Returning to the desert – Nevada and Oregon 2012

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

  1. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
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    Ok, here are some of my Day 4 shots. Camping in the open desert, the sun came up early and IT WAS COLD! Frost on the seats of the bikes.
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    I climbed up on a small hill to try to catch some sun and get warm.
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    Zen Master Bill:
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    My 610 and its "dirt wall" kickstand:
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    Here is a rare picture of Mastermarine, who was usually in the lead. I think I was ahead because of my wild horse chase mentioned above.

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    Here is a picture of the infamous mud hole that the guys encountered last year, complete with their wheel marks. In the foreground is my GPS setup: A Garmin 62csx that I use for displaying topo maps and capturing tracks (spool to memory card). The other is an older Garmin 276c, which I use most of the time to display our route and an alternate map set. Besides these two GPS units, I also have pages cut out of the Oregon/Nevada Benchmark guides and custom maps that we printed to topo and route information.

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    Miles and miles of open desert and barb wire fences:
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    The crew confers:
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    This is another water crossing that apparently was much deeper last year. This year it was just good for a little splash:
    Dr Dan:
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    Duckspanker Chuck:
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    Wild Bill and some KLR action:
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    Mastermarine likes it:
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    After a very long (30 mile?) gravel road and a short pavement blast to get gas, we ended up on Paradise Valley. Unfortunately the Cafe was closed as everyone in town was at a funeral.

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    A bad ass looking Husky and a nice wall to hold it up:
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    Strange alien hieroglyphics or ranch brands?

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    Then it was up, up, up out of the valley:
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    Ok, enough for now. You and Mr. Lizard will just have to hang out and wait for the rest of the Day 4 posts. Lots of amazing scenery and some mechanical McGiver stuff upcoming!

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  2. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

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    Great route planning and even better ride report Mike, Bill, Chuck and Mark.
    Looks like a great time. Photos are incredible!! Sure beats the rat race trail riding we parade every week and call a fun day.

    Don
  3. Nijntje

    Nijntje The Riding Dutchman

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    I enjoyed reading your last trip and it looks like you a had another great time.:D
  4. BUSdriver

    BUSdriver Pop Copy Manager

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    Um... this isn't a KLR... and it's not Wild Bill. :D

    Nice picture though.
  5. BUSdriver

    BUSdriver Pop Copy Manager

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    ok, I'm sitting in Germany now so I thought I'd post up Day 4 while I still have an internet connection.

    DAY 4

    We woke up to frost on the bikes and some frozen water in the camelbak tubes. Of course once we got riding we all got warmed up soon enough. This day our goal was to get back to Denio Junction and the route that we took was amazing in many ways. It felt like we were ahead of schedule so we initially rode at a leisurely pace. We had a great ride over various passes and had many good photo opportunities along the way. At one point during the day Mark noticed that 4 of the 6 bolts were missing from his rear sprocket and fortunately he discovered it before another one let loose. We were able to come up with enough bolts to secure his sprocket to make it back to Denio.

    There was a very long stretch of nicely graded road that basically allowed us to cruise at top speed for a long period of time. Somewhere in the middle of this "highway" I realized that I wasn't going to make it all the way to the next fueling point without having to use the extra gas I was so diligently carrying around for the last 3 days. Being that the 2 gallon fuel container was located underneath the DVD player and the kitchen sink, it took me awhile to get at it. This is why the rest of the guys (except Wild Bill who stopped to assist) were waiting "forever" for me at the intersection to the paved road a dozen or so miles ahead. Sorry again guys.

    We eventually stopped in McDermitt again for a late lunch and to refill our tanks one last time. At this point we started to realize that we were actually somewhat late and getting back before dark was now in question. We began to pick up the pace in order to avoid a night-ride. A couple things hindered our progress heading west... the sun was setting and was directly in our eyes which made it difficult to see the trail ahead. In addition to that, the wind had died down and the dust from the bike in front of you would just hang there and further hinder the visibility.

    One last thing that was an issue for me was a very long hill climb that was littered with softball-sized rocks. We had ridden down this hill on "Day 1" so I knew it was something I was going to have to deal with on the way back... and I had been dreading it for 3 days due to my overloaded bike and my lack of skill riding the laden Yamaha. I was the last rider of our group to tackle this hill and when I started up the incline, I just "gave 'er the onion" and hoped for the best. Everything was going well... I was seeing and anticipating the line well and was gaining confidence every foot I ascended. About halfway up the rocky slope, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. It was an antelope running across my path not 20 feet away. Normally it would've been a welcome sight because it's very impressive to see them run across such rough terrain at high speed... but during the dreaded rocky hill climb... I definitely didn't need any distractions. I felt like I needed to focus on the task at hand fully in order to coax the overloaded WR to the top of the hill. Somehow I was able to stay on course and ultimately made it to the top under control. It felt good to get that behind me.


    We eventually made it back to Denio Junction as darkness was setting in. Bobby had cooked us each a burger and fries and it was a very welcome sight after a long 212 mile day.

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    Hinkey Pass (I think)



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    Shortly before Mark discovered the missing sprocket bolts.



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    Amazing it was still attached (photo by Chuck)



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    This is where the sprocket repair occurred.



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    Scrounging to find useable sprocket bolts




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    Miles and miles of this stuff



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    The very aptly named... Windy Gap



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    This was taken just prior to the most amazing jump I've ever seen on a fully loaded KLR... you should've seen the air he got... stuck the landing too. (or maybe he was just taking pictures, I can't recall) :lol3



    The rest of the day was a bit rushed due to our having to race the sun to Denio Junction so there weren't any photos taken by me from this point until the next day.
  6. BUSdriver

    BUSdriver Pop Copy Manager

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    I was using the Garmin 530HCx Rino. The 2-way radios came in handy on many occasions.
  7. DUCKSPANKER

    DUCKSPANKER Adventurer

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    I was also using the same Garmin 530HCx Rino with 2-way radio, I recommend always using 2-way radios on trips like that just make sure to leave them on you can get out of range quick when you really need to get hold of someone on the spot.
  8. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    Strange request Guys.
    Did you fellows take any pictures of the big poop piles?
    We saw some out in the Big Empty. We were on a mission and did not stop to investigate or take pictures. The piles we saw were probably 3' high and maybe 4' across. It looked more like Bovine Crap to me from a distance. The huge piles of crap have been haunting me ever since we got back.

    Byways told me they were probably from Wild Horses but what he described did not sound like what we saw.

    It's amazing the kind of things that interest me! :rofl
  9. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

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    I thought about taking pictures of the piles many times, but never actually stopped. I heard somewhere -- could be fact or could be speculation -- that the horses poop in big piles like that to mark their territory. Clearly the piles are generated by more than one horse, or at least one horse in more than one pooping!

    In my never ending quest to get pictures of them, if I saw a fresh pile, I would slow and scan the horizon from side to side for the next several miles. Sure enough, you would often see small bands, but usually far off in the distance. The open desert chase we described above was an anomaly. Usually, if you got close it was because they a) you surprised them by cresting a ridge, or b) they were in a sanctuary -- we found the horse on the Sheldon and Hart Mountain Reserves to be much less intimidated.

    By the way, as you will see later, while horses run, burros don't. They just stand there and stare at ya!

    Mark.
  10. DRDANTDC

    DRDANTDC Adventurer

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    Thanks Mike, I think that photo shows a definite likeness!!
  11. oldtrucks

    oldtrucks Been here awhile

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  12. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

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    Ew! Pictures of poo! Yah, that is exactly what they look like, though some are much bigger than that!
  13. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

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    Mark,
    For fuel use: How many miles per day did you ride?
  14. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

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    Mastermarine could probably tell us exactly day by day. I do know that we logged almost exactly 1200 miles over eight days, with one day being a "down day" with only about 30 miles of riding. So..on average we are going about 170 miles a day.

    We were able to time gas pretty well, except on our jaunt down into the Black Rock area, where I limped into Gerlach at about 215 miles -- not all in one day, but on one tank of gas. My TE610 tank is only 5 gallons and my mileage was poor, so I had already dumped two quart bottles into the tank. Duckspanker actually ran out on the pavement coming into town and had to do the tip over routine to slosh enough gas over onto the petcock side of the tank.
  15. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

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    I met you riding with Tahuya riders a couple times. Went with Tom S. this year as well, still in a 'boot' for broken foot bone on Day 1. Not as bad as Chuck's injury though.
    It looks like 5 gallons might be minimum to be safe and share fuel if necessary.

    Great write and good information by Mike and contributing members.
  16. ugo1st

    ugo1st Adventurer

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    another poop pic,,, this is either horse or this klr friendly bunny ate at the Say When cafe....

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    just kidding about the say when, good food and a pint of bumpsmootherouter for 4 bucks

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  17. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

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    After 3 days being on the bike, you won't smell the mule pile.

    Yep, axe on the side
  18. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

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    OMG is that true. It was four days total for that first loop, riding 12+ hours every day. A shower never felt so good. But the real problem was lack of laundry facilities in Denio Junction. So, our next four days of riding was with the same filthy, smelly gear!

    I remember you from the Tahuya GPNF camp out last, year, Tundradirtbiker. IIRC, you are the only person I have ever met with a full size axe hard mounted to your trail bike!

    Mark.
  19. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

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    OK, on with my Day 4 pics. From Paradise Valley we went up and over Hinkey Pass, another amazingly scenic part of Nevada.
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    Beautiful fields of flowers as we neared the top:
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    The road looking back:
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    Scott and Bill stop to take in the sights:
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    Closer to the top:
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    At the top of the pass, there were roads taking off to either side, climbing the ridgelines. I climbed one and shot this picture back the other direction. The rest of the crew are at the bottom right, and Mike is up the road in the far distance taking to the guy about the who wander off and disappeared (earlier reference in this post -- sorry, cant remember the name). During the climb, I starting hearing an odd sound coming from my drive train...
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    One more picture from the very top:
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    As we started to descend the other side of the pass, the noise came back with vengeance, so we stopped to diagnose:
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    Nope, nothing wrong there. I always ride with just one sprocket bolt! How these things backed out is a mystery. Just before the trip, I replaced the sprocket and torqued all of the bolts to spec with loctite. Perhaps the chain was too tight? Anyway, with a little creativity, we were able to parlay enough bolts to re-secure the sprocket. Disaster narrowly avoided! Bolts being installed with blue loctite again...to be replaced with red and retorqued back in Denio the next day:
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    Crummy scenery:
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    And we were off again. BTW, one of the sprocket replacement bolts was the pivot bolt for my broken kickstand:
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    Going down:
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    Nice B&W art shot along the way:
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    Ah, yes. Back to beautiful downtown McDermitt for food and gas.
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    And then it was out into the desert for the last section before returning to Denio Junction. We had some difficulties with really expensive metal fences (Mike referenced above) welded right across our route, but we eventually connected up with our original route out of Denio three days before:

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    The shadows started getting long and we realized the some of the landmarks we passed on day 1 were a LONG way from Denio.
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    Duckspanker motors by as we ran for home:
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    By about 7pm, we realized we needed to seriously gas it if we were to get back to Denio Junction before it was completely dark. That led to about a 30 mile run up and over a pass looking straight into the sun, trying to dodge the damn cattle who suddenly decided it was fun to camp out in the middle of the canyon trail. No pictures during this section as we were all trying to make time and not crash!

    That said, I just missed getting a pic of Mike's endo in this small stream crossing. I think he rolled down the bank and his tire got stuck immediately. I only captured him pushing out of the stream, jumping onto his bike and motoring off:
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    And the last picture of the day -- cresting the last ridge and Denio Junction in sight down in the valley. Still cows in the way, though. This picture was seriously adjusted for light exposure -- it was simultaneously dark in the shadows and blindingly bright when exposed to the sun. We rolled into Denio at about 8:30 if I recall, and were happy to find burgers and fries boxed up on the bar waiting for us. Loop one complete.

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  20. ugo1st

    ugo1st Adventurer

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    damn mark nice photography! heres a few more of my crummy snapshots. Then I'm leaving for another ride till Sunday (Mark too i think?) Mike and Chuck will have to feeding this thread pics.


    here's an example of a surprise wire gate right around a blind corner, would have hit this one at night I'm afraid (ride sweep he he)

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    fiddlin around with cameras or gps's no doubt

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    pee stop?

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    back on good road again, 2 riders ahead


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