Today was my first proper desert stage. It was 47 miles to Middlegate and if I felt good, I decided to do the 13 miles to Cold Spring Station. I set out around 7:30 AM. The first 25 miles or so were perfect. It was nice and cool and the road was dead straight with a gentle downward incline. I was doing 20 mph average! On the way there were salt wells, which are quite an amazing sight - acres and acres of white salt, perfectly flat. The road itself was similar to yesterday - 2 lanes with rumble strips. So I had to always be cautious when cars passed and a lot of cars passed!
They call this the loneliest road in the world but it certainly didn't feel very lonely. There were certain periods of a few minutes when everything was silent, but most of the time you could hear the loud buzz of car tires on the road.
The day stayed exactly like it was in the morning throughout the day. After the long flat, I climbed two relatively small passes and got to Middlegate around 11:30 AM. I had a nice grilled chicken sandwich in a very old wild-west looking bar (which is basically the entirety of Middlegate). Since I was doing good on time and felt good, I pushed onto Cold Springs station. It was 14 miles of gradual uphill that went pretty smoothly. Cold Springs station is also just a bar and motel, though it's much nicer looking. I initially booked a camp spot and pitched my tent, but considering there was a high chance of rain, decided to get a cabin instead. Tomorrow is supposed to be thunderstorms in Austin! Hopefully I can get there dry.