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PinkPillion 06-20-2010 01:09 PM

2up Black Rock Desert Anniversary Ride
For our first report,(Weldpro & PinkPillion) we decided on this---our 15th Anniversary, journey to the Black Rock Desert. We have been out there a few times, but never upon the bike (00 1150 GS). Before heading out there, I read two recent reports. The first by WoodsChick, the second by Hodakaguy. We live in Susanville, Lassen County, in Northern California, and the BRD is approximately 2 hours east of us in Nevada. So hopefully everyone isn't too burned out on the subject matter. I hope the pictures post!!!

9am Friday morning June 18th. The kids tucked safely away with their aunt, we have until Saturday afternoon. We have 1 map.

The bike is all packed up--In one black REI duffel we have stuffed:
3 person Marmot tent
2 North Face Cat's Meow +20 sleeping bags
2 insulated sleeping pads
2 blow up pillows
In the backpack we have food, water, Katadyn water filter.
Sidebags are carrying tools and clothes.

We jump onto HWY 36 South from Eagle Lake Road. A view of Susanville from above.

In town, we turn left at Center Road, cruise past the two local prisons and merge onto 395 North. To the left is an old house, that had a rundown twin.

And turn up Smoke Creek Road. Up ahead is some sort of old military bunker, protected by a nice barbed wire fence.

Onward into the Smoke Creek desert--slippery gravel and all.

A rusty truck cab graveyard.

Typical mountains along the way.

The road ahead of us. be continued

HAULINDAVE 06-20-2010 02:22 PM

Black Rock Desert
Great riding area , hope you take lots of pics ! Tell us all the places you go , I've went out there a lot ten years ago for about 5 years .

lostmarbles 06-20-2010 02:40 PM

well the RR sound great sofar keep it coming:thumb

PinkPillion 06-20-2010 03:00 PM

2up Black Rock Desert Anniversary Ride
We continue on to Smoke Creek Canyon to this cave and take a break.

I find a lizard, take a picture of the rock formations, and smell the roses.

and head up the road until it comes to a T. To the left we go.

and come to the next T. Right this time, toward Gerlach, Nevada. be continued

woodentoy 06-20-2010 03:50 PM

The terrain is a little different but the bullet holes in the signs are just like the ones we have here in Maine. Nice report! :rofl

PinkPillion 06-20-2010 04:29 PM

2up Black Rock Desert Anniversary Ride
We ride along the HWY toward Gerlach then veer to the left, and drop into the Playa.

It is pretty hot out there already and it is still early in the day. The sun feels good after a long winter in Susanville.

Out of the desert and into Gerlach for gas. Luckily Shell had premium. Maybe there is a better map?? No such luck.

We head out of town and take the first left back out toward the BRD. We are shooting for Trego hot springs.

but we go right instead of left. Before turning around we see a huge coyote and this lone antelope.

My awesome view!!

Finally, we come across Trego Hot Springs. There are no signs, the only landmark is a radio tower of some sort. Oh to have a GPS.

Back to the Playa. Destination--the black mountain straight ahead.

We learn that we need to avoid this deep stuff. As we are riding across the desert I can feel us sinking and slipping about. The bike is quite heavy with both of us and all of our stuff.

We get out to the harder dirt and keep going toward the black mountain. Below the mountain, we come across our next hot spring Black Rock. We see a pioneer wagon right off the trail.

The spring is beautiful and the color is amazing. Nice and warm.

It is still light, so we decide to go on to Double Hot Springs. On the way we crash in the sand, fatigue is setting in. But we get there. These springs are HOT.

The sun is starting to set, so the decision is made to B-Line back across the desert to the Black Rock spring to set up camp. Right after leaving Double Hot we see a rattle snake in the road. The ride across was pretty rough. At one point we came to a gully with that deep dirt. As we dropped in we proceeded to sink due to the heaviness of our load. The thought of camping right there would not have been cool, so I jumped off to lighten the load. As he rode the bike out of the gully, I ate it face first in the dirt. I got up with my belly scuffed up, and no broken nails. Finally we make it back to Black Rock spring where we jump into the warm water and wash off the Playa dust.

After a long day of riding, camp is all set up. We eat some food, drink some Pepsi and Capri Sun, and laugh about how my jumping off injury would now be considered my "taking one for the team". be continued.

PinkPillion 06-20-2010 04:37 PM


Originally Posted by HAULINDAVE
Great riding area , hope you take lots of pics ! Tell us all the places you go , I've went out there a lot ten years ago for about 5 years .

It was fun and definitely NOT the forest terrain we are used to.

PinkPillion 06-20-2010 04:39 PM


Originally Posted by lostmarbles
well the RR sound great sofar keep it coming:thumb

Thanks! I was hoping it would be ok. The first report is always scary, no?

dave6253 06-20-2010 04:40 PM

Nice!:thumb I love the big deserts!

More please!:lurk

PinkPillion 06-20-2010 04:41 PM


Originally Posted by woodentoy
The terrain is a little different but the bullet holes in the signs are just like the ones we have here in Maine. Nice report! :rofl

Thanks! At least the signs are not totally blown away. We found an AK-47 type casing near one sign.

lostmarbles 06-20-2010 04:52 PM

i see you guys have gone buy some hot spring :D how the water ok are can you swim in them my wife is reading the RR and said i may get here talked into a west coast trip if i can find some springs to swim in:wink:

PinkPillion 06-20-2010 05:07 PM

2up Black Rock Desert Anniversary Ride
Thanks to the newly acquired sleeping pads and inflatable pillows, sleeping was better than ever before. After camping in the worse conditions ever, we decided to spend the big bucks this time around. Well worth it I say! Morning on the Playa is always surreal. The hot spring had steam rising in the morning.

and the water was cooking up nicely for the coffee. We still had clean water, but wondered if if was ok to filter the hot spring. Vowed to learn more about the virus' associated with desert water prior to our next visit.

Richard got a hold of the camera as I was walking to the hot spring dock.

A couple of guys came past as we were packing up camp. They had stayed in Sulfer. They mentioned a interesting event taking place out on the Playa. Rockets. We headed out onto the Playa, straight toward the event.

Just in time to see this huge rocket shoot into the air.

We watched for a while then moved on. Came across Coyote Spring. It had a big fence around it. I climbed up there and found no visible water.
Just Richard doing tricks on the Playa.

This marker was right out in the middle of the desert. Quite dangerous for those driving 100 miles an hour, on the Playa, at night!! be continued.

PinkPillion 06-20-2010 05:15 PM


Originally Posted by lostmarbles
i see you guys have gone buy some hot spring :D how the water ok are can you swim in them my wife is reading the RR and said i may get here talked into a west coast trip if i can find some springs to swim in:wink:

You can swim in Trego, just keep the water moving around. Black Rock (where we camped) was quite shallow, but a great soaking temperature. The deeper section was a lot warmer. I stayed away from the bubbling source of heat. Double Hot was almost boiling, 180 degrees I think. There were more along the road ahead on the pioneer trail, but we only went as far as Double.

PinkPillion 06-20-2010 05:35 PM

2up Black Rock Desert Anniversary Ride
We thought we would go visit Empire but decided on lunch at Bruno's after we slipped out in the thick mud. This happened in view of the HWY, and in order not to totally look stupid, we got the bike up pretty quickly. When the back tire began to dig into the mud, I got behind the bike to help push it out. To be rewarded with a nasty spray of thick Playa mud all over me. Another one for the team! :) We were glad the bike was wearing the dirt bike tires.

I walked to where the ground was firm, as he rode through the mud. I jumped on wearing my mud suit, and we went to Bruno's for lunch.

MMMM. French Dip and Burger. I consumed three glasses of ice cold Coke in like 5 minutes.

Headed out of town we saw this awesome Red, White, and Blue truck. I am a sucker for Americana folk art.

Due to the mud incident, we decide to skip Empire and go back the way we came. be continued.

PinkPillion 06-20-2010 07:26 PM

2up Black Rock Desert Anniversary Ride
From Gerlach we head north and turn left onto Smoke Creek Road. Right before the one lane bridge we take a right onto an unmarked road. The road looks well traveled and before long we see a few of burros and large herd of antelope.

You can barely see these guys, and they are fast.

Along the road we see this mustang. He is all alone. No herd around.

We stop to look around, and see where we had been.

We arrive at this sign and decide to go forward toward Stone Corral in search of Shinn Ranch Road which will eventually bring us back to 395.

Some flowers nearby.

We continue along the road which has turned crappy and jaggedy rocked. The smooth BLM type road is gone. And--we eat it, pretty hard on the right side. Notice the broken case mount near my boot.

We manage to strap the case down to minimize the shake. After careful consideration of time, no map, and limited water, we decide to head back to Smoke Creek Road. The Stone Corral will have to wait until next time.

Before long we arrive at a grove of shade trees. Richard relaxes, I explore the area.

From this point we continue toward 395. Back on the road and home by 5:45pm. Sad that the trip has come to an end. Exploring the desert on the bike was awesome. The only true injury was to the bike. A broken case mount. Good thing Richard owns a welding business.

Bath time for the bike. Off with the Playa mud.

15 years ago we eloped in Tahoe. Our parents were not happy with us as I was the oldest daughter and would have had the first wedding. Richard and I had been together for 10 years before we were married and did our own thing even as teenagers. So this weekend was a great way to celebrate our adventuresome spirits.

Thanks for coming along on our 1st ride report. Until our next ride...

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