Riding Nevada's Pony Express Trail

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Idahosam, May 31, 2013.

  1. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

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    Hi'ya ADV world, I've been on hiatus, but have been lurking and following along on others rides.

    So, I'm not sure how I want to provide my lead-in, so I propose/present this

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    Well, to clarify one thing right up front I am surely not young, and a far cry from my youthful skinniness. The more I think about it I'm not to sure about the "willing to risk life and Limb" either, but damn! sounds like fun.

    This is a project I started on way back in 2008 finalized it the end of 08 just in time to shelve it, as life had thrown me in a different direction for a while

    Many will remember I headed off mainland; anyhoo. I returned in 2010 rode my arse off and then started thinking of doing this ride again, but knowing the desolation, I mean the extreme remoteness and extreme geological changes I need to find a small group of like minded individuals stupid enough....... ummmm....... I mean adventurous enough souls to join me.

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    I know that I am going to need a small group of experienced riders whom can be counted on to enter into these "trials and tribulations" with reckless abandon... well maybe I'm a little over the top on expectations:D

    And so my quest was on; I thought I had it together last year but that unraveled quicker than a cat with a roll of toilet paper. I found myself in Death Valley riding around in the end Of February of this year with a group of guys of whom all qualify as Pre-geriatics (myself included). As we rode all over DV generally abusing ourselves Laughing joking and popping ibuprofen all the while having momentary Senior moments (CRS) I mentioned a ride I had been sitting on for 4 years. I could see once I started providing the details of the ride a spark and a twinkle in their eyes, and I knew i had the right guys!:deal

    Now just getting the stars to align. I pitched a date out that I predicated on my extensive research about the region, including Farmer's Almanac, and so May 20th is the kickstand up or foot in stirrup date.

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    Now what to ride? I had ridden the Utah section last year solo on my 990 and was an easy enough day ride. It could also be a good overnighter. So, in the course of my researching and browsing through some other inmates rides of the PE Nevada (Cyborg and WoodWorks) it was clear to me a smaller lighter bike was in order, so the DRZ was to be the steed for this section of the PE. How ironic that we all had DRZ's this makes logistics simplistic........ I just love it when a plan comes together

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/FPQlXNH36mI" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    WE had one more issue to work out as it was 320 ish miles from Boise just to the start point on the Utah/Nevada border. and the return trip to Boise from The California/Nevada Border. I calculate around 1400 miles round trip, but the loop on my ride was 1556 miles.

    And there we have it, my Preamble so please bear with me as this will be a work in progress throughout the summer as I will be heavy into riding also, therefore my every waking moment is not around the computer... it is a work in progress.

    See you out and I'll leave you with this for now.

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JzEh2KSNyQA?list=UU9VgDapVsLgIh6F_7vOPb-A" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe>
    Please hit the stop button at the end of Trailer or it will continue to play. Can't get it deleted :dunno



    And with this


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    #1
  2. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Cool. Looks like I will be traveling thru some of the same country soon.
    #2
  3. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

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    That is cool

    Looking forward to the rest of the story
    #3
  4. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Diamond Bar, CA.
    Sweet!

    I'm "IN".

    Are you ready?
    Are you a young skinny wiry fellow. Anxious for adventure and a chance to see our great West?
    Are you an expert rider willing to risk death daily?
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    Then let's go Sam!

    Q~
    #4
  5. PHOTON PHIL

    PHOTON PHIL THe REAL poser

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    Green Township N.J.
    In also. I can't wait for the rest. Safe travels.
    #5
  6. silverspurs

    silverspurs what's over there?

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    Hey Sam; I'm In!!... can't wait to see the rest!...:clap

    PS: if I buy a DRZ 400 will you start inviting me on these!!??
    :rofl
    #6
  7. tvbh40a

    tvbh40a PSUViking

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    Idaho home of the fiesta bowl champ BSU bronco's
    I guess if there isn't going to be a personal slideshow BBQ type event then I am in.:lol3
    #7
  8. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

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    In like flynn
    #8
  9. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

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    OK, so as I had stated I chose to take the DRZ, as it is lighter and has a tighter turn radius, all I had to do is gear it for it's intended mission. I changed the gearing to a 14 counter and maintain the 44 on the rear, this turned out to be perfect.

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    You'll notice the fuel can and the empty bottle on the back..... So glad I had those, I'll explain later.

    Had some of my resource information aboard, you will see I will use it for citation information on historical events that took place as we travel the Trail.

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    We met up early on a chilly Monday morning and headed out tho old Highway 30 staying on as many back roads as possible.

    OH, it appears I overlooked the riders. Coolsen, Shutterman, and Steve enough said; and away we go.

    Knew we had a long ride ahead of us but still wanted to make it interesting so we route by some historical points of interest. WE hit one that I was not aware of called Rock Creek Station laying between Twin Falls and the South Hills
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    This is the old store

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    The provision cellar. Notice the jacket, it may be sunny but it was still pretty cool.
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    holding up pretty good....... eh!
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    An ominous sign of things to come.
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    There was a nice new Interpretive Center on site too. About 2 years old now.

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    Craig and Steve

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    If you would like to know more.

    http://idahoptv.org/outdoors/shows/pathwaysofpioneers/RockCreek.cfm

    Off we go onward towards Oakley where we fill up as this is the last till Wendover Ut/NV. Well, one must make a loop through the City of Rocks when in the neighborhood.
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    Register Rock

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    Onward through Grouse Creek, Lucin skirting the Utah Nevada Border arriving late in the day. Traveled 321 miles.







    #9
  10. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Great start Sam!
    I'm sure this is going to be awesome.
    #10
  11. toofattoraceanymore

    toofattoraceanymore Old Racer

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    Be safe!
    #11
  12. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

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    Morning, This was an awesome road as a matter of fact we saw no traffic for 50 miles. This road is the one I mentioned in earlier post as a back-way to Wendover. We dropped down over Libby pass bringing us to the turn off for Bonneville Salt Which BTW was covered in water.

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    The Mountains on the right side is basically the Nevada Border
    #12
  13. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

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    We rose to a chilly but pristine day, "nothing but Blue skies do I see" Fueled up and this is where I topped off my reserve fuel receptacles. 1.5 gals in the red can and 3 liters in the bottle. You see I calculated it to be 240 miles to Eureka where we were going to stay for the night. What! "no camping you say". Yea I know kinda out of character for me. Let me quantify my reasoning.

    First, I wanted to travel light (relatively) so this shaved about 20 pounds.

    Second, I knew we would have to deviate off the trail in order to refuel/resupply and figured what the hey might as well have a nice hot shower and bed to cleanse the aches away; In hindsight I think it was a Great Call.


    OK, where was I :hmmmmm...... OH Fuel. I knew the Trading Post no longer had fuel or even really open for business, but I had information of another place just over the Nevada Border, "JP General Store" but I wasn't chancing their being open or no so extra fuel it was.

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    We are off traveling pavement south along 93A to our turn off to Ibapah Ut. our start of the Pony Express. We arrive at the drive way to the Trading Post we are now 381 miles just to get to the start.

    I turn on my GPS start zeroing out all my information checking air pressure etc, etc, you all know the drill.


    That's the Trading Post behind us aka "Deep Creek Station" the old Eagan Ranch.
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    We rolled a mile or so on into Ibapah

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    Had some information to kick it off

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    So it starts..
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    "One thing most of the historical accounts and legends agree on is that Nevada’s roughly 400
    miles of trail were among the toughest and most dangerous of the route. Searing heat, frigid cold,
    blinding sandstorms, freezing blizzards, parched alkaline flats, bandits, and the bloody Paiute
    Indian War made the section of trail between the Sierra Nevada and Utah’s Deep Creek Station a
    veritable no man’s land, “a challenge to the very idea of life,” as Joseph J. Di Certo writes in his
    book, The Saga of the Pony Express."





    #13
  14. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe RN

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    Sounds like a great trip!! Subscribed.

    JG
    #14
  15. Baja Ho

    Baja Ho Been here awhile

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    Central Coast, CA. USA & Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur
    IN, looks like fun. Love the wide angle pic.
    #15
  16. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

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    HEY live2ridetahoe, Baja Ho and toofattoraceanymore thanks for popping in.

    BOB! been a long time man, hopefully I'll make it interesting.
    #16
  17. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

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    So with everything zeroed out route loaded, we're off, but before letting out the clutch I just want to remind you all it's a ride more about the history of area and significant events that happened here through historical documentation.

    My main sources I pulled from are:

    "The Pony Express Trail Yesterday and Today" by William E. Hill

    "Riders of the Pony Express" by Ralph Moody

    Mr. Moody's book is written more in the fashion of a Louis I'amour novel which enriches the story of other wise dry facts.:norton

    US Department of the Interior National Historic Trails Guide.

    Of the 42 original relay stations most are long gone but we'll see what we can find along the way.

    Many of the stations in present-day Nevada were often set ablaze by warring Paiute and Shoshone, the station keepers often killed. The history of the American West is marred by cruel treatment of native peoples by settlers and the army, and these raids on Pony Express stations
    marked the boiling-over points for many bands of Paiute and Shoshone. Other stations were dismantled by later settlers for lumber. While a handful of Nevada stations remain&#8212;many as piles of rubble and weathered, crumbling walls&#8212;most have long since been reclaimed by the
    desert.

    Just past the JP General Store which was open we come to the Goshute Reservation boundary and we were informed to stay on the easement road. Incidentally the first relay station is on the REZ

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    and we pass it as it is now a ranch with some beautiful paints (horses) prancing around.

    Prairie Gate Station
    The final Nevada station (or first for westbound riders) was built a couple months after the trail opened to break up the long ride between Utah&#8217;s westernmost station, Deep Creek, to Antelope Springs in Nevada. The premature end of Antelope Springs also made Prairie Gate an integral
    stop. The station was also referred to as Eight Mile Station.

    WE rode on...

    a few miles later the PE route begins to veer off to the left but we elect to stay on the main route through.

    As soon as we exit the REZ we turn along to fence line and ride about a mile to pick up the Trail
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    Spot On!

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    So I follow the trail, which also happens to be part of the old Lincoln Highway system.
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    To the right is Goshute Land
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    Along the way we crossed Whiskey road and since I knew there was nothing left of Antelope Springs I wanted to stop by the Tippett Ranch

    From my research I knew when Antelope Springs was burned they moved horses to this area.

    Doug checking out the old stone buildings, the wind was kicking pretty hard.

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    Stupid finger.

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    I believe this use to be the corral I read about it's now a water catchment system.
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    On your way to Antelope Springs is the Tippett Ranch, it came about in
    the early 1880s as a sheep ranch. there was a biweekly stage that ran between Cherry Creek and Tippett bringing mail to the ranch as it functioned as the area post office. The present owners are
    working hard to restore the ranch that deteriorated during the 1960s and 1970s. While the ranch house is more recent, the highlight of Tippett Ranch is the old stone horse barn built in the 1860s.
    Both the Pony Express and Overland Stage used the barn and small storehouse to house horses that were switched out at nearby Antelope Springs.

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    Antelope Springs Station Elev: 6030
    Antelope Springs existed only for a couple of months until Paiutes burned it. The station was
    never rebuilt.

    From here we hit some rough rocky two track up over the mountain riding towards Rock Spring Station

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    Doug's eating this up

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    Yup still on the Lincoln Highway too..

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    Hit the summit and just around the corner on the down hillside was a small watering hole and a couple of rocks where the station was.

    You see the Grey monument on the right side of the picture. This county's marking the trail was great as a matter of fact the trail is well marked all across the state..... way to go Nevada.

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    #17
  18. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

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    Pretty interesting
    #18
  19. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Northeastern California
    Loving it Idahosam!
    :lurk
    #19
  20. Mastercylinder

    Mastercylinder Been here awhile

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    The Western Frontier,w/of Nevada,but just barely.
    Nice! :lurk
    #20