Winnemucca Wanderings - North Central Nevada Loop

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Sumbike, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Avejoe and I set off from the Sacramento area trucking the WR250Rs to Winnemucca parking at the Winners Casino. After laying in a nice lunch from the casino restaurant we headed north on Hwy 95 turning north east through the town of Paradise. Shortly thereafter the road turns to dirt. We climbed swithchbacks up over Hinkley Summit to the Lye Creek Campground, or intended distination for the night.
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    Lye Creek CG - nice campground, even had water.
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    But, being a couple of whimpy Californians we opted to move on down the road to a lower elevation seeking a little bit of warmth. Ended up at a nice sight along Cabin Creek, probably 1000 feet lower in elevation. Woke to 29 degrees and frost on everything, took this pic in the morning after my camera thawed out and started working again.
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    Day Two started off pretty cold but after the sun came up and we started breaking down camp and loading the bikes, the day became very pleasant. We headed east from here.
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  2. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Moving east we encountered lots of Nevada cow elk, here a cow and her calf.
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    Who said there isn't water in the desert? Think this was around the North Fork of the Little Humbolt River.
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    We got on to an arrow straight "road" that was over a high pressure gas pipeline, had to deal with some muddy spots. About 3 revolutions and the tires were mud caked and sliding.
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    More to follow.
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  3. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Cooler heads prevailed and a course correction made.
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    Despite being arrow straight, the pipeline did not seem to have been intended to be a road, lots of rocks slowed progress so we turned north for about a half mile to a little used track. This was a wide spot in the track, most of it was so narrow the sage brush was banging our legs and saddle bags on both sides.
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    The track eventually led us back on to the pipeline, but it improved, lots of straight miles across the Owyhee Desert!
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  4. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Finally we reached the Owyhee River - Yikes! Can we get across this canyon and river?
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    We followed the track a bit to the south, down a very steep switchback off the edge of the canyon, there was no evidence of any vehicle travel, only cattle, donkey and horse tracks. A bit of anxiety over our ability to cross the river was growing. The "ford" is shown about center of the pic.
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    Dave checking out the river, no one or nothing had been through there is quite some time.
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  5. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    To be safe we unloaded the rear and tank bags (electronics) pushed the bikes across, water was just over our knees, the east bank was quite steep and muddy, a big push with both of us working got the bikes across and up out of the river. Big sigh of relief once everything was across. Lots of trout in the river, didn't seem to afraid of us either. This is shown on my map as the South Fork Pipeline Launch Site. Dave patiently waiting for me to take the pic.
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    Now we had to get out of the canyon - really steep and rocky first pitch.
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    I had a stall out and tip over.
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  6. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Dave cleared it, made it look too easy, came back down and helped this old man lift up his bike.
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    Looking back across from the east side, relieved to have been able to get across. With higher water, it would be a big problem.
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    Continuing on little used tracks east toward the town of Owyhee.
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    Taking a break, realizing that we hadn't had lunch and originally thought we'd be doing lunch in Owyhee. Hmmmm, maybe dinner?
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    #6
  7. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Continuing on east toward Owyhee.
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    Big herd of wild mustangs, nice looking critters.
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    Around this time we were on a good dirt road that hooked up into southern Idaho and then dropped down to the south east into Owyhee. We got gas, none too soon as both of our low fuel lights had been on for some time. We just didn't want to stop and pour in the extra gallons from the Rotopax. Dave: 3.1+ gallons, Bob: 2.9+ gallons into 3.1 gallon tanks. I'd say we were running on fumes! Had a burger at the deli and moved on down the paved road (225) then off onto FR-930 to a bandit campsite south east of Mountain City, we were trying to outrun darkness. More to follow.

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  8. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    In summarizing the days ride from our Cabin Creek bandit campsite to the town of Owyhee, we saw one pick up truck pulling a cattle trailer early in the day and one rancher about 25 miles outside of Owyhee, that was it until we reached the town. The rancher was very nice, he gave us directions for the quickest route to town. Guess we looked a little beat by that time. Very uninhabited country for sure but fun riding.
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  9. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Bandit camped in a field off of NF-930, nice flat spot. Had to dodge the cow pies and had a nice coyote serenade through the night just like our other sites. The camera was still a bit frozen when I took the pic, 30 degrees and frosty when I crawled out of the tent.
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    Once we got thawed out we started rolling east past Sunflower Reservoir and the Big Bend Campground. Did a tour through the nice campground and ran across 3 other guys on motorcycles. The were planning on doing a ride from their camp up through Jarbidge. After the tour of the campground we rolled north then east on the Bruneau River Loop. Amazingly pretty canyon, the pics do not do it justice. It is really a spectacular ride!
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    Good road, great scenery!
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  10. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Another shot of the canyon, then climbed up out with views of the mountains around Jarbidge off in the distance.
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    Around the Dorsey Creek area we came across a big herd of pronghorns. They were behind a fence because there was water and green grass inside. They were pretty freaked out by our presence and were running around like crazy trying to find their way out. I'd heard they didn't jump and they really didn't. Finally found the hole through the fence and took off. I'd guess about 20 or 30 in total. Pretty cool, sorry about the small pic, had to isolate the critters.
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    Eventually we came to the junction where Jarbidge was to the south and Murphy Hot Springs in Idaho to the left. We went left following the Jarbidge River to the Jarbidge Rec Site, guess it is a raft launching area, and then east along the East Ford of the Jarbidge River to Murphy Hot Springs. The springs are defunct, we saw the old pool and what looked like a bunch of small cabins, nothing appeared to have been used or occupied in quite some time. Headed back downstream to a nice campground along the river for lunch.
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  11. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Good place for lunch along the East Fork Jarbidge River.
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    Back on the road from Buck Creek to Jarbidge.
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  12. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Set up camp at Lower Bluster, south of town. Kicked back and relaxed before heading in to town for dinner.
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    Dave doing some map work. Note the old chimney, this used to be the townsite of Bluster.
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  13. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Rode in to Jarbidge first for gas. Nice little self serve station.
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    Then over to the Outdoor Inn for a much needed beer and dinner. A big group had arrived finishing off the Nevada Backcountry Discover Route.
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    Had a great meal of chicken fried steak, gravy, fried potatoes. salad, green beans topped off with home made ice cream. Noticed you could also get a shower there so we opted for a shower, towel rental and soap. That felt really good as it had been a few days. Definitely a full service operation with laundromat, rooms, etc in addition to the bar and restaurant. Nice people too! Back to camp after dinner. Dave scored some firewood from some nice people up the street who were out restoring an old cabin.
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  14. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    This is a great RR. I've wanted to ride in the Jarbidge area for a long time. Good to hear the ride through the canyon is good as I had hoped.

    Of course, I'm interrupting your thread with my comment. Oops.
    #14
  15. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    No problem, great place to ride, beautiful and unexpected scenery, really worth the trip in there. Cool little town too.

    Continuing on: Next morning back in to Jarbidge for an excellent breakfast at the Outdoor Inn then out to the south climbing steeply up to Bear Creek Summit, almost 8500 feet. Still snow around from a storm that rolled through a week or two earlier. Very alpine environment up there too.
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    Was surprised that the aspens hadn't started turning color yet, certainly cold enough! Nice ride up over the mountain following the NVBDR.
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  16. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Pulled out the critter cam. Spotted what looked like an animal up on the ridge line but it just wasn't moving. Thought maybe a hunter put it up there as a joke or something. Took a spur road off the main road to get closer and sure enough, a sheep or goat, and it did move but sure wasn't spooked by us.
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    Rather than follow the NVBDR we continued south toward Deeth, Elko and the Ruby Mountains seen in the distance.
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    Came out on I-80 near Deeth about 30 miles east of Elko. Couldn't find a reasonably direct work around on back roads so, put the pedal to the medal and slabbed it into Elko. Fortunately, not much traffic, it was all going faster than our puny and loaded 250s could go. Lunch stop in Elko, fuel, supplies and took off out of town through Fourmile Canyon and the Elko-Hamilton Stage Road. Fun rutted dirt out over the hills to 228 though Jiggs and over the Harrison Pass through the Ruby Mts. where the road turned back to dirt. Set up camp at the Ruby Valley Wildlife Refuge campground north of Fort Ruby. Didn't expect the rain that came later in the night, but did have the fly on the tent.
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  17. liv2day

    liv2day Been here awhile

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    Awesome man! Looks like the first part of your trek had you into the gumbo mud we experienced trying to get to the Owyhee earlier this year. Never, ever, want to try and ride in that stuff again.

    So cool that you were able to cross the river, and actually see it...lol. We never had the chance.

    Great RR, looking forward to the next installment and pics:thumb:thumb
    #17
  18. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Yeah that mud is ugly stuff! The river crossing was cool, we were concerned as there was very little info out there.

    Day 5: Had some annoying light rain over night, but it was a bit warmer so that was good. Still sprinkling when we got up but the ground wasn't even wet. Packed up and headed south to the Overland Pass, stopping at Fort Ruby, or the remains of it. Interesting history there. Here we are at the junction of the road to Overland Pass.
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    Sounds like a reasonable place to cross over in the covered wagons. The Pony Express went through here too.
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  19. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    After exiting the pass we continued south west toward Telegraph Canyon on Overland Pass Rd which runs directly into the Pony Express Trail.
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    The NVBDR directs riders south on the alternate route, we though the PE trail looked like fun so continued across it. A bit rutted out and eroded, but fun section to ride.
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    The ride up Telegraph Canyon to the summit was challenging, steep, rocky in spots and I didn't get any pics. Here is a view looking west from the top.
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    And the trail down.
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  20. Sumbike

    Sumbike Adventurer

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    Dropping down from Telegraph Canyon into Diamond Valley, came across this classic earthmover I just had to take for a spin.
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    South to Eureka for gas and food, the Pony Express Deli has great food! Then out Spring Valley Canyon to the Antelope Valley where we came across a large heard of wild mustangs.
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    Then across to the Monitor Range on Forest Road 004. Some pretty country across those hills.
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    #20