Black Rock Desert Overnighter

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by PinkPillion, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    529
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Gerlach, NV weather report said 30% chance of rain and night temperature of 17 degrees on the playa, we had two days, no moon, perfect! It is December 27-28, 2011, and we need to recover from Christmas. Riding, hot springs, and seeing new stuff sounded like a great idea.

    There will be photos, GoPro captures, and a little bit of history. I hope you enjoy the report. :D


    We left about 8:20 on Tuesday morning with a map from this book and the bikes in the truck. Had to leave the GS this time. Sorry old girl.


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    This little poem seemed to be the theme of this trip.

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    We rolled into Gerlach, NV for gas. The price not much different than home at $4.12 a gallon.

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    We beelined across the playa. Ahhh, the hot spring. Not a soul in sight.

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    My favorite old wagon, well, the only old wagon near the hot spring.

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    We unloaded the bikes, turned on the GoPros, and prepared to ride north to High Rock Canyon.

    To be continued...
    #1
  2. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Excerpt from a pioneer diary...

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    We left the hot spring around 11:30, riding along the Applegate-Lassen Emigrant Trail. Onward to Double Hot Springs.

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    Arrived at Double.

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    Here we had planned to follow the trail to Mud Meadows. Circled around a bit, then decided to head west toward Solider Meadows Road instead.

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    All was good fun until we came to this fence.

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    We couldn't see the end of it either way. Started following along a single track, which was hella close to the barbed wire. Eventually it ended, we turned left and came to this gate.

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    Went through, came upon this trail marker, and then took a little break.

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    To be continued...
    #2
  3. skyguy

    skyguy Been here awhile

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    Cool - continue, please!
    #3
  4. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Thanks skyguy, I shall continue. :D
    #4
  5. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    We jumped onto Soldier Meadows Road and continued north. The road was nice and smooth.

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    Up ahead I saw the license plate thing. Richard knew I would want to stop, so he turned around to take a picture for me.

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    ...and the view from my GoPro.

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    We kept on until we reached Mud Meadow Reservoir. It was completely frozen.

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    Another gate. There were longhorn cattle surrounding us as we went through.

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    We kept riding looking for the road that lead to High Rock Canyon.

    To be continued...
    #5
  6. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    We traveled along Soldier Meadows Road until the GPS told us to turn to the left. A few more miles up that road, we found the Fly Canyon/Highrock Lake sign. The right turn to High Rock Canyon was not marked. But we found it. You have to go through Fly Canyon to get to High Rock Canyon, no sign needed I guess.

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    Onward down the "crazy rocks in random places" emigrant trail to Fly Canyon.

    Pioneer thoughts...

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    The trail had a few turns that would have definitely been difficult for a wagon train. We had no problems and kept riding until we got to the entrance of High Rock Canyon.

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    Had to sign the book.

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    Also had to pour water over BLM's map since some hillbilly decided to spit their chew on it. Animals.

    To be continued...
    #6
  7. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    And so we go toward High Rock Canyon. Ran into a bit of snow on the trail.

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    There it is.

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    Pioneer observations...

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    Etchings and wagon grease marked their passage.

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    This one was high up on a wall. We only noticed it because of the orange highlights. It was way up the wall, and Richard climbed up for a closer picture.

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    High walls all around.

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    We wanted to make it to Stevens Camp to check it out. So we kept on going along the trail. Saw these mustangs on a ridge.

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    Took a picture of the feather I found. Our next canyon is in the distance.

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    Not this way. No no.

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    Came around the corner, and we were denied passage due to icy trail.

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    No Steven's Camp today.

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    Which was probably a good thing since it was 4:00 already. Time flew, and it was getting dark. We realized it was probably 3 hours back to camp.

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    We hauled back through High Rock Canyon. The sun was pretty much gone by the time we got back to Soldier Meadows Road. The sunset, blurry, because my flash was on. It seemed so much darker.

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    This time we turned onto the Applegate-Lassen Trail near Mud Meadow Reservoir and headed south. The next 28 miles were in pure darkness, on a sometimes silty trail. There were deep pockets of silt all over the place. My headlight was horrible, his wasn't much better. It was actually quite cool riding in darkness, it felt as if I was in a tunnel for 28 miles. Thank goodness for the GPS, or we would have been sleeping with the rattlesnakes under a sage brush. Made it to camp about 10:30 or so. Cracked open a few Pacificos, built a raging fire, and soaked in the hot spring for about 3 hours,

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    To be continued...
    #7
  8. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

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    Looks like a good trip! :clap I need to get back out there.
    #8
  9. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

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    Great RR! Can't wait to get back down that way this summer!! :clap

    Hodakaguy
    #9
  10. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem

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    coool, keep it coming..........
    #10
  11. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Fantastic, PinkPillion! :clap Those dry lake beds are amazing.

    Thanks. :thumb
    #11
  12. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Good morning Black Rock.
    The 30 percent chance of rain turned into a sprinkle during the night. The fear out there is a major downpour trapping you. The Quinn River runs across almost every trail. It is a dry river until it rains, filling up the sink, which a person can not see. So you can be driving along and be stuck within seconds. Glad it did not rain. Could be the reason we saw zero people. January is not a smart time to visit the playa. The temperature felt like 25 degrees, not in the teens as predicted.


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    Time for coffee.

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    The hot spring from above.

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    I took a little ride in the morning. This picture is kind of space-like. It is at the base of the Black Rock Mountain on the northern side. It looked like everything was burnt. Big huge black boulders were strewn about. A massive dust storm was headed our way too.

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    Wrote in the log book.

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    Walked around a little bit and found some cool things.

    Pioneer quote...

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    To be continued...
    #12
  13. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Thanks trailrider. It is awesome every time. :D
    #13
  14. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Thank you Hodakaguy. You know the feeling, it keeps calling you back, again and again and again. :D
    #14
  15. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Thanks red bud. One more installment left.:D
    #15
  16. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Thank you RedRockRider. It is hard to believe the whole Black Rock playa was once Lake Lahontan. Now it is there for us to ride and explore. We did pass by High Rock Lake, but didn't see it because it was dry. :D
    #16
  17. eric_the_bald

    eric_the_bald Gnome

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    Please keep it coming!
    I'm looking into a trip out to NW Nevada this year.
    For you that know... If Jan isn't the smart time of year, would June or Sept be the better plan?
    #17
  18. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    Great report, so far. I really want to explore that area. Nevada is so vast, but not quite as empty and desolate as most people believe. There is a lot of history out there for those of us that are interested. I am enjoying your bits of history thrown into the report. Thanks for sharing!:D
    #18
  19. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    529
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Had another soak in the hot sping, packed up, and headed back across the playa to Gerlach. See ya next time Black Rock.

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    While crossing, that pesky dust storm overtook us. Visibility was absolutely zero. Not as cool as riding in pure darkness, not cool at all. Normally stopping out there in those conditions is asking for trouble due to people racing all around. We kept on truckin' slowly across. Finally the sky was again in view. Made it to HWY 34. It was a little cloudy.


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    Could not go through Gerlach without having lunch at Brunos. French Dip, yum! This was on the wall.

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    Leaving Gerlach, we visited a hotspring. This one was super hot, and closed to the public. Tooks some pictures real quick and got back on the road.

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    Along Smoke Creek Road, we saw a herd of burros. Eleven of them, all different colors.

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    Smoke Creek.

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    Skull along the road.

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    We got home and the bikes got their bath. Even the GS got a bath.

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    The end...

    Another awesome trip to the Black Rock Desert. We rode about 92 miles of "new to us" trails, saw 2 whole people, saw 5 mustangs & 11 burros, billions of rabbits, got to ride through a 28 mile tunnel, and find cool trinkets in the desert.


    :D Good times for sure. Until next time... :D
    #19
  20. shasta650

    shasta650 Been here awhile

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    awesome you're out there this time of yr. What bikes were you exploring on?
    #20