It was Hot....Then it was COLD!
: Do a 1700 mile loop through NV with 5 riders in 7 days, exploring abandoned mines, ranches and history as we go. The tracks were made, the bikes were prepped and we were ready to head to NV for our 2012 Adventure. We picked early June this year hoping to beat the heat and ride in nice green scenery (it might be a gamble since the weather forecast is looking pretty iffy the closer we get to blast off time). There would be four riders leaving on the 1st and a 5th rider meeting up with us two days later out on the trail some where.
This year I had a special theme for this trip with an idea that started during our last summers ride in NV....What is is? Keep reading below.....
We loaded the bikes and hit the road!
.....AKA: Novacaine. Riding a KTM 530 XCW
....AKA: Rommpy. Riding a KTM 450 EXC
.....AKA: Hodakaguy. Riding a KTM 530 XCW
....AKA: KnightRider. Riding a KTM 450 XCW
....AKA: Mamacone. Riding a Honda XR650R
Overview of our tracks.
Day 1. June 1st, 2012.
Miles on Bike: 1306
Hrs on Bike: 53.5
We were at the mini mart at 3:30am, trucks are filled and we roll towards NV. The last week has been nuts...tons of last minute prep. Andy's 530 lost a crank seal 2 days before we left, leaving him two days to transfer everything from his fully prepped 530 to his wife's 450 EXC so he could make the trip. A last minute rider (Mark) was added to the trip giving him a week to prep his bike....he had to order the desert tank, luggage, GPS etc and get it all set up in a very short time. He would also be leaving a day and a half later than us and would try and catch us somewhere out on the trail, he will watch our SPOT tracks with his iphone and try to intersect us some where on the trail.
Let the adventure begin!
A stop at the historic French Glen Hotel along to way to stretch our legs. More info on the Hotel Here: CLICK HERE
The Steens Scenic Loop in the background...still closed due to snow. The bikes won't be this clean for long!
At French Glen I check the bikes to make sure they are riding correctly....and find oil leaking from my counter sprocket! Dang! Oh well, I brought a spare seal so I'll change it out in Denio. I turn to Trever and say "Man, my counter sprocket is leaking" and he says "or your friends poured oil on your frame at the last gas stop" LOL. Ok...that was pretty good! At least I don't have to worry about changing the seal out now
Trever picked up necessary refreshments
A long stretch of Highway with water on both sides....pretty cool.
We arrive at Denio Junction, NV. We will leave the trucks here and head out on adventure! We off load the bikes and do last minute prep.....load bikes, fill camel packs, etc.
Trever holding up two of the 5 bags of concrete that we will be carrying on the bikes...50 lbs total! Hmmmm........
Trever loading his two bags of concrete in the Giant Loop....could it be that the huge desert tank is causing the front end to feel heavy and he's trying to lighten it by adding weight in the rear?
My bike loaded up with the special cargo for the trip....it sticks way out on each side of the bike so I'll have to be careful not to catch it on sage brush along the trail. I think I may have just set a new luggage weight record on a 530 LOL.
Trever giving Andy the last bag of concrete.
We left Denio and headed into the Pueblo mountains with our special cargo. The weather was perfect, maybe a tad on the warm side as we climbed in altitude towards our destination.
One of the many cattle fences that we would have to stop, open then close along the route. These are scattered everywhere out here.
Trever waiting at the fence crossing......with all the heavy gear plus the added concrete the bikes are handling like a humming bird with a bowling ball duct taped under one wing
. Good thing we have radiator fans...they are getting a work out today!
A view looking up into the mountains....the GPS is up and purring, just follow the yellow brick road :-)
And we Climb and Climb....
Cruising up the trail...trying not to snag a sage brush :-)
Alan letting his bike cool down and taking a break before the final steep rocky climb.
Climbing the final hill
We arrived at the WW2 B-24 Liberator Crash Site, our first destination of the day.
Everyone showing up at the site.
The flags are still standing proud on the radial engine.
We get right to work unloading the cargo...happy to get all the extra weight off the bikes after the steep climb.
Trever starts digging the hole we are going to need to plant the cargo.
We all take turns digging the hole, luckily the ground is less rocky than anticipated and the digging goes easily.
We insert the cargo into the hole and start mixing the 50 lbs of quick setting concrete to permanently lock it in place.
I added stainless steel tubing to the bottom of the post to help lock it in the concrete. I really wanted it to withstand the winds and weather it's going to have to endure up here.
And the Sign is planted and finished.
During last summers visit to the crash site (ride report: HERE
) I started thinking about making a memorial plaque to place at the crash site. I really felt that the story of the planes crash as well as the names of the crewmen that lost their lives serving our country needed to be told. Visiting the crash site last year without this information made the experience feel incomplete. After returning home last summer I obtained the names of the crewmen that were on board that fateful night then Andy and I split the cost to have a laser engraved stainless steel plaque fabricated to place at the crash site. After receiving the plaque I fabricated a heavy stainless steel sign assy to mount the plaque on so it will last for years to come. One of the highlights of this trip for everyone involved was planting the memorial plaque.
Click here for a PBS documentary on the crash site: CLICK HERE
A photo of the memorial plaque, I added pop rivets around the outside of the sign to give it more of a aircraft feel.
A waterproof guest book box was added to the sign so people visiting the crash site can write down their thoughts and feelings on the site. There is a water proof tablet stored inside.
And I entered the first entry into the book. If you visit the site make an entry into the log book, and please don't remove anything from the site!
And a group photo around the sign.
With the plaque installed we decided to explore around the crash site. I'll post quite a few pictures here of the crash site.
Looking back at the bikes. One of the 4 twin-row, 14-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-1830 "Twin Wasp" 1000HP radial engines, with one of the main landing gear legs and wheel in the background.