Returning to the desert – Nevada and Oregon 2012

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by MasterMarine, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Last year, we had a great time in Nevada and Oregon. Here are some of my favorite pictures from that ride:

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    We had a great time and went a lot of really cool places. There was still a lot to see.



    How could we not return?
    #1
  2. kramsetac

    kramsetac The Dude Abides

    Joined:
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    Bring it.
    #2
  3. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    In!
    #3
  4. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    I stared at these pictures for a year. I began plotting routes on the map. With one of our goals left unrealized from our 2011 trip to Nevada and Oregon, Duckspanker, Dr. Dan and I knew we had to return in 2012. We had to make it to Jarbidge! It had thwarted us but would not do so again. With that in mind, I plotted away. Reading even more books and spending countless hours peering at maps and ride reports thru the winter, I found a more direct route to take us in that direction. I came up with a huge route that would take us from one side of Nevada to the other, from the northern edge down to the center of the state. We would ride in 4 states. It would be epic. I was thrilled. :D

    I discussed my plan with locals to gain more of their golden “local knowledge”. The route got even better! Then I talked to my co-riders. As some of you may know, Duckspanker suffered a terrible injury to his foot last fall while trail riding at Gifford Pinchot National Forest. His injury was always on my mind as I considered routes so I thought it would be best to ask him how he felt about this epic route I had in mind. He was well on his way to recovery. The stainless steel rod was not sticking out of his foot any longer. Physical therapy was progressing well. He was sure he would be ready to ride in mid-June of 2012. Unfortunately, he did not think he would be up to the massive route I had planned. So, it was back to the drawing board…
    #4
  5. Dorian

    Dorian huge carbon footprint

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    :lurk
    #5
  6. Mtn^^West^^DS

    Mtn^^West^^DS Mtn West Dual Sport

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    Very good preview pictures. I am all in and anxiously waiting for the full report!
    #6
  7. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

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    Bout time, just as I'm headed to Nevada next Tuesday. :D:lurk
    #7
  8. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Duckspanker thought it would be better if we had a similar schedule to our 2011 trip. In 2011, we left Denio Junction and did a 4 day loop camping off of our bikes to the east. Then we spent the remaining 4 days doing day loop rides from Denio Junction to various destinations. This allowed us to go long on our big camping loop if necessary without having to rush back to get home. It also would give us some time to fix anything we may have broken on the big loop and still get out for some riding afterwards. It was kind of like having a half time in the middle of our ride.

    With this in mind, I went back to the maps. I came up with a 4 day route over to Jarbidge and then back that would use some of the routes we had used before and some fresh territory as well. The big problem I had was 2 water crossings way out in the middle of the desert between McDermitt and Owyhee. There was no real way to know how deep they would be flowing until we were standing on their banks. I asked for info from everyone I talked to, the BLM, local ranchers, local riders and attendants at the gas stations I contacted to find out if they had fuel. I also came up with some other new day loops and decided to extend the Gerlach loop to be an overnighter since it had been a very long day in 2011 with the mileage nearing 300 miles.

    After returning home from our ride in 2011 and sharing our stories with all of our riding buddies, we had several people who were interested in making the trip in 2012.

    Eventually, the riders ended up being:

    ugo1st (aka WildBill and/or Highmarker)

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    On his Kawasaki KLR650

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    Kramsetac

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    On his Husqvarna 610 (with backup Husqvarna 310)

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    Busdriver

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    On his Yamaha WR250R which he likes to call “The Bruise”

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    Duckspanker

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    On his Suzuki DRZ400

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    Dr. Dan

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    On his Suzuki DRZ 400

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    And me (MasterMarine).

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    On my 1995 Kawasaki KLX650C

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    We settled on a date and began the preparations to our bikes, camping gear and ourselves. I set into finalizing our routes and getting them into a format to put into our GPS units. Everyone had a Garmin unit so that made it a little bit easier. I wanted to get everyone the info before we left so any issues with the files could be sorted out.
    #8
  9. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    :lurk
    #9
  10. kramsetac

    kramsetac The Dude Abides

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    Seattle
    So where are we going, Mike?

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    #10
  11. Dorian

    Dorian huge carbon footprint

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    :lurk:lurk
    #11
  12. Baja Ho

    Baja Ho Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Central Coast, CA. USA & Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur
    Great area to ride in, looking forward to this one. Was the bike still running after this creek crossing? That looks deep. :eek1

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    #12
  13. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    It was still running after that. Those pics are from our 2011 trip. Here is a link: [thread=713333]Exploring Amazing Northern Nevada and SE Oregon 2011[/thread]


    More of the 2012 trip is coming! :D
    #13
  14. muddyJ

    muddyJ Shortcut ahead!

    Joined:
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    180
    Hmm.. some of those bikes look familiar..

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    #14
  15. ugo1st

    ugo1st Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Good riding with you guys this year. The high desert is an amazing place! I thought 'desert', ya ya I'll bring my klr, roads and slab and stuff no biggie. Klr was great but I didn't suspect so much stand up technical riding (nice :clap) we did about 1200 mile offroad on scars I think Mike found on google earth! two track where there is only 1 good track. To me the ride basically was connecting mt ranges together by crossing big expanses. So lots of up and down through gullys and over primitive passes.

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    even hit some snow patches here and there (WA state flag flying proudly on my fairing)

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    visited a bomber crash site, lots of bomb testing done in this part of Nevada

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    found great unplanned places to camp each night

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    it's nice to know road builders think like us,,,

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    we actaully saw other people at this nice lake!

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    who says a KLR can't run low on gas? paid 7 buck a gal for this swill from a rancher, metered from a good old fashion dusty jug (Scott went 1st so got all the big chunks he he)

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    enough for now, other pics coming, cheers wB
    #15
  16. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    So we prepared. And we waited. The days ticked by until finally it was time to go. We drove down from throughout the Puget Sound and finally would meet up in Denio Junction.

    On the way down, we stopped up above Frenchglen for a quick break. This is probably all burned up now.

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    We unloaded our bikes and prepared them for the first part of ride that would start in the morning. We were headed to Jarbidge!

    June 16, 2012

    Day 1

    Here is the first day’s route.

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    And here are the bikes lined up and ready to go.

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    So we headed out on the highway and I take the first turn and start heading up Wilder Road. After I got past the houses, I turned around and saw no one was behind me. I stopped and waited a minute. No one came. I turned around and headed back. I saw everyone around Kramsetac’s Husky. It was dead. Already! I could see Denio Junction from where we were. WTF!!??

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    After a few minutes of troubleshooting we figured out that no fuel was leaving the Husky’s full fuel tank for the carburetor. When we loosened the gas cap then the fuel started flowing. We originally thought the issue was caused by the vent hose being pinched over by the tank bag but later found out it was due to the gas tank vent on the tank being plugged and the gas cap not having the vent drilled thru it. The problem did reappear a few times before we sorted it out totally that evening.


    Off we go again! Hopefully we would all get off the pavement this time!


    We did and stopped to enjoy the view.

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    Before making it down to King’s River Valley, we stopped at this cabin.

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    We traveled up Basco Canyon and then thru the desert toward the Zimmerman Ranch. I spent some time talking to the ranch owner who mentioned the ranch is for sale for $15 million. It is some beautiful country if you have the money to spare.

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    After the Zimmerman Ranch, it was mostly just easy dirt roads and some pavement to McDermitt where we fueled up and had some lunch at the Say When Casino. I had a bit of trouble finding our way back onto the route out of McDermitt. It always seems like the biggest problem with gates and closed roads is when we were close to towns. The road we were looking for was right next to the BLM Fire Station and took us up into an area called Devil’s Gate. It was a long mostly straight route thru some very remote and unpopulated landscape until we made it to the Oregon / Nevada border.

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    Opening the border gate.

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    Here is a shot of my bike setup at the border.

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    Soon we were to 3 Corners (where Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho all share a corner). Here we messed around a bit and found a geocache and Dr. Dan tried to spray hot beer on Duckspanker and I.

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    We were not far from the Star Ranch where there was the first water crossing that I was concerned about. It turned out to be dry but it was pretty rough going thru even dry.

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    There is a pretty steep rocky and rough grade climbing up from Star Ranch and it claimed a victim.

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    Regrouping at the top.

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    The route to the pipeline crossing was pretty remote and faint.

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    We made it to the Pipeline Crossing without any issues. Here is a view of where the pipeline crosses the river. I don’t have any pictures of the actual crossing but I am sure some will pop up here soon. The water was hardly moving but not deep at all.

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    Consulting the map near Josephine Lake on the way to Owyhee.

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    The route got a bit rocky, or maybe it was that we were all getting tired. We decided to try to find a good spot to camp. I had seen some roads heading up into the mountains south of Owyhee that I thought might hold a nice camp spot so we headed that direction. The road we took up into the hills had a sign stating that it crossed Petan Ranch property. I had spoken to the Petan Ranch manager before we left and knew he was not especially fond of people trespassing on his private ranch lands.

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    It was rough and we were all getting very tired.

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    I stopped where I thought we were past the Petan property but Duckspanker reminded me that we still had not gone far enough yet. Here was the sunset from that spot.

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    Our camp spot for the night. Time to get things set up. This was my first day with my new Giant Loop holding my camping gear and I really liked it.

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    #16
  17. KTMarty

    KTMarty Been here awhile

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    Outstanding report. Keep it coming. :clap
    #17
  18. ugo1st

    ugo1st Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    more 1st day pics. after lunch we were in the trees for a bit trying to follow a grown over grade, At this point there was a washout. We did a gnarly side hill ride to the left and got up around it.
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    #18
  19. ugo1st

    ugo1st Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    83
    this part was a lot like home, trail hard to find overgrown brush beating face slappers, NICE! had a minor tipover here at a break. One of those classic put a foot down and there is nothing there fails.
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    #19
  20. BUSdriver

    BUSdriver Pop Copy Manager

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Thanks, Mike for getting your report going... Here are a few of my pictures from day 1...

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    Duckspanker's rig @ Denio Junction


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    Just before the launch.


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    McDermitt, NV


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    Maybe a tad overloaded???
    #20