Tuesday July 3, 2012
Hotels are cool. Everyone slept well. The day begins with camp kitchen set up. Coffee, tri tip breakfast burritos, menu repeat. No one has spent an extra penny on anything other than fuel thanks to excellent planning by the babes. Kitchen breakdown, pickups packed, bikes ready, babes are ready to drive west.
We leave the hotel, pick our way through Ely's backstreets and get on SR490. This road goes to Ely State Prison, and then turns to dirt.
Ely, NV sits about 6500' elevation so we are in the trees immediately. Bothwick Canyon to Piscovich Summit, we roll through a herd of sheep in the road and wave to their keepers. There is 1 black sheep for every 100 white sheep in the herd. Check. We pass an old cabin then see a cowboy putting a saddle on his horse next to his horse trailer. We are skirting along the toe of the mountains, over Marking Corral Summit, past Thirty Mile Ranch into Long Valley.
North up Long Valley. We head up toward the South end of the Ruby Marshes to look for the Pony Express trail. We go over Hobson Pass and pass by the Mooney Basin Mining Project. Big project. Big haul trucks. Nobody on the road, we still own it. Nice from here up to the Ruby's. Then we find our intersection.
Time to deliver the mail. The road is wide and well graded here, more like the Federal Express Trail, as it could easily accomidate a trailer truck. This does not long, next crossroads we stick with the PXT and it is as you would think, shitty condition, ruts, and lots of bug dust, which is Nevada's version if silt. The ruts take their toll on one of our group. The pilot of the CRF450X decides she is not dirty enough, or sore enough. After a brief reintroduction with Mother Earth, she is fit to continue. Enough of that. The trail gets pretty western again as we need to cross the Diamond Range.
Heading up the east side of Overland Pass, there are rocks, stair steps, rock coverd stair steps, rocky stair steps, and rocky rock coverd stair steps. Huge respect for the front half of the two headed monster. Unmistakable riding skills. We get to the top and eat lunch.
Top of Overland Pass looking west into Diamond Valley. 7449'
The ride after lunch starts with a decent down Telegraph Canyon. Fun. The bowels of Diamond Valley are crossed, then we cross SR 278 and get back on the PXT.
This next section, from Garden Pass to Roberts Creek Ranch was fun. We stop delivering the mail, and go north on Three Bars Road over McClusky Pass and into Grass Valley. McClusky Canyon is a desert oasis. South down Grass Valley Road for a quick break in the shade at Walti Hot Spring bordering the Gund Ranch. Check that. Asshole ranch hand that works for the Gund Ranch, says no shade for us. We bail and decide he is a drugstore poseur. His Wrangler's were too clean. Long peaceful ride down Grass Valley Road. I run out of gas, check the odometer, and accept that 190 miles on 4 gallons is OK. Kolpin Jr. gets dumped, happiness ensues. Back to US Hwy 50. Two minutes of slab to Bob Scott Campground. Babes are there. Babes have claimed group camp spot again. We love the babes. Bikes checked and lubed. Food.
Trip odometer is having fun,
Day three. Done.