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  009 06/12/06 Austin Austin Our first day of rest! Gene  

Monday June 12, 2006 0 miles - Total so far: 432

After 8 days of cycling we were ready for a day of rest so we took a hiatus in Austin. Austin is the mother town of mining camps...it sprang into being on May 2, 1862 when William Talcott discovered silver here. He was hauling wood out of Pony Canyon when he made the strike that set off a silver rush that quickly attracted over 10,000 people to the town. Today however it is a quiet town on the decline with less than 300 residents. For cyclists on highway 50 though, Austin is an important destination as there are no other towns for 70 miles in either direction.

Our stay in Austin was memorable due to the infestation of huge Mormon crickets. This is the third year in a row that these pests have invaded the town. Trucks used to spread sand and salt in the winter were being used to spread bait to try and control them. It's hard to describe how many there were except to say that in some areas it appeared that the ground was moving!

David took advantage of the break in cycling to do his first watercolor of the trip (see photo)...a scene of the Carson River Gorge boiling with snowmelt from last winter's unusually heavy snows.

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