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Travels with Goodenough: Trapped in America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Flyred, May 23, 2020 at 8:38 PM.

  1. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
    Every year I take 7-8 weeks off and ship my bike, a 2014 BMW F800GSA named Goodenough somewhere around the World for a ride. This year I was a week away from delivering the bike to Air Canada to ship it back to Bogota where I would meet it and then arrange for it to be flown to Panama where I would ride it home through Central America. Borders started closing, first Guatemala, and El Salvador. I knew I could be trapped somewhere and I would have trouble getting back to the job that I love. So, after much deliberation and no small amount of whiskey to drown my sorrows, I decided to explore my own backyard with a loop around the American Southwest.

    A quick primer on my journey:
    South Korea
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/sokcho-joe.971299/

    Russia to Scotland
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/travels-with-goodenough.974271/

    Seattle to Nova Scotia:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/last-lap.1088467/

    South America:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/travels-with-goodenough-south-america.1234266/

    Morocco:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/travels-with-goodenough-morocco.1318050/

    Lower Europe:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/travels-with-goodenough-lower-europe.1318519/

    A lap around the Black Sea:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/travels-with-goodenough-a-lap-of-the-black-sea.1382698/

    So with that said, join me in a bit of America. At least this trip I can speak the language.

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    #1
  2. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
    Meet Goodenough

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    America is a vast and varied place. Every kind of terrain, weather, and road condition. It's all here. Add to that list the many evolution of the Wuhan Flu and the ever changing rules and strategies. I got to see a lot of this in all the Western states and watched with dismay as a lot of the places I was planning to visit closed their doors.

    I had planned to tent camp for most of the ride, but every campground was closed. And weirdly, whole towns were closed down. Nowhere to eat and every motel shuttered.

    I headed south from Seattle to pick up Hwy 395 in Pendleton, Oregon. That road alone would make a great Ride Report.

    In Oregon the Highway Department numbers their curves down to the tenth.
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    This is spectacular riding in Eastern Oregon. Little traffic and fewer Police.
    This is about as international as I could get on this ride.

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    Meet flyred

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    #2
  3. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
    Day One complete in Burns Oregon. A fitting name because while I was in the Safeway buying something for dinner, a huge grass fire broke out just upwind of the town and buried everything in smoke

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    395 is and empty road early in the morning, making stopping for a photograph or two pretty easy

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    But sometimes there is little to do except drone along

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    Miles and miles of miles and miles.

    This stretch of road has a sign warning no gas for 90+ miles. This was the only place and it's now gone

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    Not even 3 people left

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    This random sand dune is right along the road and the prevailing wind is pushing it right on to 395.

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    Goose Lake. See those large as small cars rocks? They fall off the mountain along the highway, bounce down the slope, cross 395, bounce some more and can make it to the lake.

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    From up there...

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    To down here... I was a little uncomfortable standing here


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    #3
  4. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
    Passing into Nevada from the bottom corner of Oregon, I got my first bit of rain. I buttoned up but manage to dodge the worst of it.

    So standing in the desert wind and watching the storms blow past was a nice break from the saddle
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    Big Country

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    Not much company out here. Bring a dependable bike

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    #4
  5. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
    Black Rock Desert

    Turns out the road I chose goes to Gerlach, Nevada. Home to Burning Man. This town is the home to the Burners that never leave it seems

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    I asked a local how to get out on the Playa. Just stay right at the Y and go a few miles. There are entrance spots with ramps to get you away from the muck along the shoreline.

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    Again the wind was about 40 kts. I had to park my bike in the correct way so it wouldn't get blown over

    Like the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, there was a huge dust cloud farther up the lake

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    Follow the tire tracks back to the ramp.
    #5
    Samspade, dondesmo, Manny U and 7 others like this.
  6. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
    Pyramid Lake

    I've seen this lake from the air 100's of times and finally I get to be close to it. It's called Pyramid because of the rocky little islands along the shore. I found a nice two track that turned into loose sand- did I mention I hate riding in sand?

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    Okay. This is weird. I am a wanna be geologist and am interested how thing are the way they are.
    Along the hillside of Pyramid Lake are what look like Barn Swallow nests. They are about a foot across and can be solid rock or crumbly like dried mud. Any idea what caused these?

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    i thought it might be mineral deposits from a long dry spring until I drove past the next mountain and it was made entirely of this stuff.

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    Email me if you know

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    #6
    JoeBiker25, dondesmo, Manny U and 5 others like this.
  7. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
    Virginia City. Like the Tail of the Dragon but with actual hills.
    There are four ways up and down the mountain from Virginia City. Ride all of them

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    If you're old like me you grew up watching Bonanza on one of the three channels your TV got. Hollywood always portrayed Virginia City as a dusty little town in a flatland. The truth is it hangs on the side of a steep mountain with streets stacked like stair treads. Of course everything was closed except a tiny rental cabin and even more strangely, a cowboy hat maker, who, because he had no customers, sewed me a free face mask.

    The cabin was tiny but their office doubled as the only mini market on the mountain. I bought a Swanson TV dinner, the first I have eaten in 40 + years, and it will be 40= again before I do that again.

    The cabin had a small microwave, and when I opened it to cook my meal I found that someone had been cooking in my oven and they were still there!

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    Yep. Two slices of vintage pizza and a half eaten burrito.

    I sat on my glasses while looking for them on the floral print bedspread so a quick stop in Carson City was required for the next morning
    #7
    Peter640, MrMac, GutsyGibbon and 10 others like this.
  8. mjs3800

    mjs3800 Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    CA
    great start... in.
    #8
    dano619 and Oznay like this.
  9. Oznay

    Oznay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    362
    Location:
    Lake of the Woods,N.W Ont,Ca
    In..
    #9
  10. Gasket

    Gasket Wandering Samurai Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    502
    Location:
    Port Orchard, WA
    I enjoyed the pics, with a few bringing back memories of past rides throughout the Southwest, places I've been.

    Several years ago on a ride through Virginia City, I stopped by the Bucket of Blood Saloon with a couple of friends to have a cold beer. There were twi old gals sitting at the bar who asked where I was from. I told them that it was a small town in Washington, they wouldn't be familiar with, Port Orchard. They smiled and told me they grew up in Port Orchard with their husbands being best friends all their lives. They moved to Virginia City upon retirement and both husbands had passed away. Stunned, I offered to buy them each a beer and thanking me, they declined. It seems they come in every day for one beer and one cigarette and they'd had their allotment for the day.

    And now I'm and old guy....

    Edit: So how was the pizza and the half eaten burrito? :jack
    #10
    Manny U and eaglescan like this.
  11. Folly1

    Folly1 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    Oddometer:
    750
    Location:
    Charleston, SC : Bath, Me
    Very good job with the report and stunning photos.

    Thanks for making the effort.

    b
    #11
  12. Manny U

    Manny U Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2017
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    Delta Junction, AK
    :lurk
    #12
  13. JoToPe

    JoToPe JoToPe

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    248
    Location:
    Burleson, Texas
    If you’re going to write a RR, I’m in for a read. Carry on.
    #13
  14. buenavides1

    buenavides1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2019
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    Florida
    You can actually create your own blog, this is a well-documented adventure.
    #14
  15. 9w6vx

    9w6vx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Sabah
    I am in!
    #15
  16. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
    After buying some new reading glasses in Carson City, the random route generator that is my brain turned me west and uphill to Lake Tahoe. I skied here in college 45 years ago and it has changed. The north shore is lots of communities and hotels. But once you get into California-ish it becomes wild country again and well worth the ride. Dont waste your time on the north and east side.

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    Down the mountains again on 207 (Woo Hoo ) and into an area the reminds me of Jackson Hole at Bridgeport.

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    #16
  17. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
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    It's cold up here. And I should have sorted my gear better. I pulled out my electric vest and I didnt pack the power cord. In fact I didnt even pack a heavy shirt. All my other rides, I pack and repack- and I still forget stuff- but this time I just threw stuff in my bags and went on a ride. Im a nOOB again.

    Down the hill to Mono Lake

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    Once youve gone Dutch, Youll never go back?

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    Down the hill to Lee Vining, Ca and every motel and campground is closed and masks are required to go in the store. Ah shit... Where am I going to sleep?

    I start out turning east along the south side of Mono lake. This is road 120 and it is a hoot. I was moving fast because the sun was headed down. Every regular campground was closed but there were side roads for guerrilla camps. But this road after 40 miles of twists and turns was too much fun to stop.

    Then came the dips. Road signs said Dips. Closer to MX double jumps. Air off the top. G out on the bottom and on to the next. You have to exceed the posted speed by quite a bit but its worth it.

    Past that is Benton Hot Springs and a B&B and if I knew I was going to be here instead of Lee Vining I would have stayed here. Really cool little ghost town. But it was closed today so press on.

    Then comes the misery of high speed convection oven riding along a boring road with no motels or even a place to pitch a tent until reaching Tonopah, NV.
    #17
    Samspade likes this.
  18. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
    Tonopah

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    Tonapah is an old mining town that has seen better centuries. There are a couple pretty nice historical hotels but with a bike, I chose a cheap motel with a ground level room facing my parking spot as usual. There's even an A&W just a couple blocks down and beside that a mini market with cold beer.

    Up early again because it's now hot out. Just south on 95 is Goldfield. Another forgotten broken down little town. There was a nice small diner with the OPEN sign on and a sandwich board on the sidewalk. I stopped for breakfast, spent minutes stripping off heavy gloves and all my gear, walked to the front door and it was locked. Beat on the front door...nothing. Walk around back and beat on that door too.. Nothing. Damn.

    Outside of Goldfield is the International Car Forest. It's uncomfortably when youre standing alone early in the morning with the desert wind blowing. All the cars have been shot full of holes. And there's a track hoe just over there.

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    Time to leave this weird place

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    #18
    Manny U, Suncoaster, Peter640 and 2 others like this.
  19. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
    Into Las Vegas

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    #19
    Manny U likes this.
  20. Flyred

    Flyred Who is John Galt?

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    Burien, WA Turbine Whine Country
    The day after I left Tonopah, there was a 6.5 earthquake that hit 35 miles north of town. No damage except Hwy 95 was "cut" just north of town. The road wasnt hurt worse than most roads in New Jersey on any average day. Three days after that it snowed in Tonopah-it's almost June ffs. The next day after that there was a 5.0 earthquake near the previous spot. I think God hates Tonopah
    #20
    Manny U, Peter640 and bomose like this.