Exploring a whole lot more of Nevada – 2013

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MasterMarine, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

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    Glad to hear I'm not the only one with ah...interesting...perspective on Carvers and the zero star "Jumping Jack" motel!

    And on with Day 6!

    From the top of Ophir Pass, we continued west and dropped down into the valley and headed north towards Austin. The west side of the pass was much more gradual:

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    At the bottom, we had to stop to do some additional diagnostics on Bill's squeaky front brake. We did this at least three times over the trip and never really determined the problem. Really just an annoyance.

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    On the way to Austin, we diverted back up into the hills and followed an awesome ridge road all the way into town. Don catches some sun:

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    The road to the top of the ridge was suspiciously nice. Big cuts into the side of mountain indicating a need for some large loads. At the top we discovered why:

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    The ridge road:

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    And down into Austin for lunch...
  2. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
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    Had to switch of off-line authoring, as the stupid editor on the site keeps losing my posts!!! Grrrrrr….

    So, anyway, after lunch in Austin on Day 7, we headed north again. I shot this as we waited from a herd of cattle to clear the road:

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    Motoring north:
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    Near some obscure geothermal plant in the middle of nowhere, we stopped to plot our route. After looking at maps and satellite imagery on my ipad (downloaded ahead of time – no cell coverage obviously), we decided to try a different route over a range. Amazingly, as we reached the mouth of the canyon, we encountered a lone KTM rider – one of the guys from the group we had seen on Day 3. They had just come down the canyon we were going to try to go up. As it turns out, that was crazy, as the road basically disappears and you are riding up a streambed and then up and over a short waterfall. Here is a shot of the group together in the canyon:

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    And the “waterfall”. Hard to see from this shot what you are looking at. It is about 20 feet high, with a route down (the other group came down it), but no obvious route up – especially not with all of our gas and camping gear:

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    No more shots for the day. After we aborted the canyon, we decided to blast up and around the range on a gravel superhighway. Long and fairly boring, but the afternoon was getting late and we were tired. The hotel in Lovelock was cheaper than Carvers and about a million times nicer…

    The last day…started early again. Lots and lots of miles to cover to get back to Denio Junction. Long shadows and golden hills in the early morning light:

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    I almost killed myself trying to get shots of the herd (is that what they are called?) of burros. There was probably 40 of them total, but they were a long ways off and running like hell (usually burros don’t run). I blasted ahead of the pack and actually fell over as I grabbed my camera out of the tank bag before the engine was dead. Anything for shot…

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    Gerlach and breakfast, here we come.

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    But first it was more messing with Don’s electrics. 1400 miles of vibration is not nice to anything, especially screw-in terminals:
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    The road to Gerlach and the Black Rock.
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    From there it was about 40 miles of riding on the playa. It is amazing how disorienting it is out there. You can loose sight of things in a second. This show shows a faint image of a guy hiking across the playa (not sure I am that brave). Within a second, he was gone in the heat distortion and I never was able to find him again:
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    A rare picture of me, getting the remote setup for a group shot at the center of Black Rock City (at least according to the GPS). Not a damn thing there for miles and miles this time of year:
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    And the group trying to be presentable after 8 days in the wild:
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    And us doing the “Dano”!
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    The 610
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    The playa
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    The nothingness
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    Bill blasting by.
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    A good point to stop before I lose more posts in the editor!!!
  3. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

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    After riding the playa for a long, long ways, we jumped into the mountains on our way to Soldier Meadows. Scenes along the way:
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    Given our timing, we decided we had enough gas to go straight through to Denio, so we cut out Soldier Meadows this time, instead cutting up High Rock Canyon. Some of us went through this last year, but Mike and Bill missed out due to Mike’s broken chain.
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    There was a couple groups of boy scouts doing trail work at the mouth of the canyon and further up.
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    High Rock is just awesome!
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    A pioneer garage!
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    It was then on north and into the Sheldon Antelope Reserve. I shot this picture of Bill cresting a pass as we neared the Virgin River.
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    That place is particularly significant for me, as I attempted to come through this route five years before (solo) only to get turned back by weather. It felt good to finally make it! Here is my previous trip shot of the same rock/gate (2008)
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    More wild horses. This was probably at about 5000’. As much as the BLM tries, they survive. Beautiful!
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    The Virgin River Canyon. Almost home!
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    And my last shot of the trip is fitting! After 1400 miles, I never caught Bill falling once, even though he was bucking around on that KLR! This final water crossing surprised us all though, and I though he would drop it for sure! Nope, he somehow managed to recover from this bobble and ride out unscathed! Whew.

    That is it. 1400 miles. 8 days. 8 riders for the first part, then 4 of us for the full tour. During the 8 days, the 4 of us who rode the entire route experienced no flat tires, no (major) crashes, and no (major) breakdowns (just minor lost bolts, loose wires and annoying squeaks).

    AWESOME!
  4. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Mark,
    Your last two posts have something wrong with the pictures. I can't see any of them.
  5. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Fantastic!!!:clap I think I want to go to Nevada.
  6. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

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    They show up now. Great pictures Mark. Thanks for all your hard work on that trip.

    Bomose, check it out on a map.
    The Humbolt Toyoibe is a series of North/South mountains painted all over the Nevada landscape. The hills offer climbing and rocks, the valleys give it up for poof dust, loose gravel, jagged 6" rock, and smooth road. Death Valley is more what I expected for desert. In Nevada you pass through different worlds of terrain. Road access was another feature, some ranges offered three ways across- if you had the fuel. Our bikes ranged from 5 gallons to 6.6 gallons at 50 mpg or better.
  7. Hoot Gibson

    Hoot Gibson Banned

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    ...and those last few photos were outstanding. Even somebody my age could scratch that itch.:eek1
  8. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    They don't show up on my phone. Maybe some setting in Mark's Smugmug??
  9. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

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  10. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    trailrider383,
    All those other guys had come down it so it must be doable. They were not carrying any luggage since they were camping in motels. The biggest bikes in the group appeared to be a couple KTM 690.

    It is hard to imagine anything in Lovelock being superb. I will have to make a visit to La Casita to try it out...


    docwyte,
    It sure was pretty mid June. In past years we have had it be much greener and also much dryer.


    Hobbes950,
    I did not drop my bike but they would not let me leave it leaning against the wall in front of our room. They made me lean it up against the low wall in the background in your picture for the night. It is the only time I have used the steering head lock since I got the bike. :evil


    Hoot Gibson,
    Thank you for following along and also for the accolades! It was a great ride. At many times it pushed us all to our limits (well, maybe not Bill :lol3).


    benwiggin2,
    Thanks for following along. Get out there and explore. There is so much cool stuff out there waiting for you to discover it!


    caver,
    I am sure we have ridden right by some amazing stuff too. There is so much of it that pops up on you unexpectedly!


    f650gsa,
    I am glad you like the report. You should definitely go out and check it out for yourself. No matter how good the pics are, they never seem to come close to capturing the whole view. I am willing to share tracks but there are strings attached. I have gone into it already earlier in the thread. Send me a PM if you are interested.


    NVcrash,
    Wow. What a story. Were you at the Jumping Jack or Jack's Inn??


    caver,
    That route thru Kingston was an alternate plan for this trip.


    bomose,
    You should do it! Not many places you can do such a huge loop anymore.


    Hoot Gibson,
    Mark's pictures are sure awesome. He is the master photographer in our group. He has some fancy pants camera with lots of letters and numbers and ultra cool lenses. Plus he shoots in RAW! And then he actually does some photo processing to them. :lol3

    All my shots are with my point and shoot water resistant Panasonic Lumix TS4 so they are not quite so pretty. :evil


    Mark,
    Great shots. I am so glad you found the time to finish up your processing and post up the last couple days. They are great.


    There at the end you were talking about not seeing Bill fall. Is there some picture missing there? I tried to quote your post but it just comes up blank.
  11. BUSdriver

    BUSdriver Pop Copy Manager

    Joined:
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    OK... I realize this is a bit late and definitely not synced up with the other group's RR but since I'm certain that no-one else will do it, I decided to post up the short timer group's last day.

    Day 5 (short timer group)

    Unlike the long rider's "gung-ho, squeezing every drop of daylight, going as fast as they can" attitude... us "shorties" got up whenever we felt like it, sauntered on down to Bruno's diner for another great meal. We eventually got packed up and started out of town.

    Just before we left town though, I noticed my chain was extremely loose and needed adjustment. I'd checked it often as last year I had a lot of issues with it but this year it had been just fine until now. This is the moment that I discovered that the 22mm socket that I was sure I had brought along, was nowhere to be found. Kind of a bummer as no-one else had anything that would work in a pinch. Fortunately we hadn't left town yet so I just made a quick stop into the gas station garage and asked the "friendly" fellow working on a fox-body Mustang if I could borrow a large crescent wrench. After a bit of grumbling and a snide remark or two, he relented and allowed me to use the wrench. A couple minutes later and everything was adjusted up nicely. I returned the wrench to "Bubba" along with an "Abraham Lincoln" wrapped around the handle. The sneer was still on his face but once he noticed the "5-spot" he was able to withhold any further disparaging remarks about me not being prepared. Whatever... f-em

    On our way!

    We made our way up to Soldier Meadows and stopped for a cup of "joe". The previous owners had sold the ranch to a new group and they were every bit as friendly as the last. We didn't stick around for long but had a nice chat.

    From this point until Denio is one of my favorite areas to ride. It's very scenic and the dirt roads are fun to ride. The ground still had a lot of moisture so it was good for traction and dust control.

    We got into an area that had a little snow and it was cool enough the entire day that we all kept our jackets on the whole time.

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    A sign seen on the way out of town



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    A short section of pavement



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    Amazingly enough we didn't encounter any real rain



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    Chuck led most of the way



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    As usual, the photos don't do the actual scenery justice



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    Dropping down into the reservoir basin



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    The rock formations were cool



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    Panoramic shot of the reservoir




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    The only hiccup of the day was Dale's front tire... it was flat. (but only on the bottom) Notice how helpful Dan is.



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    Just a little wet snow



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    The final GPS shot for the ride. A little over 800 miles in 5 days



    Overall, it was a great ride with good friends (and family). I am definitely looking forward to another ride in Nevada in the future!

    Thanks again to Mike for all the hard work planning both routes!
  12. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    BUSdriver,

    Great pictures! That is a good section. :lol3

    You are welcome. I really enjoy the planning part too. It is really neat to see what this stuff actually looks like after having stared at it on the map or Google Earth for so long.

    I am glad everyone had a good time. It looks like Dale finally put an end to our long string of miles down there without a flat tire! :cry I sure hope that does not become the norm.
  13. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

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    Great photos!
    they are all nice, but really like the panos. :D
    beautiful stuff.
  14. NVcrash

    NVcrash n00b

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    In all my years of traveling down there for work I have never had the misfortune of the Jack's Inn!! Some rooms at the Jumpin Jack are nicer than others (but all the beds suck), the last room I was in you have to put your feet in the shower when you're on the crapper!

    Several years back (before they put new doors on the rooms) I was there in the dead of winter. I walked across the room in the dark one morning and stepped barefoot in a snowdrift that spanned the length of the room. Sure wakes you up!

    On a summer stay I came back to the room to find it full of flies like you'd see in a horror movie!

    Another time a Peacock shot out from under the deck and chased me to my truck!

    Back to the RR, I could tell these stories all night.
  15. oldtrucks

    oldtrucks Been here awhile

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    Great route, maybe the NBCDR, or at least part of it.
  16. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Thanks. All the routes we have run in Nevada have been great! :D

    I am sure I could give some really constructive input to whoever it is who makes those Back Country Discovery Routes about cool stuff to see and roads to ride in Nevada. :deal I know a few other people who would be full of information as well.
  17. oldtrucks

    oldtrucks Been here awhile

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    I think it's 4M Inc, Master Marine Map Maker

    I'm torn, I like the idea of a NBCDR but don't want anyone to use it :D
  18. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

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    Really great shots you guys. Fantastic route (s) and you hit the weather just perfectly - VERY well done! :clap:clap:clap
  19. BUSdriver

    BUSdriver Pop Copy Manager

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    Thank you... I'm glad you like them.
  20. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Great pictures and narration. Love the West. My problem is an older dude traveling solo gotta be extra careful LOL. Thanks for all the work and time to bring this report to us. Been though that country lots and never get tired of it. :clap:clap:clap