Joined: Aug 2011
After a good nights sleep in Border, UT, we take off westbound with a goal of making it to Battle Mountain, NV. We had just passed the small town of Eli, when off to our left we see...and hear... an old coal powered locomotive train! Whoa..don't see that everyday! We stop to watch the train pass by, and it gives us a couple toots of the steam whistle as it passes by.
We head down the road to the City of Eureka, NV. It is late morning, so we figure we will fuel up and grab some lunch. We sit down at a table in the "Owl Club and Saloon" and look around at the locals that are taking their lunch breaks. We are a bit dirty/dusty and we certainly stand out in this crowd, but we can't help but notice a gentleman behind me. He is seated, but likely stands about 6 5 or 6 6...he is built sturdy and has the weathered face of a rancher that has spent more than a little time in the sun/wind. At a glance, he reminds me of John Wayne. We finish our burgers as we overhear him talking about some past experiences with cattle and the like.
I can't help but stop by his table after a trip to the restroom, and introduce myself. I tell he and his wife that we could not help but notice him seated in what looks like a small chair (its not) with his cowboy hat on. I ask his wife if anyone had ever told him that he looks a bit like John Wayne, both in features and especially in stature, and she replies, "oh yes...we have heard that before". He is a bit hard of hearing, so I am having to talk in a manner that allows most of the other guests in the restaurant to listen to our conversation. They ask us a bit about our trip etc and we give them a bit of background on what we are doing. I politely ask the man if he would allow me to take his photo, as he certainly looked like "Nevada"! He obliged me and we thanked he and his wife for the photo and the conversation.
The town of Eureka was interesting. It has retained alot of its turn of the century charm and still had a few old buildings that are still being used, but certainly date back almost 100 years. I think Jim could have spent the day looking around and checking out the old town. We get back on our bikes...our fuel tanks and belly's full.
We head out of town on Highway 50 and it isnt even 20 minutes later we see a Nevada State Trooper with his emergency lights on, fly past us westbound. We see him up the road, in the distance, pulling over a semi-truck that is going the oppossite direction. We think this is a bit odd, as we see him do this several more times. It isn't long before the Trooper dissapears in the distance. We motor on and after about 40 minutes we see a VERY LARGE Oversize transport hauling a monster dump truck!! Apparently the Trooper had simply been moving vehicle off to the side to allow this gigantic vehicle to pass. It literally needed the entire paved surface of the roadway...and then some, to make it's way down the road.
We got off the pavement shortly thereafter and began our days ride in the dirt. We soon determined that Nevada would be a hot, dusty and in some cases challenging bit of geography. The dirt was sometimes solid and would quickly change to sandy and powdery. These changes would often take place within a few hunderd yards. All in all, Nevada would have a "desolate" feel to it as we rode through open range, ranch roads and dry, hot desert. At 100 degrees, even cruising at 45-50 mph simply felt like someone was fanning hot coals in your direction!
We made our way towards Battle Mountain, NV. We pretty much put our heads down and rode for most of the day. We rode down into an enormous "valley" of sorts...it was a flat area of desert surrounded by scattered mountains. While riding into this wide open area, we found ourselves in the middle of another thunderstorm. We observed a few lightning strikes not far off. We could see clear skies in front of, and behind us...but we were under a several miles long/wide cloud that seemed intent on raining or throwing lightning bolt down upon us. As we pick up our pace to get out from under this sinister cloud, we come upon two wild horses, galloping along the road, apparently with the same thing in mind! We fall in behind the horses at about 15 mph and follow them for a good mile or two. Jim and I both have reached into our pockets and retrieved our cameras at this point, and we are riding one handed as we video the horses. We watch as the horses take to the open range and run off westward, likely a bit spooked by the two idiots following them.
We are happy for the distraction and we continue on. The flour-like consistency of the "sand" that we have been riding today, is strange. When you hit a patch of it, or find yourself entering a long stretch of of it..it behaves almost like water, splashing up at your legs as you run through it. It is less stable than regular sand and is no fun as far as I am concerned. After we pass a bunch of mines and mining operations, we find ourselves fueling up in the tiny town of Crescent Valley. We got off the TAT to get here so we could fuel up the bikes.
We decide to re-route through what should be a very nice valley that will link us back up to the TAT called Corral Canyon. This will prove to be an awesome ride between a few mountains, over some single/double track that winds us in and around some grazing cattle, a zillion rabbits scurrying across the trail and some very nice scenery. The sometimes rocky and twisty trail is a welcome change from the straight,part gravel/part "flour-ish" sand that we have been riding most of the day.
As we are just about to exit the trail that opens up onto some flatter terrain, off to our left we see the TAT trail that meets up with our re-route. Perfect! We ride some more gravel roads as the sun sets. Battle mountain lies ahead several miles and it is just getting dark as we roll into the parking lot of our nightly Motel.
For you Super Sherpa ADV'ers out there...you may have noticed a lack of any Sherpa specific details in most of these ride reports. I actually noticed this too! The biggest reason being...the Super Sherpa just has not given me any trouble, nor much in the way to comment on! I mean this in the best possible sense, as the bike just works. Power? Just fine, other than the lack of oxygen at higher than 6 to 8,000 feet. Dependability? Not so much as a loose bolt! Comfort? Well, other than my butt being a bit uneasy on the seat for ten hours a day, no big deal...and likely much better than some 250cc seats! The Super Sherpa seems to be happy doing whatever I ask of it. The tires (Pirelli MT-21's) are getting worn, as they are much softer than the stock Trailwings, but they perform fantastic. Havent checked the spark plug, because the bike is running fine. Great little adventure bike...just leave your ego at home.
We get some dinner and get back to the Motel to take a look at the next days route. We both agree that tomorrow may seem like Deja Vu, given the similar terrain we will be riding. It is Nevada after all!
More to come,
Rx4Pain screwed with this post 09-14-2012 at 12:17 PM