Two Lanes, Two Wheels, and a Camera: Nevada 21 North to Great Basin
Motorcyclists love twisty roads and curves. This incredible road has neither… for miles.
The air had a bit of crisp fall-like energy when I rode out of Cedar City. Utah, on my way to Wells, Nevada. It was still mostly dark, the sun just starting to light the horizon over the mountains to the east of me.
Riding through the small byways of western Utah I was a bit chilly but I decided to go ahead and simply enjoy that feeling of being a little too cold as I knew that would not be the case in just a few hours.
I would eventually end up in Missoula on this trip, but my plans were not set in stone, rather a sort of hazy ‘we’ll see when we get there’ sort of trip. The best kind on a motorcycle.
I had decided to head north on 130 toward Minersville. Then take the turn to go toward Baker, NV. Baker is at the base of Great Basin, National Park and I really wanted to see that place.
After having a bite of breakfast in Milford, filling the tank with premium, and cleaning the windshield of assorted desert bugs, I hit the next leg of the trip.
And I was not expecting the beauty of this road at all. On the map, it is a long, straight road with few turns and absolutely no twisties. We bikers love twisties.
I had stopped several times to make some photographs, so it was mid-morning when I got to the only curve section on the road, a wide sweeping turn to the left and then back to the right.
And that is when I stopped to see this incredible sight.
The road stretched far out in front of me, the desert colors, mountains, and clouds. There was virtually no traffic, but I was not going to stop on a curve so I edged down the road a bit and pulled over as far as I could to the right side of the road. You can see from the photo that there are no shoulders on either side.
Jumping off the bike I took out my iPhone and made a few images to sort of sketch the shot out. Once I knew what I wanted, I grabbed the Nikon with a 24mm lens and made the shot from a standing position.
I often like to shoot these road shots because they remind me so much of the experience of being on the road. And one of my favorite things to do is to shoot from a low angle as it accentuates the road and the lines, but for this shot, I wish I could have gotten higher. I didn’t want to over accentuate the road, just bring the viewer to the same perspective I had of it with a bit more of the surrounding desert.
The road goes down to the lowest part of the huge valley and then heads uphill again at a little bank of mountains, slightly curves to the left, and promptly enters another huge valley almost identical to the one I had just traversed.
I was surprised by how much I loved this area. Nevada — above and not counting Las Vegas — is amazing. Mountains, valleys, rivers… so many cool places. And great motorcycling weather even in the middle of summer.
I got to Baker and was able to get much-needed petrol from the solo pump in the middle of a field. Talk about self-service. Two pumps, no snacks, no office, no attendant. Just a credit card slot. And expensive gas.
Baker is a story in itself… perhaps another day.
(And yeah, Great Basin is simply amazing. If you are in the area, do yourself a favor and spend some time there.)
I am a photographer, designer, and photo editor. You can find me at my self-named website or at Project 52 Pro System where I teach commercial photography online. This is our tenth year of teaching, and it is the most unique online class you will find anywhere.