Never Ventured, never gained

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by booger1, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    1 booger, 10 days, 3000 miles, several crashes, and whole lot of wide open riding.

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    Thanks to alot of RR here on ADV I set out to discover Nevada

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    I spent most of the nights sleeping under the stars in only my sleeping bag, eating dehydrated food and wondering if and when I'll get fuel

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    Some people say they want peace and quite, solitude. I found it, and it's scary

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    Chances where takin and the rewards were great

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    The biggest inspirations on this trip goes out to Hodakaguy for great write ups on his reports and Dave6253 for his pictures, hopefully I can do them justice.

    Stay tuned for the report.
    #1
  2. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    14,403
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    The Spirit of Adventure: One of the traits I admire most in people. It can be dangerous, but without it life is boring!
    #2
  3. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Preride anticipation.
    The bike has been packed for almost a week now.
    The excitment of taking off has got the the best of me, I'm wide awake at midnight, but it's too early.
    I lay there staring at the ceiling till 1am.
    Enough's enough, I'm out of here at 2am.
    My first overnights stop will be in Cambria for the HU meeting.

    Starting mileage

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    I-10 is long and straight, it's best to do it in the dark anyhow. I'm hoping to be able to shoot some pictures of the sunrise in Joshua tree national forest, I'm way early so I'll have to sit around for awhile.

    But to my surprise

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    I hope this will not be the theme of the trip.

    I left an hour earlier than planned and now not being able to go through Joshua tree will give me at least another hour and half, so I set out for the coastal highway after fighting through morning rush hours traffic in LA.

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    I make the 640 mile trip to Cambria by 12:30.
    Nobody is allowed at the event until tomorrow unless your a volunteer, but they let me set up my tent and I help hang signs to pay for my first night of camping.

    Afterwards we all load up in cars to go into town for dinner. I am so thankful for the ride.

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    The HU meeting starts in the morning.
    #3
  4. Wheat State

    Wheat State Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    21
    Looking good! In!
    #4
  5. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Morning came early and I was running late, I had signed up for the coach to ride clinic and we were meeting in 20 minutes. I scramble to get the bike unpacked and get dressed missing breakfast I met with the group and we rode to the training area just east of town. They had found us a open field on a hill side to run drills. The grass was damp which would provide a challenge along with being on a hillside.

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    When I signed up for the class I was thinking that we would be going over large obstacles and working the bikes in very tight situations. The class was geared more for beginner riders, and then have a trail ride afterwards. I don't feel I learned much but it was fun meeting with everyone. I don't feel anyone in the group was over their heads at all. Maybe I should look into a more challenging class.

    On the way back to the HU camp ground a few of us went into town and ordered a pizza. We sat and talked while eating. I have found that any type of learning environment brings people together who were once strangers, now we have opened up communication.

    Entering the camp ground

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    The 3 days consisted of seminars on how to travel in different countries, what to bring, how to deal with break downs, how to pack, what you should bring, and there where people speaking, who have and are still on world tours.

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    I wasn't able to get to all the presentations as there was alot going on, 2 and 3 seminars at once.
    I have following reports on adv and was surprised to see they were here.

    Aurel and his wife Marion RTW. After talking with them, what I found funny and amazing was his wife had only gone on 4 rides before taking off on this adventure.

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    Sherri Jo Wilkins, RTW. Some of you probably read Colbatch's report on Siberia and Other parts of Russia where she rode with him.Great personality and her laugh was addicting.

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    One of the more amazing bikes here was this Harley Riden by Peter and Kay Forwood

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    They've been on world tour for 14 years, traveled into 193 countries. This bike has logged over 600,000 km.

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    I didn't get a picture of Alisa (motaadventuregirl), but what a great speaker, full of positive energy. She did a solo trip to S. America.

    There where so many more speakers that had inspired all of us and sorry I didn't get all their names, but you'll just have to attend the next gathering.

    It was nice to be in a place where everyone has dreams and none of them are crazy. 3 days of good friends, good food, and great beer and all centered around traveling by motorcycle.

    Some random shots of the event
    Can't remeber this guys name, but we kept running into each other sharing laughs.

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    Rufus the Hawk

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    Looking forward to next years event.

    Sunday came quick and it was time to get on with the Adventure, but next stop will be Folsom to clear up some legal stuff.
    #5
  6. Baja Ho

    Baja Ho Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    843
    Location:
    Central Coast, CA. USA & Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur
    Looks like I missed a great rally :cry
    #6
  7. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs

    Hopefully you'll make the next one, I'll try and be there as well.
    Thanks for reading along, the real adventure begans real soon.:evil
    #7
  8. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Sunday morning I attend one last seminar and hit the road toward Folsom.

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    I take my time on the PCH stopping to take photos.

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    This squirrel didn't want to be in the picture, but gave me entertainment with his curiosity.

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    I later ran into Cenji (adv rider) who also was my one of my camping neighbors.
    All the boxes on his bike he made himself, also expanded his tank to be able to hold another couple of gallons. What impressed me most was that he moved to California from Germany just to have year round riding, this guy is the real deal.

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    We rode together for a few hundred miles, he had invited me to stay at his place for the night but I thought it was still too far from Folsom and didn't want to wake anybody up early in the morning to make that ride.
    So we parted ways.

    I made my way into Sacramento and made a phone call to GLDfamily (adv member) who I had just recently bought the bike from. The California DMV has been a PITA to deal with the last 3 months on trying to get a title so that I can register the bike in AZ. We met in a parking lot and some more papers where signed, we parted ways and I found a hotel not too far from the Folsom DMV office.

    Next morning I'm at the DMV 1 1/2 hours before they open.

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    First one in line and also the first one to get rejected, MORE paper work. I call Gary's wife to explain what else needs to be filled out, she comes down and shows her ID and bing bang we are out of there. 2 to 6 weeks I should have the title. Maybe they thought I stole the bike and were giving me a hard time.

    However, the bike is now unregistered and illegal to be on the road, I must get out of CA and get to the off-road in Nevada.

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    I take the 50 east towards Lake Tahoe, the quickest way out of town.

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    Only stopping to take what I think will make a nice photo.

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    Paddle wheel at Lake Tahoe leaving just as I got there.

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    Tonights goal is Soldiers Meadows for camping but one planned stop before.

    The American Comstock Mill

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    I had read alot about this place in other RR and on doing some research found that it was up to discussion at the town meetings on whether they should tear it down, I had to get here before that decision was made. In its time (1926) it was the largest concrete structure in the world and had only operated for 6 years. It had produced cyanide to extract silver for the mines, but was closed when easier deposits were found in Death Valley.

    The place was surrounded by barb wire fences, but I found my way down.

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    The sign says no motor vehicles but there are walk-in gates. I've seen some pictures were people have brought their bikes in and have taken photos. I'm tempted, I start to untie the fence but it doesn't feel right. I tie it back up and walk in.

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    Graffiti makes for nice pictures and some of it has something to say.

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    The place is falling apart.

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    Very artistic.

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    In the far distance you can barely make out the cop. Someone must have called the police when I went down to the mill, but I guess I was no big deal to them, they saw the bike outside the fence and turned around.

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    That being my cue to leave I ventured in to Virginia City.

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    I'm not much for these little tourist trap places when I'm riding solo, I make my way through quickly.

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    I'm craving dirt roads and find a small short cut through the hills to the highway the GPS is pointing me to.

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    The trail quickly turned to sand.

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    And big deep valleys.

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    Which dumped me out on the wrong side of the fence. A little back tracking and I find my way to the highway.

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    I go through the GPS to my predetermined route which will take me through Soldiers Meadows and then up to Denio. I later named the GPS Ziggy, after the show Quantum Leap hoping that the next leap I make will be in the place I wanted to be.
    I'm new to the GPS thing so some of my routes didn't get saved, I ended up staying with the highway passing the turn off to Soldiers Meadows and passing through Winnemuca. Before realizing where I was going, it was too late, it's going to be dark soon and I need to find somewhere to camp. I pull off the road and head up into the hills, make camp and dinner.
    A hunter comes by as I was setting up and asked if everything was OK. He said this morning there was frost on the ground and it should get down to 25 degrees tonight. I wondered if I should put up the tent. I decided against it.

    Next morning. It was freaking cold, thank goodness for the 0 degree bag.

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    #8
  9. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Morning it's cold, but I'm still up early. I dig out the maps and have a look at Ziggy and decide that I'm better off to go up to Denio and look for the crashed WWII B-24 bomber and then head down to Soldiers Meadows and pass through there around noon.
    I make my way back to highway 140 and settle in for the long straight road.
    A bird bounces off the helmet and I have to stop to make sure my head is ok, I pop a couple of asprin and leave, thinking that I've heard of this happening to others but never to me. It's weird, all this openness and the thing commits suicide off my head.
    Awhile later I'm getting road hypnosis and spot an abandon building off the side of the road up on a hill, good place to stop and stretch.

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    Off in the distance, cattle make their way towards me.

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    Pulling into Denio Junction, I top off fuel on the bike, and the 2 Kolpin fuel jugs secured to the back, and take some pics of their art work.

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    The sign says to stay off the grass so these will have to do.

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    I make my way to where the first waypoint leads me and turn off onto the dirt road, stop and look at the GPS. No routes, again. Trying to remember the route I had plotted on the computer I make the left hand turn and start heading into the mountains.

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    The trail starts off decent and scenic.

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    A spring on the hillside makes for a bit of a challenge (it's steep and not much traction can be gained) as I get stuck in it and have to get off and try to push alongside the big overweight bike.

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    Doesn't appear to have alot of traffic up here.

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    I wondered if this was the right way, there's a waypoint at Propellar Meadows and I'm trying to go towards it, the trail winds up and around valleys and hills, and soon I'm at Propellar Meadows.

    I make it to the top where Propellar Meadows is. I look at the surrondings and do not see any wreckage.

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    I decide to go on foot and have look around. 3 1/2 hours go by and I don't see anything. I'm exhausted.
    Trying to remember the research I had done.
    A 13 year old girl was awoken when the plane passed over her house in 1945. She watched the plane bank to the right and go into the mountains and witnessed the 2 explosions, the first one bigger than the 2nd.
    It took 5 days on horses back then to recover the 11 men.
    With this replaying in my head, I scan over the mountain range and kept repeating, banked right. I scan the mountainside looking for where a plane might be able to bank right.

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    Rugged hillsides, I think I spot where it could be. I'm determined. I start to make my way, the trail gets real steep and rocky, I almost go off the side, when a big rock rolls under the front wheel. Opting out, I decide to hike some more, the bike gets parked and I start the long hike up the steep hill.

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    I'm winded immediately, 4 steps, stop take a deep breath. 2 steps, stop sit down, and it goes on like this for awhile.
    At one point I started to think if this was the right trail and wondering if I should go on. As I sat there contemplating the distance I've come to see this, I hear a plane overhead, but do not see it.
    All of a sudden, my gut's telling me I know it's up here, I climb to my feet and start the hike, I know I've made the right decision on leaving the bike behind when a see a knobbie tire track that has slid down the hill about 40 feet. Almost to the top and into a short valley up another hill, my eyes focus in on the little American flag that MasterMarine placed on 1 of the motors. (Thanks MasterMarine)

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    Wreckage is everywhere.

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    The impact had to be incredible.

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    After shooting some pictures I sat down and had lunch, beef jerky and a Monster.

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    I head back to the bike and start to come up with a plan on how to get it turned around.

    Do you see it way down there?

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    I find a spot to try and back it into, so that I can swing it around. But the weight gets the better of me when the rear tire goes off the side. I'm so happy I didn't buy a GS.

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    I try to catch it and pull it back up, I feel the muscles in my torso start to strech like rubber bands at the point of breaking, I set the bike back down, reangle and lift. No dice. I turn all the fuel valves off and start to take the weight off.
    It comes up, I start it up to move it forward and just as I get it straightened out it dies, push the bike with clutch in to more level ground, turn fuel back on and reload.

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    The rest of the ride back down was without a hitch.

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    Now that I've spent 4 1/2 to 5 hours up there looking for the plane I decide to go straight to Soldiers Meadows, I'm way past the noon goal, maybe I'll stay there tonight.

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    The road is scenic and I only stop for photos and quick glances at the map.

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    I did stop once to ask some ranchers if I was heading in the right direction, husband and wife working in a corral, I can't really see what they're doing as they come up to the fence, both are fit from they're work, wearing boots, jeans, and long sleeve shirts, he had tobacco on his teeth, exactly what I would expect cowboys and girls to look like. They're almost beautiful, working the land as they did in the 1800's. They've never been up that way but insure me the road is marked and I'm heading in the right direction.

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    The road's longer than I thought it would be. I pass up a gate that says Soldiers Meadows, but with a locked gate I really don't want to trespass. A short distance down the road I see a white pickup with a horse trailer in tow, I stop them and ask about the gate. They said "that's the place, come on, follow me".
    Pulling in I can see it's a working ranch, I'm invited up to the main house and was told dinner will be served at 6, this means no 'just add hot water' meals for me tonight. I head over to the grassy field to set up my tent and hear the dinner bell. I've been riding a long time today and didn't stop to eat much. I'm hungry and grateful that dinner will not come out of a bag tonight.

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    I go up to the house and enter. Large picnic table in the kitchen, all the ranch hands and guests come up and sit at the table, this is cool.

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    I get a little history lesson of the place.
    It was established in 1865 as a soldiers camp, named camp McGary to protect traveling pioneers from Indian attacks. They asked me if I've ever seen Dances with Wolves, that's what the place was (a soldiers outpost), now turned into a ranch.
    This is one of the buildings:

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    Night came quick and I needed to get back to my tent, I had lost my flashlight somewhere, and it's dark.
    In the middle of the night a deer came to visit me, I tried to get a picture but the battery was dead (I lost the spare battery as well).
    #9
  10. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    14,403
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    Great post. You seem to have the gift of gab, like my uncle. We would be in the middle of nowhere when he would start chatting with the locals. Next thing you know, we're getting a tour of some stranger's farmhouse.

    I was in Virginia City recently during the Ferrari Hill Climb Challenge. Even though I told them my Camaro was red, they wouldn't let me run unless I had membership in either the Shelby or Ferrari Clubs of America. Oh well, that just meant I could talk trash at night in the saloons, with no way for them to prove me wrong. The locals were a rough and friendly bunch who seemed to prefer my car over the high dollar competition.

    Nice touch writing "Help" on the bottom of your side cases. My mom always said she was going to do that on the bottom of my dad's jeep, but hasn't gotten around to it yet.
    #10
  11. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs

    The reason a Camaro is better than a Ferrari is there obtainable, I've had some good memories in them.
    Actually, I like to listen to people, riding solo seems to invite people to talk, not that I like to ride solo it's just the way it works out somtimes.
    #11
  12. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    It was a rough night. Word to the wiser. Get information about the place like, "where are the bathrooms?" Luckily I found the outhouse before disaster struck. And was just lucky enough to bring my own toilet paper.
    I opted out of breakfast, they allowed me to charge my camera battery while getting a tour of the place and some of their livestock. A must see are the 2 massive pigs that live there, Bonnie and Clyde.
    All packed up and given directions to enter High Rock Canyon and travel the Applegate trail, I put the bike in gear and headed out.

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    I stop at the entrance to the canyon. I'm amazed that covered wagons cut this trail. Pioneers used this trail on their way to the gold rush in California in 1949. I just sit and imagine the dust that was produced by the horses feet and the wagon wheels, the noise that came from the large group, and the thought of how long it took them to get through here.

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    A cabin site.
    After exploring this site, I see that someone has come into one of the cabins and put down carpet over the dirt and sealed up the holes so that weather can't get in as easily. I think if I come back this way I would like to stay here for a night, and the outhouse is closer.

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    Quick to explore more of this trail, I head out.

    Entering High Rock Canyon, I wonder where they came up with the name??

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    I find the first cave, but I'm more interested in finding the 2nd. I'm told that there are messages written in bearing grease on the walls of the 2nd cave by the early pioneers, I search up high in the rock pilings, the ground is loose with rocks and easy to slip. I climbed around for at least an hour but could not find it. Making an executive decision, since no one is there to disagree with me, I'll come back. I've seen alot in this area, so I'm ready to start exploring others. I'm not sure how far the trail goes and I know I have to start making my way through this canyon. So I decide to not take anymore pictures here.

    Going onward I come up to a huge puddle of water, I can't see the bottom, the water is murky. I enter and find a big hole with a large rock, I saved it, but my feet are soaked.
    The fuel light comes on, I stop and take the 3 gallons of fuel I have and add it to the tank.

    I come to another water bog, again water is murky, can't see the bottom. I decide to try to go a little faster, front wheel slides into a hole and I fall over. Half of my tank bag is under water 'that's where my camera is!' I think, I scramble to my feet to get the bike up and I slip again, falling. That's when I noticed the smell.
    I'm not sure what was in the water or what I was slipping on, but there is alot of cattle up here. The smell motivated me even more to get the bike up and out. One swift pull at the bars and the bike is up, I'm quick to get it started and get out of it, but the petri dish of stink is still on me. I'll need to find a hotel for sure tonight, cause I know I won't be able to sleep tonight until I get this washed off of me.

    The trail goes on for miles, I'm not sure if I've missed the turn to get out of the canyon. The guys at Soldiers Meadows said it goes on for a spell. How far is that?

    I keep referring back to Ziggy wasting valuable daylight each time I stop, but fuel is now a concern, I need to know I didn't pass up the trail. Eventually the canyon opens up into rolling hills, I'm confident I'm on the right track, but the miles seem to go on forever, just rolling hills and this one trail under me.

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    I stop to take some pictures of this vast openess and notice, I don't even hear birds. The sound of all this quietness is unnerving. I think about the fuel supply I have and hope that maybe I'll see someone soon just to reassure me that there is a town soon. What if I run out of fuel? I guess push or take a can off and hike which means more time, and most importantly, my gloves are getting stiff from the stink water, and my gag reflexes are now getting a workout from the smell that I now wear as cologne.

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    I find that riding between 45 and 55 mph seems to work for me in this terrain, standing all the time brings exhaustion faster, but the bike handles much better.
    I'm in a rythmn, lean bike to go right, body straight. Lean bike left, pull back on bars, go over rocks, weight front for the turns and hit a small straight section.
    Not sure what happened, but approaching a simple left turn, I can't do it. I fight with myself, the bike goes straight, but I need to turn, almost like I forgot how.
    Full lock skid, off into the desert.

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    What?! is this the first day I ever rode a bike???:eek1

    Ziggy is telling me that I'm about to intersect with a road. That's good news.

    Road is a smooth gravel road, must be road 34.

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    There's a car coming towards me and I wave him down.
    How far to the next fuel?
    Shit man, about 60 miles.
    No shit.
    He repeats No shit as he puts his truck in gear and speeds off.
    Maybe he thought I might beg him for some fuel seeing that he's carrying his quad on a trailor...... Which I would have. Bastard.

    Fuel light comes on, I'm wishing I had looked at the odo when I received the news of how far the fuel was, I'm guessing I've gone about 35 to 40 miles.

    The road turns to pavement (thank God, at least I'm not heading in the other direction).

    Off to the left a dry lake bed comes into view, I scroll through Ziggy to see where the next town is. It appears to be 8 miles, straight across the lake bed.

    I've been fascinated with Salar de Uyuni down in Bolivia for awhile.
    This maybe the closest I get to it until I raise enough money for a trip like that.
    I second guess myself several times before I decide to turn off and head out onto the lake bed. I kill the motor to save fuel and coast off the highway onto the bed. It's flat and smooth, I coast for awhile and come to a rest maybe an 1/8 of mile out.

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    #12
  13. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    As bad as I wanted to cross the playa, I decided to take the highway to Gerlach. Thinking that if I run out of fuel on the highway, someone might be able to help.
    I reach town and find the one gas pump that serves 87 octane, I fill up the bike and and 1 of the jugs with fuel. I've gone 24 miles on reserve, I'm not sure how far I could have gone, but I'm glad I didn't have to find out. When trying to open up the second jug the spout broke off inside. I'm obviously not thinking clear at this point but I did not want to use the jug with broken parts inside of it.
    The next town has a general store, Empire.
    I walk in and find the shelves barely stocked, but I do find some hot dogs on a rolling oven that have past their expiration date by about 2 days. I don't care. I grab the dog, a stale cookie, and a cold Monster, and make my way up to the counter.
    As I'm about to walk out the door a guy comes in hitting me with a slew of questions, "what year's your bike, who makes the boxes, did you make the boxes, where you from, how long you been riding?"
    I've got a blank stare, as if nothing is registering.
    He explains that he has a 950se.
    I ask him to give me a few minutes to eat and then we can talk. I head outside.
    I start with the cookie, it's stale, but tastes really good. As I'm eating the cookie a chicken comes around the corner and approaches me. I drop some crumbs and now I have a friend.
    He acts like one of my dogs, he sticks by my side picking up the crumbs.

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    The guy driving the Fedex truck comes out and we start talking, then the clerk comes out and they start talking. My attention goes back to my new friend Chicken.
    Chicken goes into high alert when a hawk landed on the power pole across the street and then goes around the corner to hide.

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    Conversation doesn't last much longer as the Fedex driver has a schedule to keep and I need to find some place to stay tonight.

    The sun is getting low and I speed down the highway towards Fernley.

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    I reach Fernley and it's almost dark, I find a hotel, but 77 bucks for a bed doesn't seem right, I head to the end of town and find a small run down hotel for $50. I still don't like the price, I guess I'm cheap, but I book it.
    I'm starving for conversation now and try to talk to the receptionist about my trip. She's not interested. Maybe my odor set her off, but I don't even notice it now.
    A quick shower with my clothes on, I was able to do laundry as well.
    #13
  14. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,565
    Stars for you...xlnt pics and yarn spinnin'
    #14
  15. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,037
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    :lurk
    #15
  16. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs

    Thanks, I like that term yarn spinnin.
    #16
  17. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    During the night, I'm restless, I keep looking out the window to make sure the bike didn't take off without me.
    It gave me time to consult with Ziggy and the map book. Ziggy is showing waypoints, but no routes, so I'm not sure what trails might look like or where they end. Confirming the waypoint with the map I select tomorrows destination. The Pony Express Trail.
    I'm up before the sun and take my time to pack the bike and adjust the chain, but I'm still rolling before most of the town wakes up.

    I roll into Silver Springs for fuel and morning breakfast snacks, again conversation is started with the delivery guy and the 2 clerks. About 30 minutes go by and I decide it's time to hit the trail.
    The waypoint is at Simpson rd and I make the left turn on to the dusty road.
    I run down the road a bit and stop to verify with the maps and have my breakfast.
    The trail looks to get used alot as there was alot of powder spots that suck you in like quicksand. I reach the mouth of a canyon to take a photo.

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    Imagining the riders who rode this trail back in the day, I climbed aboard my trust stead and set off. Just as I reached the entrance "the dark colored rocks in front of this pic", the bike dies. Maybe I shouldn't have thought of it as a horse.
    I hit the button, it cranks but doesn't fire, I shut everything off so that I might be able to hear the newly replaced fuel pump. It ticks, I hit the button again, nothing. I climb off the bike and try again, like that will make a difference, nothing, it just cranks. Over the next several minutes I try choke, wide open throttle, closed throttle, and rocking the bike back and forth in gear, nothing I do makes it start.
    I have to stop myself before wearing the battery down.
    Take a good look at Ziggy and I'm right in the middle of the trail, 20 miles to the highway either way. Check for cell phone reception, nothing.
    Nothing left to do but try and figure out what is going on.

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    I don't see anything out of place and it still won't fire, I check and make sure the new facet isn't cracked or anything out of the ordinary. Me getting into the theme of things, I take a look around to make sure no Indians have surrounded me. The things that go through my head???

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    While I'm laying on the ground I decide to open up the airbox drain that I closed up. About a cup of water came out, most likely from that stink water spill yesterday. I don't think that has anything to do with it, since the water was not sitting up in the airbox.
    But, it starts up. I shut it down and start it again, that's strange.
    I put it all back together and start it one last time before taking off and let it idle for minute.
    Looks like I'll keep my scalp today.
    I pass up a cabin and regret not stopping. I'm not sure if I should shut the bike down yet, I don't know what caused it to die.

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    I do make a stop at a dry lake bed and a corral.

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    The trail came to an end at highway 95. I looked for a way to pass through the locked gate, and went up and down the road to find an opening in the fence, there was none.

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    Disappointed that the trail is done for now, I head south towards the next waypoint that will take me by Lucky Boy mine and into Bodie.
    #17
  18. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,798
    Location:
    Arizona--Land of the free and heavly armed
    Strange thing about those litt' road gremlins,they just jump on & off at the most inopportune times & places---odd fellows they

    are:lol3
    #18
  19. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Thanks for reading along. Breakdowns suck, but the ones that cure them selves are the scariest, you have no idea if and when they'll resurface.
    #19
  20. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,064
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    I make the turn off, but again Ziggy doesn't have the route for me. I pass up the trail I should have taken and end up at a large operating mine and have to make the 12 miles back to the right trail.

    Signs like this get me a little excited.

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    It doesn't take long for me to have to stop and take in the scenery. There's a little creek running next to the road.

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    There's only a few rough spots but nothing serious. The canyon gets wider and opens up into a beautiful valley.

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    Somewhere along here I notice I've crossed back into California, as long as I stay to the dirt roads I should be fine, but then today's little breakdown plagues the back of my mind. I pray that maybe I got some bad fuel (yea, that's it) and with that little placebo it's almost forgotten about.

    An old ruin along the way, maybe a bank??? I'm hesitant to go inside, parts of the walls have crumbled and I have a tremendous fear of snakes.

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    I finally grow some balls and enter.

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    I spot another structure down the road.

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    I love the color of the wood and the giant wheel inside makes me believe that this was a mill at one time.

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    The walls bowing out.

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    I'm not sure what they milled here, The big auger out front makes me think that it they crushed rocks to get some precious minerals out. I'm loving the look of the place.
    This has got to be the coolest wheel.

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    This piece makes me think that a large leather belt was tensioned off of this and drove the big wheel. Don't know what for, but that's what I was able to put together.

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    I feel like I've completely scoured this building, this is the kind of stuff I like to find. I don't know if I'll ever be up this way again, I didn't know it was going to be here, and when I find something like this, I try to shoot as many photos as I can.

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    I see some sort of town in the horizon and make my way towards it. There's cars everywhere and people walking around.
    I just came from an area that hardly gets traveled and then you see something like this, it's odd. I go in for closer inspection and park the bike. I walk up to the sign and it says Bodie.
    I guess not having my routes saved added alot of surprise elements.

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    I find another sign that suggests I go to the South end gate and pay the park fees. Maybe on the way out.
    I like this place, but even during the week there seems to be alot of people. Everyone's running around with their cameras and tripods.

    I join in with my camera.

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    Not period correct, but a rusty cars make for good photos.

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    I can see myself coming back just to play with the camera.
    I leave forgetting to pay the fee and head down another road that is marked "not for passenger vehicles".

    I come out on the back side of Mono Lake.
    Ziggy seems to want to cooperate and gives me a route.
    The trail starts off nice but gets ugly "for a big bike" real quick.

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    Many struggling close calls and it happens, I go down.

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    I get the bike back up and have a look at Ziggy, he's mocking me. The trail goes on for 28 miles. I figure it can't all be like this, so I continue.

    Half mile later and several tiresome close calls it happens again. Sweat pouring down my face to get absorbed by my helmet. I pick the bike up again.

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    I can't get my speed up because the trail switchbacks to much. Maybe if I didn't have all this weight on her and maybe if I had the knobbies on, I could do it. But I retreat.
    I can barely stay on the trail and I end up in the weeds often. Now I'm out and breathing more calmly. The wind in my now drenched helmet cools me down fast.

    I picked up a weeded flower on one of the many close calls off the trail.

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    I take the 120 towards Benton.

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    California is on fire again.

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    Pull off the road to take a closer look.

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    Not much in this town.

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    This guy and I have been in a race for a couple of thousand miles. It seems pointless to go faster, I speed and so does he.

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    It's getting late and it's time to start looking for a place to crash.

    Near the Columbus Salt Marsh.

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    The gravel is soft, so this will make for a good bed.

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    I try to do a shot with the stars but I end up messing it up, 5 hours of shutter open and I didn't get the shot I wanted.

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    I'll try again later.
    Another night of just add hot water meal, and surprisingly I had cell phone reception.
    I worry about wild horses coming over to protect their property, but playing with the camera and all of todays excitment made my eyelids heavy.
    #20