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Author Topic: 3rd Annual Legends of the Fall Area 51 Circumnavigation and Myocardial Mayhem  (Read 290214 times)
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Frostbit
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« Reply #30 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.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 04:51:12 AM by Frostbit » Logged

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DR_Jax_650
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« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2011, 11:24:07 AM »

Just doesn't seem fair!  Roll Eyes  We struggle to get the reports out in normal conversational tones  [ 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.
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« Reply #32 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  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!
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« Reply #33 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?       roll

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
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« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2011, 02:35:10 PM »

Well,  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?       roll

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
***********************************************************************************

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« Reply #35 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?       roll

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! 
Be safe and well all of you veterans or not!  ricky
Frank
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« Reply #36 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.


Tempiute




Marshal providing documentation services in a canyon en route through the Quinn Canyon Range to Railroad Valley



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?


Southern terminus of the Railroad Valley


Looking northwest from the bottom of Water Canyon toward what will be our eventual exit from the Lunar Crater, through The Wall


Casper waiting patiently for a relight






"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!




Entering the Lunar Lake landscape from the south








Rider1 carving desert along the Lunar Lake en route to The Wall



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.









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.




Rider1


trail717













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.


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.















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…




"The Pillars of Hercules"








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!’






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









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!




















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!”


A message for my wife...



Re-crossing the Railroad Valley, heading southeast toward Nyala in late afternoon


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.





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!


The Marshal's quarters


Last night's courtroom... beautiful!



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...)
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 02:28:34 PM by Stovebolt » Logged

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« Reply #37 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

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« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2011, 01:59:02 AM »

Sounds awesome Stovey! Looking forward to seeing the pics that go along......
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« Reply #39 on: November 21, 2011, 02:06:39 AM »

 lurk lurk lurk eek eek thumb Thank you Stovey! I am enjoying this!
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« Reply #40 on: November 21, 2011, 04:16:13 AM »

Incredible Sir Stovey! Impeccable prose laced with enticing peeks into your creative mind.  Outstanding, just outstanding.

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« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2011, 02:47:50 AM »

Much thanks my brothers,

Last Day and wrap up to come....

All the best,

Stovey
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« Reply #42 on: November 22, 2011, 03:13:38 AM »

Thanks for all the awesome images Stovey-job well done!
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« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2011, 03:43:50 AM »

Bring on the finale  clap clap clap
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 03:38:56 AM by Frostbit » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2011, 07:46:43 PM »

I enjoyed every word Stovey! Adventures like yours are what we crave!
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« Reply #45 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?


Heading down along the Pine Creek and back out of the Quinn Canyon Range


More great zoomer-groomers!


Rider1 gives a thumbs-up en route back to base


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.


Tempiute, straight ahead - a dry lake hushed below the surface of the sage sea



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."


trail717 coming out of the Quinn Canyon Range on his 640 Six Days


Rider1 emerges from the Quinn Canyon foothills, the Worthington Range to his left


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>)


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.


...or is it "Buzzards?"



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…)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 06:18:56 PM by Stovebolt » Logged

Kosmic
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« Reply #46 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
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« Reply #47 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!!!
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« Reply #48 on: November 27, 2011, 01:33:51 PM »

  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
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If they made a movie about my life ...I wouldn't be handsome or talented enough to play my part...Sigh
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« Reply #49 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!!!"



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
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« Reply #50 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.
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« Reply #51 on: November 28, 2011, 04:39:51 PM »

Charlie,


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

 ricky

Stovey
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« Reply #52 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  
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
********************************************************

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Stovebolt
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« Reply #53 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
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back2thefuture
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« Reply #54 on: December 04, 2011, 04:55:15 AM »

Thanks Stovey,  I was enthralled with your ride report.  Will subscribe to your pen....   
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B2TF
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« Reply #55 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
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