Eight Days and 1400 Miles in N Nevada

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by KarmaSect, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Seattle
    For the past few years, a bunch of Seattle (and Portland) riders has gotten together to do a long week long ride in Northern Nevada in June.

    Some of the previous trips:


    I've also done a couple of GS trips in the area, but have been too lazy to post any of those.

    This year, due to a scheduling conflict (my son's college graduation) we ended up with two separate groups hitting the area. My group staged out of Battle Mountain and did two four day loops -- one to the south and one to the north. Dates for my group was Saturday, May 31 though Saturday, June 7.

    Intended Route:

    [​IMG]


    Riders and bikes:

    • Mark (me) -- TE610
    • Dano -- TE610
    • Greg S -- WR250
    • Danny -- KLR650
    • Don -- 450EXC
    • Marc -- 350EXC

    This will probably be a somewhat long and drawn out report as a) it was eight days with lots of adventure and b) there were six riders, each of whom may have color commentary and pictures to provide.


    Here are a couple of teaser pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    I'll post the first day later this evening or tomorrow. Stay tuned..
    #1
  2. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    532
    Location:
    Oregon City
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Gregarious

    Gregarious Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Oddometer:
    388
    Location:
    Seattle
    I'll add some color commentary for day 1…

    First - I was on a WR250R, or "Gutless" as I like to call it.

    Actually, we should back up to day 0 - or even further. Mark was the master planner for this event. He painstakingly designed an amazing 8 day route that consisted of:
    1) A base camp in Battle Mountain
    2) A four day loop to the south
    3) A four day loop to the north
    4) Alternate sections
    5) Bypasses
    6) Fuel opportunities (which included phoning in advance for verification)
    7) And roll charts to boot.

    Here's a more detailed map showing the fruits of his labors. Greens are the main planned routes, cyans are the alternates, extras, and/or bypasses.
    [​IMG]

    Rollchart snippet:
    [​IMG]

    As for pictures, I'll include a few, but this guy's the real photographer:
    [​IMG]

    Day 1 started out inauspiciously - pulling an IMS gas tank off a TE610 to trace an electrical problem. Nothing like getting ready to roll and the ride leader has no power to his multiple GPS units.
    [​IMG]

    Fixed and then on our way shortly after.

    Awaiting Mark's group pic just before departure...
    #3
  4. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,093
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    In, this looks interesting!
    Go Gutless.
    #4
  5. BRUTSQD

    BRUTSQD 2 scoops of stupid

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    371
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Looking forward to following along!
    #5
  6. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Seattle
    OK. A comment on Greg's picture of my disassembled Husky on the morning of day one. That scene is the result of me violating a number of my cardinal rules of long distance trips: 1) always do a shake down ride; 2) don't mess with your bike after the shakedown ride; and 3) when something is wrong at the beginning of a ride, trace back methodically to the thing you messed with (in violating rule #2).

    [​IMG]

    After a shakedown ride in the Washington Cascades two week's before the trip, I had several times adjusted my bar position (after installed a HDB setup over the winter). After coming home, I made one last (big) adjustment to the bar position...and unplugged by Powerlet sockets in the process.

    So...morning of, I plug in my two GPSs. No external power. Crap. Bitten by violating rule #2. So...we start looking for the problem at the battery and working forward (thus pulling the tank) before realizing the problem was at the plug and was caused by that last little adjustment. Sigh.

    Back to the trip report:

    We staged out of Battle Mountain this year, as it looked to be a good compromise location for our intended destinations -- easy hotel scheduling, free and safe parking for the trucks, decent supply and repair facilities (Danny and his KLR were really attracted to the car wash :) ). I'll side track on route selection and planning a little later.



    One thing about Battle Mountain and getting there...it is a LONG WAY from Seattle. And as it turns out, its pretty far from Portland and even Medford Oregon (we had two riders from Oregon). No one got away with less than an eight hour drive, I think.

    We met up in Battle Mountain on Friday, and staged the bike for a morning departure. Here is the mandatory lined up bike shot in the plush parking lot of the four star America's Best Value hotel (in all seriousness, they were great to work with...but more on that later).

    [​IMG]

    Day 1 was to be a transit day, with our target camping location being Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park, about 200 miles to the south. I planned the route to include a lot of gravel to keep the speeds up and time down. As it turns out, we got there early and were able to weave in an optional loop into the mountains east of Gabbs.

    Departing out of Battle Mountain, we hit the pavement south on highway south for about 10 miles to Copper Basin road, then turned south on the power line road on the east side of Buffalo Valley.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Our first wild horse sighting:

    [​IMG]

    This led over a low pass into Jersey Valley and Dixie Valley.

    [​IMG]

    We stopped for a snack at the Dixie Valley Geothermal Plant.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is an overlap with our route of last year, and was close to Cottonwood Canyon, where we encountered a group of fellow off-road riders with a dead 690 (the significance is that you never see ANYONE else out here. Last year we ran into the same group three times).

    From the Geo plant, we wandered a bit until the actual road and GPS maps matched, and headed up Shoshone Creek Canyon to the southeast out of Dixie Valley.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After cresting Shoshone pass, we dropped into Evans Creek Valley and ran along the west side of the dry lake, eventually hitting Hwy 50. It was then about 10 miles of pavement to get to Middlegate for gas and burgers.

    [​IMG]

    Greg taking some shots:

    [​IMG]

    Some unidentified object out on Evans Dry Lake

    [​IMG]

    400mm telephoto of the crew along the edge of Evans valley:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Middlegate:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Making good time, we stopped at the Shoe Tree on the way back east on Hwy 50 before turning south on Buffalo Creek road (lots of Buffalo referenced on day 1).

    I made everyone wait while I took art shots of the Shoe Tree

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After cresting Burnt Cabin summit in the Desatoya mountains, we made a long crossing of Smith Creek Valley.

    There were lots of wide open valleys on this first day, so as predicted we got close to Berlin by about 3pm. Rather than setup camp in the heat, we looped in one of our alternate routes, climbing to about 8k' in the Paradise range of Toiyabe NF. Nice and cool up there, we some interesting old ranch building and juniper trees.

    [​IMG]

    We then hit paved 844 and headed due east to Berlin Ichthyosaur and camp. A great first day of riding. A little long, but nothing technical and a good opportunity to get our "riding legs" going.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Home sweet home. I camped in this exact same spot with this same tent about four years ago on a GS trip. déjà vu...

    [​IMG]

    After dinner, I took a short ride up to the fossil excavation shed and snapped a few pics (no one else wanted to go :( ).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then, with the sun setting, Greg and I rode over to the Berlin ghost town area and got some pretty cools shots.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A Greg-saurus sighting:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Whew.

    /end day one.


    Upcoming on Day 2 is Ophir Pass, Jefferson Pass, and Diana's Punchbowl.
    #6
  7. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,953
    Location:
    Tumalo, Oregon
    Excellent! :clap Man you guys did some planning - carry on please!
    #7
  8. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Seattle
    Dave, you actually helped with the planning of our northern loop (Virgin valley route through Sheldon)!

    I plan a lot because I a) don't know the area well enough (yet) and b) I survive the winters by riding vicariously via maps!
    #8
  9. Hevy Kevy

    Hevy Kevy ADDRider

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    S. Ontario
    Looks like an unbelievable ride. Thanks for the RR.
    #9
  10. Gregarious

    Gregarious Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Oddometer:
    388
    Location:
    Seattle
    Technical notes for the day…

    Distance: 198 miles
    Riding Time: 8 hrs. 1 min.
    Elevation: min 3,400 ft, max 7,500 ft

    The smaller bikes (my WR250R and Marc's (with a 'c') KTM 350 EXC) got *worse* gas mileage than the bigger bikes - upper 40's vs. the others that got 50 - 60. This was probably due to the higher speeds we ran most of the day.

    The 350's suspension wasn't setup well for the extra weight of the luggage and subsequently made it more difficult to handle even in the moderate sections. Marc - who's as skilled and experienced as anyone in the group - ended up with massive blisters at the end of the day from wrestling the handle bars. That evening Don and Mark were able to add a few twists to rear spring and add a little more compression.

    Only rattle snake I saw the entire trip. Didn't look too imposing:
    [​IMG]

    Don and Dano looking clean and happy on day 1:
    [​IMG]

    Berlin Mill notes:
    [​IMG]

    My weak attempts at artistic photography while shadowing (no pun intended) Mark.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Camera shoot-out. Old west style.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Showing cord:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. swamp

    swamp U lie&yo'breff stank

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,632
    Location:
    lower appalachia, Alabama
    looks like you guys had a blast.

    i camped in that same "shelter" thing with the picnic table a few years ago.
    check it out. flash back. looks like we stood in the same place to snap the picture.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    532
    Location:
    Oregon City
    Bear with me Swamp, I got a 5 lb sledge hammer on hover at the moment. I love technology.

    Danny getting the bike set up. Not an easy trip on the big purple.

    [​IMG]

    Marc with the Kbar tire iron on his 350

    [​IMG]

    Dan bending wrenches while Greg and Mark discuss.

    [​IMG]

    Marc at the Monument - We start the war from here.

    [​IMG]

    Dan on one of two 610's - Quite the beast

    [​IMG]

    The weather was low 80's. Still hot on valley floors, perfect for overall riding. I checked NV, Idaho temps today- middle to upper 90's

    [​IMG]

    MiddleGate once a Pony express and stage coach stop.

    [​IMG]

    Good for food and fuel before heading to Itchy

    [​IMG]

    On to IB State Park

    [​IMG]

    Trellis, fire ring, table, toilet. Rangers explained the fee system, we said how much, and they said 12 bucks apiece- Done.

    [​IMG]

    Does look like the same camp spot.
    #12
  13. lvscrvs

    lvscrvs Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    954
    Location:
    norcal
    Great pics and narration.... love northern Nevada.... :clap
    #13
  14. ugo1st

    ugo1st Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    83
    nice pics guys, enjoyed following you on the spot trying to go figure the where next's and the why they going there's

    keep em coming

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Haywood

    Haywood Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    405
    Location:
    Chula Vista,CA (spittin' distance from Baja)
    Lookin good so far. Can't wait for the rest.
    Oh, by the way, what happened that you guys got to meet the state trooper?
    #15
  16. Travism

    Travism Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    In! Looking forward to further installments!
    #16
  17. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,968
    Location:
    Now serving just Snohomish County
    Nice! Those are some very nice artsy shots.

    Can't wait to see more. :evil
    #17
  18. Pariahtize

    Pariahtize Miscategorized

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,449
    Location:
    Northern Front Range, CO
    Oh yeah. . .

    :lurk
    #18
  19. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Seattle
    Ha. A long and interesting tale and the trooper is only part of it! Stay tuned for day 3.

    I have to drive from S Oregon back to Seattle tomorrow, so will post more tomorrow evening. The trooper tale is worth the wait!
    #19
  20. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Seattle
    Onto Day 2. Per the plan, this was going to be one of our most scenic and interesting days of the ride. Several high passes, ghost towns and some geothermal "features" (big holes in the ground). Planned mileage for the day was to be 158 miles.

    [​IMG]

    Union Canyon takes off right out of the state park camp ground and is an easy climb over the Shoshone mountains and Union Pass, the decends into the Reece river valley.

    [​IMG]

    I always wonder the story behind the old cars you encounter so far up these canyons.

    [​IMG]

    Marc coming down off the pass
    [​IMG]

    Dano on the original blue 610:
    [​IMG]

    The Union Canyon road ends into the Reese River Valley road, which is a combination of broken pavement and gravel road. We took this north to the intersection of the Ione road from the west and the Ophir pass road to the east. The shot below is from the east side of the Ophir pass road looking backing back on the intersection. The road into the far range leads to Ione.

    [​IMG]

    A shot of the gang all enjoying the weather before hitting the top of Ophir.

    [​IMG]

    Some shots of the Reece valley.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Time to head up to the top:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Kick Ass. Its only 10am and we've already crested Ophir Pass. Now just a long decent down to Carvers for gas. NOT!

    [​IMG]

    The post summit activities in the next post.:rofl
    #20