By: Sarahann

Hello from Middlegate, NV: the self-proclaimed “middle of nowhere” with a population of 17 (formerly 18). Over the past few days, the SAIS Cycling for Access team has ventured across mountains, a frozen lake, and the very hot Nevada desert.

After leaving Ham’s Station on Highway 88, we climbed 4500 feet across 30 miles. We had a mild bike breakdown, so we weren’t able to make it to the Carson Pass (elevation: 8500 ft) before nightfall. We were surrounded by snow, so Josh treated us to a night at the Caples Lake Resort, which mended our spirits and thawed our frozen bodies.

Biking along Highway 88 on the way to Tahoe

The following morning we set out for Lake Tahoe. We descended nearly 3000 feet, reaching speeds of 35 mph. Once at the Lake, we checked in with our Warm Showers host, Warren, who is pictured with us below. He was incredibly welcoming, gave us cold drinks, and shared local tips to explore the town.

The cycling team with our Tahoe host, Warren

After Lake Tahoe, we sailed through the mountains to Carson City, NV. We stayed with another Warm Showers host, Evan, who has an amazing garden and chatted about international relations with us. In town, we ran errands and reached out Nevada community colleges and municipal governments to arrange meetings.

Lidia and a Sarahann overlooking Lake Tahoe

Next we biked over 70 miles from Carson City to Fallon, NV. The Nevada heat was brutal, but we enjoyed the flat landscape and the friendly waves from construction workers. We breaked for lunch at Lahontan State Park, which was a relaxing oasis amidst the desert. That evening, we had coffee and dinner at Stone Cabin Coffee in Fallon. The owner, Butch, and his staff were very kind and welcoming–and Butch treated us all to coffee the following morning.

Grabbing coffee in Fallon, NV

Next year, we hope the SAIS cycling team will be able to chat with people in Carson City and Fallon (we ran out of time to schedule events this year). While they are both lovely cities, we saw great signs of need. We believe students from these towns could really benefit from this ride.

That brings us to today. We have biked nearly 50 miles from Fallon and are resting at Middlegate Station — a historic stop along the Pony Express. The restaurant here has delicious burgers and a chill atmosphere. After digesting our lunch, we will be heading onwards to Cold Springs, NV.

Enjoying burgers at Middlegate Station

Over the next few days, we will be traversing the desert. But we are actively setting up meetings with students and community members between here and Cedar City, UT. If you know anyone along this route, please shoot us a message!

2 thoughts on “A Song of Fire and Ice: Riding through Deserts and Mountains

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