With the threat of a knee surgery looming, and cold weather on the horizon, I decided to get out for one last motocamping trip this year. Living in Carson City, I've taken many trips right from home, but somehow there was blank spot in the Toiyabe range & adjacent ranges south of Austin. The goal: rectify that situation. I started with a night drive to Middlegate along Hwy 50, and camped near the station for a morning start. The sunrise was great, and the day dawned cold but beautiful. Quickly I found myself gaining altitude, and passing some of NV's fun, random stuff. Up valleys & ridges, and down the sometimes steep sides of ridges... Cool rocks, expansive views, and fine riding were the rule of the day. Part of my goal for the trip was to visit some of the out-of-the-way touristy places. I'd been to Belmont & Bodie on previous trips, and enjoy the whole "ghost town" vibe, so I thought I'd cruise through Ione & Berlin. Ione turned out to be kind of lame, but Berlin, which has been turned into a state park, was well worth the detour. The ichthyosaur part of the park was especially interesting, and not something I'd even been aware of prior to researching this trip. NV is covered with mountains, but they occur in distinct North-South ranges, with typically flat valleys in between. This means that a trip such as this will include rugged mountain riding in between stretches of flat, straight roads. Luckily with some planning pavement can be avoided. I wanted to go over Ophir pass, which is one of the higher ones in the state. It turned out to be really easy on the E side, and a bit rocky but no problem for the mighty Beta on the other. The canyon on the E side of Ophir Summit offers fantastic riding with lots of stream crossings. Yep, another flat valley. After stopping in Carvers at the Shoshone Market for fuel I crossed this one on some vague tracks I'd found on Google Satellite view, but they turned out to be cattle paths. No problem...I just kept going in the rough direction I hoped for & eventually found a more navigable road. Naturally several miles out there I found a stack of giant loader tires. As evening came, I found a very isolated house with an airplane hanger & airstrip beside it. It looked vacant, but they have a fantastic view & year-round stream.... Pushing on, I hoped to find a nice camping spot that would catch early-morning sunlight. I have enough trouble getting out of bed early without camping in some canyon where it's cold until 0900... Along the way, I found some cool rocks. Night fell, and I found myself on a ridge with incredible views. Camping just ahead! This marks the end of Day One.