It's probably the most critical day of the trip.
We have a great view of the Steens from our camp site and things don't look good this morning at all. Very dark clouds cover the mountains and we see showers all around us. Even if we rode through the rain into the Steens, the cloud cover would be so thick that we wouldn't be able to see anything. So part of a trip like this is leaving some things unseen, it will draw you back again. We decide to head south then east for McDermitt on whatever roads look the most stable.
I begin the morning with a nice hot soak while everyone else slept.
With the decision made to carry on without the Steens in the bag we pack up. The last few minutes we were packing it started to sprinkle. As we get on the bikes, the heavens open up and we get absolutely dumped on. Man, rain hitting your lips at speed really hurts. The humidity was extremely high and keeping the goggles clear was difficult.
No Pictures of this because I didn't want to get the camera soaked. Jonathan grabs one quick:
After about 45 minutes of downpour it turns to off and on sprinkles. Trout Creek Rd. isn't too bad but Disaster Peak road lives up to it's name. We get into the poof dust. Just enough rain to keep the dust down, but not enough to make the riding easy. Man that stuff is tough. I mistakenly got into some deep ruts and found out that down in all that powder are some really big rocks. We all tried to ride the left edge and found it easier than anything else. Glad when that was over and we blasted into McDermitt to catch an early (11:00am) lunch, fill up and try to dry out.
From McDermitt we took another rider's suggestion as he took a different route which turned really rocky. So we headed south into Nevada then east along the Quinn river. I can highly recommend the Quinn river road, it was awesome. Like riding a rollercoaster.
Lots of fun.
The rain was off and on and the road varied from excellent to sloppy, to really sloppy-slippery mess.
We headed north on Tent Creek Rd. then east on Pole Creek Rd. to Anderson Crossing:
Anyone spot Mark in this next pic?
Leaving the canyon:
Rain had swept through the area in very spotty patches so the roads continually changed. Sometimes we were struggling to do 20mph and other times we were doing 50+
Here's a spot that was excellent:
The views were nothing but flat forever....
Headed north on Jackson Creek Rd. we were clipping right along. I was in the lead. After awhile I could only see one headlight in my mirror. I kept watching and started to get concerned that someone had gone down. I waited for what I thought was a smooth stretch of road, stood up and turned around to see if they were both behind me. Bad idea...Very bad idea.