We could have ridden from Las Vegas to Vaughn, roughly 80 miles. But Las Vegas wasn’t really on our route, Villanueva is. And yesterday we had ridden farther than Villanueva so we didn’t feel guilty getting trucked to our start there.
I say that we rode to nowhere, but we didn’t exactly start from somewhere. Virtually the entirety of Villanueva consists of a post office. However, Nick did meet Ambrose (Ambrosio) at the post office and he gave us directions to Vaughn. Very nonchalantly, as though he was regularly asked how to ride 60+ miles through what seemed like an area that is seldom traveled by any form of transportation. The directions he gave were accurate, but he didn’t mention the climb to get out of Vaughn. I didn’t keep track of the distance, but the grade did get up to 13%. It was the largest single climb we have done since we missed a turn a couple of weeks ago.
After the initial climb we rode through country that was, as far as we could see, totally uninhabited. For some reason, though, there were wire fences bordering most of the land. Why, we had no idea. Nor did we know why anyone would want to own the land. Finally, however, we came across some cattle so then the fences made sense.
Most of the ride was totally different than what we had been doing. Instead of being on the shoulder of a heavily traveled highway, we were on a rural road with no shoulder and very few vehicles. Some of the scenery was also different with more vegetation than much of the ride has had. And there were a LOT of up and downs with rolling hills that had frequent 4% climbs, but the climbs of course also meant some very fun descents.
The ride had some pretty warm weather, getting as high as 104. With no place to get more liquids, Nick asked one of the few trucks that was passing if they had any water. Joe and Nancy stopped, gave us bottles of cool water, power ade and were totally helpful. More great helpful people on our trip.
There was literally no place to stop for refreshments between Villanueva and Vaughn, including in Encino, a “town” in which everything was shut down.
The past 5 miles we got back on a highway and reached Vaughn at a pretty good clip.
Another thriving community. 2 open motels and as far as we can tell, 1 place to eat. With no prospects of 4th of July celebrations unless, maybe, someone has some sparklers or something.
Tomorrow to Roswell, New Mexico. At least you have heard of it.
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