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Old 10-08-2011, 06:14 PM   #1
XC Rider OP
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Location: Right where I need to be
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NV day trip, Pyramid Lake, Virginia City, & Fort Churchill state park

Well, I'm sitting here in Fernley, NV (at my brother's house) sort of in limbo, as my father & I were on a trip riding the Trans America trail (see link in signature line if interested), but when things started to get difficult, we bypassed the trail from Moab to here to regroup and decide how to proceed. We've been here almost a week now, and while my dad's been attending to family matters, I've taken the time to take care of the front forks of one of my other bikes that I'd left here at my brother's house back in July upon my return from Alaska (earlier this summer I rode a Kawasaki Versys from Key West, FL to all points north in the Yukon, Northern Territory, & Alaska; once again see link to "My Other Ride Reports" in my signature line if interested). After getting the forks back yesterday and putting them back on the bike, I was ready to take the bike out for a spin today; after all, I had to see how they worked, make sure they weren't leaking fork oil anymore, and besides, I wanted to go for a ride! So here's a little mini ride report from my day ride today. The basic lay out of the route is as follows: 1) start out in Fernley, NV and head north on 447, then west on 446 towards Pyramid Lake, 2) from Pyramid Lake take 445 back south towards the Sparks/Reno area, 3) from Reno take 341 through Virginia City, Gold Hill, & Silver City down to Hwy 50, 4) go east on Hwy 50 towards Silver Springs but about 1/4 of the way turn off onto Fort Churchill road towards Hwy 95, 5) follow all the way to Hwy 95 and then take Hwy 95 back north to Fernley!

Here's an overview of the route:

Hit the road around 10:45 am, weather was great, and I was anxious to get out of the house for the day!

Passing through the little town of Fernley.

Heading north on 447 towards Pyramid Lake.

A cool train trestle bridge in Wadsworth.

Ahhhh, the wide, open expanses of space that Nevada is known for.

The view up ahead and the view in the rear view mirrors looked eerily similar!

I see Pyramid Lake! It's dead center, on the horizon.

Getting closer.

Found a little pull off/trail leading off the road a bit and it looked like a good place to snap a couple of pictures, so off I went. Even though the Versys is not as off-road worth as my DRZ, it is a very competent bike, and the trail/road looked ok. Unfortunately, what I did not reallize, is that almost instantly, I was in deep sand! Here's the result:

Well, at least I don't need the kick stand!

Since it was a good location, I decided to snap a few pictures of the lake.

Eventually, with a little throttle work and some pushing on my part, I got the bike out of there and back onto firmer ground. More pictures of Pyramid Lake.

And Popcorn Rock.

From here I turned south on 445 towards the Sparks/Reno area.

A BLM wild horse adoption ranch.

Pulling into Sparks.

While in the Sparks/Reno area, I located & bought a neck lanyard with which to tether my new hand held camera as I like to take pictures while riding. First went to Best Buy, but they didn't have anything like this; however the young guy I talked too was super cool and suggested that I try Gordon's Camera equipment in Reno as they should have it. Success! Next, time to find some lunch. Subway will do.

From here, it was onto Virginia City, via 341 (Geiger Grade road). On the way out, I got behind a guy on a Victory for a while. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that they're great bikes and all, but in my opinion, this one is ugly as sin! Way too futuristic for my taste!

Rolling down Hwy 395.

Ahhhh.....Geiger Grade road; this is a fun road!

Part way up, and looking back down towards Reno.

Halfway to Virginia City, I took a detour loop via Cartwright road & Lousetown road. Along Cartwright road was very developed and hence low speed limit, but it was a nice side loop.

Back on Geiger Grade road and getting close to Virginia City.

There it is!

Virginia City.

Continuing on down, thru Gold Hill & Silver City to Hwy 50.

On Hwy 50, and heading east.

Soon enough though, I turn off Hwy 50 and onto Fort Churchill road. This was going the be the non-paved section of the day! I love the sign on the far right that says "Very Rough Road"! Ok, it's not paved, and there is a lot of loose gravel, sand and the majority of it is covered in this wonderful washboard surface, but come on! I guess everything is relative; it's just a matter of perspective.

For me though, I enjoy these roads; these are usually more remote, less traffic, and more scenery!

I didn't realize it, but I was riding on the old Pony Express Trail!

The ruins at Fort Churchill.

Once past Fort Churchill, I was back on pavement.

Then onto Hwy 95, heading north, back to Fernley.

Nearing Fernley, I went by the Reno-Fernley Raceway and saw a lot of cars there, so I decided to check it out. They were racing!

I may have to come back tomorrow and catch some of the races!

From here, it was just a hop, skip, and half a jump back to home base.

Back to home base, safe and sound.

STATS for the day.

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Old 10-09-2011, 11:00 AM   #2
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Location: Yelm, Washington
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Looks like a very fun day! I bet it was nice to get on the Versys and stretch out the legs on the tarmac a little bit. Little better on the highways at speed. Loving the ride reports, have read them all and am currently awaiting and hoping for your continuance on the TAT. Good luck to you and your dad and I hope your two are able to finish the trip. And keep the day trips coming. It's great reading and seeing the pics of all the places your able to travel.

Ride safe,

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Old 10-10-2011, 09:49 AM   #3
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Great shots! Thanks for taking us along. I was googling your place recently wondering what it looked like.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:07 AM   #4
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Vine Valley, NY (Finger Lakes Region)
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Day trip report

XC Rider,

Nice day trip report. Had to look at it, to find out what the beautiful picture was of the ruins on your RR (TAT). Fort Churchill...super neat...will have to go by there next time I'm out there...

Ride safe, and enjoy.
Thanks again,
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:51 AM   #5
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Joined: Jul 2004
Location: 67km east of la república socialista de Kalifornia
Oddometer: 1,460
To smell sagebrush again...

Before I was exiled to Las Vegas, that was my tromping grounds. Your post brings back some good memory's.


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Old 10-17-2011, 12:19 PM   #6
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great pix

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Old 07-10-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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Green With Envy!!

Great photos!
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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Great pictures. I'm going to have to go see Fort Churchill, that looks really cool. This Californian is getting really hooked on anything having to with Nevada in the title. I'm going to have to find the time to take the KLR and go north and explore. And get away from all these crazy people!!!!!


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Old 07-12-2012, 01:00 AM   #9
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: South Africa
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Thanks for showing your part of the world.
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:16 AM   #10
XC Rider OP
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Originally Posted by Beltzer View Post
Thanks for showing your part of the world.
Thank you for looking; I'll bet your part of the world has more than a few things worth seeing.

Hope to get to South Africa myself one day and do a little riding; then again, I don't know of any corner of this planet that I wouldn't want to go and check out for myself!
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