Benton Hot Springs 2017 - Desert friends, not deserted

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Nixels, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    Nine years ago :yikes I met a few imaginary internet friends and went with them on a trip to Benton Hot Springs in July of 2008. That first trip was me, @Benjava (:waysad) & @larryboy.

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    We spent the first night at Benton, then went over to the 4th annual WMRS gathering to spread cheer and camaraderie. :deal

    :lol3

    It looks like Ben crashed the WMRS list without signing up! :dirtdog But we were so welcomed there that it didn't matter.

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    I remember sitting on the bench in front of the store (the only shade) for hours and regaling each other with stories and saying hi to all the FFs that passed by us on their way to buy beer and other health food items. :nod

    But that was then, and this is now, so let's get on with the current report! :mrskbasa

    The lineup this year was: @larryboy, @dave6253, @SFMCjohn, Renaud (a former inmate here) and @Kevan Garrett made a short appearance to cook breakfast. :clap :clap :clap

    As this has become an annual event, our interests have taken on somewhat less ambitious activities. :jkam Sometimes just relaxing is enough of an activity. :deal

    But first, I had to get my work done before I could leave.

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    Yeah, I know I should have cut those quills earlier, but I didn't, ok? :patch

    Rob and I got on the road kinda late - he wasn't feeling like hurrying so we made it outta Isleton around 10:00 a.m. We took 104 up and rested at Donnell Overlook.

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    But unlike past years, we didn't even go out to the overlook, we just laid down and rested. :knary

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    Rob and I stopped at Kennedy Meadows for lunch, got a little thunderstorm action and stopped at the top of the summit, only to discover that the sign is gone.

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    As we rolled down the other side of the mountain, the traffic backed up for construction. While sitting patiently for the road to open, Reno (Renaud) showed up on his KLR. :ricky

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    And eventually we made it over to Benton around 5:30 where we met @dave6253 and after high finance and confusion in the office :twitch we go to set up camp. :clap :clap :clap

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    A little after dark, @SFMCjohn showed up and we were fully prepared for a slow weekend! :jkam

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  2. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Day 1

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    #2
  3. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    This will be a hoot. :lurk
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  4. celltech

    celltech Been here awhile

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    Lovin the elefant
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  5. Sfcootz

    Sfcootz Proud to be a 0.6106142755%er Super Moderator

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    More, please.
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  6. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    I've got a 10 hr work day @ Moscone Center, so no update from me till tonight. :jinx
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  7. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    "... ça pue l'effort!" :augie

    :lol3
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  8. Sfcootz

    Sfcootz Proud to be a 0.6106142755%er Super Moderator

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    Well? Where's the report??? :deal
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  9. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    "... get their priorities straight ..." :lol3

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    SF to Benton HS google map ...

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    ... descending Hwy 395 south down to Mono Lake on
    Friday evening ...

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    ... Dave6253 and Nixels scored us T3 which along with T2 and T4 have the most shade.
    A pic of our tent slum across a little bridge over the hot creek that flows through T2 and T3.

    ... well, three of the five pics
    I took now posted ... priorities ... :fpalm
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  10. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    :knary Apologies to my readers for a slow start :twitch uh, continuation. :eek

    I helped @larryboy harvest some metal out of the vintage Reno iron mines. :deal

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    We just ate at Burger King and Rob needed to lick something he loved after that meal. :puke2

    :photog
    #10
  11. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    Back to the camp. As you've seen, @SFMCjohn described the physical set-up and the first night's set-up. There was a thick miasma hanging over the camp - and the hot tub. That slow-thudding heartbeat of weariness and joy brought on after a considerable effort has been expended to arrive at a location that has it's own magic.

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    We soaked & told stories, and turned in fairly early.

    :snore
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  12. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    Soft light, soft ground, this was the best sleeping space in the whole place. Don't underestimate the pleasure of a grassy campground. :deal

    Dave had been riding the Nevada Backcountry Route (that's not quite right, but he'll be along to correct me momentarily) :deal for a week, so he was a bit tired. And @larryboy had just ridden to the IOWA rally and back the week before. :knary (find link!)

    We just kinda sat around the campfire till we woke up Saturday morning.

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    Breakfast consumed well before 9:00 a.m., (like 8:53) we decided to go into town and eat lunch together at a BBQ place. :dukegirl That was tasty!

    John and I went to a bookstore, then we went to Walmart and got a few things, then headed back. I asked John to take a picture of a road that I hope to ride the full length of:

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    Edit: Benjava used to stop for a picture under this sign every time I rode this road with him. :lol3
    #12
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  13. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Probably not early enough for larryboy. :jack

    I see an Edsel...
    #13
  14. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Day 2

    Lunch

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    Picking on the KLR rider, installed a milk crate when he wasn't looking.

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    11,580 feet on White Mtn.

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    At the old bristlecone pine forest.

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    I've got more pics on my camera, but I just moved and don't have my office and computer setup yet.
    #14
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  15. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    ... had my first adventure to Erick Schat's and had an
    fantastic turkey sandwich ... I'd never been in there
    before and all the choices they have, food-wise, is amazing. :ricky
    #15
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  16. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    You're feeling the tension build, aren't ya? Here we've got a crazy Frenchman, a patched biker from a storied club, a picture-takin' crazy man from Arizona, a bit of a dick from Isleton and little ol' me. It's gotta be getting to you:

    What will happen next???!!!!

    Strap yourself into your seat belt because this is where the fun begins!

    I had a book by John Dunning: The Sign of the Book.

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    This fast-paced mystery about rare books, murder and forgeries was just the ticket for reading in the desert with this band of bard-asses. The campfire stories at night created the sense of camaraderie that allowed stories of past escapades to flow freely from my compatriots. I have my own store of exciting tales of bibliographic intrigue, but it was good to have a master like John Dunning on hand to prepare for my turn of storytelling around the campfire and/or in the hot tub.

    But John and I had hours of daylight to ourselves as those knobby-tired desperadoes took on the great White Mountain to visit some of th oldest living things on earth. :bow

    :hmmmmm Maybe they'd come back somewhat wiser - since they're all so wizened by their own misspent youth. :gerg

    John had his own mission of renewal and rebirth, while I had a strict regimen of soaking, talking, reading and dozing. I was preparing myself for that evening's feast and council. :pope

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    John and I rode Hwy 6 and watched the storm clouds over the White Mountains build, at places we saw rain, and at others, snow. What a great show! (Much better to watch than ride through! :eek)

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    But at the campsite, it was sunny, but not blazingly hot. Fairly comfortable and quite nice in the shade.

    As I said, John had a task tailor-made for himself, and I think he was well rewarded for not hemming and hawing with the task. It was clear that without any of my more humorous and funny jokes, he kept himself in stitches for hours. I'm sure you can patch together how this all came out so seamlessly that I don't kneed to say a thing.

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  17. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    :fpalm
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  18. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    Please don't needle me about this Ride Report. The common thread here is that these guys are tough, piercing through the Starbux bullshit to brave the wild and go back to the land, doing things the old way.

    Soon, I'm sure you will read of the elevating adventures the others have had, so sit tight.

    As @SFMCjohn wove his way through his renewal ceremony, I bathed in the relaxing and healing waters of Benton's magical "Ce-Ment Pond" and ascended to new levels of purity and enlightenment.

    The mystical conversations that John and I had are not to be repeated, however, I can report that motorcycles featured prominently in these incantations of reflection and rejuvenation. :jkam :pope

    The spell was not broken upon the return of our adventurers. :nono First, Renaud arrived with mud, dust, dirt and grime splattered across his KLR - of course his very inner French self was already like that, so now his bike matched his soul. :deal

    Dinnertime: Mrs. larrryboy had been kind to me and supplied me with food as well as packing for Rob, so we had 6 steaks.

    I was willing to get some of the provisions at the store, but I told Rob & Dave that they would have to get something themselves - the briquettes (French for charred blockhead, I think? :dunno) and the bread of Frenchness. :patch

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    As the setting sun glistened on the hot stream bifurcating the campground, Rob lit the briquettes on fire without the lighter fluid! Renaud couldn't believe it could be done, but Rob WAS a firefighter - otherwise known as a firebug for pay. :D

    :zilla

    Rob laid the steaks on the grill, and we made baked potatoes. We had a communal feast that kept everybody busy and smiling.

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    Our dirty little Frenchman:

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    The mountains at dusk are beautiful:

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    And as we slip into darkness, the firelight leads to contemplation and bringing forth ancient spirits:

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    One old soul in particular, chose to visit us in his earthly guise, flicking his tongue and warming himself on the rocks by the fire:

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    Saturday night came to a close with stories told and campers tired, but happy. We stayed up until at least 10:00.

    :snore :snore :snore
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  19. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    I promised a biker with a patch, did I not? :hmmmmm

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    Observe @SFMCjohn's right knee. Said patch makes him a 1%er of those KLR owners that will go to any lengths to avoid spending money on new(er) gear! :deal

    :imaposer

    Surprise! I only mentioned the folks that stayed at the campsite, but we had a vising chef Sunday morning.

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    That's right, @Kevan Garrett awoke at 3:30, got on his mighty steed and rode through the dark morning, over the mountain tops to cook breakfast for us! :dukegirl

    Kevan had prepared all the food prior to leaving home, so we just sat around and enjoyed the morning - with some of us speculating on whether Kevan would make it - in time, or at all! :yikes

    However, we were rewarded with a nice breakfast around 9:30 a.m. :*sip*

    Renaud had to hightail it back to the South Bay because his baby missed him. :chace
    :scratch He says she's a nice young lady, but I kinda think she's already let him know who's boss. :mrskbasa

    :hide

    The rest of the crew stopped eating long enough for a quick round of group photos:

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    :2cry Was it something I said???? :(
    #19
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  20. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Day 3

    We went to Bishop for a Chinese and some more grub for dinner. I charged my phone behind the ice machine at the gas station like a bum.

    Time to go?

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    #20
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