed unending in a car. I can't imagine it on a loaded touring bike. Except for the road, the pass was covered in snow.

We spent a night in Ely, NV, where it was snowing when we arrived. The next day, as we upped and downed along Highway 50, a road that often has very little shoulder, we passed on bike rider heading east. It wasn't safe to stop and talk with him but my respect for what he had done and what he was about to do were enormous.

If you've ridden the Western Express route, my hat's off to you!
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Old 05-10-23, 01:31 PM
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I drove Boulder in 2000 from Hanksville. Late July or early August. It was warm/hot when we started, so we had the ac on and the windows up. It got wet climbing the pass. At one point I opened the window and it was downright chilly out. It did seem to go on forever. Reminded me of climbing Togwotee Pass while riding a section of the Trans Am earlier that same summer.

We had stared the day at Halls Crossing and took the ferry that morning. The day before it was really hot at the campground along Lake Powell.
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Old 05-10-23, 04:45 PM
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Hey Raybo! Iain here.
Had a beer with you in San Francisco in 2017 starting my tour that year.

As for that hill climbing up to Boulder Pass. I've done it twice. Camped halfway up first time. Second time on my 2017 tour was about 3 weeks into a tour so tour fit. It's long but not too bad.

2017 version here.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=524199&v=5p
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Old 05-10-23, 07:30 PM
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Heh. We also encountered free range cattle.
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Old 05-14-23, 08:22 PM
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One of my favourite things about bicycle touring is people in vehicles getting somewhere they cannot imagine anyone travelling under their own steam...and then appears the lone, loaded cycle tourer.
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Old 05-14-23, 08:53 PM
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Raybo -
Done US 50 a bunch of times across Nevada.
But US 6 is even more remote - 168 miles with zero services Tonopah to Ely.
But certainly worth it.

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Old 05-16-23, 07:17 AM
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I did it ten years ago, as part of a longer tour, and I remember it as being hard, but not super-hard. Sometimes I've driven a route in a car and thought it would be tough on a bike, but then later I rode it, and it wasn't all that difficult. Funny how that works.

Certainly ACA's Western Express is not the hardest route of theirs that I've done; that would have to be this one. You couldn't even a drive a car/van/truck on some of that route.
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Old 05-16-23, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by OneGearIsEnough
I did it ten years ago, as part of a longer tour, and I remember it as being hard, but not super-hard. Sometimes I've driven a route in a car and thought it would be tough on a bike, but then later I rode it, and it wasn't all that difficult. Funny how that works.
I had that experience in the Dolomites. On a previous visit, my wife and I drove a rented car from the Val Gardena up to the Passo Gardena. As we climbed, I thought that this was way too steep for a (loaded) bicycle. While it was hard on a loaded bicycle, I was able to do the climb and it was worth it!
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Old 05-16-23, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by afrowheels
One of my favourite things about bicycle touring is people in vehicles getting somewhere they cannot imagine anyone travelling under their own steam...and then appears the lone, loaded cycle tourer.
I had that experience crossing the North Cascades Highway west to east. I was sitting on the ground atop Washington Pass because there was too much snow plowed to pull off the road. I was changing my sweaty jersey and putting on layers for the long descent. A couple drove up from the east and stopped. After they got out of the car they stared at me in silent disbelief. We were the only 3 people around. I wondered what they thought when they kept heading west and saw what I had come up.
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Old 05-18-23, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
Raybo -
Done US 50 a bunch of times across Nevada.
But US 6 is even more remote - 168 miles with zero services Tonopah to Ely.
But certainly worth it.

Sure doesn't look like that here....

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Old 05-18-23, 09:07 AM
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Although I love the Eastern Shore,
I'll take US 50 in Nevada over 4-lane US 50 in Maryland.
Every time.

But on the Eastern Shore there's Bucktown and Dames Quarter.
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Old 05-18-23, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
Although I love the Eastern Shore,
I'll take US 50 in Nevada over 4-lane US 50 in Maryland.
Every time.

But on the Eastern Shore there's Bucktown and Dames Quarter.
I have no interest in either.

I was curious about what was "Amazed" and realized nothing was all that amazing.

Remote places are remote.......
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Old 05-18-23, 07:25 PM
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Not everywhere is Yosemite or the Grand Canyon.
And for that I am grateful.

Pic -
Wah Wah Mtns Abandoned House
The Only Water between Garrison and Milford

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Old 05-18-23, 08:12 PM
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Funny. I looked at that picture before reading the post and thought, "water" and looked for a well pump.
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