Exploring Amazing Northern Nevada and SE Oregon

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MasterMarine, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. DUCKSPANKER

    DUCKSPANKER Adventurer

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    The Post Office at Tuscarora is listed to be closed for budget cuts this year, I hope they can make a case to keep it open, getting mail out would be a long drive to the next town.
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    It must have been one hell of an adventure to travel so far just to try your luck at mining in such a small town in the middle of nowhere back in the 1800's.
    Some of the graves were only marked with stones and old pots.
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    #41
  2. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Day 4
    I found a tick in my tent first thing when I woke up. Them things freak me out. At least it had not found me yet! I pulverized it, which was pretty difficult. I actually squished it on my map holder that Velcros onto my tank bag so I left it on there for a few miles so I could admire it.

    Speaking of maps, here is where we went on Day 4.

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    My hand was sore but did not bother me much if I was standing on the bike. My shoulder was turning purple and was aching but Dr. Dan said it was OK.

    We kept following the route but were having a hard time finding the roads. At one point, we went thru a gate and then I attempted to follow the fence line toward where the road was supposed to be. I went down until there was a creek in my way and came back. When I got back thru the gate, Dan said “hey! There is some steam coming from your engine!”

    I had hit a juniper bush and it tore one of the hoses on my engine. Now we had some trouble.

    How are we going to fix this? (Chuck’s pic)

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    I sent Chuck for water with my Platypus gravity water filtration system to use to fill up the motor while I thought about how I was going to fix this hose. I tried to stretch it out by loosening the other end and pulling it as close to the edge of the fitting as possible but that was not going to work. Chuck came back and I asked him and Dan to go to a travel trailer that we could see from where we were to look for some kind of hose or tube. While they were gone, I started thinking about using some piece of my bike for a tube to extend the hose. I tried the passenger footpeg but it was not hollow once I removed it from the bike. They returned and I started asking them about what they had on their bikes. I was looking over their bikes like a starving animal might look over its next meal. Dan pulled out his tool kit and there was what I needed.

    Modifying Dan’s DRZ 400 spark plug wrench (Chuck’s pic).

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    The stock DRZ spark plug wrench was made from 2 tubes held together with a pin. I took apart his wrench, cut the hose in half, and put the spark plug wrench in between the two pieces of hose. Dan had one hose clamp so we used it and a bit of twisted haywire to seal the extra connections.

    We filled it with water, purged the air from the radiators and ran it up to temp. (Chuck’s pic)

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    Just as we were picking up the tools, I realized that I had forgotten to take the little rubber piece from inside the spark plug socket so I took it all apart again and took that little bugger out (Chuck’s pic).

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    We filled the cooling system back up, purged it, and ran the engine to temp again. No leaks! Hooray!

    Finished repair pic.

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    It is actually still like this. I ordered another hose once I got home but according to the stealer, the box was damaged in transit so the shipper threw everything away. They reordered it and it has not come yet. I think it has been about a month. Typical stealership! In the meantime, I did another dualsport ride over to Eastern WA and back and still no leaks!
    Here is my bike just before we took off again. This is the good side.

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    The other side is missing a turn signal, has some holes in my Wolfman Beta Bag, and has some damage to my hand guard thingies. This is the damage from last night’s crash. It is officially a crash now and not a fall or spill (Chuck’s pics)!

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    Here is the world class medic work that I received to the wound on my wrist from Dr. Dan. That is Doctor Dan. (Chuck’s pic)

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    We are headed west!

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    We cleaned up and went back to trying to find the road. I accidentally missed an intersection and rode a cattle trail for a bit thinking it would turn into the road. Then, I found a small narrow wash was in my path. I slammed on the brakes, killing the bike and slid the front wheel into the hole. I twisted the bike so it was parallel to the ditch and tried to start it up. No love. Had to get another push start from Dan and Chuck. They had to push the bike out of the ditch and then get it up to speed while I got it started. The bike fired back up and I was on my way. We decided to head for a more traveled road after wandering around for a bit more. We came across this.

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    Chuck’s pics of the building.

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    We continued on in the direction of Paradise Valley. We came down a hill and found the creek had diverted itself into a new channel. Unfortunately, it was a bit muckier than we expected and we had some fun getting our bikes thru it. Here is the aftermath.

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    This looked like no big deal but it was very mucky! If we would have been a bit smarter, we would have walked up the road a bit and carried some of the big rocks that someone used to fix the next crossing over to throw in the hole so we could just drive thru. But we like to work hard and get muddy! (Actually, I did not think of that until I got back to DJ but I thought someone else might want the idea for later. Just remember where you got it and the one about the spark plug wrench hose repair!)

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    The road crossed a huge plateau that had some sinks in it for watering the wildlife. Some of them were kind of like roundabouts. There were a lot of antelope on the plateau. I had a herd of them cross my path running at full tilt in formation. They were very cool to see. There was a lone antelope that decided to race me so I hit the gas. It kept running alongside me and then would cross right in front of me. It did that several times before getting tired of the game and running off into the distance. It is amazing how fast those things can go! I was moving!

    The road then descended into a beautiful canyon.

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    Wow! Isn’t this some cool stuff? I guess Mike actually knows where he is going. I was wondering about him earlier!

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    More cool views (Chuck’s pics).

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    I was a bit worried because I knew we would have a water crossing coming up and I had no idea how big it was. We eventually found it and it was pretty big.

    Here is the creek.

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    I took off my boots and pants and waded across. It was pretty deep and swift. We could probably have ridden across it but we had all had enough drama for the day, so we all took off our boots and pants and walked each bike across with all three of us holding onto it. We had no trouble and were really happy about that.

    Here is Chuck wandering across.

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    Dan getting ready to wade across.

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    Dan after ferrying his boots across.

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    Bikes on wrong side of the creek.

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    Chuck feeling a little positive about us making it across without issues.

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    No more bikes on wrong side of the creek.

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    Bikes on right side of the creek

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    The water felt so good that we had to do some soaking in it. After that, we loaded up and headed out. The road got bigger as we passed by Chimney Dam Reservoir. From there it was all just a big gravel road back to NV 280. We had heard that Hinkey Pass was not passable yet so drove around south toward the US95 and NV280 junction. We needed gas and were hoping we could get some in Oravada. We were pleasantly surprised to find a Chevron station at the US 95 & NV 280 junction. We filled up with gas and went in for a meal of ice cream bars, soda pop, and whatever else we could find in the place. We made calls and checked in with society.

    I called Denio Junction and made sure that they knew we were coming back to our room that evening. Bobby told me that the kitchen was going to close at 7pm and that I should call him back by 6:30 if I wanted to have him cook something up for us for dinner. He said they would keep it in the warmer for us. I told him that I would call him back if we decided to do that.

    Once we were all cooled down, we jumped on our bikes and hit the slab for Denio Junction. That was a grueling ride. The road was very long and very straight. It was a very hot day. The sun was really beating down on us. We were all pretty worn out. There were thunderstorms growing in our path and it looked like we might have some weather to ride thru.

    We stopped at about 6:15 and I asked Chuck and Dan if they wanted me to call in an order for dinner for them. We all decided we had eaten enough junk at the gas station so we did not bother.

    We hit the long boring straight highway again and rode until we were finally at DJ. It felt so good to get off the bike after all that highway riding. I was very stiff.

    We got off our bikes and headed into the bar to get our room key. Dan sat down at the bar for a beer so I sat down next to him and asked Bobby for a Pepsi. The next thing I know, Dan and I each have burgers and fries sitting in front of us. Chuck walked in and sat down and suddenly he had a burger too. I was so surprised. I was pretty worn down from the last 4 days of riding and the last long stretch of boring pavement and I could not believe that there was food sitting in front of me. This was just another example of the fantastic treatment we received from the folks at Denio Junction. It was the perfect thing to happen at that moment. So we ate our burgers, enjoyed some cold beverages, and chilled.

    Bobby handed me the room key so we moved into our trip headquarters, Room 2. While we were trying to decide who should get the first shower, a gnarly dust storm blew into DJ. Check it out!

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    The locals said they had seen nothing like it. It was intense and blew down some small trees and some big limbs.
    According to my GPS we had ridden 719 miles in our loop. It was fantastic. I cannot wait to do it again. Maybe next time we can stay on the route!

    We still had 3 more days to do loop rides out of DJ. We wussed out and decided to stay in our room at DJ rather than moving and camping out at Bog Hot. We also decided to sleep in the next day and do an easy loop up to find the bomber crash site and have a soak at Bog Hot.

    Clean, fed and happy! (Chuck’s pics)

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    Room 2 had a roll around bed so I did not have to sleep in my van. Unfortunately it was messed up and did not sit flat but lower in the middle than the ends. Somone had taken off the casters from the middle section. We all had a good laugh about the Taco Bed! I think we were just a bit tired…(Chuck’s pic)

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    I threw the mattress on the floor and crashed out. Time for some rest! In a bed!!

    Good night!!!!




    :clap
    #42
  3. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

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    Deep water and smart fellas! :freaky




    Dust storm - WOW !




    Great trip !


    :clap:clap:clap
    #43
  4. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    wait. back to the blue wind car thing. wtf was it? a car w/ a sail?
    #44
  5. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

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    Sweet RR!:thumb My bike is getting itchy right now! :wink: Lets Go! :wings I need to Head South!! :rayof
    I don't really need to work the rest of the week (or the weekend!) :D

    Subscribed and wanting tracks! :evil :lurk (the 640's hungry!):lol3

    p.s. - Nice pics! what are you using for a camera?
    #45
  6. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    You know, I do not know much about it. It came out of nowhere and just drove right past us with a quick wave of the driver. :huh It had an engine in it and lots of seats. When I first saw it, my brain was trying to figure out just exactly what it was. At first glance (and at a distance), I thought it was a truck pulling a big trailer with 3 huge tall water tanks on it. It took a few seconds to get the camera up so it got a lot closer. From there, I was just shooting pics at it on full auto as it rolled by so I did not really see any details then.

    Once we returned to DJ, I was showing the pictures to Bobby, the owner of the bar / store / gas station / motel / RV park and he told me that he knows the guy who owns it and that guy is planning to drive it to San Fransisco.

    I cannot tell you much more about it.

    Here is another pic that I did not use in the report.

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    I sent a link of the Ride Report to Bobby and Maria so maybe they will comment about it.
    #46
  7. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Thanks for the words of encouragement. These comments really keep the report going.

    About the tracks...






    I meant to bring this up earlier but got all into writing the report.


    Out of respect to the land, the people of Nevada and Oregon and my BDS brothers, I am not going to share the tracks. Actually Dan, Chuck and I decided this together while we were doing the ride. I will share the gas waypoints and some of the other waypoints I accumulated (hot springs, etc.). I will take care of this after the RR is all up (unless someone is leaving on a trip right away). Send me a PM about it then if you would like them. It is nice to know where to get gas! That really controlled where we could go. I am getting ready for a trail ride at Gifford Pinchot National Forest this weekend and do not have much spare time.


    If you get a map (I used the Nevada Benchmark Road and Recreation Atlas, the Nevada Benchmark Road Map, and the Oregon Hunt Maps available from Harney County Courthouse) and follow the clues in the RR, you can pretty much figure out exactly where we went. I did a ton of research and mostly just picked some roads on the map and tried them out. I spent a lot of time holding a map in my hand and reading ride reports. You can find clues in the reports to help you figure out which road they are on. A good portion of the ride was off the route I had created and I was just basically winging it by looking in the Atlas and just going down the small road toward where we wanted to go. I think the area deserves to be explored and not just ridden. That is part of the reason that I like to ride off road and also what made this ride more fun. I think this is the kind of terrain where you need to have studied maps before you tackle it rather than just follow someone else's trail blindly. I hope this all makes sense.




    About the camera...




    I have a Nikon D-50 Digital SLR. I am using the Nikkor 18-55 AF VR lens. The lens is pretty cheap so I am not so concerned about dust. I bought the camera used from a buddy that used it to take awesome pics so I knew it would do the trick. I just wish I had more time to do some photo processing (cropping, etc.). That would make the pictures even better.

    Have fun out there!
    #47
  8. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    I will try to post the first day loop tonight but as mentioned in the last response, I am trying to get ready for a crazy trail ride this weekend so time is limited.

    Thanks for following so far. Writing this report really has me excited for a return trip. Day 4 sure would have been cooler if we had done Hinkey Pass rather than all that boring gravel and highway!
    #48
  9. DUCKSPANKER

    DUCKSPANKER Adventurer

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    That was long day but worth every second, like I said before we make a good team and before this ride we had never ventured out without a guide who knew area.
    Mike did a great job with his research and routing for his first time (Way to go Mike!!):clap but I wished we took pics of the bikes stuck in the mud that was the deepest hole we crossed that week, with out the rope we had I'm not sure if we could have got Dan's bike out. I was glad we made it back to DJ before dark and before that dust storm, with all are gear on our bikes it could been real ugly.

    We tried to stay on Mikes route most of the time with a last min re-route that became as good as the original and sometimes even better but on the 2nd Day I do remember Dr Dan having a major breakdown, Getting off and Hiding behind his bike :loco after the 3rd or 4th large Rock creek water crossing and getting into the fetal position rocking back and forth crying (no-more :cry no-more water crossings :cry )



    (Mike) Dan I will buy you an Ice cream if you just cross one more time........Dan!......Dan...Hello...OK Dan I will find another route with out a water crossing.

    (Dr Dan) :cry Sniff Sniff .......thanks Mike...sniff.

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    OK the part about Dr Dan having a breakdown was BS.:photog

    See you at GPNF Mike. :D

    Chuck
    #49
  10. K0ncept

    K0ncept Been here awhile

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    Great Ride Report!! Great Pics as well!!
    #50
  11. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

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    Good thing he wasn't in Denio Junction when the wind hit or he would have been laying on his side. :D

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    I concur 100%. I don't use a GPS so I have an out when people ask for tracks.
    #51
  12. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

    Joined:
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    MasterMarine said:
    :thumb I respect that! I was planning to do the OBCDR? sometime and thought I might tweek those tracks in favor of good camping, scenic vistas, gas and water crossings.:evil

    MasterMarine said:
    :thumb Amen! I have looked at maps before doing route planning, and when you get out on the ground.:puke1..."well that dog don't hunt!" :huh....out of respect to the ground and safety for body and machine....detour!:wink:

    Your pictures suggest a really nice route. :D will keep reading, reading my maps and gazeteers and track tweeking! Thanks for the great RR! :clap cheers!:freaky
    #52
  13. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    If you or anyone else have questions about where we were or where a cool spot was or where a gate was, ask away! :ear

    I do not want to try to hide information. I just want to encourage exploration both in person and at the library. I guess I want to encourage others to discover things for themselves rather than try to follow a line. Plus, this territory is so big and potentially dangerous that it is a good idea for a person to have studied it a bit. It really does not matter which road you are on. It is all beautiful country!

    This was an exploratory trip for us. I will refine what I have learned on it to use for the next one. This goes for everything from the planned route to sleeping bag to stove to camera techniques to choices of riding partners :evil. I have some new ideas to try next time.
    #53
  14. Dorian

    Dorian huge carbon footprint

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    Bravo Mike! Well done to all of you. Documenting a ride with pics is lotsa work. Especially during stressful situations. And riding buddies aren't always patient (until they see the after-ride fotos).

    Not sure I can make GPNF this weekend - have fun!

    - Dorian
    #54
  15. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

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    Good report!! Thanks
    #55
  16. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    There is still more to come.

    It will have to wait for a few days while I go trail riding.:D Priorities!

    Dorian,

    Thanks for the comments. I am not sure if we took anywhere near enough pictures to "document" the ride but we sure had a good time. I finally sent in my sign up sheet for your ride. I hope there is still room. I hope it works out for you to come to Gifford.

    redpillar,

    Thanks! It is a beautiful place to visit. Even when we were not where we wanted to be it was still fantastic. Every time we crested a hill, there was some new wonderful sight to see.
    #56
  17. Lima Tango

    Lima Tango Adventurer

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    RR and beautiful photos. Thanks for taking the time to post and share your adventure!
    LT
    #57
  18. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Superb report so far... Those dust storms are no joke! Awesome pictures. I like the nice little rainbow in the upper left corner amid the chaos of the dust cloud. Looking forward to the rest of the adventure.
    :lurk
    #58
  19. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Day 5

    B-24 Bomber Crash Site

    We were feeling lazy after the big loop so decided to sleep in a bit and have some breakfast before heading out. It was a nice easy morning. We wanted to rest up because the next day would be a big long day of riding down to the Black Rock Desert.

    We headed out from DJ toward Bog Hot. We rode over and took a look at the hot springs and camping areas. It looked good so we decided to come back for a soak later. We headed up the road toward the crash site. It was pretty rough. I got to the top of a grade and waited for Dan and Chuck. After quite a while, Dan showed up.

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    He told me Chuck had been down and tore off his license plate. Chuck arrived and showed me the damage. No big deal!

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    They had also been taking pictures of some burros.(Chuck’s pics)

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    We headed up. I had a fall while climbing a loose steep hill just before the gate. My brake lever was bent nicely. (Chuck’s pic)

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    Dan straightened it out for me. I think I broke off another turn signal there but that might have happened in my other crash over by Owyhee.

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    Anyway, we headed on. The gate was open and laying in the road so we cruised right by. From there the road was not bad at all. There were a few gates to go thru with lots of cows. We met some folks on ATVs who were looking at one of the hills with binoculars so I stopped to ask them what they were looking at. They were looking for sheep but had not seen any. We chatted a bit and they asked where we were headed. We told them we were looking for the crash site. They did not know anything about it so decided to follow us up.

    Getting closer.

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    We headed up the road and wandered around a bit trying to find the site.

    This is one of the spots where we were did not find it.

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    Dan and I discussing where the bomber might be. (Chuck’s pic)

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    I was starting to wonder if we would ever find it.

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    Chuck was taking pictures of the amazing views!

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    I finally found it!!! :clap

    Here is the view approaching it.

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    Chuck and Dan arrive.

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    The ATV riders arrive.

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    We took a lot of pictures. It was a beautiful day and a humbling place to visit. I was kind of caught up in emotion as I was thinking a lot of one of my friends who had been killed on October 26 of 2009 while flying a Chinook for the 160th SOAR in Afghanistan. The thing that I kept thinking about was how there were pieces of this plane and its occupants spread out all over the place right here on this mountainside in Oregon and how there is a similar crash site somewhere in Afghanistan where a MH-47 and the 10 soldiers’ remains were scattered in a similar fashion. It was pretty heavy. I wonder if someday I will be able to visit the crash site in Afghanistan?

    I had brought a flag up with me and I put it on one of the engines.

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    I reminded my friend, Niall that I was thinking of him. I think he was happy to hear that the man he hunted for so long had been dispatched. Many years ago, when I was living in AZ, Niall came to visit me and showed me a site called ArmyAirCrews.com. It is a site that “is dedicated to the soldiers and families of the United States Army's Aviation Branch who have paid the ultimate price for freedom and liberties enjoyed today by all Americans.” It is ironic that in the early days after the crash, I rediscovered the site with his name on it.


    Enough of that! Here are a bunch of pictures of the B-24 crash site. It is a photogenic place.

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    Self Portrait.

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    Dan with tool (or maybe tool with Dan?)

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    ATVs headed out.

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    Getting ready to leave.

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    Dewayne is ready to get back on the trail.

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    Final shot of the site. Time to get going.

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    After some time, we decided it was time to head down.

    We headed back down the road. On the way, we met some of the folks from DJ on their way up on ATVs.


    On the way down.

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    Chuck enjoying the ride.

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    The Oregon / Nevada border marker.

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    We tried to take the same route back to Bog Hot but found that the gate had been closed up while we were away.

    Whoever had closed it was not interested in having anyone going thru there. It was not locked but they used a lot of wire to tie it shut. We decided to just go the other way down toward DJ.

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    We found some more burros.

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    We rode pavement to Bog Hot and had a soak. After a bit, Dan noticed something wiggling over in the pile of rocks that formed a dam around the upstream end of the pool we were in. We found out it was some type of dead rodent. ICKKK!!!! We moved into a pool upstream. After the soak, we headed back to DJ for some more burgers. We were happy to have beds to sleep on inside of fabulous Room 2!


    More fun starts tomorrow!





    Good Night!










    :D
    #59
  20. benwiggin2

    benwiggin2 Long timer

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    Awesome. I hope your flag stays there for years...
    #60