Day 8: Austin to Eureka, NV

We awoke to clear skies, bright sun and crisp 50’s.  Perfect riding conditions.  We had good intentions of starting early.  To fuel up, we started the day with breakfast at the Toiyabe Cafe.   For people in the know it is the only place to eat!   For dinner you just have to get there before 4:00 p.m.  

We saw a bunch of guys walking up to the cafe at 6:15 am, but thought we’d let them order and then we’d follow them in 30 minutes or so, but the Toiyabe Cafe had other plans.  

When we arrived some of the guys  in the restaurant had not had their order taken  and some were still getting their meals.  The waitress was completely overwhelmed  and freaking out.   We ordered and ate our French toast before the other party was all served.  The breakfast was excellent.  The two Swiss couples who ate next to us the night before at the esteemed International Cafe and joined us in much laughter also sat near us in the cafe this morning  and we had many more good laughs.  We finished breakfast in 1 hour and 45 minutes.  The original plan was to have them make us a couple of sandwiches, but 2 more people walked in and it seemed like that could be the last straw, so we decided we had enough food in our panniers to get us to Eureka.  

Snow in the forecast for this afternoon and tomorrow, but we beat the snow and rain to Eureka.  

More basin and range territory. The basins are wider the further east you go.  Also the sage brush get smaller in every subsequent valley.  You notice these things as you chug along. 

When we approached Eureka we violated the sacred rule of not food shopping while hungry.  We were able to check ourselves, but consumed a few wings back in the hotel room and scored some fried chicken for lunch tomorrow.  

I asked the local sheriff what are the best places to eat in town.  We are going to the Owl Club tonight and the Pony Express Deli for breakfast.   I asked the sheriff about the rain and snow forecast and he thinks it will be over by 6:00 am tomorrow and it will be 42 by 9:00 am  so we should be okay, but it will be raining.  

I spoke more with the sheriff about where we’d been and eventually the conversation turned to hamburgers and he said, well the bar has excellent cheeseburgers and I said, we are trying to take a break from the cheeseburger pony express diet.  I told him about Middlegate and the 4 lb burger and he told me how he and a buddy each ate a 7.5 lb cheeseburger a few weeks ago.  I congratulated him on his survival.  Not sure about his buddy.  I don’t want to know what the record is.  

Went for jacuzzi at our hotel, The Eureka Gold Country Inn.  Very nice and just what we needed before dinner.  The Owl Club restaurant was delicious.  

There are many versions of Austin’s history.

We left this guy waiting for his meal.  

Leaving Austin (the most down on its luck town on the lonliest road in America) via a 1500 ft climb. 

I see a rebirth in the making for Austin (Geothermal Energy). 

Did I mention basin and range?

Yet another basin….

Eureka’s gold mine has revitalized the town.  They use a method called heap leaching to separate the gold from the ore.  The low grade ore is crushed into fine particles. It is then heaped into large piles and sprayed with cyanide, which trickles down through the ore and bonds with the gold.  They then collect the leachate and separate out the gold.  

Downtown Eureka

The Owl Club where we had dinner.  No hamburgers for us.  

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