Stockpiled along the river for miles, each one represented a dream that never came true. I haven't seen as many rocks in my entire life. The stones, pebbles, and gravel is all that remains of a time when wealth could be extracted and sifted from the Earth. It in many ways reminded me of the gold rush we had a couple years ago (Hey Obama, one day, don't be surprised if She where da cash at?).
Virginia City is the first town I came upon after Ennis. The old gold mining town fits the stereotype to a T. I stopped by the local museum, which is a real treasure I might add because it's free and has some Smithsonian quality stuff. The town had the typical tourist trap stuff like carriage rides but it also preserved a lot of the buildings in the city and also a town nearby called Nevada City (which I'm not sure if anyone lives there). Just another hidden gem along the way.
Virginia City was quickly topped by the Citizen of the Day. I cut my day short to stay at a free cyclists only cabin in Twin Bridges (I'd go out of my way for a free shower, but this happened to be on the way). Robert Klein pulled up on a Bianchi C2C. The man's 70, has the hair of David Hasselhoff, and is from Southern California. Naturally I started calling him Hollywood.
Robert has lived in Spain, France, North Africa, and Montana. A flamenco guitar player, he's made friends with the romantics of the world. Before you know it I was at his house, checking out all of his friends artwork (amazing stuff, apparently he's in the Louvre), I saw some family photos (his daughter is a somewhat famous actress Jennifer Lyons, stage name; I actually recognized her). Robert's an intellectual, but also a bit hippie (I'm okay with that). The wealth he's inherited permits the freedom in his lifestyle (he's got a 20 something year old girl, his family made their money when his father invented the louvered window). He took me out for a real Montana cheeseburger, the best beef I've ever had. The guys a real character, and will probably go on for years as the most interesting man I've met.
On top of meeting Robert, I also met Sunjay, and a Canadian couple that's also staying in Twin Bridges for the night. Sunjay's a Cal Poly grad, and pro downhill mountain biker, who has traded in life in the office for a seasonal job at a bike shop, and random trips around the world. He started out three days ago in Big Sky, MT and will make it down the Pacific Coast to San Diego before his brother's wedding.
The Canadian couple is also headed south, to mainland Mexico. Eventually riding the waves out to Cuba, their trip has am open ended time frame. What an amazing time that will be!
Things are still going great, as you have read. I didn't have time tonight, but tomorrow I'll talk about the rash I've picked up a few days ago on my abdomen. It still is blistering. I think I know where I got it.