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Author Topic: The 2nd Annual Legends of the Fall Trans-Nevada Whore House Hare & Hound  (Read 39693 times)
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Stovebolt
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« on: October 21, 2010, 11:27:03 PM »

The 2nd Annual Legends of the Fall Trans-Nevada Whore House Hare & Hound Dual Sport to Area 51 for No Whimps Rally Raid
Prologue

Flash back you movie buffs…… CADDYSHACK starring Bill Murray.  Scene is when and where Bill Murray is caddying the priest in the rain, and the priest is having the game of his life. You know, where he drives the ball onto the green, and it goes 2 feet long, stops – circles back and then sinks it in the cup. Just  one unstoppable lucky play after another. (Then he gets struck by lightning, and dies….)

That was my ride, only no rain and I didn’t get struck by lightning. In a word, it was magnificent!
There had been a few riders interested in the journey this year, and we had at one time, 6 people going. But, as things progressed toward the departure time, we lost all but us two same guys who rode it last year. And so it was that Keith (950transalp) and I were the only ones left to carry the flag to the top of the hill, and ride this monster ride – the 2nd Annual Legends of the Fall, Trans-Nevada Whore House Hare & Hound Dual Sport to Area 51 for No Whimps Rally Raid. If nothing else, we had a name for it….


I was mounted on Casper the Friendly Punkin, my new 2010 KTM 450 XCW Six Days machine. Keith would be on his 2001 Honda XR650R.  Both bikes were reasonably well equipped, maintained and prepped for a ride across the remote hinterlands of Nevada, and ready to cross mountain range after mountain range; desert after desert – for about a week straight.

GPS routes were laid in, all nine of them, and transferred to Keith’s Garmin Quest and my own 60CSx – mine residing in a way coolio hand-built “Buzz-Bomb” cradle manufactured by Rogue Dog Communications for TEAM RUPTURED BUZZARD in Idaho. Bar Pack was loaded with navigation paper, spare batteries to run internals on cockpit instrumentation and my rubber thumb ‘windshield wiper’ just in case. St. Peter in a dump truck already, time to ride…  Area 51, here we come.

Day 1     Twin Falls, Idaho / Jarbidge, Nevada

We loaded up the small two-place bike trailer in Victor, Idaho and set sail Swouthwest toward Twin Falls, Idaho where we had arranged with Jeff at J&C Motorsports to park our rig for the week. (A sincere thanks goes to Jeff for this mighty fine favor – it was a real help my friend!) After a pit stop in Idaho Falls for Starbucks and a donut, and a spark plug for the fanny pack, we continued on under bluebird skies across the high-speed cage pavement. Arrived at Twin to our rally point jump-off, and met Jeff. Unloaded, geared up and jumped off at mid-day, heading for the Sinclair station across the street for a fuel up. This last-stop landmark became significant a couple hours later, right Keith?

Off we go, Southbound on Blue Lakes Road toward Rogerson, Idaho, where we were to make a right turn for Three Creek Road, past Murphy Hot Springs and into Jarbidge Canyon for the night. Keith’s bike failed to relight with pleasure on a couple of occasions inbound to Jarbidge, but we didn’t make too much of it…. Perhaps it was sensing some Nevada air and was taking time to get readjusted. Maybe it knew beforehand some of what it was about to be asked to ride over and through, I dunno.  



A few coughs and sputters later and we were in Jarbidge proper for dinner and a campground, replete with cold beer to settle in to our first campsites for the journey. Ahhh, life is good.  Back at camp after dinner, and no Keith. Hell, he was right behind me at the Trading Post, I wonder what could have happened? Too early in the trip to lose a guy to a bear or a mountain lion…. Huh, I’ll give him a few minutes before I go back to scan for his corpse. A little time goes by, and then some more, and finally the thump-thump-thump of the XR650 comes more loudly and distinctly into the earshot of my wind-whistled noggin.  F-shizzle, here he is – nice, now I don’t have to drink a beer alone. Beautiful sunset is in progress, and all seems right with the world according to Stovey.

Keith is grimacing, however, and there is a lack of joy upon his freshly-fed visage. “What-ho?” thinks I, and make an inquiry about his apparent lack of joy.

“Bikey-no-starty” is the reply, and he is given over to another cursory examination of the dilmma, looking here and looking there, and there’s some immediate sign of trouble in the air bubbles gurgling backwards through the fuel  line under the petcock. Hmmmmpph…..   what’s that all about? Why is the bike gurgling fuel and air bubbles upstream through the fuel system? I’m thinking, “perhaps there is a stoppage at the gas cap vent hose” or something, and Keith is saying how he thinks the fuel is charging right past the whole works and filling his cylinder with gas….. Let’s take a look, shall we? Off comes the tank bag for an examination of that damned gas cap, for starters. Ahh, there we go, bag off… now where is that pesky gas cap? No – really; where is the damned gas cap? Can’t really start looking for trouble with it until we find it… nothing under the tank bag but a big hole where the cap might oughta be… Hmmmmph. No gas cap. But, a really, really tight-ass seal on the tank with the tank bag. Kind causing a big giant vacuum in the fuel system; so tight it wouldn’t even leak gas to give any indication of a missing cap, just a vapor lock it was so tight. Well, half of the problem was solved – we found the problem. The other half would be fixing it, short of riding 100 miles back to where we just came from to the Sinclair Station on Addison Street in Twin Falls.

At breakfast the next day, the local hero’s sallied forth and rallied behind Keith with all manner of helpful strategies and equipment; everything from old plastic peanut butter jar lids to a mason jar. The mason  jar lid did the trick! And it ended up working like a charm. For 1270 miles.




Day 2 follows with pics to post

« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 05:29:06 PM by Stovebolt » Logged

DoctorXRR
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 01:07:48 AM »

Saved by the lowly mason jar ....sounds like a true McGyver moment!  Looking forward to hearing about the next 1200 miles! What's next, rescued by a one-gallon zip lock?   
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Christian
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 06:07:41 AM »

Right on Stovey,
I feel the need for such a single-minded, high intensity, test of man and machine! This is a ride I could really sink my teeth into.
The S.A.L.O.F.T.F.T.N.W.H&H would be perfect to kick off my 50th birthday with next year.
By then I will have acquired that distinguished salt n' pepper tinge to my hair that my wife finds attractive, if I start now, I could work my self into good physical shape too! 
I hope you guys made it safely through Area 51, no gang-probe by Aliens!
Patrice

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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2010, 09:06:34 AM »

Great start!  You sir have a distinct writing style. Very enjoyable.
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Stovebolt
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2010, 02:48:18 PM »

Day 2   Jarbidge / Elko / Cissilini Canyon

We arose in camp along the river and found a beautiful morning waiting outside our bivy’s.









Keith’s  bike needed a gas cap, and our bodies wanted some fuel, so we idled in to Jarbidge after packing up and found ourselves back at the Outdoor Inn for breakfast/brunch. It turned into “brunch” because we lollygagged around with the natives who were friendly and helpful in the extreme! They were all so pleasant and nice – it was a real treat to be around them. They pitched in and got Keith back on track with a custom-fitted Mason jar lid fitted with a vent setup, and we said our goodbyes after a fine breakfast, and headed South outa town after a refuel at the 24/7 credit card pump serving the small community of Jarbidge, along the Jarbidge-Charleston Road.

We made our way through a beautiful canyon being careful to avoid oncoming hunter traffic, and on up to the Bear Creek Pass at approximately 8400-8500 feet ASL.


















Downtown Charleston, at rush-hour..... (best keep ambling along, as there were signs of occupancy. I thought I could hear banjo music.... not a time to tarry.)


The riding was great for dirt roads, and the scenery was outstanding as we rolled through tunnels of shimmering (“quaking” maybe?) Aspen; their leafy yellow branches arcing over the passages of our once-again legendary ride. Me likey. Casper just roared and purred.

We broke out into some Palouse as we dropped down from the Jarbidge Mountains and made our right turn on the route, and within a couple of miles I managed to miss a turn to take us Southbound through the hills directly North of and into Elko. So we proceeded onward toward Highway 225, confident I could rejoin the route further on, and pick up some time we left in Jarbidge retrofitting a gas cap and having a leisurely breakfast. After slabbing it for a few miles southward on 225, we jumped off and headed back into the bush, making a stab at another dirt run into Elko from the North. We lost some time over a navigational difference of opinion, but it didn’t do any harm – we recalculated on the fly and put ourselves through a bunch of ranch fences on and through washes and two-tracks to I80, about 20 miles East of Elko later in the afternoon. The riding and scenery continued to be awfully good as we purred and pawed through gullies, valleys, ditches, rivers and fences. We made the interstate after a bit and hit Elko for fuel, water sleeves and a couple of cold man-killers for the trail, and left town on the next magenta line called up on the GPS, heading out shortly after 5pm and a phone contact with my wife, Dorothy. My evening plop zone was reconnoitered to be in the vicinity of the Bullion mines in the Pinon Range, Southwest of Elko. So we needed to make time to get Casper bedded down before I might have to face the folly of calling upon the dismal rays of the stock headlight (“forward-looking-infra-DEAD”.) We snicked a few gears as we followed my route and made two-tracks in short order. I let the loud canon roar, made 85mph once or twice once we got back into the bushes, and before sunset we had a camp in up Cissilini Canyon near the Bullion mines. It was beautiful; camp was level, Aspen-sheltered and isolated. The cold man-killers didn’t hurt either. Stovey was in “happy-ville.”





Tomorrow would be another great day, and Keith had a nice incline to roll his Honda down for a bump-start if he wanted to take the edge off his knee. If the lions didn’t get us, or a satellite fall out of the sky onto our heads, we remained golden yet again. We would cross these hills toward Railroad Pass, and be in Eureka tomorrow afternoon – a point where we needed to take on serious fuel and begin the first committed leg of the raid. Until then, we were still on Easy Street – so easy even a caveman could do it… “All is well, safely rest… God is neigh.”
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 04:35:10 PM by Stovebolt » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2010, 05:26:09 PM »

Day 3     Cissilini Canyon / Eureka / Pancakes

Dawn broke like a glass rod snapping, and the early rays found me recently un-entombed from a delicious slumber ensconced within my 0-degree Gore-tex Feathered Friend with so-many ounces of 900-fill Polish down. When the dawn-whip cracks, I can often crack back when I’m on these rides… looking forward to those steamy, delicious blends of instant orange mochachinos – freshly brewed and warming to my aging paws. I like two or three of those bastards around me while I break my camps and prepare for the daily fools parade down the paths to nowhere. Works for me all over the place – this morning was no different, and I found pleasure in every stuffsack packed, and each sip from three full thermo-tumblers.  The ride ahead looked good on paper and from the air (‘Thank You’ Google Earth) and the papers had already been exchanged in the Bar Pack, new route toggled to “navigate” the night before.  No satellites fell upon my helmet-haired head during the night, and not a mountain lion too be found in my shorts – I looked. My checklist was complete, and I was ready to roll. “You ready, Keith?”

“Yep!”




Off we went, down the canyon from underneath of the “Raven’s Nest” 8710-foot pinnacle that shielded us from the North, and off through a couple of ranch gates to rejoin the route, and get back on “that purple line.” It was no trick following my route, it was easy enough especially for someone who studied the route ahead of time, and spent a goodly amount of eyeballing the paper, software and Google Earth views. We had navigation to perform at junctions with all manner of obliterated two-tracks here and there, but it was pretty straightforward stuff. We paraded through BLM and ranch tracts for miles, making good our threat to rally and raid like legends in our own minds – each brain pan collecting images to last a lifetime through our glasses and faceshields. “Picturesque” doesn’t exactly hit the nail on the head, but already my mind was searching for modifiers and superlatives – it was just outstanding riding and scenery…. dry mountain mile after mile.





We were Southbound to a place called Railroad pass, and approaching the Pinon Range exit that would take us through and past the Red Rock Ranch, and down into the Diamond Valley on the North end of Eureka. The Diamond Mountains began to emerge from the South, and the Diamond Valley alkali flats would greet us on our right as we popped down for a dirt road cruise into Eureka. I remembered last year when Keith and I were shit-stormed by a powerful dust devil on the Pony Express Trail between Partoun and Gandy, Utah. It took the bars nearly out of our hands and made puckers in our ‘brown pants’ – leaving both of us spun at 65-70 mph along a gravel road, and with new respect for the ‘wicked witches of the West’ after it passed. The same devil got us both, within seconds, but neither of us went down for the dirt nap. As we came down out of the Pinon Mountains, I saw those alkali flats, and knew it was a spawning ground for those dust devils… and I respected it for the crucible that it was. I thought to myself, “…I will serve as no dust for the Devil’s pestal and mortar this day…” and rallied onward and downward toward the alkali – both hands gripping Casper as we motored together over an altogether abandoned two-track with baseballs, cactus and cobble in 1st and 2nd gears.





Keith and I met the Diamond Valley floor through a couple miles of deep and powdery silt beds, filling 6-inches trenches that served as either side of the two-track. Hmmmmph. At least there were no baby heads rolling around in the bottom of that silt - that would have sucked.  “Glad I’m on a dirt bike. Hope Keith is alright on his bigger XR650 behind me…”  He was, and we made good the transition from “technical two-track” to a real dirt road. I heard that loud canon roaring once again, and 6th gear put me into a meteoric trajectory toward a right turn onto our connection at Railroad Pass, and down-bound to Eureka.

Passing the Diamond Mountains to our left, and the ‘Devil’s Crucible’ to our right, I was able to witness the dust storms producing as many as 6 dust devils at a time as we roared down the valley toward the still-actively-mining community of Eureka, where rough men toil daily in a vast expanse of molybdenum mines. God bless each and every one of those crusty, hard-working, brave bastards. "Soon, we will sit in one of your cafés and buy some fuel from your local depot… and ride through your mines."

We made town and gathered in fuel for the bikes and food for our grumble-boxes, stuffing each to within an inch of torso-bursting capacity. I poured in an extra gallon between water bottles that were emptied into my two Camelbacks and sleeved into Wolfman Water Bottle Holsters strapped to my Giantloop, and inside my day pack. Keith found a big-ass jug to serve his purposes in the local mercantile, and we motored away under dark skies with sucker holes in them, and raindrops aplenty smacking my Arai XD faceshield. A new magenta line bleeped forth on my cockpit TV set, and I knew with active mining going on, the data vs. real ground might undergo a disparity, and navigation around and into the mountains to the West and South of Eureka might present challenges. We made good though, and we passed through the Mountain Boy and Fish Creek Ranges on ABSOLUTELY STELLAR new and old/abandoned mining paths! What a trail we blazed through the pinon  and cedars, “tunneling" our way through helmet-smacking branches from junipers oh-so-ready to peel us off the bikes, or strip an unwary Hero-cam from a helmet mount. Keith was back there somewhere, riding like a champion, and refusing to give that helmet cam away to the demons lurking in the hidden passageway we were forging. Coming down through those last bits of mountain “two-track” (it was VERY single-track for a lot of it) we now had a clear view of “home” and the Pancake Range to the Southeast. A mad late-day dash across the Little Smoky Valley would find us with the last desert underneath our wheels for the day, and into the shelter of a mountain hideaway for the night; a place where we might find comfortable lodging alongside our route, and underneath some nice juniper boughs…. So close, and a mere hour or so away from the viewpoint near the Fish Creek Ranch we approached from the Northwest.



I asked Keith how he was doing – and it was all “thumbs-up” from my riding partner, giving a grin as we rocketed off towards much easier ground to cover before settling in for the night – ready to make camp; and did I mention we got away from Eureka with a fresh load of cold man-killers? We did, and they were going to be sore-needed come tent-pitching time, and when I pulled out that Crazy Creek to plop my fat ass down into. Throttle systems were still intact on each bike, as it turned out, and oinking a mere ¼-twist to my 450 XCW gave amazingly rapid results yet again…. Keith would have to fend for himself in my dust for a moment, as I gave Casper some legs and we hauled the mail down across that final valley for the day. I could “smell the barn” like an old horse coming back from pasture, and it was a thrill to light that bike up in 6th and laser beam my way from GPS connection to GPS connection. It was straight as grizzly’s dick for miles, and a rather wicked speed approaching Shuttle Escape Velocity and the point of no return was achieved and maintained. (I was thinking how my dust trail would likely be visible if SPOT or Google Earth was focusing during those moments.) And the moments roared by quickly as we entered the Northern terminus of the Pancakes, and home for the night.



After a short bit of two-track high-speed meandering along that little purple line on my TV, we came to rest at long last in a really cool little valley in the shadow of Moody Mountain to the North of Brown Summit which lies to the East of Duckwater. It was a beautiful hole-up to be sure, and we dismounted under sunset-filled skies, the rainwater having long since disappeared. We even managed a nice enviro-campfire under stars so bright it could make your brain bleed after a day in the bright dust trails of Day 3.  A quick oil change gave Casper a late afternoon orgasm, and the noodles and chicken with a cold man-killer nearly gave me one. Another legendary day, glorious in its way-too-generous offerings for tainted souls like us. I went to bed again, a truly, truly happy man.







Keith found fresh kitty tracks a short drop-a-steamer distance from where we laid our helmet-haired heads. I hoped he was a friendly kitty, a stupid retard of a kitty, or simply blind with no nostrils… I would be too tired to fight, and too happy to care if a pounce was on his mind. Goodnight, Keith. Goodnight “John-Boy.”  Goodnight Kitty….

« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 12:14:23 PM by Stovebolt » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2010, 06:35:38 PM »

Very awesome report, sounds like you guys were really burning it up.  Great to know you can capture that true sense of freedom, in Texas we have no such BLM lands, and you have to really work to link up county roads to ride on.  You both have bikes you can truly rip on, which is great.  This report is hairier than a grizzly's dick, with a sack to match!
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Christian
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2010, 09:53:14 PM »

Totally incredible Stovey! I am getting a kick out of your writing,
Passionate riders living life to the max on thoroughbred motorcycles.... wow! ricky ricky
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« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2010, 06:21:35 PM »

Day 4      Pancake / Lunar Crater / Nyala Wadi / Ash Springs




This morning was crisp – frost everywhere. Bike seat and instruments were all covered in frosty mini-feathers, but even though it was obviously sub-freezing, it hadn’t been that much colder or been that way for long. The water in my Camelbacks wasn’t frozen – just liquid and waiting for me to fire up my stove and brew some Orange Mocchachinos. If I’d had a Pop-Tart I could have been in training for the Olympics… and a bright Sun from the East told me I was in the right place, and having the time of my life.

The bikes were ornery this morning, both requiring a little more oomph from the operator to get things lit. I even kicked mine  to keep from running the battery down, and she fired up nicely after a few strokes from the Alpinestars Tech 6. (Bastards quit making these boots in favor of the new breed of plastic hybrids….. DAMNATION! Best Boots I’ve ever owned.  You reading this ALPINESTARS?) After we were packed up and the bikes lit off and warmed up, we faced South and knew we were on the pivot leg of the journey – at day’s end, we would rest at the Southernmost point on this ride, hopefully in Ash Springs. I was loose and focused, because I also knew I had to stay on my game to keep from losing track, and blowing our fuel somewhere and causing us to lie stranded in some God-forsaken valley…. scorpion food, or worse. Well, time to jet. Clear left – clear right, clear prop….. throttles up.



The dirt we were on in the Pancake Mountains was great too, and there were twisties everywhere. Often there were berms you could rail, but I had to choke my motor this morning and run it like it was the last tank of fuel I’d ever have… and in fact, that might possibly even come true if I pooched things hard enough. So I leaned back and enjoyed a nice ride out of the mountains and through a small pass joining Brown Truck Summit Trail, and onto the desert floor on the West side of the Pancakes. We needed to follow dirt tracks South to Black Rock Summit on Highway 6, and jump out of the Big Springs Valley we were in, and fall off in to the Lunar Crater – where would face “The Wall.”

As it happened, like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – who was also proud of his work…. I was told I had “too many notes…” and my route got cancelled by Garmin. Of course, I knew ahead of time I needed to check each of them for complete translations, knowing there is a memory limit. But I blew it off, and figured if something happened, I needed to be able to navigate completely without a GPS at all, and thus I was pretty much prepared  to see my magical purple line come to a complete stop out here underneath the disappearing shadows of Portugese Mountain. “Too many via points” Captain Garmin said, and right in the middle of my ride, he threw out my route, snickering at my folly I do believe.  My critical issue was fuel (and time) because I needed to keep moving in the right direction, no mistakes. Time spent going in the wrong direction meant fuel disappearing that I couldn’t get back, short of the kind of luck you simply don’t think about – you can’t. It doesn’t exist – you need to hit the nail on the head sometimes.



So, a few minutes with the kickstand down to double-check my bearings and landmarks with my paper maps and I was confident I knew where we were, exactly. I also felt I had to keep focused and stay the course because the dirt road was an obliterated two-track at this point, and there were criss-crossed same-sames intersecting with us and running all through the place. There are many tracks into the devil’s cauldrons! We just needed the one that would take us out of this one, and into the next…. So, we relit and motored down alongside the base of the Pancakes on the West side of the Range, continuing South and toward our connection on the highway near Black Rock Summit. I left the GPS on “Navigate” for entertainment value… it would always read, “Head North to Road.” I thought of how funny it is that some folks will take a message like that literally, even under the same circumstances, and wheel off a cliff someplace, calling their attorneys with their last dying breaths over a Blackberry, rapidly losing its signal as their “Tom-Tom” blinked “….heading into a chasm…” at them.  Still funny.















Being a student of navigation, well, a former student…. now more or less a reject from Clown College, I was comfortable on this leg, even without my purple line. With the “TV” now in use as electronic paper, and my rolling thunder beneath me, we just thumped along that desert floor. At a point further South but above the Black Rock Summit, I gave us a right turn instead of a left – a left that would have kept us exactly on my route. My choice of the right was based on the data I had in my head and it was actually a great choice – it probably saved us a little fuel. But, when we reached the highway at Black Rock Summit, old Stovey’s ‘Nav Center’ tricked him into thinking we were hitting the nail on the same old head I had programmed on my route, and not on the “new and improved” nail on the head I had just developed. So, without much ado at the pavement crossing, and almost while staring at my landmark features within the Lunar Crater we were to travel directly into, I made the decision to make a right turn. Thinking I was at a place literally a few hundred yards East of where we were, we were actually a few hundred yards downstream, and needed a left, and then a quick right. Ahhhh…. “too many notes” in my head for my own good. When we made our turn off the highway a few minutes later, and headed South at the sign for “Lunar Crater – this-a-way…” I felt like I had us on track, yet something still didn’t feel quite right. Throttle in and settle, the Paper and TV set on the handlebars are in good agreement, and…. Uh-oh! What’s that?

A sign alongside the road is reading “Easy Chair Crater – This a-way” and pointing to my left. That smelled right away like a pantload I ought to be digging into right away, since I knew that at this point the Easy Chair Crater needs to be on my right hand side. Sure enough, the landmark feature we were scoping called “The Wall” was easily viewable in the distance (not too far away) to the East, across this crater floor. All this data processing while rolling and down-snicking – no stinking mapwork required at this point for my light bulb to go back on. (I like to think that it stays on, just shines in the wrong direction sometimes….. times like these for example.)

Anyway, 13 miles off-route meant 13 miles back to get en-route, ruling out the shortcut to The Wall. Having sorted this wrong turn out and re-engaging our objective on the right course, we proceeded to continue taking in the magnificent scenery in and around this monumental crater. My pictures suck and my camera was basically half Tango Uniform the entire trip – sometimes just not working at all. But, it was a breathtaking spot with lots to look at and glide through as we made our way up a gradual grade toward a passage through a landmark feature guarding the Lunar Crater on the East side of the Lunar Lake, known as and marked on the map as, “The Wall.”





The back side drop through The Wall was instantaneously recognizable – we were apparently in Moab. Holy crap! Nice view, but better stay focused as we pilot these whales down the steep rocky cobbles and slickrock that will empty us, eventually, into the Railroad Valley… and the Nyala Wadi. But man alive, what cool stuff! I knew as my enjoyment meter started to peg with the addition of a little rocky single track that Keith might have to summon enough effort and chutzpah to navigate his heavier and tippier XR over this same ground, and that I should be mindful of this and find places to stop to get off and assist if needed. I was waiting at a flat spot below these massive rock  pillars when Keith rounded the corner on top of the passage through The Wall, and made his right curving arc towards the “Moab Impersonator.” His descent would not be as smooth and smiley as mine was….



Anyway, to make the short story short, he waddled down the hill, then high-sided. Full somersault on all the sharp and pointy things… and then he bounced back up. He wasn’t far away, and he was up and had his bike back upright before I was able to get to him. So we had that going for us… A quick relight for the XR and we were back underway, ¼ steam ahead, and down through more tumbly slickrock and cobbles. At the bottom of this passage and after we made the valley floor, we came by a butte with a unique rock formation at its base. It was clearly a man-made object, and roughly 80 feet across or so – perfectly circular. It was some kind of a wall, approximately 5-6 feet high and made of tightly stacked flat rocks all similar to each other in size, shap and color. Tan, black and golden brown, the henge was a real surprise, and begged for a picture.  (This feature is actually viewable on Google Earth.) But between my camera sucking and Keith off ahead, I just kept motoring to get back in front so I could keep the course through Nyala Wadi and up into the last navigational challenge of this, our most seriously committed leg. We were approaching mid-afternoon as we got onto the Railroad Valley floor on the West side under The Wall (that place was sooo cool!) We needed to make some miles, and stay off the throttles if we were going to make it. Already fuel was at the forefront of both of our minds. Well that, and of course I was concerned about being mistaken for a cow, and mutilated by some unseen cosmic force from above. But, I digress…..   Probably should sip a little more brain juice outa this Camelback.


A few more zigs and zags in 6th gear brought us around the giant triangle of a connection we needed to nav through to get us across the valley and into the only vestige of modern civilization in these parts – a small smudge on the maps named Nyala Wash. Having scoured the area on Google Earth, I knew there wasn’t much here to be expected by way of comfort or salvation, but it was en route and we would soon see what this “smudge” was all about. As it turned out, that took all of about 45 seconds to shop through, and that was on foot going back and forth twice. Once we made it through a stubborn ranch gate that forced me to unfurl my tool pack for a crescent wrench to disengage the chain keeper that was keeping us trapped inside this cauldron; like being in that stone henge without any door, we entered the vicinity of habitation. Signs of life and farmed irrigation pivots were sparse, but we rode through them and came upon a small “ranch outpost” that was the Nyala Wadi.



Nyala consists of a half-dozen or so mobile homes stacked side by side and a couple of shacks, along with a bigger Morton building type of a shop, and about 20 or 30 empty red gas cans scattered on the desert floor. Near as we could tell, the place was a candidate for Hollywood location scouts for any B-movie you could think of involving teenagers disappearing one after the other, all night long on the big screen of a drive-in theater. We dismounted after having passed through the only gate, then decided we might try for fuel and water, while we were here. (And on the “other” side of the gate – just in case…) Keith had managed to cook off his bike while letting it sit idle, being distracted at the gate chain mechanical debacle just previous to our unannounced arrival to Nyala, and we thought if we could score fuel and/or water, we might hedge our bet a little, and make better our chances to get through the Cherry Creek Pass ahead – and find a friendlier passage across the Garden and Coal Valleys on the other side of the Quinn Wilderness en route to Hiko, and the highway to Ash Springs. God, we still had a long way to go, and limited fuel and daylight to make it happen.

So we gathered up our nutsacks and walked back through the gate into Nyala, hoping for the best. We found a young man there, the only live warm body we saw, and he agreed to fill water bottles, but could offer no fuel. He said they had run out, and one of the guys had taken all the fuel cans somewhere back out to go get some. (“Back Out” to where?) We thanked him openly for the water, and went back through the gate after the long walk downtown, and I remember thinking to myself that we could die any number of slow deaths out here in this hamlet, or while trying to run away from it while being chased through the wash by a maniac with a chainsaw in his hands. I needed another sip from my Camelback, to get back on track and stay focused.

We remounted after giving the XR a drink of water, and took off again, setting sail North toward a right turn that would take us back into some mountains, and over a pass into the next, and final, big valley crossing on this leg. The “keeper” crossing on a big keeper valley, the Garden Valley which lies North of Rachel, and Area 51. Off we went, and a glance in my Highway Dirtbikes rearviews revealed dust, Keith and no saw-wielding maniacs. It was still a good day!



The Cherry Creek Pass was stunningly beautiful and the dirt was fantastic. The water truck had been out all over Nevada the week before we left for this trip, and the roads and tracks were in such awesome condition it was simply unbelievable! Groomers and twisties and berms. It was tough at this point to not just twist that handle and rail it – but fuel was going to be critical. Short of digging an oil well and refining it ourselves, we were dicked. Plan B was cannibalism, so I was conscious of not flat-tracking like Dave Aldana, and just letting Casper sip along. I kept an eye on my TV and the rear-views for Keith, and stayed frosty and focused, and kept enjoying the ride. Who knows? It might be my last; I’ll be damned if I ain’t going to have fun!

We made the pass up and down and I decided to let Casper coast for a few miles on the downhill side to conserve fuel. I was on my game and navigating on the fly, panning and zooming in the cockpit while I had easy trails to divide my attentions. Keith’s headlight was still on in my rear-views, and I was bumming to think that his motor was still running when he had a chance to coast like I was doing, but at that point it only strengthened my resolve about “Plan B.” If it came to that, I was determined to just eat him, and this would be useful if I flinched at taking that all-important first bite. “You should be coasting with the engine off, Keith!” I remember thinking to myself….  Rally on.

The Garden Valley greeted us with a locked ranch gate where we wanted to keep going, and Keith made time to reflect at that juncture while I simply said, “…follow me – I can get us around…” and made tracks on an alternate. We got our bearings well enough through a section of “many road jumble” and faced the front fenders into the wind, and across that endless valley of no return, toward Mt. Irish. Having successfully found our ways onto the Mail Summit Road, we knew we were home free on the navigational aspect of things, and the only thoughts were that we were going to get low on fuel. I was still confident we had plenty to make the main slab at Hiko, though, and was a joyful bastard inside my helmet as the sagebrush, cactus and occasional cow skull whistled by. It was 5pm, and it would all be over within an hour – we’d be at camp, or out of gas one way or the other. I thought how that stark truth spun an entirely clear perspective on things, and pressed on at 55-60mph atop my Friendly Punkin.

A flag came into view on my TV, and I recognized the immediate surroundings as we came by the site of last year’s “2009 Legends of the Fall, Pre-Halloween Havoc Dual Sport Ride For No Whimps Tandem Bike Rally”   http://www.spotadventures.com/trip/view?trip_id=180528. We were getting close enough to really feel it now, and the critical fuel “tension” was palpable – it was as though Keith and I could read each other’s minds! What in the hell could either of us be thinking about that would be more important. It was funny, because you could almost see the words floating back and forth between his helmet and mine, in mid air – like those little “thought bubbles” in a cartoon. “Got gas?”

Mail Summit Road brought us in, and we made the slab under our own power, finally! What a long crossing those last couple valleys were, coming in toward and past Mt. Irish to the North of Rachel and Crystal Springs. We made the highway, and had a home free run down into Ash Springs! We rallied on under a very late-day sun, and a warm wind.

We motored down the pavement, through Hiko (no phone, no lights, no motor car – not a single luxury) and into Crystal Springs to pick up the intersection of Highway 93. What, less than a dozen miles or so to Ash Springs? Hot damn! As we cruised those last few miles into the stable, and our camp and respite, I thought about the huge miles and vast array of images that got jammed into my skull this day. This fuel leg had us passing by and through so many stunning landscapes – rock, sand and mountainous feature one after another for hundreds of miles… it was dreamy. It was tremendous. And it was all mine – to savor forever. What a blast! Aaahh, the Shell station is right here – right where we left it last year! Cool… check the rearviews, and Keith is right here with me the whole way – no doubt feeling the joy of a day well ending, and great things accomplished on a motorcycle – it wasn’t all easy, and we stayed hard at it all day. And…..ppphhhttt….     thump, grrrrr,,……….   Pppphhhhhhttt……..

WTF?    

About 5 seconds before I would have begun braking and downshifting for the right turn off Highway 93 into the Shell station parking lot, I flamed out. “You have GOT to be shitting me…”  I didn’t catch it in time to get it onto reserve safely – I had a semi with a double pup right on my ass and instinct just kicked in and had me pulled over as I waived Keith by me, smiling inside my helmet at what just happened. The petcock turned after the truck and Keith got by me, and Keith was looking over his shoulder at me as I had the choke on and the bike refired. My smile turned into little giggles, and I blinkered my way back onto the slab, and didn’t even make 4th gear before having to brake, signal and downshift for my exit.

As I pulled into the station and swung a leg off while the bike was still moving, the laughter was echoing inside my Arai, and I just couldn’t believe it! I had the helmet off, my dry lips cackling this no-doubt maniacal cackle, and I was grabbing Keith by his shoulders and laughing and yelling, “..I ran out of gas – I ran out of fucking gas! Can you believe it?!” And he was laughing as we stood there in front of “civilians” parked at the pumps who were apparently just staring at us – knowing Area 51 was just over the hill from where they decided to stop and get gas in their cars; they must have been convinced that they had stopped in the wrong place, at the wrong time. “I don’t know what these nuts are going to want with us, but I’m pretty sure I know where they came from… quick, take a picture and call The Enquirer…”

I just propped the kickstand down, and with my helmet in my hand I raised my arms up in a sign of “Victory,” and like Maxximus I remember thinking with my eyes skyward; “…are you not ENTERTAINED?!”  If I’d had a sword in my hand I’d have flung it into the audience, and walked back to my gladiator chambers….

So it happens, “gladiatorial chambers” were just across the street from the 24-hour Shell station/convenience store, and on BLM land where we would be momentarily pitching our tents – a place approximately 200 foot paces from the city park hot springs. That’s right; fuel, food, lodging and hot springs to bath and replenish in, and all within walking distance from where the leg of my kickstand rested. And, as the sun would set within the hour, we had ringside seats to whatever show might be on the skychannel  over the Pahranagat Range to the West. Food, a soak, and a Crazy Creek chair facing Nellis with a cold man-killer in my lap would round out this 248-mile fuel leg pretty nicely. If lightning struck, it would not have been a life wasted, from just this one day alone.  The game of my life? You bet.





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« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 12:18:30 PM by Stovebolt » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2010, 09:35:53 PM »

Day 5      Ash Springs / Pioche / Baker

Time to pee….. I get up in the dark and find a thirsty prickly pear. My ICO tells me it’s 5:30 in the morning. Hell, may as well stay up and grab me a nice sunrise. After my leisurely recharge last night, and the flying circus we got to witness over the Groom Lake vicinity with military formations, countermeasures and one particularly fast moving aircraft the likes of which neither Keith nor I had EVER witnessed, and the nice dip in the hot springs and food and all… I was already a pretty happy camper. But, I thought I would sprinkle a little sugar on top and go for the big one…. I walked over to the Shell station and commissioned myself a cup of freshly blended mocha jojo and grabbed a nutritious athlete recharger in the form of a donut, and wandered on over to the hot springs for an early morning riser.



I found Keith there already, steaming around in the dark with some trucker. I hoped they weren’t capturing a special quiet moment under the stars, but either way I was cannonballing my way into Day 5 of this Raid, coffee in one hand, my yeehah in the other. The springs were great, and we got a nice long soak again – me with my mochajojo poolside; and called it a nice way to start the day! This place was built for Stovey – walking distance to and from your camp (BLM, free.) Springs under the shade in the day and starry views in the dark (free.) Dumpster nearby to offload your refuse (free.) Super access to 24-hour convenience store and fuel. It was an adventure rider’s heaven, I swear.  But, after scraping all the barnacles off from the journey through every desolate valley, trench and wadi that Satan ever manufactured, and convinced that we’d frightened off more tourists at that truck stop to shut the entire community right down to the ground for about a week, I figured we might as well start the SPOTcast and get underway. There were bound to be a few more trails to run and berms to rail, and we were just the superheroes to do it!  (More on this coming up…)

Keith and I were fueled up and resleeved with water and some morning body fuel and coffees. Camp was packed and the new purple line was blazing away on another route toggled to “navigate” on TV. Time here was well spent, but too short. I neither saw no Aliens, nor felt no probings but met some nice people and thoroughly enjoyed a starlit evening with some cold man-killers, and watched a good show with my friend as we sat fat and happy at the end of a long day. Now, after spring soak number two, it was time to rally on, and make for Pioche through the desert across the Delamar Valley. But first, a short cruise through “Hells Half Acre” just to the South of Ash Springs. “Kick ‘em and snick ‘em….”  We’re off on the northbound return legs toward home, and the beginning of a long Day 5!



“Hell’s Half Acre” is on the maps, and it was a really stunning cruise (short) through some good dirt road alongside and through shallow canyon country to where we intersected the next dirt road and headed more Northerly through the Delamar toward Caliente and Pioche. Caliente was not on the agenda this trip, but we ran a nice bypass on through some great rollers back toward the Highland Range over Bennett Pass. We had  a great run meandering alongside the Comet Road and into and out of lots of washed out two track and some single track in the Silver State OHV Trail system, and on into Pioche, up over Zero Pass. We made good time and under perfect skies again we rolled into Pioche for a nice lunch and fuel stop in this once-thriving Silver mining town. The mines played out and were shut down in 1975, and when I asked the nice lady at the café what people did in Pioche (pronounced PEE-Oh-She according to the locals) she replied, “Nothin.”





A nice lunch with plenty of water to drink would hit the spot, and the only market left in town was right next door, so while lunch was being burned according to my request, I walked over to buy a few liters of water to sleeve up and save for fuel bottles later. Once we made Baker at the end of the day, I was going to want to have another salvo of auxiliary fuel on board, stashed in my pack and into Wolfman Water Bottle Holsters for a calculated “iffy” rattle Northward from there to Wells, by my route. So, I wandered into that store on a mission, and the lady at the counter just stared at me then smiled. Another lady filed into line with her meagerly-filled cart, and she was smiling too – and the first lady at the register asked, “….are YOU a SUPERHERO?” and started giggling. The other lady was starting to giggle too – they had me bracketed, and so I just smiled back at both of them and said, “Why Yes – Yes I am! Can I sign something for ya?” We all cracked up just standing there in the market in the middle of Pioche on a nice day in October. My Six-Six-One Pressure suit was still a-dangling off me like a cheap suit, but with all the crash armor and riding pants and boots, and my face that must have looked like a ripped sneaker, I must have just looked like Halloween come early. It was a funny moment, and I was grinning broadly as I beamed back through the doorway as I left; “I’ll send my sidekick in – in just a few moments, I sense that he too will need water. It’s what we run on!” We were all still giggling as I walked back out the door, and went on my way down the sidewalk to finish off a nicely charred burger. We ‘superheroes’ run on them too.

(For more on what “Team Ruptured Buzzard” eats, visit my website for details here:

 http://bustedcompass.com/Ruptured_Raids.php#buzzard_food      and feel free to peruse the rest of

my site, should you be locked in a bathroom with a laptop at some point in your life.)

Anyway, we met a little 3-year-old boy, “Kaden” at the local gas station, and he wanted to see my motorcycle. Being a Superhero, I told him he could come outside and see it if it was alright with his Mom, and she was smiling and nodding her head. There was still nothing to do in Pioche at that time, so it seemed like a good idea, and we all three wandered back over to where Casper sat waiting for me, and we got that little boy up on top of the seat as soft as a rusty girder, and he was thrilled to death. Even got to beep the horn and everything. “Bye-Bye Kaden,” be well my young friend. We must be off, to patrol the desert and keep it free from fiends and boogeymen. Adieu!








The route out of Pioche led us onto some slab for a short time, until we got off onto some dirt roads leading away from the things of man. We spent the rest of the afternoon loping through foothills on great dirt roads to the North and East of Pioche, heading up Camp Valley toward the mining town of Atlanta where we passed through last Fall. We would skirt to the East of Atlanta on this run, cutting through the Wilson Creek Range and staying to the East side of those mountains and through the endless expanse of Hamlin Valley. The Granite Peak (elevation 11,218 ft.) was visible for almost a million miles from the South, as we headed North toward it, and the Great Basin National Park. (The “Great Basin” per se is a huge land area, encompassing a big part of Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Oregon. They make it a National Park within a small part of that all-encompassing land mass, with a visitor center in Baker, Nevada – which lies North of Garrison, Utah, right on the State line smack dab in the middle of nowhere.)





We wicked it up in the late afternoon, knowing that we had a great campsite waiting for us up ahead and I for one was looking forward to another great starlit night around a campfire and a cold man-killer. Our thought earlier in the day was, if we made it to Baker with no trouble, and didn’t get any vultures or anything tangled up in our Superhero Capes, we would go for the same campsite we held last year up Snake Creek to the South and West of Baker. After a short stop in town for water and cold ones, and a bag of chips for the road, we waved “Hi and Goodbye” to a passing solo Adventure Rider on a new KTM 990 who was pulling out of a café across the street from the only store in Baker, and headed back out of town. The sun still had a few good rays left in it when we made camp, and I used them to air a sleeping bag and my riding clothes from the day. Keith took “his spot” from last year, and I claimed the same spot I had previously as well. This time, Casper took the place of the bike I was on last year’s “Legend” – my partner Keith’s very own XR650 that he was riding today. Son of a gun flat gave me his motorcycle to ride, because my 640A had a water pump go Tango Uniform on me two days before we left, and I had no time to fix it. We simply performed a “New York Reload” and threw the bad one down, and picked up a fresh one, worrying about fixing the bad one later. His XR was a good bike for the ride we did last year, and it was a better bike for this year’s route than Keith’s other bike, a bigger KTM 950 Adventure. Still, this route took us over and through some more difficult ground than last year’s ride, to be sure. And Keith did well to jockey and course that XR through it. My hat is off to you Keith, and a sturdy nod in your direction for all you did to keep yourself aloft on a sometimes very challenging set of tracks! Good man. Salute.  Shut up and give me my beer then….

Back up high in “cat country” again, we spent a little bit around the campfire after I made another quick oil change in Casper, to keep him purring and happy, even if a mountain lion should get me in the night. At least this way, if somebody came to repatriate my corpse, my bike would be ready for come what may. That’s how I roll.   ;-)

I set another “Mark” on my GPS, for “LOF2 – Camp5,” and enjoyed another good evening of dinner, campfire and Colorado Cool Aid. The Big Agnes mattress was going to do its magic once again, and I reflected on the days’ journeys – rocky canyons, groomed dirt (did I forget to mention the motor grader in front of us when we made the left turn out of Hell’s Half Acre through the Delamar?) and some single track and high-speed rollers. The compressions were so huge coming into theHighland Range South of Pioche, that I had to drop a gear a few times for fear of a catastrophic collapse of everything I held dear. We G’d the bikes out for miles along that section that was straight as a grizzly’s dick, but full of both fun and trouble for the unwary. Good times…. Good times…  We had good food, kept hydrated and had no mishaps. I got to be a superhero to a couple of ladies who could use a good laugh, and knew how to use one. And I got to be a little more of one again to a 3-year old kid, holed up in a mining town gas station with stars in his eyes when he saw two motorcycles rolling by. All this after having my morning cappuccino poolside in a hot springs with pea gravel on the floor that was so soothing to aching feet. Precious gems in another perfect day sent straight through from above.




When in the hell was the first shoe going to drop!? A nervous man would have been dying of the jits at about this point, but I was just happy to take it all in, and count my lucky stars. Thankful for my good fortune and for all the good things that led me to be able to make this ride, I drifted off again in my downy cocoon, content in another Nevada canyon, juniper scents on the breeze.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 12:24:51 PM by Stovebolt » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2010, 11:03:00 PM »

Very awesome, Superhero.  Sounds like you made some ladies day, thats always a treat.  Is this ride really on planet earth, because its sounds like some far out distant place, going boldly where no man has gone before!
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2010, 11:47:51 PM »

Stovey, you blasted me with a new paradigm of riding, your zest for life makes every second of life seem like a diamond!
"...and my face that must have looked like a ripped sneaker" - says it all!
Cheers, Patrice
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2010, 09:18:34 PM »

Christian and Patrice,

Kind words - thanks fella's.....

Life is a good thing, where would we be without it?

:-)

Stovey
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2010, 01:17:22 PM »

Day 6    Baker / Currie Hills


Sure, I had a sinus headache last night, and I had to get up to take some Tylenol to try and get ahead of the beating crush behind my face. But, there we were a long way from home with miles to go before we slept again, and the pills would help take the edge off. They did, and after packing up and saying goodbye to our Snake Creek campout once again we glided down out of the canyon beneather Wheeler Peak, and on into Baker for fuel.

We opted for gas and go this morning, and jumped onto the little purple line heading Northwest out of Baker, and into the Snake Range of the Mount Moriah Wilderness on dirt roads. The route looked good, but I wasn’t sure if my purple line would skirt the Wilderness boundary or dead end somewhere out there. There are lots of ways to find that out, and we were going to use one of them. Face-time with some fence posts; in an hour or two – we’d know. But first, it was time to field test the Bridgestone M59 front and the D606 rear, both with Bridgestone Ultra Heavy Duty tubes…

I’m barking along the county dirt and I see my purple line heading off to the left, on a super-obliterated two-track. A dude should have known better – it was not my first time in the desert. My brain simply pointed “that-way” and like a dog panting at a freshly painted fire hydrant, I just followed the track into the scenery, content to be facing the mountains with desert under my wheels. Then came 3rd gear as I was ramping up to take a stronger position in the cockpit and play Andy Grider in Dust to Glory across this section towards Silver Creek Road, when all of a sudden…. WHAM! “Holy Mongolian Butt-Clutch, Batman!”    THUMP!   POW!    Phhhhhht…..   “Mayday – Mayday – Mayday”

With less than zero time to react, I just slammed into and through a Prickly Pear colony about 18-20 inches tall and the size of a laundry basket. My front wheel literally exploded the colony and the rear bumped its way through behind – both wheels, and thence both tires, went cactus smashing before 10 O’clock in the morning. “THAT is gonna leave a mark…” I thought to myself, and turned the bike around, motioning to Keith that this was a bad call and we needed to get back on the County Road. That would be a good place to find a rock or a ditch to replace both tubes too…. And so between the sinus meds in the Tylenol taking my personal RPM’s down a few hundred, and the moccahchino’s adding some replacement revs; the early morning frost slowing things down and the scenery mellowing things out….. this here cactus whack brought things more or less back up to level. I was now pretty much wide awake.

On the harder surface of the county dirt road I was able to eyeball the running rubber a little bit and all seemed well enough, but everyone knows how a flat develops – either immediately, or slowly over the course of minutes, hours or months. So I knew all I had to do now was wait. I decided to ride while I waited, and we continued onward to the Silver Creek Road, up Silver Creek into the Humboldt National Forest. (Keith posted a helmet cam video of some stream crossings on good two-track up in this section.)The riding was truly fabulous up this section as we motored under arching canopies of oak and pine branches, inching our way further and further along my little purple line into the woods up a canyon. I thought this was another legendary stretch of trail, and enjoyed every minute of it during each meander and throttle blip around tight corners, boulders and a few submarine surges through the creek. The leaf colors were also stunning and the senses were once again filled with all good things of the Fall. It was why we were here, and I was reminded of something my Wife has said before, quoting a term from a book she had read many year ago – the idea of “Green-song.” It was like floating through Brigadoon…



We passed a party of hunters who were disembarking from a Jeep that had obviously come from the opposite direction, and they just looked at us as we thumped on by on our adventure bikes and waved to them in 2nd gear. A short few turns later and we came out of the woods along the creek and found ourselves up against a USFS sign in front of the path that the little purple line went through, and got denied for non-motorized restrictions into the Mount Moriah Wilderness Area. Oh well, this is where this path detours and we find our way out of here in another direction. We had two options – go back exactly the way we came; 23 miles down the canyon to the highway, or try and proceed up a steep Forest Service Road right there, that switchbacked like a confused meth addict straight up out of this basin. The map and GPS advised it was a “go” for this option, and climbed out of the basin and made a run through the mountains toward Miller Basin Road and Old Highway 6 toward Sacramento Pass. It was a neat ride with eyeful after eyeful, and good views of snow-covered Wheeler Peak in the Snake Range to the South where we had just camped, where the National Park gives tours to Lehman caves.







A few miles of slab on Highway 6 got us to a dirt two-track cutting across the Spring Valley floor, and we railed some berms along that to make it to Route 893 on the West side of the valley, and turned North to get back on route. We bumped into a road construction crew on the way, and the fella with the STOP sign told us there was fuel ahead at both Schellbourne and Lages – music to my ears. So we punched through the Schell Creek Range further up ahead and made for the sprawling metropolis of Schellbourne. We found the place consisted of a ramshackle saloon with a broken gas pump, but they had a bag of chips for sale, and a root beer for me, something else wet for Keith. We asked about gas at Lages, and they said sure they sell fuel, but word on the street was that somebody hit a power pole in their car, and the power was out. So, we had that going for us. I reckoned that a guy could get a whole lot of fouled up in that bar with just a ten-spot, and we waved goodbye and headed North on dirt two-track that paralleled Interstate 93, into Lages Station.

At Lages we not only found the power on, and fuel running, but were able to get water and cold man-killers for the evening, as the day had gotten long in the tooth, and the rays were beaming more horizontally at us. After a few more tan lines on the GPS which could mean either a road or a wash (a few were indeed washes) we made our connection back on my route, and headed off into the sagebrush through some gates. Route-finding was interesting as everything here was almost completely obliterated, and our path forced considerable hunting and pecking to stay on course. We did that though, and motored through some rough two-track, no track and washes to navigate through the Currie Hills and make a camp to the South of the Dolly Varden Mountains. Our last camp out on this legend in the making.












The knoll we found to make camp had everything, as usual – Juniper shelters and flat spots to share with the creatures of the ground. So we shut the engines down with plenty of light left to do housekeeping and collect up some dead branches for another conference under the Milky Way. I killed my last freeze-dried dinner in a bag, and Keith handed me his Verizon bars to chat up my Wife while sitting warm around the fire glowing; a cold man-killer nearby. Having made fuel at Lages was a stroke of good luck, and I was more than pleased that both tires stood round and firm at this point in the raid. Would I be changing them cold bastards the first thing tomorrow morning? I’d have to wait for dawn for the answer to that, and the answer would come for sure. For now, I was in my Crazy Creek eating M&M’s – not a cloud in the sky.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 11:21:03 AM by KosmicKLR » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2010, 11:30:34 AM »

Awesome stuff Stovey! ...  "We had two options – go back exactly the way we came; 23 miles down the canyon to the highway, or try and proceed up a steep Forest Service Road right there, that switchbacked like a confused meth addict straight up out of this basin."...
Wooo Hooo! I know wich way I would choose!
What a great report! Thanks Man!
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« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2010, 11:05:05 PM »

Day 7       Currie Hills / Wells / Twin Falls

Morning brought some sunshine, but not before I had a chance to wake up on my own and view Orion hunting his way across a perfectly starlit sky while answering the call of nature, and obeying the command to hose off a dusty rock or two. Some time before all the stars had vanished, I stayed up and began scooping nearer the bottom of my coffee can, and enjoying another hot thermo-tumbler of go-juice to accompany a Cliff Bar and some oatmeal. It wasn’t long before I heard rustling inside of Keith’s nylon castle as he contemplated another metamorphosis from slumberjack into legend-making adventure rider. The seeds of our last day on this trail were being planted while long shadows raced across the tan rocks and dry washes of this moonscape.

With Day 7 about to make some progress, I thought I’d rub a cold hand across an even colder tire, and try to give one a squeeze – just for fun. A couple of rubs, squishes and push-downs on both ends of Casper’s rubbery bottoms yielded some useful data – the tires were both still fat and puffy. Nice! A respectful glance at the rear wheel that I paid a million dollars for got me a sturdy nod back in return, and the black Excel Superlaced to an orange RAD hub with a cush drive just sat there in the dirt, all round and rugged looking. It would take much more than hitting a few trenches at Mach 1 to even get that Dakar-ready wheel’s attention, and my continued thanks to Woody at Woody’s Wheelworks remained staunch on this Friday morning. Someday, when I am particularly flush with greenbacks, I’ll buy the front wheel with a Superlaced A60 rim, and drive this bike straight down the crack of Satan’s ass with not a care in the world. Might not even need tires at that point – his wheels are that good.

After packing camp and a map reload in the Bar-Pack, I was about ready. Keith was administering to our “green needs” and giving the fire site the once-over for a Leave No Trace exit, and I sighed a little sigh thinking this was our last day on this tremendous riding adventure across Nevada. My comfort here comes from day dreaming the dream that future rides may still come true, and I’ll be able to continue exploring on yet another rolling journey in the Silver State, and beyond. For now, as I spied the skies to the North and straddled Casper, I thought of the goals for the day and wondered if the building clouds I could see in the distance would gather in force and add to the treasure of challenges yet to come. “Where will my head rest tonight?” I got the bike started after a few kicks to clear and a spark on the button, and hoped that the buffet at the truck stop in Wells would be in full force. Keith pulled out ahead and we motored off, leaving no fire trace and only a hint of having recently stayed – but you’d have to dig for that. It’s off for a mountain range or two, and a couple more valleys for this morning.

The route gave us nice riding through two-track that hadn’t seen much traffic in a good long while it seemed, and we could continue enjoying the pleasure of having the entire land to ourselves. In six full days so far we hadn’t seen another off-road vehicle on our journey, save for local traffic in and around the immediate vicinities of major towns and cities we passed through. We were “it,” as if starring in a post-apocalyptic motorhead feature – riding away from one zombie-attack after another. But, since I’ve seen my share of zombie-attacks, I knew I couldn’t let my guard down because as soon as you do, they are right there to get you. Better to stay frosty, keep my wits, and rally forth with some focus like I mean it, just in case.

The riding was excellent on the West side of the Dolly Vardon Range and I was having a blast in the twisties on great two-track . Jumping in and out of washes in lower gears was fun on this dirt bike, and for me it was perfect riding for a long-range trip where luggage needed to be hauled. Without camping gear, it would be fantastic but hell – even with saddlebags there was no real suffering. I’d hate to do this kind of ride with zero survival equipment – it would be doable, but stressy. Nope, things were rolling great, and the tires were full of air and Keith seemed happy to trail behind and wasn’t sucking too much trail dust and the weather was good. So we continued around the Dolly Varden Range on our right as we headed northbound, and made a left across the first valley of the day to make a connection at Indian Creek. This would be another pipeline across one more Nevada mountain range.

The desert was flat-out and we took full advantage of the lack of speed limit signs, and left some dust trails for an hour as we navigated our way in the Goshute Valley to the hook up at Indian Creek. The turn was right where it was supposed to be, and as we made our entrance into the Pequop Range the two-track quickly began to take on new character – we were losing one of our two tracks for sure. As we continued West and got some canyon country alongside us, the tracks shared some deep washout back and forth, until there was only a thin line to ride above a four-foot deep channel that had been chiseled from a fast moving watercourse. Flash flooding had made this trail a hazard – but only if I crashed into it, so my take on this as I’m coursing upstream through the dry washes and sagebrush is to keep my eyes on the thin tan line, even if it is only imaginary at some points. Best not peer too long or hard into these close-by chasms…. “ bike follows eyes… I follow bike….” can end in tears!



A few turns in the sage-mazes while checking for zombies kept us on route and got us onto the trails above, and as we climbed higher off the valley floor, we got away from the deep trenches from washouts below, and really enjoyed the ride to the top. There we found great views of the Steptoe Valley below and the Cherry Creek Mountains to the left  – and got a peak at the line that would shortly bring us into Wells. It sure beat slabbing it on I-93, off to the left and parallel to our course North. We can end this morning with some high-speed dirt roads, looking forward to a truck stop buffet, and an afternoon coup de grace to the East of the Jarbidge Wilderness as we head back to the truck.  It was nice to not have to worry so much about fuel on this leg after finding gas in Lages yesterday, and with all pleasant things like this inside my helmet, I dropped down from this last perch of the morning and found the valley floor waiting for big wheels and big legs. Keith joined me in twisting his handle all the way to the stop and we maxed the bikes out for a short bit like Johnny Campbell. It wasn’t until we came to within ¾ of a mile of our connection with Highway 93 that we encountered anything but fast hardpan. Then, it was time for Keith to face the demon silt beds once again.



There was a breeze coming directly at us from the North, and so nothing to blow my dust trail out of Keith’s way. At the speeds we were running, I was glad to see Keith had taken the option to hang back rather than go for the close proximity formation to try and keep out of the dust trail I was leaving. But as I looked back a couple of times to check my partner, I was astounded to find his headlight visible in my rearviews! He was back there in it, a few hundred yards, and keeping pace. I hit 88 mph across this section, and he stayed right there with me – unbelievable! As we came to the silt beds though, and I waddled my way through them in 2nd and 1st gears, I realized that his XR was going to be more of a challenge – more like trying to park an oil tanker with tugboats, only without the tugboats.

So after waiting a short bit, I went back and found my friend righting his bike in the midst of the talcum sea – a splash of gasoline covering the far right bank of this powdery man-trap where the impact of a low-speed tumble ejected some fuel from the custom mason jar lid we were field testing. Keith managed to keep good control and got his bike set down nicely, and kept from getting hurt and kept his bike from any damage – skills only a good rider could pull off in this silt bed. After a deep breath, we motored through the rest of the beds, and out onto the highway for Wells. We made the Flying J by noon exactly.

I grabbed extra fuel for this last leg, thinking it would come into play, and we both had a good meal for the road. My thinking at this point was that we were within striking distance of the trailer parked in Twin Falls, but we had to plan carefully and keep mindful on the fly the rest of the afternoon, because this bike goes down at twilight, no matter where we are. That headlight ain’t gonna cut it, and my recent night-time sojourn into a herd of cattle a few weeks prior to leaving for this trip is still on my mind.

Crash thread here on ADV Rider forums:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=621710

If we’re going to make the trailer, we’re going to have to stay on course, ride smoothly and keep a steady pace. And we need to not hurry, but rather leave time and space to keep focused and stay loose during the witching hours of an adventure ride when you tend to let your guard down and make foolish mistakes. “We’re not home yet – Ride my own ride.” It’s like I have these words taped to my handlebars or something, which is good!

Brunch was good – I had one of each from the menu, gobbling all the breakfast menu items I found like a condemned man. After getting a call in to my home base in the parking lot, to let my better half know I was okay and still under my own power – not an ambulance or helicopter in sight (no small relief to her ears….) I lit that bike up and moved off. It was the last purple line on the GPS to try and follow, and we were soon on the Upper Metropolis Road headed North from Wells toward Jarbidge.

We screamed along on a major thoroughfare kind of dirt road, and came up alongside the Jarbidge Wilderness to the East, and went through places like “Dixon’s Ranch” and “Choke-A-Man Draw.” The Fall colors were stunning in some of the canyons we had to switchback up, and as the skies were building with storm clouds the further North we rode, the contrast between the yellows and oranges in the leaves were stark against the gray backdrop that continued to develop throughout the late afternoon. The only “incident” we had on this final leg that brought us to home-plate was being lit up on the HUDS of two F15 Eagle pilots.

It was easy to spot the aircraft pointing in on me as they exited a canyon somewhere near the “Choke-A-Man” draw; the ominous black squares of the jet engine intakes the size of me and my bike on either side of the streamlined fuselage of the first Eagle-driver really got my attention as I crested a knoll on a twisty. As soon as I saw him, I knew he had already seen me, and he was still turning hard at me to point in and train up – guns or missiles – it wouldn’t matter…  Since I was on friendly soil, he was just using my bright yellow jacket as a training target of opportunity, and I was glad to oblige him in his teachable moment. Love to help the troops. Just gladder still that he and his wingman didn’t go ‘rocket’s hot’ on either me or Keith when they both pointed in on us, and flew over fast and low; turning sharply then up and out to the West. A squeamish ninny might have browned out…. But not two “buzzards on a legend” like me and Keith.  “Tally ho!” my friends, and good hunting….





(USAF certificate and photo's courtesy of Captain Michael Blohm, United States Air Force) Thank you, Sir.

A few more hours of riding on dirt roads put us back on the Three Creek Road, only instead of yarding it around to the West and heading back into Jarbidge, and starting this great ride all over again from the beginning, we veered hard to starboard and made for Rogerson on the little slab. As we rolled underneath the few raindrops that would splatter on my faceshield over the course of the whole trip, the clouds got thicker and the wind got stronger, but nothing ever came of it. What few drops there were blew away, and the clouds did nothing but puff their chests at us, and we got closer to Twin Falls near the magical 5 o-clock hour, and shut-down time for Casper and his stock anemic headlight. We passed a sign indicating “TWIN FALLS – 12 miles” and we rode in formation back up along the Blue Lakes Road that took us south a week ago, and the rolling hills and farm country were giving way to view of the city off ahead on the Northern horizon. Just then….. another “phhht,” cough and sputter, and a slight “brrrrrrrpppp” came from beneath my tank.  Without missing a beat this time, I had my hand on the valve and kept the flames burning underneath that spark plug. Eight miles South of the city limits, I ran out of gas. Coming in on reserve – it’s the only way to fly.



A few corners inside the City Limits and we found our way through the streets to the truck, still parked at our spot Jeff had arranged for us. Tired, happy, relieved – I dismounted with the melancholy familiar to all of us who put great rides in the can. A sweet farewell to another legendary ride.


Pics and Epilogue to come…
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 12:09:51 PM by Stovebolt » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2010, 07:55:45 AM »

Great reporting as usual Stovey!  Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.  I can only imagine how capable the KTM must be, with "real" suspension and gobs of power!  You really convey the feeling of the ride. Rolling in on fumes is truely the only way to end this ride.....till next year!
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« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2010, 10:18:44 AM »

Stovey, you enriched my life with your excellent and most entertaining writing! The way you describe a flipping the reserve on:
"Without missing a beat this time, I had my hand on the valve and kept the flames burning underneath that spark plug."
is a great example of living life to the fullest!
Excellent man!
Cheers, Patrice
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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2010, 10:55:04 PM »

Patrice,

I've never heard a more humbling compliment.  It's a pleasure to share a great experience, especially among like-minded people!

Thank You Sir.

Stovey
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« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2010, 11:46:17 AM »

Epilogue



Here’s the route from an alien’s point of view:    (looking from North to South)

]

Page 4 data from Garmin 60CSx:

Max Speed - 89 mph
Max Elevation – 8608
Total Ascent – 72,639
Moving Time – 33 hrs 09 min
Stopped Time – 19 hrs 40 min
Moving Average – 40.5
Total Distance traveled - 1342



Pros and Cons of the week-long ride


Pro’s

I guess the short list would have to include the fact that the weather was great! These tracks simply could not be laid under rainy or wet conditions – silt would have been slicker than eel snot, impassable altogether. Had it rained on us while we were on certain paths, we’d have been pooched – still be out there.

Not a single flat tire – unbelievable!

No major crashes. And I had zero of any kind.

Route finding was close enough, no navigational debacles.

Hot Springs was a total plus!

No alien probing, that either of us can remember.

Met good people along the way.

Got to explore tons of prehistoric country.

Did not have to eat Keith.

Witnessed cool show at Ash Springs, got my IDAHO UFO License.

Water truck and groomers were out on the course just before we rode it.

Eagle pilots were in a good mood, or they were out of ammo – or both.

Makeshift gas cap held.


CONS:








...this ride has ended, and it's back to work. But...

Next year’s ride is already being planned, but this one will be hard to beat. After all, this one had a little of just about everything. Made for a good story that included high-rev cross-country machines, desolate places, mountain lions, cannibalism, UFO’s, Superheroes, abandoned mines, zombie attacks, dust devils, an ancient stone henge, maniacs with a chainsaw, and aliens.

Gunny Highway said, “You can beat me, and you can starve me – just don’t bore me….”

This ride was anything but that. Until next time,

Rally On….

Stovebolt

« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 12:27:17 PM by Stovebolt » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2010, 04:55:59 PM »

Stovey,
What a great way to spend a rainy afternoon, especially the part about almost running out of gas.  Been there done that several times.
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« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2010, 10:44:48 PM »

Stovey, what an excellent route, and ride report.  (Nice sticker on the fork leg too...) Once your out of the salt mines and ready to do this again let us know! 
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« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2010, 12:01:53 AM »

mcrider,

Thanks - glad to have taken you along for the ride then, on a rainy afternoon. We had no such weather during the ride - it was perfect, really!
As for running out of gas, I still had Keith's bike - after I killed him and ate him, of course....

As ever,

Stovey
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Stovey,
What a great way to spend a rainy afternoon, especially the part about almost running out of gas.  Been there done that several times.
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« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2010, 12:58:41 AM »

Christian,

Thanks for that, my friend. I'm hoping to be able to get another annual in next October too, and that one may be an altogether different animal. We shall see. I'll keep you posted though - some things going on with the next one that may be of interest to you and some other RDS members. Could be, I dunno....

Meanwhile, I started swapping out and rebuilding the fuel pump on my 145 hp fuel injected nightmare of a mountain sled over the weekend. I get to play in the powder and outrun avalanches for the next 5 months. Tally ho!

http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx251/StoveyBuzzard/Sled/

Stovey
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Stovey, what an excellent route, and ride report.  (Nice sticker on the fork leg too...) Once your out of the salt mines and ready to do this again let us know!  
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« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2010, 02:28:27 PM »

 ricky

Good times Stovie , glad you didn't get hungry or run out of gas though ! (further than 200 yards from the Shell station )

You didn't mention I am the honorary Ruptured Buzzard captain , after my double hernia fix in the spring .

I wasn't sure I could or should kick that big red pig for 7 days , but it was sure fun trying to keep up and

the Adventure of not knowing what You / Google earth / Garmin and Nevada had to throw at me !!!

It was great to push my riding abilities ( the whole time wishing for a 450 !) though the pig kept amazing me

with the low end torque that saved my butt many times .

Next time less gear and more gas so I can rest easy , roost easy that is !!! thumb


Stovie I think the Super hero comment was referring to your striped riding pants btw .
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 09:06:16 PM by 950transalp » Logged
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« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2010, 02:36:16 PM »

Whoo hoo, lets hear it for the TransAlp riders!  Weclome to RDS!  We have TransAlp rider coming to our B.U.T.T. ride at Big Bend Ranch State park this coming New Year. 
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« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2010, 10:25:33 PM »

See everyone.... Keith lives!

(Neither of us had to resort to the dreaded "Plan B.")   

Glad to hear from you my brother, it's been super crazy busy for me since we got home, and since I dropped that disc off to you I've been incognito in Jackson. Just slammin busy every day. And I'm building cradles like a man possessed, and my sled is singing its siren song, and the snowblower needs servicing, and I had to drive around the long way home tonight again because the pass avalanched..... I should stop rubbing my mangina and just get at it!

Anyway, glad to see you on these boards - it's a really good forum with great people.

Striped riding pants, yes.... that musta been it. Some say, we're "out there still...."

Rally On,

Stovey
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« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2010, 12:34:23 AM »

The 2nd Annual Legends of the Fall Trans-Nevada Whore House Hare & hound...say that 10 times fast as ya can.
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« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2010, 08:14:09 AM »

Uneasy -

If you couldn't say it, you couldn't ride it....  so that's how we got down to only two guys. And I had to coach Keith, then finally just had to give him a pass. it was either that or ride it solo.

hehehe

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stovey
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The 2nd Annual Legends of the Fall Trans-Nevada Whore House Hare & hound...say that 10 times fast as ya can.
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« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2010, 10:13:12 AM »

WOW, they should've been lined up out the door for a ride like that.

 All jokes aside is it a hare scramble or what, I would love to do some ridin in N.V., even more so the western part of the state.
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