I can't believe my first n00b Rally is history. 4 days filled with riding, camping, eating, drinking, and swapping lies with friends new and newer. The brotherhood of the motorcycle builds strong bonds indeed.
My first taste of dirt on this trip was Randsburg-Mojave Rd, out of Cal City. My loaded Husky TE630 handled this quite easily, and the bike proved to be very capable and forgiving in my less than competent hands all weekend.
I rolled into PSR at about 2PM Thursday and found many open campsites. This one looked good, so the tent got pitched. Home-Sweet-Home for the next few days.
I was soon sharing the site with 2 mates, Bitwrench (Jack) and francisthepig (Robert). I've been acquainted with Robert for a few years, and his enthusiasm for the n00b Rally helped convince me to attend.
Bitwrench was great, he had a motel room Friday night and allowed me to run over there and take a nice HOT shower.
Friday morning came soon enough, and it was time to hit the road. I had signed up for GalacticGS's (Larry) n00b tour to Chloride Cliff, Beatty, Rhyolite, and Titus Canyon. It was a great group of guys of varying abilities, and those with more experience were great at helping us with less than stellar abilities. Let's not waste any time on pavemnt portion of the trip, and let's hit the dirt!
I've read a gazillion RR's on this site, and now I understand the disclamer as to why there weren't any pictures taken on the more difficult, but picturesque trail segments. I was just too busy trying to stay upright! Anyhow, here's a few pics from Chrloride Cliff:
Com'on Eric, walk across it, I double dog dare ya! He did.
If you see yourself in any these pictures, feel free to identify yourself. I'm not really good with names to begin with, and my little brain got overloaded with the sheer number of people I met this weekend.
From the Chloride Cliff vista point, it was back down the way we came up, and the plan was to take back roads in to Beatty for lunch. We ran into a little snag. We ended up on a pretty loose, gravel and sand road, and one of our group, motok, had a DR650 that decided it wanted to lead with the rear tire. Unfortunately, from what I understand, he broke a few bones in his foot. Our fearless leader, GalacticGS, took charge of the situation, and arranged for an ambulance, and went back to camp to get a truck and rescue motok's bike. Heal quickly, motok!
With GalacticGS tending to motok, Fudgypup took over as Ride Captain. Pressed for time, we took a more direct route into Beatty and had lunch at Mel's Diner. No food pictures, I ate it too fast. I think I had the French Dip sandwich, but I'd need to check my receipt to be sure. After lunch, it was a quick fill up of gas, and on to Rhyolite. I won't bore folks with too many pictures from there, you've all seen them, and I didn't break any new ground in artistic photography.
On to Titus Canyon. Easily the highlight of the day's ride, We didn't have time to lollygag (That was Duy's ride Saturday. Hi Duy!), so pictures are scarce, but the memories aren't.
I'm not a religious person, but there is something very spiritual going on in Titus Canyon. There's a presence that is difficult to put in to words.
From there it was slab back to camp, Jimmy Lewis' informative seminar, and a great dinner. The it was time for the social hour.
Saturday morning came awfully soon after an evening of too many beers and a night of not enough sleep. I jest. There's no such thing as too many beers.
I had signed up for r3r3r's (Randall) ride to Ballarat, through Goler Wash, over Mengel Pass, with a cabin to visit, and some fantastic riding on a variety of off-road surfaces. Friday night, I was really whooped, and almost talked myself out of this ride. I am so glad I didn't. These guys were great, and riding with them had me challenging myself, and growing as an off-road rider.
Here's a group shot at the start of Indian Ranch Road.
Ballarat. We didn't hang here long, just enough for the group to get back together. We had important places to go. Goler Wash.
Much has been documented about the steps in Goler Wash, and there's really not much I can add. They aren't that bad. You just need to decide you're going up them, and commit to doing just that.
Looking back down the wash from near the steps.
Shots at the steps:
We got everybody up the steps, even surferbum's (Matt) GS1200! That guy's a gamer! I rode with him both Friday and Saturday, he's great.
On to Mengel Pass, a lot of challenging (for me), but fun, sections. When we got to the top of the pass, we got a taste of the winds that would be a part of the rest of the day, and in to the night.
Down the pass we went, and headed to what I believe is Stella's Cabin for a much needed lunch break.
It took some effort to roust a few of us from the lethergy brought on by lunch, but we did get back on the bikes and headed down Butte Valley and Warm Spring Canyon to West Side Road. West Side Road was just fast, fast, fast, dusty, and did I say fast. I thought I was haulin', when r3r3r blasted by me like I was stuck in 1st gear! Randal did yeoman's duty herding his cats. He must've put on an additional 60 miles or more running back and forth to check on us stragglers.
From there it was the tar to Furnace Creek to gas up, and on back to PSR for dinner, the chance to win some great swag, and the sharing of ride stories over some beer pops.
I want to thank everybody I came in contact with for making this a fantastic event for me. From the ride leaders, to the folks that made the dinners happen, to each and every one of you that gave me encouragement and pointers, to my fellow n00bs that inspired me, thank you for a great time.
And Joel, thanks for organizing this shindig. It really is an event where the"elders" pass on their knowledge and take us n00bs under their wings, to show us the way. I've been having fun on this bike for several months now, but I am really hooked now. I had more fun than a tornado in a trailer park.