10 Hot Springs in 7 Days: Dodging Naked Hippies in Central Nevada

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by CONKSO, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. kevlar930

    kevlar930 Been here awhile

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    Nice premise for a trip! Subscribed!
    #21
  2. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper Supporter

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    Nice report!
    #22
  3. MTBRALPH

    MTBRALPH Been here awhile

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    Still waiting for the nekked hippy chicks.:D:D
    #23
  4. Hernando

    Hernando Adventurer

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    Always wanted to do a similar trip, but for Colorado. Didn't even know about Nevada's hot springs other than one east of Tioga Pass. Thanks for posting this informative trip report :1drink
    #24
  5. CONKSO

    CONKSO Been here awhile

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    ...staying home and finishing up my ride report with you guys. Or hanging out in hot tubs with my girlfriend, riding dirt bikes and drinking beer.

    It was a tough decision...

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    ...but I'm back now and I'll try to finish up that report tonight. Anybody interested in pics from this latest adventure will just have to wait.
    #25
  6. CONKSO

    CONKSO Been here awhile

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    MTBRALPH: The only episode of naked hippy chick was with a German woman who was funny, well traveled and liked beer- we got along well.
    #26
  7. CONKSO

    CONKSO Been here awhile

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    I was surprised by Eureka. It was a cool little town featuring an oversized fire department building and a nice hotel which had an oversized jacuzzi. So even on an "off" day, we were still in the hot water. The next morning we got rolling to Elko and got our first view of the seriously, fricking awesome Ruby Mountains.

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    Until that day, I had no idea there were such things as the Ruby Mountains. Once again, I got that feeling that I'd been living in a small box that I'd created for myself. I'm sure there are a hundred other mountain ranges here in the good old U.S. of A. that would be equally awe inspiring for me- I really need to get away from the coast more often.

    Our goal for that day was a spot called Ruby Meadows Hot Spring. I'd read that this one is more like a warm pool so I wasn't getting all hot and bothered (get it) about Ruby Meadows. Getting there, on the other hand was fun. First we got lost and had to get help from a local guy who lives right at the hot springs turnoff.

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    He's drawing a map in the sand with his boot. Then we had to ride through ruts and sand on those bloat monster bikes (but, to their credit, they both made it).

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    Each time my front end started washing out, I'd imagine dabbing with my leg and instantly snapping my femur. Luckily there was no femur snappage. And the scenery was a massive diversion from impending broken leg bones.

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    All of a sudden we were there, we could see little hot pools of water in the soggy marshland and off in the distance we could see a larger pool. Little brother and I took off at a jog to check it out.

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    The anticipation of laying eyes on real life hot spring was the best part of the trip, it's like a treasure hunt and when you find the spring (which is sometimes hard to do- these things are kind of hidden) you really don't believe it's going to be warm until you stick a hand or toe into it.

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    We both couldn't believe how big and saphire blue this pool was- even better it was nice and warm, not hot, probably somewhere in the mid 90's. It was super comfortable to swim around in and it was so deep you couldn't touch the bottom.

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    Flesh colored speedos- just so you don't feel weird about this photo.

    A couple photos back, you can see a couple dark dots way back across the marsh, those are our bikes. We stopped back from the edge of the main pool because the ground was soft and there were these:

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    These are called death pools because they are so hot that you become instant dim sum if you fall into them. This was a large one, the ones that could get you were smaller and more sinister looking with steam and bubbles coming out of them.

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    The worst part was that they hid in the boggy ground, you really didn't see those pools until you were right up on them.

    Mike said it was kinda creepy swimming around in a warm water pool of unknown depth. It made me think about Creature from the Black Lagoon- that effing movie scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. It was the scenes when the creature was swimming around that freaked my shit out- I didn't like how fast he was under the water. So I got the eeby jeebies and got the hell out of the hot pool.

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    We made camp at an excellent campground nearby. There's a couple of things you might want to know about this photo:

    1. Those blue cutoff buckets came out of my Nelson Rigg Survivor Series bags- I put them in there to hold the shape of the softbags.

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    I also put webbing handles on them so we could use them as buckets, they were super handy.

    2. We foraged the empty campground and came up with tons of pine cones and left behind firewood to have a great fire that night. The buckets were great for transporting both wood and pine cones.

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    And they also made excellent ice buckets for keeping beer cold so I cracked a couple cold freshies that I'd carried all the way from Elko, settled into a nice fire...

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    and called it a night.

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    The next day we found this one (and I realized how one piece of bad luck could really ruin my beer drinking plans):

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    #27
  8. sharkmotorcycle

    sharkmotorcycle Been here awhile

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    Very nice & very informative ride report :clap
    #28
  9. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Outstanding! More please. :clap
    #29
  10. Rothkiln

    Rothkiln Adventurer

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    Very cool! I'm planning a large, meandering loop of a trip through all the Western states for June; I'm still in the general route planning stage of trip preparation at this point and so far I've been leaving most of Central Nevada out when trying to decide on what areas I'll ride through, mostly because I just don't know very much about the state or what's there for me to see. I'll probably still avoid most of Nevada this time around just because I'm sure I'll be tired of the hot desert by the time I get through TX, NM, and AZ but your ride report has planted the seed of an idea in my head for a follow-up trip in the fall or spring sometime to go back to the desert states and spend some more time exploring them. Soaking in a hot spring on a cool desert morning/evening sounds awesome! :1drink
    #30
  11. DestinationUnknown

    DestinationUnknown Been here awhile

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    Great report and photos.
    #31
  12. CONKSO

    CONKSO Been here awhile

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    Ryder1 - I don't know, I kinda like those boots.
    #32
  13. CONKSO

    CONKSO Been here awhile

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    Hey RothKiln- sounds like you've got a good one planned. I get the feeling that Nevada (central and North/north east) is kind of a surprise for most people who get out there and ride it.

    There are a couple of these that are fairly easy to get to- if you need some info about those ones- send me a private message or email me john@paddlesurf.net

    Hitting a hot spring at some point during a day's ride is simply AWESOME the hot water rejuvenates in some odd way- I'm not a crystal worshiper or anything New Agey like that but I've always believed that like filings to a magnet we are somehow drawn back to our aquatic beginnings.

    Or maybe it's just that rinsing off all that ball mung and sweat just makes you feel refreshed. You might want to look into hotwater guides for the areas you're going to be in- you might be surprised at how close some of the springs are to roads and highways.

    Have fun, be careful and remember, no matter what the wrinkly hippy says... it's always clothing option-able.
    #33
  14. CONKSO

    CONKSO Been here awhile

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    Greyrider- there's a bunch across the pass from where you live! And the place I was just at this weekend is probably a two hour ride for you. You'd love it- and almost any bike could get in there if you went slow enough.

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    You've got this (well most of it- girlfriend came home with me) waiting for you!
    #34
  15. CONKSO

    CONKSO Been here awhile

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    I'm finding that these ride report aren't too easy to finish- starting them is no problem. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement- I'm committed to writing a complete report and should be back on it tonight.
    #35
  16. Exploron

    Exploron exploron

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    Cool report and like your witty writing style. Just enough details with great pics. Mung now added to my lexicon.
    Carry on.
    #36
  17. CONKSO

    CONKSO Been here awhile

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    Of course it was another freezing cold night. I was so happy that I had spent $50 on a down jacket off of Amazon before I left. I lived in the thing whenever I was off the bike. I slept in it inside of my down bag and I was warm and comfy, I highly recommend picking up some type of compact-able down jacket for your next trip, they're sweet. Little brother and I took off on the Pony Express trail out of the Ruby Mountain area- and soon realized we were way out there:

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    We both had brought along puncture kits for our tubeless tires but the thought came into both of our minds: What would we do if we slashed open the sidewall of one of our tires? We quickly realized that we were pretty under prepared in the oh-shit-what's-that-loud-hissing-sound department.

    Next time, I'm going to learn how to install a tube on the Vstrom. I guess if worse came to worse, we could double up and ride out of there on one bike. Any way you look at it, one sharp flinty rock (and there were a lot sticking up on the freshly scraped road) could seriously ruin my beer drinking plans. That's why we rode the dirt roads pretty slow, usually crawling along at no more then 30 mph.

    I was pretty satisfied with the dirt road performance of the DL650, I kept the front tire aired up to spec (approx. 40 psi) the whole time and I didn't suffer a single puncture or pinch flat. The mighty Vstrom:

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    We popped out of the valley, Mike did some weird type of Valentino Rossi bike squat appreciation thing...

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    I had a bit of a slash...

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    And we beat feet for my favorite hot spring of this trip, Duckwater. This place looks like Disneyland decided they need a set for an oasis pool or something.

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    The water is Bombay Saphire clear, it's about three feet deep in the shallow end and of unknown depth (really, read below) in the deep end. The water temp is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit making it like a nice bath. We were hustling to log another spring that day or I would have probably hung out there for a few hours.

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    Now, I'm going to have to admit, I did jump into a couple of the pools naked. I blame this on brother Mike, being the neo-hippy-Santa-Cruz-dwelling wanker that he is, he convinced me that since we were in the middle of nowhere it was not a big deal and certainly much more convenient than digging out my trunks.

    At Duckwater, however, there was a sign that said this was Shoshone Sacred waters so I told Mike we were definitely going to wear trunks. Well I'm glad that decision was made because we were only in the water about ten minutes when a local native guy and his girl showed up. They were super cool people and they told us all about the area, even giving us a tip on a local's only hot spring.

    The girl told me this interesting story: There was a group of scientists who came out with some depth sampling equipment to attempt to find the deepest part of the Duckwater pool. They inserted their equipment into the fissures at the deep end and took readings but never found the absolute depth- which just means that the Creature from the Black Lagoon probably does live there.

    Here's something funny. Just when you think you're such a tough ADV biker you see one of these go by...

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    We'd see school buses, FedEX vans or UPS stepsides in the most remote places. The world is big and small at the same time.

    We were attempting to log two hot springs in one day and it was getting late. So we got back into our gear and Mike said he'd found a short cut that would save us a few hours to our next stop. Which just means somebody is going to suffer- hopefully not me.
    #37
  18. BillUA

    BillUA Las Vegas, NV

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    In, this one is fun. :lurk:lurk:lurk:lurk:lurk:lurk
    #38
  19. Bgunn

    Bgunn Posible maƱana

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    Good stuff..Been up and down hwy 93 a lot and had no idea those treasure were close by. Adding to cart.
    #39
  20. ThirtyOne

    ThirtyOne I got my wings back. Supporter

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    Nice you and your bro can get together and ride. Great RR!
    #40