Adventure Is Out There! - 1500 Miles of Desert Fun. Mines, Hot Springs Etc.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Hodakaguy, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,895
    Location:
    City of the Angels
    I'm curious which way you chose to enter into the Valley of Death. Perhaps the northern dunes? There are some hot pools you may be staking out. Of course the bordellos are fun for a cold beer and a laugh at the stables. The beer there is cheap. Hopefully you won't get too parched with the soaring heat. Do tell.
    #21
  2. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,213
    Location:
    Eastern WA State
    Not sure exactly what section you are calling the Valley of Death?

    Hodakaguy
    #22
  3. dammitdave

    dammitdave Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,297
    Location:
    Port Townsend, WA
    I'm hooked. Great photos and good history lesson. It's amazing how much energy people were willing to put into these old mining burgs even though they only lasted 10 or 20 years. Thanks for all of your work posting....dd
    #23
  4. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,213
    Location:
    Eastern WA State
    5-30-10....Day 5


    I was up early and needed to get the filter skin changed out on my bike, the weather was great so I pushed the bike back outside and went to work.

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    New filter skin installed, chain slack checked and gave the bike a good once over for loose bolts ect. Everything looks good! Just a note on the filter skins...they work GREAT! Did the whole trip on just one filter, changing out skins when needed (I carried 7 pre-oiled skins rolled up and sealed in a ziplock bag). Each time I removed the skin the filter itself looked perfect so I just installed a new skin, added a tad more grease to the rim of the filter and sealed it back up. Way easier than carrying a bunch of filters. :thumb

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    We loaded up the bikes, put on our gear and headed out to get breakfast before hitting the trail.....Well that's how it was suppose to go anyways. Mark's BRP started up, then died again and wouldn't re-start. After Mark got exhausted from kicking I gave it a try. Craig is still optimistic that we will be leaving soon and remained in his full moto gear at this point.

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    Ok...I can't kick any longer. Alan, your up! Alan kicked like crazy for a while but still nothing. I think it's time to pull the tank and see what's going on.

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    We decided to check the carb to see if something is plugging the jets or ??? While we stayed to work on the bike (and photograph the progress :evil ) Craig headed back into town to the worlds crappiest McDonald's to get a few Egg McMuffins so we could save time eating and get back on the trail sooner.

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    Our tracks will take us out of town on a road behind this hill, once the BRP is sucking fuel again.

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    Mark re-installing the carb. Everything looked to be in good cond. We decided to pull the plug and check it out, the diesel that Mark accidentally filled with back in Virginia City may have fouled it out. The plug looked brown and in good cond but we changed it out for a new one anyways, can't hurt.

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    The plug did the trick :clap With the BRP up and running again and everyone full from the crappy McDonald's we hit the trail again. We fueled up at a local station and met a group of about 30 dual sport riders that were out for a two day ride.

    Gallons at fill up: 2.859
    Total Miles: 623

    After chatting with them for a few minutes we headed out of town. When we rounded the hill (the one mentioned above taken from the parking lot) there was a HUGE old mining dump site that the road cut through. It looks like the miners had been using that back side of the hill for a dump since the 1800's. Thousands of cans and metal bits littered the ground in every direction. There were numerous vehicles parked and people with shovels digging and sifting the dirt, I presume looking for old relics thrown away by the early miners that might hold some kind of collector value today...such as old medicine bottles ect. There was one guy that had a mini walk behind excavator and a gas powered shaker table mounted to a double axle car hauler trailer! Serious stuff. I really should have stopped and taken a few pictures of everyone searching through the dump but we were anxious to make ground and just glanced as we flew by.

    This is the road out of Tonopah, the dump site is at the base of the hill in the top of the picture.

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    Alan cruising down the road.

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    We passed this large open pit mine and stopped for a few minutes to take a look. There is a building and an abandoned cement truck up on the hill that we didn't check out.

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    Taken along a sandy portion of the road, skirting a large dry lake bed.

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    Here we started seeing the first of the Joshua trees. Very cool!

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    Craig and I decided to walk over and check out one of the tree's. On the way we spotted a UFO! Oh, that's just the cow pie that Craig chucked towards Alan :D

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    Craig posing with the tree.

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    While he was out looking at the tree Craig found a new toy to play with. I think he's missing his wife more every day!

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    Hmmmm....what's this???

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    12 power zoom brings us this picture. Looks like the remains of a old mill site just south of the town of Goldfield NV. No trespassing heading to the site so we'll have to bypass this one.

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    Heading into the town of Goldfield for fuel.

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    Lot's of old Head Frames still standing around Goldfield.

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    This guy had a collection of art cars. Leftovers from Burning Man???

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    We topped off the bikes, picked up a couple snacks, a cold pop and parked across the street at an abandoned service station to rest a bit. While we were there we started talking about when to turn around and head north again. Do we ride another day or take a little more time going back north to find the crashed B24 and to explore some more around the Soldier Meadows area? We talked it over and decided to turn back and start working our way north again. Our tracks would take us a little further south from this point, just about to the gates of Death Valley before we turn north. The decision was made and off we went.

    Gallons: 1.1
    Miles: 673

    Here I stopped to take a couple more pictures of the Joshua trees that were now much more abundant.

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    Craig coming up to a stop behind me.

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    Craig and Mark riding through the trees.

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    Heading across a long open stretch I stopped to take a "Darth Peach Pose".

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    I'll catch the action from here as the group passes by.

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    Here they come.

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    Alan cruising by at 60mph.

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    Craig and Mark flying by.

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    Further on down the trail I snapped this picture of Alan.

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    Time for a break and to grab a snack. We're getting close to our destination now. Fish Lake Hot Springs! :clap

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    Alan resting in the shade.

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    Finally we pulled in to Fish Lake Hot Springs. This place is great, except we happened to stop here on Memorial Day Weekend so it was crowded and quite a few of the campers were loud and drunk :baldy We set up camp and I walked around to take some pics and check out the views.

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    Panorama of the Hot Springs.

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    The hot springs originate in the small concrete structure with a lid on it coming out of the ground at 105 Deg F. The water then flows into the concrete pool then out into the larger ponds. Very nice setup.

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    Sun setting in the hills. Felt great to just hang around and rest here for the night.

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    There were quite a few people camped here, we chatted with them for quite a while about the local area, riding dirt bikes etc. After dark when just about everyone was very drunk and obnoxious a couple of camp fires were started and we all stood around the fire for a bit. There was a 84 year old man there (I didn't catch his name) who brought out his harmonica to play us some songs, he played quite a few of the old Hank Sr. songs and wasn't to bad. Here's a picture of him playing the harmonica.

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    And here's a short video of him playing the Harmonica.

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    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Z3taSJQmvXY&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></object>


    Had another great day on the trail today! Can't wait to see what Tomorrow will bring.

    Total Miles so far: 770
    Hrs on bike: 89.4

    Lot's more to come!

    Hodakaguy
    #24
  5. bigborefan

    bigborefan Making new friends

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,183
    Location:
    USA - Midwest, Central Illinois
    I once spent a night in Gerlach. It is probably the most remote place I have been. I was there on business. Been to Tonopah as well, but not on a bike. I am sure it was in a Ford Taurus. I buried a Ford Taurus out by Pyramid Lake as well, but that is another story. I bet the riding out there is pretty good.

    Great report. Thanks for sharing. It takes a lot of time to do this and do it right.
    #25
  6. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,895
    Location:
    City of the Angels
    There is an entrance into Death Valley through Cucomungo Canyon( bounce off hw266) that some call the Valley of Death into Death Valley. You connect to a main dirt feeder leading into northern end of Death Valley. Some love to head south at the Eureka fork to the Eureka Dunes. Very picturesque. Some Dakar rally contestants practice their skills here and camp at the campground. I'd say you're getting deep into the bowels of Death Valley at this point and pretty far from home, Toto.
    #26
  7. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    529
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Another spectacular report!!:clap
    Did you happen to notice if Gerlach had premium fuel. It seems everyone skips the Trego spring so I think we will check it out this week. Enjoy the rest of your trip!!! --subscribed for sure.
    #27
  8. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,953
    Location:
    Tumalo, Oregon
    Yeah Hodakaguy! Really enjoying your trip here! :freaky
    #28
  9. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,213
    Location:
    Eastern WA State
    5-31-10.....Day 6
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    Woke up to a beautiful morning at the hot springs. I grabbed my camera to capture the sun rise as it was popping up over the mountains.
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    The moon still high in the sky.
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    Quiet and calm....Nice!!
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    Time to get busy breaking down the tent and packing all the gear onto the bike again.
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    Mark didn't get much sleep this night because of all the drunks carrying their party late into the night. I fell asleep pretty quickly and got a good nights rest, Craig slept with ear plugs and said he slept well also. The only comfort Mark had was knowing that he would wake them up when they had hang overs in the morning with that sweet BRP sound :evil Mark started his bike plenty early to let it "warm up" before we headed out :D
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Craig and I were packed first so we headed out to the near by town of Dyer NV to get fuel before heading north again. We arrived at the "24hr" fuel station to find that their credit card machines were out of service and we would have to wait till 9am to get fuel....it was 7:30am now so we left the bikes parked at the pump and walked across the street to the local bar/restaurant for breakfast. Alan and Mark showed up shortly after and we had a great meal while we waited for fuel.
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    <o:p> </o:p>Filled in Dyer:
    Bike Took: 2.694 Gallons
    Total Miles: 794


    We once again crossed back over the salt lake this time stopping to check out the remains of another mining operation.
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    Hmmm...whats that?
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    Someone with a lot of time on their hands picked up a lot of misc pieces of scrap and arranged them into an art exhibit. Cool.
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    Collapsed building of some kind.
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    Craig cruising around looking for more relics.
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    Bikes parked out on the playa.
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    Old gas powered water pump.
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    Name of the engine cast into the block.
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    Soon we were back to the spot where we had to boon dock out through the rocky sage brush to find the trail again. We really wanted to take as many alternate routes as possible on the way back to avoid covering previously ridden ground so we started looking at the topo maps. Yep, there's another road that will take us through the same area so let's go!
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    Hmmm....those are HUGE tailing piles.
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    After a long rocky power line road we came to this...Dang! No Trespassing. This was the back entrance to a huge mining operation. Oh well, back down the hill and back through the rocky scrub.
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    Craig sitting at the locked gate, even with his gear on you can tell his expression....CRAP!
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    Back into the scrub.
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    And back onto the trail again.
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    We crossed through the old town of Belleville again and noticed a small cemetery up on a hill.
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    We stopped back into Hawthorne NV to get fuel again on the way north, then we were back on the trail again.

    Bike Took: 2.711 Gallons
    Total Miles: 909


    There is another dry lake bed over every hill!
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    Heading out across the valley.
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    Another fun canyon to play in.
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    Craig on the move.
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    Our goal for tonight was to reach a hot spring just SW of Yerington NV. We hit some great single track and that took us all the way to the hot spring. Unfortunately the hot spring was dry! Dang. It was windy up on the hillside where the hot spring was so we headed down into the valley to camp at a place along the river that we noticed on the way up.
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    Home sweet home for the night.
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    Had a river right in our back yard. And a large ORV area behind that!
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    On the last section of trail (the single track) Alan said he heard a weird noise behind his bike. His dry bag had come loose and was now hanging by the Giant Loop strap that he had looped through it as a safety. He stopped to strap the bag back on but one of his sandals had fallen off the bike and was missing. He was about to go back looking for it when Mark pulled up with the sandal in his hand. The bike wasn't kind to the sandal!
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    Craig set to work on repairing Alan's shoe while Alan decided to check his air filter and his home brew (hair net) filter skin.
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    Repair complete. Not pretty but it's wearable again!
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    Looks like air filter oil will break down hair nets :D
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    Not sure if the spare filter Alan brought along is in much better shape.
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    Alan checking out his repaired sandal. Sweet!
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    Some previous campers had left some wood behind so we had a fire before we turned in for the night.
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    Hear the story of how Mark found the sandal out on the trail and Craig describe what happened to it. Funny Stuff.<object width="640" height="385">

    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/GraQD7tTXk8&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></object>

    Total miles so far: 982
    HRS on bike: 95.5

    Another great day on the trail!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    LOTS more to come!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Hodakaguy
    #29
  10. ThumperDRZ

    ThumperDRZ Bouncing off Rocks!

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,400
    Location:
    Stinkin' County, MO
    Great report Hodakaguy - :clap

    Nice you can travel that far offroad......I would love that single track - No trees....:D
    #30
  11. Purcell69

    Purcell69 Mors ex Tenebris

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,899
    Location:
    Moving forward...at the speed of rust in mid-OK
    Awsome report Hodakaguy. I'm hooked. The last time I went through Hawthorne was in the early '90s. Do they still have that old Police car parked at the south end of town with the mannequin sitting in it? Just curious.

    -Joe
    #31
  12. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,213
    Location:
    Eastern WA State
    I didn't see the old police car but it's possible that I was checking out something else and missed it as well. I can't wait to get back down that way again....Soooooo Cool!

    Hodakaguy
    #32
  13. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to asphalt!

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,257
    Location:
    Kalifornia
    Looks like a great ride! :clap
    #33
  14. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,213
    Location:
    Eastern WA State
    6-1-10....Day 7
    <o:p> </o:p>
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    We broke camp and headed down the road a few miles to the BuckBoard General Store in Smith NV to get fuel and something to eat.
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    Alan and Mark fueling up.
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    Unique mail box at the store.
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    Bike Took: 1.78 gallons
    Total Miles: 986
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    After eating a quick bite we were on our way again. Quickly we were back into the trees and spent quite a bit of time riding on some great single track and in rocky canyons.
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    Here are a couple shots taken from the helmet cam footage.
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    This was a great trail, it would follow the creek and drop down into it once in a while. LOTS of rocks!
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    I was out front going down the canyon when I came around a bend and noticed a bunch of sheep heading our way! We shut down the bikes and watched as they drove hundreds of sheep up the canyon. Watching the sheep dogs work was pretty cool, they really keep the sheep moving in the right direction.
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    Panorama of the sheep in the canyon.
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    After we popped out of the canyon we headed down towards the town of Carson City NV. Whats this structure?
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    Another old mining operation. These look like some kind of brick/rock furnace. Not sure what they were mining/smelting here?
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    We filled the bikes again in Dayton NV and headed to the Subway across the street to get some lunch. Made a few calls home and relaxed in the shade for a bit. While we were there a kid came up to us and said "Hey, aren't you the guys that was up at the old Comstock Mill the other day?" I said yep, turns out he was one of the kids that we took the picture of that was there playing paintball that day. Small world.

    Bike Took: 1.3 gallons
    Total Miles: 1039
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Just leaving Carson City and heading into the mountains above Virginia City again. Had to stop and take this picture. :D
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    The valley near Virginia City.
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    Another fun rock filled canyon to play in :clap
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    Reno NV off in the distance. We have a route planned around Reno this time so we can stay on dirt. Sweeeet!
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    Endless power line road.
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    We got to the bottom and noticed Mark was missing from the group. Craig headed back up to see what happened.
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    Uh Oh...there's the problem. He was ok just got a little sideways on a rock. Craig helped upright the beast and we were back on our way again.
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    At the bottom of the hill we came around a bend and found a couple wild horses grazing in a meadow.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We took a side trip up another canyon to check out some Indian Petroglyphs.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    These were very cool! I wish I knew what some of them stood for back in their day.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Back on the trail.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We finally hit the road for a short while and ended up in Fernley NV for the night. We got a hotel, hit the showers, washed cloths and went next door for a great dinner.

    Filled again just outside of Fernley NV.

    Bike took: 1.379 Gallons
    Total Miles: 1095
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Alan and Mark topping off the BRP's with a home brew paper funnel.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    ADV cloths line :D
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Marks bike took a little damage from the rocky trails...but nothing a little duct tape and a few snap ties won't fix!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We had to wait quite a while to get the bikes into the room this time. The owner of the motel was up and walking around working on stuff till about 10:30. We finally checked and the coast was clear....in the bikes went.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Can't wait to hit the trail again tomorrow.

    Total Miles so far: 1110
    HRS on bike: 100.5
    <o:p> </o:p>
    LOTS more to come!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Hodakaguy
    #34
  15. owensdrylake

    owensdrylake Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    14
    Bad ass report! Love that fish lake valley - were out there the same night as your crew.
    #35
  16. LC8TY

    LC8TY must......find.......fuel

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,297
    Location:
    was Kununurra, now Carnarvon, Australia
    Great stuff HG :thumb

    I hope there is more......
    #36
  17. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,895
    Location:
    City of the Angels
    #37
  18. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,213
    Location:
    Eastern WA State
    Were you the one with the toy hauler camped by the springs?

    Hodakaguy
    #38
  19. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,213
    Location:
    Eastern WA State
    Yep...more to come soon :deal

    Hodakaguy
    #39
  20. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,213
    Location:
    Eastern WA State
    Thanks for the link, some day I'll get down there and do some exploring in the death valley area. Soooo many cool places to check out.

    Looks like you had a great trip :thumb

    Hodakaguy
    #40