At six thirty when Stef turned on the TV I hit the low point of my holiday. He knew we had got in at 5am and couldnít possibly have expected us to get up and ride that early! (I knew and no I didn't expect anyone to get up that early, but equally, I didn't intend to sit around in silence for four hours either) I buried my head and tried to avoid the world until Stef became far more insistent at around 10:30am. We were due to leave the hotel at 11:00am and although Jon and I would happily have stayed for another day Stef was adamant that we continue. The days ride to Denio Junction was our last desert day and if I said I didnít remember too much it would be a monsterous understatement. Luckily Stef navigated and Jon and I followed gingerly. My memories of riding through dead bleached forests and plains seem to be blended with riding through many miles of antelope reserve and seeing many animals high on the black rocks that framed so much of the scenery.
I was nice to them. We rode as far as a place called McDermitt on tarmac with Jon in the lead as he had GPS maps to show the way. That left just 65 miles or so on the dirt in the afternoon. On the way, just after leaving Winnemucca, we passed some sand dunes and I was surprised when neither Dave nor Jon tried to pursuade me that we really ought to go and ride them. Clearly they were feeling pretty bad to pass-up that opportunity. It's not like they didn't know what they were doing though... We spent quite a while in the casino restaurant in McDermitt, mainly trying to get fluids into Dave and Jon so they felt up to carrying on.
I was dissapointed not to actually see any antelope in the Sheldon reserve, not even from a distance. The riding was pretty good though, a little more interesting than the previous few days but nothing too strenuous. The colours around us were beginning to change again with more areas of reddish dirt and more greenery creeping back into the landscape as we went on.
We stopped for fuel and late in the afternoon passed a beautiful lake surrounded by wildlife of all kinds. Jon and I stopped hoping to join then for a swim but were disappointed by the shallow muddy nature of the water. We finally came to Denio Junction and our motel at 7pm. It was another remote set of two buildings nestling in a beautiful green valley bathed in warm evening sunlight. We had ridden our 200 mile day in eight hours. I canít say I enjoyed the day, or even remember much of it, but I was certainly glad to shower, eat, and crash out at the unruly time of 9:30pm.