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DualSporting => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Stovebolt on October 19, 2011, 04:01:29 AM



Title: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on October 19, 2011, 04:01:29 AM
3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem Rachel-to-Rachel Rally Raid


(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA080087webresized.jpg)

....coming soon....

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/GoogleEarth_Image1.jpg)


In the meanwhile, join Marshal on his RR here on ADV:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=734082 (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=734082)

Thanks!

Stovey


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Vstromcharlie on October 20, 2011, 04:13:01 AM
I've been following his report Stovey. It looks like I missed one heck of a ride.  Dang  :baldy


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on October 20, 2011, 01:27:50 PM
We did alright for young men.....

YOU were missed, by the way.   

 :beer

Stovey


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: MasterChief on October 22, 2011, 02:10:03 AM
Stovey

Please don't post a report.  I don't want to see the awsome ride I MISSED :eek


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Vstromcharlie on October 22, 2011, 02:52:10 AM
Yeah...I know what ya mean there MChief.  I've been kicking my own ass ever since I didn't go.  But I don't think Stovey is ever gonna post it anyway...just sayin....(kidding Stovey..well kinda).


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on October 23, 2011, 11:58:17 PM
Prologue

There once was a man from Nantucket……

No, no – here it is;  “It was a dark and stormy night, when all of a sudden – there came a KNOCK at the door, and……”

No – seriously, begin here…

Where to begin? Dunno, but riding around in circles in the Nevada desert almost has no beginning. No middle and no ending either – it’s a “circle,” right? But I have wanted to ride around in the vicinity of the Nevada Test Site, Area 51 and the Tonopah Test Range for a long while, and a dirty dual sport bike with Sidewinder missiles and a six-pack seemed like a great way to go. As with many things, though, what seems at first like a great idea often morphs as you go along, and as it played out for me, I had to drop the notion of both AIM 9’s on KTM Hard Parts Pods and carrying a cooler full of icy tall boys. So, after editing the equipage down to just Casper and me with some good soft luggage for a sleeping bag, pad and some GORP, all I had to do was to come up with a route and grab hold of my ManBasket and head to Nevada. Good enough.


(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/f111_load.jpg)
Original setup for my bike, but abandoned after logistical anomolies:

Here then, is my story. Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare to get your money’s worth…

This year’s ride was pretty short, but it was nonetheless a pretty sweet motorized perambulation. I had routed out a loop circumnavigating the perimeter of Area 51 that penciled out to only approximately 475 miles via dirt roads and obliterated road tracks and single track along the outskirts of some of the most hotly guarded ground on planet Earth. It was simple enough to do, and I had looked time and again over many years at road, track and trail on Google Earth and other map resources, and had a good idea of the lay of the land. I didn’t have detailed enough data to make it easy on myself to run a precision razor’s edge knife cut along some of the areas I would have enjoyed playing in though, but for the time I ended up making for trip routing, I did alright for my purposes. I had in fact, even played a bad route through the 18th hole on the course from Ash Springs to Rachel by my routing, and tracked right past the perimeter entrance and through the site into restricted territory – a route that if followed, would have ended badly for me and anyone who followed. The A51/Nellis Air Force Base Security forces would have intercepted any such folly right away quick, and ended the track, causing us to be DRT (Dead Right There.) But, having realized this was likely, and also that certain ‘wheels on the ground’ navigational decisions would be expected once en route, I took that in stride and loaded up my Garmin 60CSx. Ain’t nuthin but a thang….

The beginning of the journey commenced on Sunday morning, October 9th from the base camp parking we had established in front of the Little Al’e Inn in Rachel, Nevada. At the behest of several staunch protagonizers on the forums, I posted a ride announcement a full 2 months ahead of time, and let the candle burn. There had been at one time, 7 adventurous souls who signed on with full intentions of participating in this shenanigans, but as things developed, we lost a few to the various circumstances that come up in life. One contracted bubonic plague, one fell victim to acute weinerism; another went shoe shopping at the mall. Still another got hit by a meteorite in Brazil and another decided to stay home and watch reruns of Project Runway. For whatever reasons, I was gradually playing host to fewer and fewer co-riders, and looking at running this by myself this year. (Actually, some very solid Brothers were suffering dearly from injuries, and had to back away from the table – but I know it pained them to do so. Cal and Peter – you were dearly missed my friends. I hope both of you are coming along better and would love to ride with you guys again. Peter – I’ve been subscribed to your eyeball thread on ADV, and I hope the doc gives you some excellent tx for that eye injury! See you out there again, I sincerely hope.) And Charlie - you gotta know I want to meetup and ride with you as well. We'll have to make that happen! Looking forward to the day, my friend...

This left 3 of us standing together alongside motorcycles in front of the Little Al’e Inn on a Sunday morning; Trail717 (Marshal), Rider1 (Dave) and myself. Marshal is a former motocross and desert racer from back in the day, and he has recently reignited the dirt riding passion with a bent on dual sporting. He also is an accomplished veteran long-distance mountain bike and road racing bicyclist with many years of training and competing experience. His recent acquisition, a 2000 KTM 640 Adventure got him back into the game, and onto this ride.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-gwptLZh/0/L/Area-51-2011-008-L.jpg)
Rider1 = "Dave"

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090118webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA080113webresized.jpg)
trail717 = "Marshal"

Dave is a Nevada resident with some years on bikes and ATV’s, with both road riding and dirt biking experience under his belt. His daily drive is a Bombardier Challenger 604, arguably the most critically maintained of all the machines that any of us on this ride would ever see a picture of, let alone get to travel in. For Dave, hi-tech is ho-hum as he pilots his employer at the edge of low-earth orbit altitudes for a living. He was mounted on a new Husky TE449. Shiny and red to boot.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/12-L.jpg)
photo by Marshal

Here's Dave's daily driver....

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/Challenger604exterior7.jpg)

Both of these co-riders are former USAF personnel, and so I felt in extra strong company as we rode off toward the “Back Gate” of the Nellis Air Force Base and gunnery Range. Me? I have no such creds, save for the fact that Dennis Hopper once bought me a Marguerita, and I sat next to Buddy Hackett one time on a flight in a Dash 8 from Aspen to Denver. That and five dollars could get me a cup of coffee. The inane and most vacuous tale of how I came to imbibe such a welcome concoction at Mr. Hopper’s expense may be found here:

http://ridedualsport.com/forum/index.php?topic=1054.0 (http://ridedualsport.com/forum/index.php?topic=1054.0)

I had spent some time readying my rally stead, “Casper the Friendly Punkin” in preparation for this ride, and a general build thread surrounding this folly may be found by clicking here, if interested in details on my 2010 KTM 450 XC-W Six Days:

http://ridedualsport.com/forum/index.php?topic=1086.0 (http://ridedualsport.com/forum/index.php?topic=1086.0)

A few images from the scene of this rally raid rendezvous around the Little Al'e Inn...


http://littlealeinn.com/ (http://littlealeinn.com/)       (THANK YOU, PAT! You are very sweet and it was a delight to meet you!)

(http://[IMG]http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA080067webresized.jpg)[/img]

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA080080webresized-1.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA080089webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA080083webresized-1.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA080071webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA080065webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA080068webresized.jpg)

And so, I'll recount these 750-plus arid miles across 'no-man's land' that took place during the 2nd week in October, 2011. My camera did a nose dive off a cloud into a volcano, and the LCD viewscreen went tango-uniform just before the shutter cover also committed ritual suicide. Between the two ailments there, my terrible photographic skills and my desire to ride more than take pics, I'm afraid the chronicle will be sorely lacking in higher quality pics. My bad.

Proceeding on then, when and as I can.....

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/Area51Sign2.jpg)


More later, when DAY 1 brings us from Rachel to Tonopah.



Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on October 24, 2011, 12:15:52 AM
Day 1       Rachel / Tonopah                                 156 Miles

There’s not very far to go heading westbound from Rachel before running into the Nellis AFB/Gunnery Range and Area 51 perimeter boundary, so it wouldn’t be a long haul out there on dirt road before we hooked a right and headed due North. The three of us got to know each other a little tiny bit over our Alien Breakfast at the Little Al’e Inn, and we made the usual chit chat before a ride. After a few pictures taken at the start point in front of a captured flying saucer hanging like a trophy on the back of an old tow truck, we set out on the adventure. We used the same dirt road that a small handful of “locals” use to commute to their work inside the Site to Groom Lake and Tonopah Test Range, which is also used by a handful of local ranchers to get back and forth from their alfalfa ranch to town and so forth. Just a beautiful sunny day to be riding! And, just like last year, and the year before that, the weather was in a clearing pattern after a week of nasty low pressure had come in and terrorized the mountains and deserts. The paths ahead were likely to be less dusty and more loamy. Me likey!

Our route today would take us along the extreme northeast corner of the A51 perimeter and cross the entire northern perimeter boundary along the Tonopah Test Range. Tonopah Test Range is where a lot of aircraft test flying goes on, in terms of actually testing aircraft in flight as opposed to testing capabilities in mock aerial combat, like what goes on in Red Flag training out of Nellis AFB more to the south inside the Site. There’s also considerable high explosive ordnance stockpiled and handled at the TTR, the aircraft operating out of TTR actually consuming lots of combat ordnance. Once around the Northern perimeter to Tonopah, we hope to hit a pile of rocks or something out in the desert to the South of a late day fuel/meal stop somewhere, and just crash out in the middle of nowhere along the downbound route. No reason we shouldn’t be able to make a 150-mile day out here in the desert; that’s only like 3 hours of heavy petting as far as I’m concerned. Stretch those miles out over a whole day and it’s pretty much a day on the couch – with better scenery! Let’s light these bikes up and patrol this boundary for God’s sake!

We’re on some gravelly dirt road to ride on at first, and some fresh air and sunshine to gleam across these shiny bikes as we head out and toward the Belted Range to the west, inside of Nellis/A51. We take a right turn on more dirt road at the extreme western edge of Lincoln County, Nevada – prostitution still illegal here. Over in the hills to the South, in the Groom Range by which we’ll come flying underneath the radar (literally) on the last leg home in a few days, prostitution is still illegal. Inaccessible to the public, and no prostitution. Gaming is legal though, just can’t play cards on Bald Mountain because it lies inside the Nellis/A51 perimter. But out there in the Belted Range it’s Nye County – and one of the few areas within Nevada where prostitution is legal. Just not going to find any such operation up there, as it’s inside the Site boundary. Just mental meanderings as I lolligag my way across the desert on a dirt road on a Sunday morning. Just junk bumping around inside my Arai XD. Bumpity-bump, throttle blippety-blip.

Some folks have alfalfa under pivots out here, for Nevada and California customers, and we ride by the ranch making that happen. Right about when we get dead even northbound with Sharp Peak to the west, we take a left from this dirt road, and get on some two-track that makes a connection to the pavement on Hwy 375 – the “Extraterrestrial Highway.” It’s a crystal clear day with blue skies on an October Nevada morning….. just jet fighters in the skies. (They always seem to be fighting each or or fighting something…. Why can’t they just ‘get along?’) Ha, ha… We make our left and run some nice two-track out to the highway to hit pavement just southeast of Queen City  Summit. (“Summits” are mountain passes in Nevada. Pennsylvania too…) A short few miles through the southern terminus of the Quinn Canyon Mountain Range over this pass puts us on a western shot back out along the Nellis/A51 perimeter, and we leave the pavement after just a very short patch. We won’t see asphalt again today.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090120webresized.jpg)
Rider1 (Dave) on his Husky TE449 out near the Reveille Mill

Riding up to the Cedar Pipeline Ranch gets us to a right diagonal and we take a northwest course on smaller dirt up through the Reveille Valley. We’ll be bracketed by theThe Reveille Range on our right and the  Kawich Range to the left for a while, as we make our way through some good looking country toward a canyon that we’ll eventually need to hook a left into. For now, we are content to ride some neat offroad country and get this ride jacked up!

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090138webresized-1.jpg)
We saw a herd of wild dirtbikes banding together on the side of the road. Each one has peculiar distinctive markings, but they run in packs together out there...

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090126webresized.jpg)
trail717 (Marshal) tending to the herd...

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090132webresized.jpg)
Aliens seen walking about, in their uniforms

We pass by a livestock well and take a helmet-off break and I water a local rock formation while my two partners get busy with paper maps. There is discussion between them about “where we are” etc. and I overhear the banter and slip a helmet back on over my ears. I’m ready to keep riding and these two guys seem pretty happy. That’s a bonus, because we don’t know each other and just agreed to get together on the Ride Dual Sport forums, based out of Austin, Texas. An internet adventure ride meetup. It could be interesting! It could be horrible… it could be deadly, or even fantastic – anything in between. It’s a blind date for off-road adventure, and the first one I’ve been responsible for. (By that I mean that I was the guy posting up the ride, and offering up spaces available to share in the experience.)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090139webresized-1.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090129webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090134webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090136webresized.jpg)
Alien in Full Battle Rattle - they were everywhere. I saw lots of things I just couldn't explain...  

So far, so good, and these two fella’s seem to be very good company and they brought capable machines and have some background and experience and enthusiasm and great attitudes. What more could you ask for? I’m happy too, and we light the bikes up and blip our way northwest through country with cactus and sage. Welcome back to the desert, Stovey! The course eventually takes us through some fairly obliterated two track in the shadow of the Kawich Range, and I stop to turn up my steering damper a little, as I feel the need for a little more speed. The track is great and it feels good to be running in the desert once more, and into some really good cross-country style navigating. This old road has been rained on a lot more than driven on, which is to say it doesn’t see much traffic. There’s little evidence of any road for miles, and you’ve got to search for it in places. My kind of “road.” We make the connection to our left turn on developed dirt road that will take us through the Kawich’s and into Bellehelen. Man, that was a nice little run though…

The dirt road into Bellehelen is a perfect, and I mean PERFECT groomer! It’s about two compact cars wide and full of twisties, railed with berms on either side and has hills and rollers. Packed with juniper on both sides and mountains to run a pass through and you can’t beat it for some flat-tracking like Dave Aldana….. (I’m old.) There’s visibility enough around most of the corners to get a look for oncoming traffic, and so I look and drift the wheels on a perfect Sunday in Nevada! Sweet Sister Sadie this is a fun stretch… can’t wait to kiss the trophy girl. (Hope she’s not just another antelope with a face like a ripped sneaker.)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090133webresized.jpg)

Bellehelen is a beautiful hole-up inside the Kawich Range, and the entire area is no exception to the Nevada paradigm – it’s mining, mining and more mining. It’s also a scenic treasure and we lament our having to only pass on through and not be staying for longer. But, more scabland awaits to the west, and we must make some miles before the sun sets.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090149webresized-1.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090144webresized-1.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090137webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090158webresized.jpg)
Sons a' bitches were discussing the dreaded 'Plan B' I just knew it.... and it was only the first day! :eek

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090148webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090151webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090135webresized.jpg)

 The dirty groomed berm-boomer gives way to a left turn heading back down toward the Nellis/A51 boundary again, and further west toward the Tonopah Test Range. We begin some desert navigation again as we leave the mountain beauty and trade for a ride to the north of these peaks and hills, and track out across desert terrain, with rollers and twisties on good two–track. On the way down toward Golden Arrow, we pass through a big number of abandoned mineshafts and wild mustangs…. Riding WITH the wild Mustangs was supernatural. We did exactly that, and ran with the herd as they trampled and galloped and streamlined. They followed their leaders as each dominant male would rear up and leap into action, “Lone Ranger” style, only sans masked fat white Quemosabe. It was really quite something to thunder with the herds as they appeared and disappeared across the floor of Stone Cabin Valley.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090164webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090162webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA090122webresized.jpg)


We netted a sidetrip straight to the security gate at the Tonopah Test Range, but I foresaw the guards having none of my particular sense of humor, and made a 180 right at the guard station to go back and try and reconnect a purple line on my GPS in the cockpit. Time had taken away the obvious sign of the old obliterated road track, but trail717 put us back on the trail to Tonopah. We scampered here and there like jackrabbits amongst the sage and cactus for a while and hooked into our final drive on course straight towards Tonopah proper for the end of the glistening desert day, and an evening camp respite. The last bit found us rolling knobby rubbers over top of countless badger holes in good two track that went on for miles and miles, to finally wind up at a perfect ‘hole in the wall’ to lay up in for the night, just 2 miles short of the city limits. We would unload saddlebags here amongst the white ashen rocks of volcanic ejecta, and sit tight and cozy amid the furniture provided amid our moonscape.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100168webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100169webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100176webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100171webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100179webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100185webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100184webresized.jpg)

When the moon came up shortly thereafter, several gourmet freeze-dried meals had been emptied, and I was enjoying a nice peppermint tea with my new friends, content in my Crazy Creek chair under a perfect desert sky. On the outskirts of Nellis/A51/TTR and only two miles from whatever civilization might have to offer in the morning, I felt very rewarded for having laid this route and met two new friends to ride with. All seemed right with the world according to Stovey, and Big Agnes embraced me once again into her bouncy bosom. Sleep well my friends! Good job today – tomorrow we ride again…

Rally on,

Stovey





Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Vstromcharlie on October 24, 2011, 12:44:28 AM
Great start my friend!   :lurk


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Kosmic on October 24, 2011, 04:18:15 PM
Most entertaining! A very colorful account of the day! I was probably the one who decided to stay home and watch re-runs of Project Runway, rather than ride! I bet a group of three can travel pretty fast, compared to seven. Less dust too!
Cheers! :ricky


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: trail717 on October 27, 2011, 01:05:37 AM
nice intro --look forward to a real write up :lurk


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: mudclod on October 27, 2011, 01:18:21 AM
Once upon a time in a land far, far away...


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Vstromcharlie on October 27, 2011, 02:29:33 AM
Incredibly rich verbiage Stovey. You have a way with prose my friend.


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Kosmic on October 27, 2011, 03:23:43 AM
That’s a bonus, because we don’t know each other and just agreed to get together on the Ride Dual Sport forums, based out of Austin, Texas. An internet adventure ride meetup. It could be interesting! It could be horrible… it could be deadly, or even fantastic – anything in between. It’s a blind date for off-road adventure, and the first one I’ve been responsible for. (By that I mean that I was the guy posting up the ride, and offering up spaces available to share in the experience.)

It gives me great satisfaction that RDS was able to help facilitate meeting some great guys! I made sure I had ample time to enjoy your Day 1 post and could feel the rollers and berms and the excitement! There is nothing better than camping in the desert after a swell ride.
I must get your recipe!
Cheers!


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: DoctorXRR on October 27, 2011, 05:29:02 PM
Looking forward to more!  I'm jealous of you all getting out into the wide open spaces, and camping under the stars. Perfect!   :lurk :lurk


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on October 30, 2011, 09:57:07 PM
Thank you fella's!     :beer

Stovey


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on October 30, 2011, 09:59:22 PM
Day 2  - Tonopah / Rhyolite "FYYFF Ridge"                 125 Miles

Monday morning, and I wake up in a dump….

Well, no, not a landfill – but definitely a wasteland that in the waxing daylight of an emerging sunrise, is beginning to reveal itself in unusual splendor. Imagine the merry glow of early morning shadows glancing from the surfaces of a decrepit old Frigidaire or a crumpled microwave laying catawampus in small piles here and there on the ground. Some appliances are disturbingly like small shrines, and occupy a special “throne” of sorts, having been set at just the right angle on just the right mound or anthill – presenting itself exactly the way some dude with a Ruger Mini14 or a guy with a cowboy hat on his head and a Colt .45 on his hip liked it.

There was broken glass just about everywhere, small bits of shattered bottles hiding in plain sight on high points of dirt or scattered around rock piles where they had been executed…. Only glass ghosts remaining, hidden from view by a sagebrush as soon as you turned your head and changed a viewing angle across the desert floor. No, if I were an appliance on the fritz, or an empty bottle of Budweiser, I wouldn’t want to live in Tonopah. We had gathered ourselves up in an adventure rider camp in what was obviously an appliance and glass bottle graveyard – and had pulled up in fading light the evening before to share the land with many deceased kitchen appliances, and laid our heads to rest on the same desert dirt as the bullet-ridden refrigerator doors and shattered ovens and blenders. At least for us, we rise again, whereas the Hotpoint or Kenmore with its doors blown off via 12-guage…. Like the raven’s wingbeats overhead; it would be ‘never more.’

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100183webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100182webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100181webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100173webresized.jpg)

All of the details coming into focus on the beginning of this Day 2 showed not just the dead fridge that got dragged out here to meet Jesus, but also the shades of tan, grey and white coming alive from the sun on different colors of earth, and the sage amid the rocks we spent the night fortified within. It was all in all a very pretty scene, and since the appliances were relatively few and far between, your eye had to scan in every direction and near-to- far to pick up all the junk. Mostly, the eyes are filled with morning desert glow; contrasting colors from the vibrancy of our camping gear and bikes against the sage and tan of the desert hills. It looked like it would be another beautiful day to go ride across Nevada!

We were only a few minutes from town, and we packed up with an easy enough pace. I am the last one ready – my hands are weak from 6 months recovering from bilateral carpal releases and a level 2 SLAC wrist reconstruction. My dominant wrist (throttle side) is not only relatively weak, but still painful and partially fused from the procedure. It will take a full year to recover fully and realize the most range of motion I’ll achieve as a result. For the time being, the dexterity to get camping gear stuffed and poked into saddlebags and all the little things one normally might take for granted – I certainly never gave it much thought – I am slower than I used to be, and slower than my riding companions. Even though I am up early and poking around before anybody else, my hands slow me down getting out of camp, and my friends are patiently waiting for me as I light up Casper the Friendly Punkin to get to town for fuel and breakfast. Thanks guys…..

Coffee and something to shove in my pie hole at Mickey D’s for us and fuel for the bikes…. Toggle up some southbound route information on the GPS and it’s off into the morning sun, the restricted areas of Tonopah Test Range on our left as we go. It’s a beautiful sunny morning as we ride solid two-track out of town and head south, but we don’t get far before Rider1 senses some kind of trouble with his bike during a quick trailside stop to water a bush and take in a short view of Mud Lake which lies predominantly inside of the restricted area within the Tonopah Test Range. Mud Lake is a dry lake visible to the East/Southeast as we ride out through the hills this morning.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100186webresized.jpg)
Rider1 piloting his Husky Te449

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100187webresized.jpg)
Mud Lake in the distance

Rider1 chased a small leak from a cooling hose clamp a half-hour prior to this stop, back at the gas station, and rechecked the area again, finding some oil mixed in with the goo forming on the outside of his cases and hoses. An hour and a half later, with the source of goo having been established as some engine oil overflow coming out of the airbox from tip-over yesterday afternoon, we’re off again and heading through sage, cactus and hills past Ramsay Well toward Goldfield. It was cool blasting down several dry washes on the way, and there was interesting and fun cross-country exploring as we punched our way through a ranch gate and blasted straight down into the hilly meanders on dirt roads through the mines surrounding Goldfield. I sure enjoyed the riding and the great weather and the views of mountains around the western boundaries of the restricted Nevada deserts and mountains. Coolio…

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-q3F8SMH/0/L/Area-51-2011-066-L.jpg)

We made Goldfield with no drama, and pulled into town for fuel and a bit of lunch. At the fuel pump I asked Dave how life was going, and he looked dismayed while examining a blank space on the back of his luggage where his camp footwear and Nevada Gazetteer used to be. It was at that point that he looked at me and said, “ya know, I am thinking that this ride may not be for me just now…. I think I’m done.”

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-4fz5DBt/0/L/town-2-L.jpg)

“What ho,” I thought, and accepted his statement and offered my best look of compassion back through the confines of a visage-hiding full-faced Arai. We de-helmeted and Marshal suggested a lunch break at the café inside, at least, and maybe Dave would have another thought or two to share as he was finalizing his decision to call the ride to a halt for himself, and redirect his efforts to something else during his rare week off from normal work duties as an on-demand Challenger 604 pilot. We did just that, and enjoyed some good food at what looked like the only place in Goldfield to get some lunch on the fly. We had wrung Dave out pretty good during the first day out, and he was thinking that maybe he would enjoy a different pace on a ride like this, with less camping setup and teardown demands and the grind of a daily movement regime than he was used to, but that he was liking the riding. He said that he may track us down later on and try to join up with us for the last part of the ride from Rachel to the Lunar Crater and back, if that was something he could swing toward the end of the week as he shifted gears and re-gathered his schedule. We had enjoyed each others’ company in the short time we were out together,  but respecting his wishes to sign off, Marshal and I each shook his hand sincerely, and punted ourselves back out onto the dusty trail, southbound toward Gold Point, Death Valley, and Beatty – come what may. “Take care, Dave – catcha on the rewind…”

As I beeped my horn and waived “Farewell” to Dave, I could not help but think that this may all be an implementation of an elaborately concocted ‘Marshal/Dave PLAN B’ in progress…. And my mind reeled as my gimpy throttle hand twisted. Hmmmm….. a scene of the three of us somehow standing together in the Nyala Wadi – chainsaws and mayhem abounding – flashed across my radar in front of the Garmin in my cockpit. “Focus… focus…” I find my way out of the imaginary fog in my make-believe dread, outrunning the gut instinct to head for Mexico on the spot. Rallying on, then…   :-O

There were great circuitous mine roads to travel as we headed out of Goldfield, and we made some excellent tracks during the building heat on an abandoned railroad grade. It was a good track, and offered some high-speed runs intermingled with the occasional slow down to negotiate a washed out section here and there, to climb down and then back up to the grade. It was fun following Marshal’s dustcloud as he really found some desert legs out on this stretch, and it was here that I discovered my camera LCD viewfinder had exploded. Now, useless and unable to see, track or change any camera settings or details, I resigned myself to shooting pictures even more blindly than I normally do. Good luck to me on that!

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100190webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100191webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100194webresized.jpg)



We hammered our way off this section of desert through the Chispa Hills west of TTR/Nellis AFB Bombing & Gunnery to Ralston, and Highway 95. It was here that we needed to make a hundred yard run down the asphalt to cross into more BLM through a gate, if we could find it. We did, and we did.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-xQfTpvZ/0/L/Area-51-2011-070-L.jpg)
Gate Wrangling

We got onto more two-track to bypass Lida Junction and ran a diagonal through the warm winds to the southeast of the Cuprite Hills, toward Gold Point. It was good and easy and a short connection to another short section of asphalt – only about a minute or two down Rt. 266  - then back off the tarmac to the left and into some pretty beat up two-track. We had to get through a few miles of bombed out ruts that were clearly created by 4x4’s running through gumbo in the wet weather, so we just augered our way through a few first-gear sections, and stayed on the ‘purple line’ in the cockpit. More fun and dry washes came along and intermingled with the two-track as we made our way eventually to Gold Point, paralleling the main gravel road, Rt. 774, into this mining town from another age. Gold Point looked pretty cool, and for sure called to mind images of some post-apocalyptic zombie village – “Zombie Apocalypse Headquarters” even. But a really cool place, and the outstanding groomers began right from town, forming another perfect riding course to rail berms on! This was superb dirt road riding, and as an offroad single-tracker, I was fast becoming a believer in the fun factor potential of these groomed Nevada roads! Might just be the place for an old bastard who can’t hack the trail anymore to retire to. Get my “Zombie Apocalypse Union Card” and set up shop in an old single-wide above a wash in a ghost town, and call it good.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-LzFHdgJ/0/L/old-truck-L.jpg)
Zombie Attack Vehicle

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100202webresized.jpg)
Zombie

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA100203webresized.jpg)
Apocalypse



We ran past Mt. Dunfee, the Dunfee Shaft and Alberto and Big Blossom mines on our way through Hell’s Gate in the Gold Mountains. The groomed berms and fantastic tight sweepers gave way to views toward more straight and flat as we lost elevation heading toward Bonnie Claire. Bonnie Claire is nothing but a dot on a map and a whisper in your ear from the sage brush on the ground – probably an important dot and whisper at some point back in time. We saw no reason to stop and setup shop there, though, and pressed on into some big straight flats in approach to the extreme northeast corner of Death Valley National Park. There were MILES of endless whoops, straighter than a grizzly’s dick and three times that deep to ride through, so in the fading light of late afternoon, we coursed on – keeping the remote KTM PDS shock reservoir’s warm to the touch, and the needles pegged on the ‘bounce-meters.’ And it was great fun as well! The end of a day’s riding wasn’t far off, though at any given moment, everything in the world seemed pretty damned far, far away…. Some radio/microwave towers from a peak between us and Beatty a small growing landmark in the distance straight in front of us, for hours.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-qr3cRQ3/0/L/Area-51-2011-081-L.jpg)

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-5fSWNLR/0/L/Area-51-2011-080-L.jpg)
A view of Death in the Valley from trail717's cockpit

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-mgjw7ZG/0/L/Area-51-2011-084-L.jpg)


Death Valley ran a boundary right across our tracks, and so we entered into the Park over a cattleguard and continued on over more miles yet of whooped out two-track that you had to keep focused on. If 4th gear got snicked, it wasn’t for long, and there would be a down-snick coming immediately thereafter… The sun was thinking about dropping out for the rest of the day over the hills near Currie Wells and Gold Bar as we made our exit from the Park near Bullfrog Mountain, and began scanning for a campsite that could house two intrepid desert interlopers. We found a good one on a ridge with some rock outcrops below Busch Peak in the vicinity of Rhyolite.

I like my campsites with rocky fortification and natural furniture provided, so when I spied this place it seemed like a no-brainer beacon, and beckoned me to climb up and drop saddlebags. Marshal was game, and in fading light he found a lower gear on his 640A, twisted his throttle, and piloted his bike and portable castle up the ridge and parked it. We were home for the night. Marshal snagged a photo and christened our site “ADV Rider Salute Ridge.” I didn’t notice it until he posted the pics…. Couldn’t have planned that any better – uncanny! Perfection – sometimes you just can’t fight it…

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-d7dTqg7/0/L/AVDrider-Salute-L.jpg)

A beautiful lightscape kept unfolding in all if its desert drama as we proceeded to set up camp on the ridge, (“FYYFF Ridge” in shorthand and to save ink,) and the harvest moon appeared in full force. As the sun dropped the full moon rose from behind high bluffs to our East, and it was a picture perfect evening. My Crazy Creek never felt so good, and the beef stroganhof was going down real good. Logistics didn’t grace me with a solid opportunity for a cold man-killer to top off the day with my meal, but I didn’t miss it. The day was ultra-fine, the company was excellent and the setting was fantastic. Big Agnes still held my breath for me, and there was little else a right-minded man could possible ask for (without getting struck by lightning for his greed…) Marshal and I held court around our campstoves for a while, and I investigated the night sky until about 10pm before giving way to the serenity of a Feathered Friend in my slumber. The SPOTcast was “off” and my wife knew I was “in” for the night, if she was watching. I hoped “Jetpillot / Rider1 Dave” was all set, wherever he was, and let the stars beat me to death. That took all of about 30 seconds.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110215webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110224webresized.jpg)

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-wQwZhb4/0/L/Area-51-2011-089-L.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110223webresized.jpg)

(http://hhttp://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-wQwZhb4/0/L/Area-51-2011-089-L.jpgttp://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110215webresized.jpg)

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-HmjQCqP/0/L/Area-51-2011-099-L.jpg)

Day 3 follows later…
 




Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: mudclod on October 30, 2011, 10:34:41 PM
Mud Lake, hmmm, kinda like the name...has a ring to it! Ha!


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Kosmic on October 31, 2011, 01:19:27 AM
Stovey, thanks for a splendid day two report! It was the perfect dessert to my pint of Brooklyn Lager and Willie Burger.
The Willie Burger (named after Willie Nelson and available at the best Pub In Austin, The Dog And Duck) is comprised of a grilled beef patty, cheese, jalapeno peppers, bacon, lettuce, tomato and pickle loosely held together between a bun, speared with a gigantic toothpick.  Its the kind of burger that you stare at lovingly before each bite, while fumbling to keep it between the bun. Then you quench the jalapeno burn with some lager.

I can see that you really "get" the dessert. I am acquiring a love for the dessert, my wife has already succumbed to its allure. Having just returned from a week at our wreck of a mobile home in the Chihuahuan Desert she was completely serene and not eager to be in the city amongst lots of people.

Thank you so much for such an excellent account of the 3rd annual A.L.F.A.51.C.MM!
Patrice

 


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Vstromcharlie on October 31, 2011, 02:03:13 AM
Stovey the way you weave your stories is a work of art.  I feel like I was with you.  Great stuff my friend...great stuff.


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on October 31, 2011, 04:12:37 AM
Mudclod - I checked at the gate, and they did name that Lake after you in the TTR. Nice....    :thumb

Patrice - tell Mudclod to send me his real name, will ya...    :lol   And if you could loose the tomato on the Willie Burger, I'll take two of 'em.   :1drink
Thanks for the kind words - much appreciated...   :beer   I like your "wreck of a mobile home" in the Chihuahuan Desert! I must agree that there is nothing like the allure of the desert, or the succumbing of a good woman. Uh-oh, did I get my words mixed up again? St. Peter in a Dump Truck, shame on me... :baldy

I owe Sahara a beer for that one.... to be sure. :rofl

Charlie - Thank You Sir! We could have used you along on this ride. It would have been invaluable to have had a Special Forces Operator with Submariner experience on a couple of occasions, and I know I could have used the proper guidance in acquiring some cold man-killers en route. You were sorely missed, in all seriousness...

Can't wait to go back! Some of my friends are leaving for Baja the day after tomorrow, but I won't be on the posse this time around. I hope I can get back there soon though. Entertaining some notions of that for the coming year as I hit the comeback trail recovering with this wrist stuff.

As ever,

Stovey


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on November 03, 2011, 03:00:01 AM
Day 3  Rhyolite / Desert National Wildlife Refuge        161 Miles

I slept like a peregrine in a rock nest all night; high on my cliffy mattress overlooking Death Valley to the west and the Amargossa to the south. Smooth and hot orange mocchachino’s were flowing once again, and as I pack up this morning after moonset, I reflect that things are going pretty well in life. I am a lucky man to be here.

My hands had been giving me trouble for a couple of years; real trouble for that long, and minor trouble for longer than that. And as I’m stuffing and pushing and packing my things away into Wolfman saddlebags here in Nevada, about six months after the last surgery for what came out to be four separate procedures to my hands and one wrist, I can’t help but notice both the pain and the progress. It’s been so long since I’ve not had pain in my hands and right wrist, I can’t even remember when I didn’t. It’s been years. It got so bad that after last year’s ‘Legends of the Fall’ ride down here with Keith, that I immediately checked in with a physical therapist to see what he could do. Six weeks and lots of rubbing and ice and ultrasound and all this other feel-good voodoo later, my wrist swelling was down, but not gone. I needed a surgeon. You can’t fix broken ligaments and arthritis and tweaked bones with ibuprofen and ice dipping. Huh… who knew?

This morning as I pack up camp I still have pain, but I notice the changes in where it hurts and how bad. Things are changing, growing, healing. Another six months or so of this and I’ll have crossed another milestone in life, and will be living with this partial fusion. At least I’m out here riding a dirt bike! This whole thing could have gone a whole lot worse… reflections this morning as I recall both hands bound in bandages and unable to handle even the paperwork required in this day and age just to snap a steamer… Yes, I am a lucky man at this point, and there is reverence in this mystery to me and I pause to notice while I watch the last stars get chased back into the heavens by an early rising sun. This reminds me a lot of my mountaineering days – haunting glacial or rocky perches in Colorado, Washington or British Colombia.

Marshal is up and visiting me – he’s a pensive man and bringing me cheer with his enthusiasm and intelligence. It’s a great combination and his background in engineering gives him an analytical viewpoint to things. He asks me a lot of questions and we enjoy talking about riding plans we have with friends and family, and I like hearing about his two sons and the way he talks about them. Marshal talks about his wife too, and I can tell he is a well grounded man, and he’s a strong man. He’s been rescued by SAR when a leg injury left him unable to self recover, and he’s a successful bicycle endurance racer. He’s had to grieve over the loss of one of his sons. He spends long hours at his job and travel duties keep him from his home half the time. His lifestyle demands resolve to keep him on track, and his intelligence adds to his perspective. Marshal is a man of experience, strength and resolution – somebody who can ‘get the job done’ and will “Never Give Up.” Marshal is a ‘ruptured buzzard’ if ever I saw one. It’s a privilege for me to be out here with him, and this is the guy I’m about to cross the Amargossa desert with, as we round another corner on this Area 51 circumnavigation. Pack ‘em and rack’em, let’s roll!

Marshal is the first peregrine to falcon-off this ridge and dive down into the wash towards the track we laid out, and hit the dusty road again this morning. I light Casper and let him warm up for a couple minutes before taxiing out of my rocky hangar onto the apron above the wash – my little helipad on “FYYFF Ridge” below Busch Peak. Like an Apache helicopter pilot, I throttle up and nose her down along this steep bank and into the wash, gliding down through the sage and pucker bushes amid the rocks. This KTM has the suspension to flatten out the nasties, and hitting the wash ruts in the bottom is no thrill, just a course in navigating another washout and embankments to drop into and climb out of. The Apache pilot uses his cyclic and rotor controls to pull his nose up; I use my fused throttle wrist welded in place with a carbon fiber brace… and it’s a light front wheel that nudges rocks and hovers over the lip of the uphill bank, and clears the way for a Dunlop D606 rear wheel – I never even feel it. Out of the nest, back from the bushes and back on the trail. Heading for civilization and a fuel stop, then more purple lines on the GPS.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-ZGjHTGQ/0/L/coming-down-L.jpg)

Around the corner right away is the old town site of Rhyolite, and we zoom past that for a couple more miles into the town of Beatty where a gas station/convenience store will take our money in exchange for food and fuel. We buy a few water jugs too, and refill Camelbacks and bottles, and drink heartily with our breakfast of ratty muffins or breakfast burritos. Another coffee for me as we repack our packs for the trail, and I re-sync my cockpit with fuel-point info on the computer, and I’m good to go. We’re off to explore around some more mines in the mountains before hitting open desert again. Somebody’s gotta do it!

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-RmGqjSN/0/L/13-L.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110225webresized.jpg)
Marshal in between sheep

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110230webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110228webresized.jpg)
"Secret Pass" - no kidding, that's what it's called

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110234webresized.jpg)
Sheep hunting makes me tired...


We follow our route out of town and get on the slab for a minute, then yank on the bars, hard to starboard in good pirate fashion, taking us around a giant pit mine that leads straight to the center of the earth. Marshal leads up “Secret Pass”  near Meiklejohn Peak on a piece of two-track, and I find him shored up in the middle of the trail butting heads with a ram on the way. He points out a giant sheep that had crossed his path, and he had to tell it a joke to make it get out of the way. A few short moments later, and he had meandered into a herd of them in a canyon, and we stopped to take a few pictures of them before throttling off again. It was good riding under bluebird skies, and we commenced to hammering down the mine roads for a while as we navigated around the Diamond Queen mine towards Steve’s Pass. We made Hwy 95 again and crossed it to make our connection to Race Track Road, where we would face many miles of sandy whoops!


(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-xDL8PtW/0/L/12-L.jpg)
KTM bikes are "RAM Tough"

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-KZBvMjN/0/L/14-L.jpg)
I could crack something wise about those sheep, but Marshal knows what really happened out there...

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-Fs6nZLF/0/L/15-L.jpg)
trail717 is a good photographer

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110236webresized.jpg)
"Steve's Pass"


Race Track Road got its name from something, and I don’t know who named it…. But I know for damned sure the local boys use the area for lighting up their trophy trucks! I hadn’t been on anything like this since riding on portions of the race course of the Baja 1000 and the parts of this “road” that were used by trophy trucks were really whooped out. And sandy. Pretty much sandy whoops, for miles. And miles again.  

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110243webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110253webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110256webresized.jpg)

We continued on it southeast all the way until it dumped us out at the Amargossa Speedway, and picked up another section from there that was partially obliterated from that point onward. We spied snow-capped Mt. Charleston in the distance as we steered through sandy dry washes and turned lefterly at the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. This turn put us smack into the middle of nowhere, and the route was on completely obliterated road/trail – we were absolutely cross-country. It was supremely fun, but it was pretty hot out in that Amargossa Desert.  Early in the afternoon we hit Hwy 95 again, and superslabbed it from there into Indian Springs.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-hNRs9zp/0/L/18-L.jpg)
Out in some unGodly wash in the Amargossa

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-P8xp59j/0/L/19-L.jpg)
Predator drone barely visible in this pic at the air base

The big highway was fine because the bikes were running lean way down low and the temps were high, so it was good to get some air flowing over those radiators and cases. As we wheeled into the Shell station at Indian Springs for food and fuel, we were treated to in-flight displays of Predator drones executing maneuvers over the air base across the street. I stopped Casper after refueling, and noticed some colorful crap ringing his exhaust tailcap, and I thought to myself, “…huh – I must have melted my jacket on that thing bounding along in those miles of whoops!” No matter, the jacket was nowhere to be found, so the fact that it was burned up and melted didn’t really make any difference at that point. If anybody reading this finds an Acerbis rally jacket in the sand wash south of Hwy 95 between Mercury and Amargossa, it’s got my name on it…

We made Corn Creek Road turn-off after lunch via the big highway that leads into Las Vegas, and we jumped on the Mormon Wells option because the Alamo Road is closed. “How closed” Alamo Road is remains a matter of conjecture, but it is officially closed, so we opted for the sure thing through the Desert National Wildlife Refuge on our way back up on the northern leg. Rider1 (Dave) had sussed this out for us ahead of time to confirm that the road was indeed closed, and that we should plan on taking the Mormon Wells Road instead. It was a fine choice, and we enjoyed great late afternoon riding on pebbly dirt through the largest NWR in the Lower Forty Eight.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110272webresized.jpg)
Desert National Wildlife Refuge

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110269webresized.jpg)
DNWR

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110276webresized.jpg)
DNWR

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA110273webresized.jpg)

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-2Nnrvkm/0/L/22-L.jpg)


We jabbed through “Peek-A-Boo Canyon” on our way up to Mormon Pass, gaining elevation once again as we rode through giant Yucca forests and crossed a few washes. It was another great day winding down as we made our way north toward what would be the final leg back to Rachel the next day. At Mormon Pass we made camp at the only camping allowed in a developed campground there at 6600 feet in some truly beautiful country. We had plenty of daylight left to really stretch our gear out and settle in before nightfall, and prepare to hold court once again – this time around a really nice fire under the Ponderosa and Juniper.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-Dx3CLKG/0/L/24-L.jpg)

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-vB2j2F6/0/L/25-L.jpg)

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-M4hK48s/0/L/26-L.jpg)

The evening meal was great and the fire superb. Marshal and I compared notes and sure enough – we had found the secrets of the universe and discovered a cure for cancer and world peace. Alas, the next morning I would be unable to remember these things as usual, and I would be forced to rinse and repeat! Ah, well…. feisty peregrines are fast and smart, but they have bad memories. What they lack in mental retention they must make up for in speed and grace. And so it goes – falcons nested under the Nevada skies, cedar embers wafting…


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Vstromcharlie on November 03, 2011, 03:26:44 AM
Incredible story...love it.  Keep it coming Capt'n Stovey.


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Frostbit on November 03, 2011, 03:51:33 AM
Don't ya wish that rides like this one would never end. Keep it coming Stovey. :lurk

It's appearant that your wrist issues came about from keyboard abuse.  Just sayin... :smile


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Coolhand on November 09, 2011, 03:40:03 PM
Poetry. Still gotta read Day 3 but I'll be late for work if I do any more ;)


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Kosmic on November 09, 2011, 06:11:51 PM
Most Excellent Stovey, I just took my lunch break to read day 3. I love the desert!
Thank you! :thumb


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Coolhand on November 10, 2011, 04:06:28 AM
Bagged Day 3, bring on Day 4 :)


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on November 11, 2011, 12:41:30 AM
Day 4   Mormon Pass-DNWR / Rachel                   158 Miles

“F-16’s of the desert floors…”

Morning is here! What a thrill… can’t stand waking up dead. Time to pop my Big Agnes and brew some mocchachino’s – and pack up some Wolfman Rolie Bags, maybe take Marshal’s temperature and see how life is treating him this morning.

All is well on the other side of the campground, and Marshal is doing well about 15 feet away. No lions or aliens got him. Life is good so far, and we’re soon on our way after a nice leisurely breakfast of coffee, GORP and beef jerky for me, God-only-knows what healthy crap for my co-rider. I know it included some Red Bull.

The trail is fine and the weather is gorgeous – another moonset chased down by el Sol, and we’re down the road again through some mighty fine scenery in this wildlife refuge. Losing elevation slowly all the way, we pass through this valley in between the Sheep Range to the west, and the Las Vegas Range to the east, into Sawmill Wash, and hook a right. Sawmill Canyon is pretty sweet, with a nice feeling of enclosure as we run down through the rocks and rollers toward the exit of the DNWR and our intersection with Highway 93 – “the Great Basin Highway,” and into the wash south of Lower Pahranagat Lake.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120291webresized.jpg)
Peak off in the distant Arrow Canyon Range

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120287webresized.jpg)
Marshal piloting his mighty 640A through the last of DNWR


As we make our way down from the higher valley in DNWR, and I approach the highway under some power lines, I spy some dude in a bright red shirt standing next to a silver SUV and looking straight at me.    Hmmmm…..?  “Alien public representative” on the loose? Perhaps an errant “Dakar Rally Spectator Impersonator” who can’t wait for New Years? Better go to full flaps in any case, and scrub some speed – the highway is coming up fast anyway… and it wouldn’t do to slam a culvert in this ship at speed.

I waive to this fella, and rocket right by him, but I only reach a few feet past where he is standing when a couple dusty synapses fire in my soggy noggin… “…I KNOW that guy! (from somewhere?)”  “But where?” Aha! It’s Dave – aka “Rider1” the Jetpilot! But he’s out of uniform and no bike in sight – where’s the Husky? Where’s his Challenger 604 corporate jet? I mean, if he’s here to rejoin the ride, he’s missing a bike, and if he’s here to take me to lunch, he’s missing my airborne corporate coach… “What gives?”

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-FrNBN59/0/L/12-L.jpg)

We meet up for a bit, and discuss his desire to rejoin the ride tomorrow, and get in line behind our bikes with his ATV on our way to the Lunar Crater from Rachel. Logisitical matters are contemplated for a few moments after Marshal pulls up – they had me bracketed with Marshal coming in behind me on what was left of Sawmill Canyon Road, and Dave blocking my exit to the pavement; in the event that this was an actual “Plan B Activation” by these two guys in cahoots! I ended up turning my back on both of them, and no nets were deployed or alien communiqués transpired where I might have been auctioned off to some green bastards in shiny suits to a Beta Reticuli fart mining colony, and so all was good! We planned to meet in the evening or on the morrow, right next to the captured spaceship in front of the Little Al’e Inn, and attack the final legs of the weeklong riderfest together – Marshal on his 640A, me on Casper the Friendly Fighting Falcon, and Dave on his CanAm ATV. Splendid!

There is an old abandoned roadbed that shows on several maps and databases due east of this position, and heads north and parallel to the highway for some miles, and we figured it was worthy of investigation to keep off the slab. Marshal and I said our goodbyes to Dave, and railed off across the pavement towards this potential offroad connection, but found it shut and locked and signed “CLOSED” when we got there. For the second time we were good offroad ambassadors, and elected to be lawful and good sports – abiding by the closure with no attempt at any kind of a bypass. It was back to the highway for a short pavement slammer north. The ride up to our turnoff near Lower Pahranagat Lake came up quick, and we made our way through another wildlife refuge to connect with the Delamar Road, and thence to another connection that will take us through Hell’s Half Acre, into Ash Springs.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-3qWV8Dk/0/L/11-L.jpg)

The berm-railing was great on each of two dirt road sections into Ash Springs, and I enjoyed straightening out a few corners. I admit to exceeding the hull speed of Casper more than once, and there was no comparison to the flight of my bike through these canyons, to the desert tortoise we encountered a few miles back near where we met up with Rider1. Getting into Ash Springs at mid-day meant we would only have an abbreviated rest stop here for hot spring soaking and barnacle scraping, while at lunch break. The stop did afford a luxurious bathing opportunity though, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the city park hot springs, and my lunch.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-w2nQX8P/0/L/17-L.jpg)
Stovey in his undies - yes, it's a thong...

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-jHnHsGQ/0/L/18-L.jpg)
Marshal in his undies

Cell phone signal is strong here, and both of us managed quick calls out to our homebases as we got dressed and reassembled after food and fuel. This next leg was, to my mind, what this ride was all about, and I was bumming that we had burned up so much time at our stops and investigating the old abandoned roadway option – I wanted the maximum amount of time for this leg from Ash Springs to Rachel – it’s the juiciest section on this leg, and on the entire circumnavigation. Big desert, special navigation skills, boundary issues, waning daylight, security concerns and the exploration of the unknown in the Tikaboo Valley next to the most publicly known and notorious of the Area 51 access areas all wait ahead. I wanted to get it going, so as not to lose any more daylight.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/images.jpg)
See this sign? We don't go this route... we're too dirty.

We elected to hit a dirt road just north of Ash Springs that runs parallel to Highway 375 – “The Extraterrestrial Highway” – and should intersect our route again on the pavement just underneath Hancock Summit. We manage a ranch gate with signage of stern warning for people NOT to disturb any animal control trap equipment encountered out on the landscape we are about to enter into. Under pain of torture, death or Beta Reticuli deportation, or at least a big fine or something, we mentally note to abide by yet another rule, and sally forth. The two-track diminishes rapidly, but maintains some semblance of its formerly navigable self as a two-track, for miles toward the mountains that form the southwest side of Hancock Summit.

As we gain ground and elevation toward this juncture, and at the pinnacle of this jaunt through BLM land tracking along the top of a ravenous ravine, we run out of two-track. For good. It’s an ancient memory or never existed. On the maps it shows the connection here never actually physically existed, but since “Stovey knows better” I presumed a solution prior to launching this mini-expedition, in the form of connecting a couple of dots that are only about a centimeter apart, on the map. A good reconnoiter from the top of this ravine yields some info, that the drop into the ravine will connect us to where we might oughta be, and it will be a cross-country drop through some sage, rocks and a little washed-out terrain. Casper is panting, he wants to tear off a hunk of this. Marshal is game, and even though his 640A is a virtual aircraft carrier by comparison, he’s up for it, and glides off behind me, into the wash.

I make the drop, and come up short of the little hillclimb on the other side, and extinguish the flames underneath the Six Days spark plug, turn my head to spy my co-rider’s progress. He’s skiing down the slope with his engine off, and makes good until the front wheel of his KTM gets in an argument with a sage brush. It’s a low-side entry and a high-side exit for him, and I clearly heard the message, “EJECT-EJECT-EJECT” come over the intercom as he performed an “adverse yaw” in the middle of his “Low Yo-Yo” maneuver. He was a goner…

Ass over teakettle he went, and it was as elegant a highside as I’ve ever witnessed! A spectacular bit of air was gained, and Marshal would have stunned the floormat judges at the gymnastic Olympics with his fine height, speed, style and recovery! Add to that his stunning rebound, coming up without so much of a scratch – no bone showing and the bonus of that freshly bathed and now-entombed scent of desert sage to boot! What a guy….

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120293webresized.jpg)
Wreckage cleared, Marshal gone and already underway behind me. This was the slope he vaulted down...

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120294webresized.jpg)
...and the view from the bottom of the ravine towards our connection to the slab under Hancock Summit

We got his bike righted together, and he finished poaching that ravine slope, thumbing noses at the impasse as we left it in our rear-views. Daylight was waning – no time to tarry. The pavement connection was right at hand after climbing out of this wash, and we popped over Hancock Summit to rejoin our original routing, and the connection below in Tikaboo Valley. We spy the long 13.8-mile dirt road off in the distance – the 13.8 miles of publicly-allowed access, toward the gate entrance to Area 51 – Groom Lake. Dust clouds waft for miles from a vehicle making it’s way east from the Site, coming toward the highway as we approach our turnoff and we can see the entire valley and our route into it and out as we crest Hancock and down in. We are about to commence our run in to the boundary, and “touch the holy wire” as it were, and amscray the hell back outa there before the Cammo Dudes decide to make sport of us, and take us prisoners. The ride down and in is filled with fun, dust, anticipation and sun in our visors…

The last bit of roadway has signage to slow us down; first from 45mph to 35mph – then to 25, then again to 15. Bingo! We’re around the last corner and facing the infamous “Go No Further Or You Die” (at taxpayers expense and completely-legal-to-kill-you fashion.) Sure enough, as we stop the bikes and take in the boundary area at this juncture before turning around to grab some primeval Tikaboo Valley floor on the last leg to homebase, there is the tan Jeep Cherokee on the hillside not 250 yards from us, and he flashes his headlights at us as a warning. It’s a gesture I appreciate, and take the opportunity to engage the occupants in a short but civil one-way conversation. (Marshal is looking at me like a blackbird just flew out of my nostril….) But I say in a normal tone of voice that we are big fans of “Delta and the SEAL Teams” and we’re on our way back the way we came. “We’re heading across the Tikaboo Valley floor on BLM roads, northbound through the Medlin Ranch, and over the pass near Andies Mine back to Rachel where our trucks are parked. We’re not intending to cross any base boundaries. Keep up the good work!”

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/cammo-1152.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/Area51Sign2.jpg)


(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120302webresized.jpg)
Whitesides to Freedom Ridge - now closed to the public. (Taken from Groom Lake Road.) The privately owned and still operated Groom Mines lies behind these hills on the right, but lie inside the Nellis/A51 boundary, and restricted access to mine owners is granted on a case-by-case basis. Cammo Dudes lurk in this area, and are not to be trifled with...

I told Marshal I was convinced that “they” can hear every word we are saying, and it won’t hurt our cause any to just backfill a little info to the powers that be, in anticipation of our cross-country jaunt across the valley. Personally, I was hoping to negate the need to perform my ground-based “JINKOUT Maneuvers” en route north, and this was my last ditch effort to give me some leeway. I have not chaff, flares or any other countermeasures to try and defeat these Cammo Dudes if they decide to light me up – and I’m thinking I’ll probably come up way short in the defense department if I have to try and outrun or out-maneuver a Blackhawk or an Apache helicopter.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120297webresized.jpg)
Views of the Pahranagat Range from the west, looking southeast from inside Tikaboo Valley

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120299webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120300webresized.jpg)
A little further down this road, and you better get your paycheck from the CIA, USAF Edwards Flight Test Center, or someplace else that probably pays in bags of cash....




“Tally Ho…”

We make the turn just short of the scary signs proclaiming “Deadly Force Authorized” (for trespass or photography) and get these “wild weasels” headed back away from the sun, and on course for our final blast across a desert floor towards homebase. It’s been a fantastic ride so far – and I’m feeling like a million bucks even if my wrist has swollen inside this carbon fiber support brace. “Fight’s ON!” and we’re gone like a bad check, heading back out Groom Lake Road. There are several turn opportunities to take us into and across the Medlin Ranch where we will navigate several obliterated road tracks and washes northbound, and I pick one. I’m navigating on the fly now, no purple line to course as my routing was in error when I set this part of the leg up. But, I had studied hard in my preflight to this ride, and had lots of data memorized and stuffed into my noggin – I was hitting it hard and loving every minute!

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120304webresized.jpg)
The hills on the left are danger-close to the Site boundary, and we ride north on the flats to the right, skirting the perimeter and paralleling these hills in the Groom Range

The zig-zags through and out of the Medlin Ranch bordered on notorious and approached the glorious as Casper negotiated each turn – pulling G’s and leaving a slipstream for my partner to chatter through – and this is the stuff I live for…  The GPS is glaring at me; the two-track has diminished to non-existent and we’re tracking through obliterated desert to the point where there is zero visible track or trail left. Zero. There were miles of track we laid out there that if you stopped your bike, you lost the route on the ground. Nothing but the brown trail whispering up from the glow of a GPS nav screen on my KTM heads-up-display. The terrain itself had to be “in motion” to give any appearance whatsoever of passage through what once was a two-track road bed or wagon trail gone extinct. Like the movement of a deck of cartoon cards where each symbol or image is static until the deck gets “shuffled” and each static image becomes part of a simulated movement, or a movie, or a cartoon effect. We blazed mightily across this navigational abyss toward the north end of Tikaboo Valley, and the mountain passes in between the Nellis Air Force Base/A51 boundary and the Extraterrestrial Highway.

Under the watchful eyes of electronic perimeter surveillance out in the sagebrush and the optical power stationed above us on Bald Mountain inside the Site, we throttled on for mile after cactus-laced mile, dodging spiny landmines and foot-deep washouts in our paths. A quick check over my shoulder now and again was all I could afford to see if my wingman was still with me back there somewhere, or if he’d gotten splashed by one of the many terrain hazards we were blazing through as the sun began to give its last to this earth for the day. Damnation if this wasn’t the coolest high-speed run I’ve ever made! This hour could go on for days, and I’d call it Heaven – if only it could last for a little while longer!

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/f16873.jpg)
"Trail717 - this is Werewolf2, how copy? <OVER>"


But, it is the witching hour – and the bush gremlins are just waking up – ready to come out and do their best to take a wheel out from under me, and give me a push down into the dirt. “Controlled Flight Into Terrain” or a C-FIT might be the best I could hope for if a get-off was imminent… at best a crash-landing might yield a survival if a screw-up commenced at the speeds I was carrying. Admittedly, I was going fast, but I simply could not pry either my hand from the throttle stop, or the grin from my face. “Crash my ass! Crashing is for pussies!” I rallied on. And on. Through the sunset toward Andies Mine south of Rachel.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120310webresized.jpg)
Long shadows forming up in the wake of our Tikaboo slipstreams

We crossed the mountains at the northern Groom Range spur into the Sand Spring Valley, and negotiated a cool technical wash to a gate. Last gate out – homefree to the Little Ale Inn.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120312webresized.jpg)
My Wingman as we exited Tikaboo Valley, and coursed through the mountains near Andies Mine and back into Sand Spring Valley - F-111's hot on our tails...

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120313webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120315webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120318webresized.jpg)

As the sun was setting behind the Belted Range in the west, the range we had ridden toward 4 days ago, we gathered ourselves back together in formation – two riders exiting the BLM bushes in echelon formation, 24 feet apart from fender to fender, like the Fighting Falcons we had become.  And though I take poetic license in the telling of my tales, I shit you not – there, as we roared back into the town of Rachel, Nevada, two USAF F-111’s were executing maneuvers low over the valley floors. To the east, I saw one Aardvark/Raven hauling the mail southbound across the Sand Spring Valley floor, along the base of the Worthington Range. He pulled up and crossed a pass in the Tempiute Range and disappeared, while simultaneously another Aardvark with his wings sweeping back, executed a hard right turn heading toward this same pass. This second F-111 was heading right towards us before his turn, right out of the Tikaboo Valley and over the mountains we just came from and crossed…. It was a seismic rush to welcome us back to town at the end of the ride! I could just imagine the words over the pilot’s comm set, as he “chased us” out of “his valley” along the perimeter boundary of Nellis/A51…. “KNOCK-IT-OFF    KNOCK-IT-OFF” as he “disengaged” from us two lowly dirtbikers encroaching no further under his wings. He disappeared over the Tempiute Range to the east like a bat out of hell… and I thought I saw his wings wag. Just a little….

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-X79wPc9/0/L/19-L.jpg)

Day 5 follows, as I lament the passing of this incredible day of riding…

For now, it’s back to base, and debriefing by the spaceship hanging from the back of an old tow truck, under the stars.


(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA120324webresized.jpg)


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Vstromcharlie on November 11, 2011, 01:25:39 AM
Poetry...just poetry.  Love it Stovey!  "What a thrill… can’t stand waking up dead" - that should become a tag line for sure.


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: mudclod on November 11, 2011, 01:57:34 AM
Stovey's got the thong action goin' on, yo!


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on November 11, 2011, 02:01:09 AM
Thanks Charlie, Tracy, Mudclod, Patrice and Justin....

...and a continual THANK YOU to my co-rider, Marshal, for the use of his pics in this ride report.

What fun!  It's taking me a while to get this posted, as I've stayed stupid busy since returning to "base" and also reading everybody else's EXCELLENT, CLASSIC ride reports!

As ever,

Stovey


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Frostbit on November 11, 2011, 04:46:38 AM
Damn, Stovey, your ride reports are poetry... pure poetry. How do you come up with this shit?  :clap :clap :clap

You make me wonder why I even post anything. I'd just as soon wait around until you go for a ride and decide to share it with us all.


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: DR_Jax_650 on November 11, 2011, 11:24:07 AM
Just doesn't seem fair!  ::)  We struggle to get the reports out in normal conversational tones :*sip*  [ well,  at least I do ] and then the " Walter Cronkite "  of RDS posts  :baldy  :lol I ask you, How we supposed to top this ?  :lurk
 :ricky  Rally ON Stovey!! :beer

Damn, Stovey, your ride reports are poetry... pure poetry. How do you come up with this shit?  :clap :clap :clap

You make me wonder why I even post anything. I'd just as soon wait around until you go for a ride and decide to share it with us all.


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: fboldcrow on November 11, 2011, 06:49:53 PM
Just great, what pics and roads.
A little ardvaaaarrkk/raven action could have killed ya easy at 50ft supersonic, ya never even known what hit ya  :puke2 then they're gone in a cloud of smoke. Awsum electronic warfare suites in them babies. They could sterilize you also as they went by, used to fry radar guns with my Buff's. Cops didn't set up off base anymore after about 10 new guns with the front ends gone.
Frank  :ricky
Can't wait for the new mount to come and got my GPSCITY hardware on the way. Thanks again Stovey!


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on November 12, 2011, 12:57:24 AM
You guys! All of these compliments are making me blush, and in all honesty.... I wish you would all just keep it up.

Okay?       :rofl

Frank - you were an EWO on a BUFF?  How cool is THAT!? I went to school with a guy, and graduated together with him, and we were in AFROTC together. We went through GMC cadet together in Barton Hall at Cornell, and I dropped out of the program when it came time to man-up and sign POC papers - so no prior service for me. My buddy went on to become a navigator on a BUFF, and later an EWO. He finished out the career a Light Col. and afterwards went to work for one of the "3-letter-alphabet companies." We stayed in touch for many years, but right after 9-11 we lost touch. I presume because of the nature of his work, and the fact that we used to talk shop about a mutual interest in gunpowder-related avocations. Anyway, I've not heard from him since. My guess is, that bad guys on foreign shores gasped their last in part because he's continued to serve silently since.

Especially today, I thank you as a veteran for your service. And I sincerely appreciate all you guys on this forum who have served, to include Jack and Charlie.

Lordy, am I glad not to have tickled the EWO/WIZZO's HUD's on this last ride.....

All the best!

Stovey
***********************************************************************************


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: DR_Jax_650 on November 12, 2011, 02:35:10 PM
Well,  :*sip* The compliments aside thanks to all those who served in what ever function...
 The military Is not for everyone .  But it is there For everyone...

You guys! All of these compliments are making me blush, and in all honesty.... I wish you would all just keep it up.

Okay?       :rofl

Frank - you were an EWO on a BUFF?  How cool is THAT!? I went to school with a guy, and graduated together with him, and we were in AFROTC together. We went through GMC cadet together in Barton Hall at Cornell, and I dropped out of the program when it came time to man-up and sign POC papers - so no prior service for me. My buddy went on to become a navigator on a BUFF, and later an EWO. He finished out the career a Light Col. and afterwards went to work for one of the "3-letter-alphabet companies." We stayed in touch for many years, but right after 9-11 we lost touch. I presume because of the nature of his work, and the fact that we used to talk shop about a mutual interest in gunpowder-related avocations. Anyway, I've not heard from him since. My guess is, that bad guys on foreign shores gasped their last in part because he's continued to serve silently since.

Especially today, I thank you as a veteran for your service. And I sincerely appreciate all you guys on this forum who have served, to include Jack and Charlie.

Lordy, am I glad not to have tickled the EWO/WIZZO's HUD's on this last ride.....

All the best!

Stovey
***********************************************************************************



Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: fboldcrow on November 12, 2011, 05:28:54 PM
You guys! All of these compliments are making me blush, and in all honesty.... I wish you would all just keep it up.

Okay?       :rofl

Frank - you were an EWO on a BUFF?  How cool is THAT!? I went to school with a guy, and graduated together with him, and we were in AFROTC together. We went through GMC cadet together in Barton Hall at Cornell, and I dropped out of the program when it came time to man-up and sign POC papers - so no prior service for me. My buddy went on to become a navigator on a BUFF, and later an EWO. He finished out the career a Light Col. and afterwards went to work for one of the "3-letter-alphabet companies." We stayed in touch for many years, but right after 9-11 we lost touch. I presume because of the nature of his work, and the fact that we used to talk shop about a mutual interest in gunpowder-related avocations. Anyway, I've not heard from him since. My guess is, that bad guys on foreign shores gasped their last in part because he's continued to serve silently since.

Especially today, I thank you as a veteran for your service. And I sincerely appreciate all you guys on this forum who have served, to include Jack and Charlie.

Lordy, am I glad not to have tickled the EWO/WIZZO's HUD's on this last ride.....

All the best!

Stovey
***********************************************************************************

Stovey,
Thanks, but no I was the Flight Line Repair Supervisor for our shop, kept them running but loved the ride a longs when we had problems. Can't stand heights except in a Buff or F-4 at treetop level. A true thrill ride with the thermal and lowlight monitors showing what's out there. Can't believe they took out the Vulcan stingers out of the H's they still have left. I guess they have all the escorts they need and the B-2's can get in and out dropping whatever they carry before the bombs hit. A great 4 years of my life except getting the E-8 stepping on whomever to get is last stripe before retiring. We lost quite a few guys that would have stayed in because of him.  had a great job lined up after I got out but went into the medical field cause my nurse girlfriend in the service thought it would be nice not smelling JP4 on me when I met her off base after work.  Great choice.  Well, can't wait to try out your mount on the bike!
Stay far away from the Aardvark's where ever you are. They, and the FA-18 ECM warbirds can bring down all kinds of hurt anywhere in the world without firing a shot! Oh, and sterilize you in a heartbeat!  :loaded
Be safe and well all of you veterans or not!  :ricky
Frank


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on November 20, 2011, 10:26:51 PM
Day 5    Rachel / Lunar Crater / Cherry Creek Pass        120 Miles

Rider1 had shown up with his high-zoot Can Am four-wheeler last night, and we were a gang of three once again. The original ‘three amigo’s’ who had started this trip together would finish it together. Dave had performed a “New York Reload” as I call it, after the term coined by famed NYPD Stakeout Squad leader Jim Cirillo, who referred to dropping a dead handgun in the middle of a running gun battle and drawing another from a separate holster, in favor of spending any precious time or effort even reloading the empty one – a field expedient for staying alive when time was paramount. Since our trip would eventually end as all good things do, Rider1 just exchanged tools and kept on going after regrouping with us, and gave his Husky to a mechanic for a valve adjust, and returned to Rachel with his ATV. His tenacity in this regard earned him my utmost respect for diligence and creativity, and I must admit to having learned a few things from him during this ride. The man simply wanted to do the ride, even if it took a separate machine and rolling with the punches in real time. And he did it with style. Salute to you, Good Sir!

Thursday morning found us at a round table inside the Little Al’e Inn for breakfast to fuel our bodies for a ride across desert floors to clear a couple of valleys and mountain passes today, so I took full advantage to pack some carbs into my cake hole. It was good and I was ready to look at my bike real quick, and take care of some maintenance. A quick oil change for Casper the Friendly “F16 Punkin” made him happy, and I managed some Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap on my head under a water jug off the tailgate of The Mighty Dodge before encapsulating my cranium with a familiar well-made Arai XD. Not that this was a particularly valuable cranium for all of my species, but it’s the only one I have to protect. So, black Kevlar and a faceshield gets ‘what I got’ insured for all its worth, and I’m ready to go. Another combination of solar rays blasts through the desert skies, and bluebirds would be flying around if they were native to the area. For now, it was buzzards and fighter jets… and maybe something else?

We take off eastbound on two-track from Rachel, into the desert across Sand Spring Valley toward the town site of Tempiute, an old mining outcrop that has seen better days but still has a house and marks a place on a map. From there we turn northerly to make some zig-zags as we satisfy our navigational requirements to get to the Quinn canyon Range that helps ring the Railroad Valley to the north. We make Smith Well and stop for a viewpoint opportunity and to get on some lesser two-track after a Sand Spring Valley crossing that included more riding across open country on diminished to mainly obliterated two-track. The dirt road climbing into the Quinn Canyon Range was a hoot! Lots more corners to try and straighten out and berms to rail, and the flat desert floor gave way to more circuitous mountain pass eye candies.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-sQgf337/0/L/52-L.jpg)
Tempiute

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130335webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130339webresized.jpg)
Marshal providing documentation services in a canyon en route through the Quinn Canyon Range to Railroad Valley


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Rider1 going over some navigational instrumentation in preparation for our touchdowns into the Lunar Crater this afternoon

Making great time and enjoying the fresh air and Nevada views we cruised through the pass and went by some more rock ruins from an old-time settlement before dropping into the vast Railroad Valley – a place of desolation and eternal “begotten-ment.” Our route takes us across this southern end of the Railroad Valley and rises to the toes of the Pancake Range that serve to ring the Lunar Crater Dry Lake – a place we’d like to ride into, and out of under our own power I might add, just to see if we can. After all, it’s a Thursday, so what better thing to try and do, right?

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130342webresized.jpg)
Southern terminus of the Railroad Valley

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130340webresized.jpg)
Looking northwest from the bottom of Water Canyon toward what will be our eventual exit from the Lunar Crater, through The Wall

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Casper waiting patiently for a relight

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130333webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130331webresized.jpg)

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-5H8CH7b/0/L/54-L.jpg)
"You're taking us to where?"

The Lunar Crater is designated a National Natural Landmark by the Department of the Interior, but the land is under BLM stewardship. Astronauts used to train here for Apollo missions, and you can see why – if you use your imagination and convince yourself you are on the surface of the moon. Eating some ancient ‘space food sticks’ that were available in the 1960’s before there were Cliff Bars and PowerBars, and maybe huffing a line of Tang off your saddlebag might help. I wonder what worked for Neal Armstrong? We performed a continual rock-dodging ‘jinkout’ en route to the top of the southern Pancakes along some great two-track, and entered the Lunar Lake landscape like 3 riders on a mission to the moon!

 (http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130349webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130375webresized.jpg)
Entering the Lunar Lake landscape from the south

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130374webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130368webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130370webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130373webresized.jpg)
Rider1 carving desert along the Lunar Lake en route to The Wall

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-9SxfTgJ/0/L/59-L.jpg)

Volcanic cinder cones and ashen hills dot the landscape as we skirt the actual Lunar Lakebed and ride in between the lake and the craggy mounts of the Pancakes that form the geological “Wall” boundary to the east, and ride some great starkness along our paths. I ride by a parched cattle carcass lying amidst the sage, and perhaps a dessicated wild burro boneyard or two as I journey northward to a hard right turn that will take us ‘over the edge’ and out of this moonscape and into another. I let the actual Lunar Crater escape me, and we didn’t make our way across the other side of the lake and back to jump to its precipice, or visit the Easy Chair Crater again on this ride – but I think we should have. It’s my fault for not taking that initiative to make the short detour to take in this viewpoint. I must apologize to my co-riders for this oversight. With any luck, they will both go back there at some time, making a point of visiting the crater rim to look at this hole in the ground on yet another Lunar adventure. Stovey is nothing if not an imperfect riding companion… My bad.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130358webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130360webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130361webresized.jpg)

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-SrRVbV4/0/L/61-L.jpg)

The Can Am is hauling the mail with Rider1 at the helm, and he’s making big dust trails with trail717 on the approach to The Wall. If the drop through The Wall is too marbly with a sidehill component for a safe squirt through on the ATV, we’re going to get out the ‘Moab Straps’ and tag team this red four-wheeler down the other side, and back into the Railroad Valley. We’ll leave no man behind, whatever it takes.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-WrGtxVh/0/L/63-L.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130410webresized.jpg)
Rider1

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trail717

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130412webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130381webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130383webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130384webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130385webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130396webresized.jpg)

With that idea in mind, we crest the rise from the Lunar Lake to the passage through The Wall, and take in a reconnoiter of the droppage – and decide it’s a non-issue for Dave and his ATV. I had remembered from last year that this section was a little marbly, and had compared the scenic experience with a Moab-esque type of landscape, but it was nowhere near the technical challenges to be found on some of Moab’s tougher trails like Behind the Rocks or Pritchett Canyon. Ah, better to have a solid rider and terrain that is no match for his skills, than the other way around. Dave throttles over the edge on his Can Am with a yawn, stopping wherever he damn well feels like a photo op, and tears it up! No ride compromises are made with the intermixing of four-wheeler and motorcycle, and we drop down the slickrock passage from Lunar Lake heading east and back into the Railroad Valley a little to the north of where we had just ridden through a few hours before. The view from The Wall eastward toward the Quinn Canyon and Grant Ranges that form the east edge of the Railroad Valley are stunning, and we can spy our far-off pathway through these ranges in the distance as we crest and drop. The Railroad Valley continues to offer an other-wordly desert experience in its vastness running north-south, with no signs of civilization save for a pinprick of green under pivot barely visible to the naked eye across the valley in the Nyala Wadi.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130418webresized.jpg)
View across the Railroad Valley from the notch in The Wall, looking east toward the Grant Range (left and north) and Quinn Canyon Range. Our passage through these mountains lies in the middle of the image, up Bordoli Creek to Cherry Creek Summit.

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(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130404webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130406webresized.jpg)

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-bV9kM46/0/L/66-L.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130402webresized.jpg)

But before we cross this valley once again, we will encounter the “stone henge” that Keith and I had passed by on last year’s ride, and this time we are going to stop and explore! Ancient druid ritual slaughterhouse? Alien abduction holding pen for humans under the influence of Martian cough syrup? First Nations sheep corral? An old hardware store whose owners hadn’t internalized “LOCATION – LOCATION – LOCATION!?” We will soon stop and drop a kickstand, and try and figure this out…

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130415webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130421webresized.jpg)
"The Pillars of Hercules"


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(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-WXQWDCb/0/L/68-L.jpg)

I am the last man down from The Wall, with Marshal and Dave trailblazing ahead; dustclouds in the wakes of the Mighty KTM 640 and cherry red Can Am. It’s only a few minutes from here to the site of this stone circle that we plan to stop at and visit, and perhaps call it a day and spend the night. The thought of a night under the stars at this site was definitely on my mind, and we had been thinking it would be a great campsite, especially if it was as inviting as we thought it could be, and of course, alien-free. Around a few rocky buttes and long desert corners later, and soon the rock structures comes into view at the base of a butte – the “Stonehenge” at last from radar scope to ‘right here, right now!’

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-Qm5jLpN/0/L/67-L.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130436webresized.jpg)

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Leaving The Wall behind.... sounds like a Johnny Cash ballad.


(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130440webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130441webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130449webresized.jpg)

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Marshal doing a little trials riding as he rolls into Stonehenge. No toe-touch. No bike drop. No lie. Impressive...


We pull into this dualsport traveler stop and jump down to have a walk-around, just to see what we can see… the place is really cool! Dave and Marshal speculate that it is in fact a relict livestock corral of some sort, and it’s impossible to disagree. The stones are piled three-and-a-half to four feet high, and form a perfect circle with a single opening. There being a small scrap of wire fencing piled near the opening, as might be handy for a rancher to use for a gate to control access in and out of the circle, it seems a no-brainer that we are standing in the middle of an abandoned sheep corral out here, with some kind of useful stone structure attached that might serve an old rancher well – for what I have no idea. But I’ve never been a rancher and couldn’t even play one on TV if they held a gun to my head, so I simply marvel at the entire thing. What an engineering and manpower accomplishment to have built this henge up from the desert floor, and you can see where all the construction material came from; the rocks apparently tumbled down from the hillsides of the adjacent butte. Need a rock? Go up the hill and tip one over. Need another? Keep tipping them over and heaving them into place as each building block trundles down, one after the other, thousands of times. I bet the builders wouldn’t have turned down a cold beer or two during this project. Under those conditions though, it’s hard to say whether this henge would have turned out this well and perfect, or if the cold tallboys would have contributed to the erection of a giant ancient white elephant, suitable for abandonment as a corral, and more like Modern Art… so much rubble to the eye of the beholder!

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130448webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130445webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130454webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130446webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130445webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130459webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130463webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130489webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130479webresized.jpg)

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130475webresized.jpg)
trail717 communing with the desert spirits

It’s a cool place, and 3 pm – and hot as the hubs of hell. We all nod in agreement that with no breeze, sitting it out here to wait for sundown to do an alien dance at our newly discovered secret ritual site would be an exercise of varsity foolhardy proportions, so we think it best to keep rolling, and make our beds in a cooler setting, way off across this valley floor and into the mountain pass en route back to Rachel. Making miles before sundown is what we opt for, and we roll out of Stonehenge with nothing but photos and mystic memories as we had paused to try and listen to stories whispered from ghosts long passed. It’s off to Cherry Creek Pass, via Nyala. Great builders of stoney monuments; “Adieu!”

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130484webresized.jpg)
A message for my wife...


(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130493webresized.jpg)
Re-crossing the Railroad Valley, heading southeast toward Nyala in late afternoon

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA130497webresized.jpg)
A view from the middle of the Railroad Valley floor looking northward


Last year Keith and I crossed this way and jumped across the ranch into Nyala via a criss-cross of two-track that was definitely a more direct approach toward the Cherry Creek Pass, but we butted heads with a couple of gates and ended up too close to a residence on private property than we would have liked. This year, I routed us around the ranch with less concern over time and fuel than we had before, and with focus more comfort as to the route we were treading. Before long we were into and out of Nyala – a place I still envision as a spawning ground for a chainsaw-wielding, mask-wearing clan of cannibals. ‘Home Sweet Home’ for somebody, just not for me, and we’re soon leaving dust trails alongside this wash and the community of Nyala is once again a memory – neither trail717 nor Rider1 met me there in advance, to execute “Plan B.” My good fortune not taken for granted, I rallied on to the northern connection that would be a right turn up toward Cherry Creek Pass, near the Bordoli Ranch.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-3P53shS/0/L/73-L.jpg)



This road up Bordoli Creek Canyon is as sweet to ride in as last year, and twisties are offered to us in abundance! Berms are at every corner, the scenery is awe-inspiring and the shadows from the mountains now beginning to envelop us in this elevation-gaining approach sure shut down the rays from the nuclear reactor some 93 million miles away, and we’re soon feeling more chilly than the heat from a mere few minutes before! Add a little adventure-riding velocity to this section and it’s beginning to feel downright cold! Nevada riding – simply surreal. The Bordoli Creek approach from the west gives up another “summit” and this mountain pass is yet another candidate for ‘scenic spot of the ride.’ Cherry Creek pass is drop-dead gorgeous, and we know that our camp will lie only a few miles distant, down in the trees and valleys of this complex geological jumble of holes and drainages on the east side of the Grant and Quinn Canyon Ranges. I even coast a while with the engine off, just like last year, in order to take it all in with the benefit of a quieter drop into the ethereal embrace of these verdant pinions – a stark contrast to the post-apocalyptic zombie zones of the valley floors.

A right turn a few miles down from the pass and we’re yards from an official USFS primitive campground, a beautiful setting just on the outskirts of the Quinn Canyon Wilderness boundary. It’s time to cool Casper’s powerplant for the day, and find a cushion of pine needles to lay on top of for the night. What’s this? Aahhh, a great place to be. Let’s stop right here, alongside the hushed babble of Little Cherry Creek, and call it a day!

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-pg3N8rm/0/L/76-L.jpg)
The Marshal's quarters

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-fmNNGPN/0/L/77-L.jpg)
Last night's courtroom... beautiful!


(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA140544webresized.jpg)
My camera, taking a dump

The area is stunning, so we have no trouble finding 3 good footprints for tents – one for each lunar explorer, and setup camp. There’s a fire ring and wood is abundant. The hot meal will be forthcoming and we are in a great hole in the mountains, sheltered from any big winds should they come; the days' heat long gone. We’ll be bundling up in warm fuzzy after-ride duds and sitting by a campfire, ready for a last-night-out gather-up, Rider1 handing out chocolate bars in preparation for counsel! Damn – that Can Am was also hauling treasure, pretty hard to beat; thanks Dave!

A tremendous warm glow is pushing welcome heat out in all directions from around our firepit as we consume our gourmet meals once again, and the light babbling of the stream alongside us is tough to beat as accompaniment to a literally “stellar” night out. Dave and I spy the biggest shooting star I’ve ever seen in my life, and we’re left with our jaws dropping trying to describe it to Marshal who may have only caught glimpse of the last part of this giant, brilliant streak of something burning up in our atmosphere.

Desert tracks across open country with long views and daydreams of running the Dakar intermingle with visions of ancient lava beds and cinder cones as I drift off a few feet from the ebbing coals. Last night out on this Legend… I will miss this journey. Fuel for my dreams, and fodder for the next imaginings when Mapsource and Google Earth collide in my mind. Where will my next ride take me? What will I see and what will I learn? Embers to drift away by, and I do just that, all night long by a creek.


(embedded pics to follow...)


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Rider1 on November 21, 2011, 01:09:47 AM
WOW !  WOW !  WOW !   Stovey ,

You do such a GREAT interpretation of our journey that I feel like I'm experiencing it again with a "different" view  :clap

Love It !!

I'm really lookin' forward to our next ride.....I'll bring the chocolate bars if that's what it takes   :ricky

Dave....Rider1


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: DoctorXRR on November 21, 2011, 01:59:02 AM
Sounds awesome Stovey! Looking forward to seeing the pics that go along......


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Kosmic on November 21, 2011, 02:06:39 AM
 :lurk :lurk :lurk :eek :eek :thumb Thank you Stovey! I am enjoying this!


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Vstromcharlie on November 21, 2011, 04:16:13 AM
Incredible Sir Stovey! Impeccable prose laced with enticing peeks into your creative mind.  Outstanding, just outstanding.



Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on November 22, 2011, 02:47:50 AM
Much thanks my brothers,

Last Day and wrap up to come....

All the best,

Stovey


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: mudclod on November 22, 2011, 03:13:38 AM
Thanks for all the awesome images Stovey-job well done!


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Frostbit on November 22, 2011, 03:43:50 AM
Bring on the finale  :clap :clap :clap


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Kosmic on November 23, 2011, 07:46:43 PM
I enjoyed every word Stovey! Adventures like yours are what we crave!


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on November 26, 2011, 05:47:03 PM
Day 6         RTB       Cherry Creek Summit / Rachel         50 Miles

Perfect.  Simply perfect… The orange mocchachinos are flowing and my bed of softness beneath this archway of giant cedars has cushioned my trail-weary hulkiness to perfection overnight, and Casper stands firmly en guarde; my sturdy sentinel in this cirque of craggy shelter in the Quinn Canyon range. A quick tear across the top of a bag of instant oatmeal gives way to the grainy goodness that will soon be flooding my fiber tube, and the dawn is breaking as it should be – nice orange sunrise bathing these canyon walls and gendarmes as the moon is once again forced to retreat. If you’ve got to face the end of a fantastic sojourn, this is the kind of day to do it. At least I won’t have to bid farewell to this ‘legend’ all on my own, my co-riders will help me take it home as we return to base.

The Little Cherry Creek runs along a course out of the southern end of the Quinn Canyon Range, and back down into the Railroad Valley to the North of us. We leave this little creek but join another, the Pine Creek, as we follow along its drainage that leads from near our camp site and out of these mountains toward the Sand Spring Valley. These are beautiful mountains, and we cover our ground this morning starting at around 9am on more fantastic dirt roads. Veritable super highways out here with groomed surfaces – makes us all wonder out loud later on how in the world they manage to keep them in such great shape, or why?

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-ZgthDjz/0/L/74-L.jpg)
Heading down along the Pine Creek and back out of the Quinn Canyon Range

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-W58757P/0/L/75-L.jpg)
More great zoomer-groomers!

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-djnxQP2/0/L/Area-51-2011-359-L.jpg)
Rider1 gives a thumbs-up en route back to base

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-jTc9LBB/0/L/Area-51-2011-354-L.jpg)
A loping Stovebolt, from the rear


 
It’s a gorgeous sunrise beaming through each gap in the canyon walls and over the ridgelines here and there – my bike continues to run strongly and smooth, such a pleasure to ride this thing… We’ve only got a short distance of easy ground to cover this morning, so we won’t be long in the saddle before the whole ride is over and this ‘Legend of the Fall’ comes to a halt. But, the riding here is fast, fun and furious if you wick it up and drain the last bit of pleasure out of these hills – I can do that! There’s a left turn here and a right turn there as we pilot our bikes and ATV further and further down from the mountains and through the pinions and sage. Soon there are less and less hills in the way of our view toward the valley floor to the south, and the Worthington Range to the east looms closer and closer. As we pop down out of the foothills on great groomed dirt toward the valley once again, the mirage over a dry lake bed is already vibrating on a jiggly cushion of vibrating air between us and Tempiute. It’s as if we are about to land the Space Shuttle at Edwards Air Force Base when we come flying down out of these hills at speed and witness the patch of flat tan dry lake way out there between us and Rachel, just before losing this last height of land.

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-9txzMCm/0/L/Area-51-2011-377-L.jpg)
Tempiute, straight ahead - a dry lake hushed below the surface of the sage sea


(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-WD5HQSw/0/L/Area-51-2011-357-L.jpg)
Stovey on Casper, not sure he wants to give this ride up and go back home...

The connection onto the main dirt road from these secondary’s is here all too quickly, and it’s all 6th gear now until the bitter end, unless I can figure out a way to do something about it. I decide to take the obliterated track back across the middle of the valley to Tempiute the same way we went up north yesterday, so I can get a little more challenge by dodging more badger holes and sage brush. Rider1 is electing to keep to the main dirt en route back to home base on his Can Am, and Marshal decides to go on ahead of me across the obliterated two-track, as I take one last jab at my flailing camera and pan around pushing this infernal button. I hadn’t realized until just now, that my lens cover is malf’ing on me, and that it is intermittently not opening or closing all the way. Cripes….. This camera needs a "New York Reload."

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA140548webresized.jpg)
trail717 coming out of the Quinn Canyon Range on his 640 Six Days

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA140551webresized.jpg)
Rider1 emerges from the Quinn Canyon foothills, the Worthington Range to his left

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA140567webresized.jpg)
Pit stop at Smith Well, our camp in the pass in the background

This short blast only lasts for two hours from saddle-up in Cherry Creek campground to kickstands down in Rachel, and we arrive back at our trucks after a left and a right turn in the middle of the Sand Spring Valley. Cruising past Tempiute townsite is a wistful non-event, recalling that the end is only a couple of miles away, and after that, a few minutes on the top end leaving dust clouds like contrails, and the ride is history. A really, really damn good ride – and I hate to put it away like this, but when it’s done, it’s done. (Insert “Taps,” here….<sniff>)

(http://trail717.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2011-Area-51-Ride/i-4Pb6GqB/0/L/Area-51-2011-362-L.jpg)
Cemetery on a ranch in the Quinn Canyon foothills

We arrive back in Rachel at 11am, and turn the fuel valves “OFF.” The eagles, or ‘Falcons?’ have landed.

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA230575webresized.jpg)
...or is it "Buzzards?"

(http://i761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Legends%20of%20the%20Fall%203%20-%20Area%2051%20Circumnavigation/PA230580webresized.jpg)

Page 4 from the Garmin reads:

Trip Odometer = 760 miles
Max Speed      = 88.8 mph
Moving time    = 22 hrs 17 min
Moving Avg     = 34.1 mph
Stopped time  = 18 hrs 01 min
Overall Avg     = 18.9 mph
Max Elevation = 7552
Total Ascent   = 39,779 ft


It’s not escaped me that I’ve thought a lot about my Dad during much of this ride, and one wistful treasure of a memory after another crept its way back from the past and hovered in my mind as I remembered him in his day, a proud and capable New York Air National Guardsman. Each fighter jet that “strafed” us or dog-fought its way through a mountain pass; every sonic crack from a bomb run and each glint from the canopy of a passing jet got me to remembering my time growing up around my Dad, his friends, and times spent around an air base.  A circumnavigation from my dream, this run was a happy trail around in my past, as much as it was a ride around one of our most top secret air bases and military installations. If he were alive today, I would hope that we could do a ride like this together.

In closing this report on what was one of the coolest rides I’ve done, I’d like to recognize and thank my co-riders Marshal and Dave, for their good natures and able companionship. And for their prior military service as well. I’d also like to salute the men and women serving behind that line creating the boundary around Nellis, Tonopah Test Range and Area 51, and dedicate this ride report to you guys. And especially to the PJ’s who I know are stationed at Nellis. To the guys who respond to our airmen in trouble; who go and bring them home. And to my Father – this ride is dedicated you, and to all who still stand guard and keep the watch.

I leave this ride report with the best tribute to a lost airman I know, that written by Pilot Officer John Gillespie McGee, Jr., himself an airman lost to a crash in his Spitfire during a training mission during WWII.



                     High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.


                                                                       — John Gillespie Magee, Jr



Thanks everybody, for reading along and sending your kind words and compliments. See you out there, as we all

Rally on,

Stovey
(On station, until the next legend of the Fall, wherever that may be…)


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Kosmic on November 26, 2011, 11:12:42 PM
I am on the road, returning from NC and looking forward to reading more!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: mudclod on November 27, 2011, 01:45:11 AM
What a great report! It seems you encountered no problems, health or mechanical which always leaves good memories. And no flats? Awesome!!!


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: DR_Jax_650 on November 27, 2011, 01:33:51 PM
 :*sip* Honestly, I feel so sad .....this ride report is a fantastic Tribute to the way riding (and life) should be.
Someday, I hope  to Be able to attend  one of these epic rides!! :beer  
But riding along ( in spirit )  with you here I found each days report  even better than the previous day.. and the final day had me remembering the times spent around P.A.F.B. with my Dad... Good times and Fond memories.. :thumb
 :clap  Thank you sir !! [ Stovey,You really aught to be writing for a Moto-mag  or 4 :lol ]  
:ricky  Moto-on CASPER Pilot Stovey! :ricky


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on November 28, 2011, 03:40:33 PM
Mudclod - Thanks! we had a great ride and sure could have had our share of problems, but we got lucky and breezed through with no trials. I hate flats, so that made me pretty happy!


Jack - the last thing I wanted to do was to impart any sadness in the reading of this - so I'll have to apologize for that and buy the next beer, for sure. You know I'm good for it, right? Your Dad was at Plattsburgh? Good stuff....  I thank you for the kind words as well, and the encouragement along the way! Looking forward to riding with you again someday, my friend....

All the best,

Stovey
********************************************************


Mudclod wrote - "What a great report! It seems you encountered no problems, health or mechanical which always leaves good memories. And no flats? Awesome!!!"



:*sip* Honestly, I feel so sad .....this ride report is a fantastic Tribute to the way riding (and life) should be.
Someday, I hope  to Be able to attend  one of these epic rides!! :beer  
But riding along ( in spirit )  with you here I found each days report  even better than the previous day.. and the final day had me remembering the times spent around P.A.F.B. with my Dad... Good times and Fond memories.. :thumb
 :clap  Thank you sir !! [ Stovey,You really aught to be writing for a Moto-mag  or 4 :lol ]  
:ricky  Moto-on CASPER Pilot Stovey! :ricky


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Vstromcharlie on November 28, 2011, 04:01:09 PM
Wonderful Stovey!  I remain impressed with your route planning and your story telling abilities.  I sure wish I had been able to attend but things happen for a reason, always. 

Somehow, I feel as if I were along for the ride as a result of your innate ability to penetrate into ones mind and weave your story like a movie unfolding in my brain and in front of my eyes.  What a wonderful story.  Thanks.


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on November 28, 2011, 04:39:51 PM
Charlie,


Thanks.... I am humbled. We can unfold a movie together one day, okay?

 :ricky

Stovey


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: DR_Jax_650 on November 29, 2011, 11:32:18 AM
Stovey, thanks for the Uber Cool Ride report...  :clap
 I was not in Plattsburgh because we were stationed there......  My dad was one of the Navy recruiters for the " North Country "
We had Base privileges due to it being  a  DOD base and all.
We got to do a lot of things because of the " Net-Working" he did with the Base. Meeting the 1973 Thunder Birds Pilots was a hoot too ..I once got to go for a "Check Ride " in a KC-135  :thumb  That was Preety Effin Cool  :pynd
We did a lot of cool things together  when time permitted...
Bye the Bye , You didn't Impart the Sadness My Friend :lol...Came about because I was reminiscing on Thanksgiving and your Ride report was on my "must finish list " for the week end...a happy coincidence is all .... :clap


Jack - the last thing I wanted to do was to impart any sadness in the reading of this - so I'll have to apologize for that and buy the next beer, for sure. You know I'm good for it, right? Your Dad was at Plattsburgh? Good stuff....  I thank you for the kind words as well, and the encouragement along the way! Looking forward to riding with you again someday, my friend....

All the best,

Stovey
********************************************************



Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on November 30, 2011, 02:04:53 AM
Jack,

10-Roger my good man... Glad to hear you got through my composition without puking, and gladder still to get the skinny on your happy times with the old man on base and elsewhere.

Looking forward to another ride like this one again someday, God willing and the river don't rise.... like it did in Vermont this past year for example.    :yikes

Thanks for all my brutha.....

Stovey


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: back2thefuture on December 04, 2011, 04:55:15 AM
Thanks Stovey,  I was enthralled with your ride report.  Will subscribe to your pen....    :*sip*


Title: Re: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem
Post by: Stovebolt on December 04, 2011, 05:31:50 PM
back2thefuture,

We were also enthralled by the ride - it was fantastic. If 2012 is good to me, I'll get to ride in New Mexico, Baja, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.... maybe all of that before my next "Legend" in the Fall. Thank you very much for your kind words. I am humbled by a slap on the back from a peer. If you ever get West of Minnesota on your bike, you should contact me in your journeys.

Much appreciated!

Stovey