We were up at 5:30am at Soldier Meadows. When I woke up I heard Craig already outside his tent so I asked what the weather looked like, he said it was about to dump on us any minute so that started a scramble to get the tents/gear packed up before the rain hit. We were just finishing up when the rain started to hit.
Since we didn't fill up the night before we were headed back to Soldier Meadows Ranch first thing this am to get fuel, then we would point the bikes south again. When we arrived at the ranch it started to snow, pretty soon it was snowing hard with some of the biggest flakes I've ever seen. We asked about fuel but they were already getting going on breakfast and said it would be after breakfast before we could top up. We were reluctant to go inside with out wet muddy gear on and standing in the snow didn't sound to appealing either so we looked at our fuel and decided we had enough to make it to Gerlach NV. We were on our way again
Here's a picture taken at Soldier Meadows Ranch, the pictures really failed to capture the snow coming down.
Another shot looking south from the ranch.
Another shot of the snow coming down.
This home brew 6 wheel drive jeep was parked at the ranch, very cool!
The Snow made seeing out of the goggles a lot of fun
, I was carrying anti-fog and rain-X that helped some but it was nice when the snow finally stopped south of Soldier Meadows.
There was a lot of snow up in the higher elevations so again we stuck to the lower tracks and would hit the upper tracks on the way back.
Here we stopped along the road to check out this license plate art exhibit.
Here I'm holding a CA license plate....Destination CA Baby!
Snow from the night before up in the mountains.
Here we are looking at the Black Rock Desert Playa. This baby is HUGE! It looked a little dark/damp with all the rain we've been having so we didn't venture out on the playa just yet....but we will!
About 5 miles from the gas station in Gerlach NV Mark's BRP ran out of fuel and he coasted to the side of the road. We went back and helped him lay the bike on its side to get the last remaining fuel over to one side so the petcock would again pick it up. After standing the bike back up Mark realized that he was still on main and hadn't switched over to reserve yet
All was good and we stopped into Gerlach for fuel.
Total miles so far: 171 miles. Gallons to fill: 3.80 gallons.
While we were at the fuel station the owner said that the local restaurant Bruno's had excellent food and raises their own pigs for sausage and bacon. Sounded great to us so off to Bruno's we went. The food was excellent, just what we needed for a long days adventure ride.
After leaving Bruno's we headed into the mountains for some Beautiful riding! The first part of the trail was slick clay again and made the riding a little on exciting side. Here Marks bike decided it didn't like the trail and it wanted to blaze it's own. We stopped here for a few minutes to point it in the right direction again and to soak in the view.
I have LOTS of HD helmet cam footage from the trip, after the ride report is done I'll go through it and start getting some of it posted up as well.
Taken from the same spot looking back.
Mud packing up on the bike, I wonder how many pounds of mud we were carrying? Hmmm.... I did scrape the mud out of the fenders several times throughout the trip, Didn't want the fender snapping off do to the weight of the mud.
And a Panorama Shot
So I started filming with the helmet cam and decided to drop to the back of the pack. We were hauling up this sweet trail when we come across a natural spring. There is a muddy bank climbing up out of the spring that didn't look to challenging, Mark was in front of me and went right up it, I picked a line (a bad one
) about a foot to the right of Mark's and the rear of the bike came to a halt immediately! I stalled the motor so I re-started it and tried again...nope! Wouldn't even turn the wheel, just bog the engine down and kill it. I hopped off the bike and it stayed upright on it's own. Instead of trying to wrestle it by myself I took my gear off and relaxed while I waited for someone to return.
After a while Craig returned and we set about freeing my bike from it's mud captor. We ended up having to lay the bike over on it's left side and drag it sideways out of the hole. A foot to the left and we had plenty of traction to start it and get it up the hill. Lots-O-Mud!
After some more amazingly beautiful mountains we headed back into the valley again. We were hauling along when Craig came to a sudden stop...what's this??
What appeared to be a full can of beer ended up being a unopened empty can, it had a small hole it in. Oh well, it wasn't very cold anyways.
Mark cresting some single track.....hey wait a minute, why is he off the bike
There is a LOT of cool single track out here in the middle of know where, Very Cool!
Looks like more rain may be in store.
Craig riding the single track.
Wide Open Country! If you look close you can see Alan in this picture.
Another wide open shot.
This shot was taken at the top of the hill, where I took the above two shots.
Panorama shot of the above stop.
We headed south again until we came to an abandoned mine to check out, there are mines EVERYWHERE in NV. I had all the mines plotted along our trail just in case we wanted to stop and check them out, all 970 of them!, and those were just the ones right along our tracks!!
Here we stopped to check out the mine.
A collapsed audit.
Cool desert flowers at the mine site.
A shot of my ugly mug checking out the cabin ruins at the mine site.
Always fun looking at the rock structure where the miners were working.
Another shot of the cabin remains.
Wooden Dowels used to support the door frame of the cabin.
After following our tracks south for a while more we noticed a overhang up on a hillside. We rode up their to check it out.
Alan rode right up into the overhang, not knowing how much room was up there the rest of us decided to park at the bottom and hike the rest of the way up.
Craig shadowed in the entrance. I'm sure Indians used this place way back in the day.
The bikes parked below, Cool valley in the background.
Checking out the rock formations.
Mark checking out the view.
We left the Overhang and headed south again. Here's a shot of Alan cruising down the dirt highway.
Back at Bruno's in Gerlach I overheard the waitress telling a customer about the white flowers that were now in bloom. She said something about them being a rare site and only blooming once every 10 years or so. Not sure if it was true or not but I stopped along the trail to take a few pics of them anyways.
It was starting to get time to call it a day, we've had a great day of riding so far. Since our gear was somewhat wet still and everyone was getting tired we decided to head into Reno and get a hotel for the night. We rolled into Reno and started looking for a place. Requirements: Must have a ground floor door so we can slip the bikes into the rooms, don't want to wake up to a missing bike!
I looked on the GPS and we started searching for a place to stay. The GPS took us into a really bad part of town, not only would I not leave my bike outside but I questioned the safely of the bike and us inside the rooms as well. I typed another hotel into the GPS and we headed off down the highway a few miles to check it out. Bingo!
We checked into the hotel for the night, let the bikes run the fuel out of the float bowles then walked across the parking lot to Denney's and had Dinner. When we got back the bikes were cool and when no one was watching we pushed the bikes into the room. It felt great to wash cloths for the night and get cleaned up. All ready for tomorrows adventures!
Here's a shot of the KTM's all tucked in for the night.
And the cloths/Gear drying out for tomorrows adventure.
Total miles so far: 299
Hrs on bike: 74.0
LOTS more to come!