Sunday we sat around Death Valley. We went for an evening ride to artists palette, the sunset was amazing. Back at camp it was still very hot so we cooked up dinner and slept on top of the two picnic tables. Even at night it was hot enough that Phil was imagining himself as King Arthur on his pyre. And I was counting shooting stars, almost perfect darkness there.
We got up while it was still dark, packed our bikes and rode towards Death Valley junction. Everything was fine till it started to get light. I scared a coyote as he didn't hear me well when I came up on him, we stared each other down for awhile. The coyote was the best part of the ride.
My back tire got low, pumped it a mile later low again. So I pumped it once more so I could make it to shade to change it.
Stopped at the info center and toilets and sat in the shade. A lot of European tourists came by and took pictures of me, and when I was riding. Two gave me cold water, luxuriously cold. So I changed my tire but the pump I have is so cruddy or maybe the tire, heat or exhaustion, couldn't get it up to pressure. Started riding again, all the tourists kept telling me Phil was waiting right ahead. Four or five miles later I stopped yet another time to fill up my water bottle from my supplies and pump the tire. I thought well, Phil is so far ahead, he probably stopped waiting. I saw a red truck round the corner and put my thumb out.
Tony stopped right away, right after I thought about it. We threw my bike in and drove the last 11 miles to Death Valley Junction where the Armagossa Opera house is. Found Phil just arriving and I coerced him in his delusional state that we should catch a ride to Pahrump. Which when he fell asleep during the ride I turned it into a ride to Las Vegas.
Tony is a cool character. He is a head safety honcho for Las Vegas Paving Corp. He took us to his house about a mile from the strip where we camped in his backyard. We swam in the pool and drank some beer while he finished the rest of his errands. Right before he left he filled a cooler for us and said "here is beer, water and love ...you'll make it."
When he came back I got to take a shower and he took us on a tour. We ate at the Pink Taco in the Hard Rock Hotel and then cruised the strip observing. Phil asked, "what's the best thing about Vegas?" Tony replied,"seeing it in your rearview mirror." haha
Definitely not my favorite place, casinos make me slightly uncomfortable, way too expensive for their own good. went back to Tony's and had another drink next to his firepit before sleeping in the grass. Which we didn't realize was full of biting ants, but was a pleasant sleep anyways.
So hitching rides is kind of like cheating but I don't care because it works out so well. Tomorrow we will be riding on the shore of Lake Mead.