June 19, 2012
We were up early and out riding by 7am. We were riding across the Owyhee Desert, some of the most remote country in the USA. I learned in my research for the last couple rides that wild horses mark their territory by crapping in one spot and making a huge pile. Over the last couple day, we had seen lots of piles but they had been mostly dry and old. This morning, I was passing by huge fresh piles so I was on the lookout for some wild horses. I spotted a group of horses on a ridge to the north of me on the right side of the road I was travelling on so I stopped. Once I had stopped, I noticed another horse away from the group. While I was stopped there trying to get my GoPro and Lumix to take some pictures of the horses, I began to hear a noise which I could not quite figure out. It sort of sounded like a helicopter was coming from behind me. I turned around and two more horses ran up from behind me, blew past me at full speed, and ran across the road to the right and over to the other group.
Of course, I did not get a decent picture with 2 cameras. How lame! You can barely see the 2 in the picture above as they were headed to the right to hang with their buds. The other guys pulled up and I told them of the cool sight I had experienced and I am sure they all were saying “Whatever!”.
We stopped at the mud hole that had held us up for quite a while the previous year. It was dry but you could still see our rut.
We rode further and then I saw another horse that came running up beside me. We seemed to be on parallel courses so we cruised along together. The whole time, I thought I was taking pictures with my GoPro (I had it set to take a picture every 30 seconds) but apparently it was not on. DUH! He slowed down and I slowed down thinking I could get a shot of him with my Lumix. He stopped and I stopped and just as I put my foot down, Kramsetac blew past me at insane speed. It kind of scared me. I had no idea he was there. He went chasing after the horse and I set my GoPro to video and went off after him. I saw he had stopped and just as I approached him, 2 antelope zipped right across my path between me and him. I did not see them coming so that was another surprise. I tried to get him to take some pictures of them but I think they were gone before he figured out what I was blathering on about. Wow!
We rode down a cool canyon toward the water crossing that had slowed us down a bit the year before. It was nothing to ride across this time. No group pushing the bikes across required.
From there, we were on a gravel superhighway until we reached 290. We waited for quite a while at the intersection for everyone to catch up. Then we headed to the intersection of 290 and 95 where there is a Chevron gas station. After filling up, washing up, eating, and spending some time enjoying the AC, we headed back north on 290 to Paradise Valley. We planned to have lunch in PV and then head to the north over Hinkey Pass. Unfortunately, there was no one at the Saloon in PV to feed us. The sign said they should be open but no one was around. Someone pulled up and told us they were over at the park and would be back in an hour or so to get back to running the Saloon. There was a funeral or something going on at the park and everyone was there. We did not feel like waiting so headed north.
Hinkey Pass was fun!
Dr. Dan took off up this hill to see what was at the top.
Kramsetac also went up there or a look around. I had seen a radio site to the west of where we were so I headed over there to take a look. I met a guy, Chris, and his son up there. I spent some time talking to Chris. He was an interesting fella who was involved in Search and Rescue. He showed me some cool stuff on the maps including where the Chreiten van was found and where he wanted to go back to search for the missing husband.
You can barely see the road that Dr. Dan and Kramsetac went up and also the rest of the group in this picture.
We headed to the north making our way towards McDermitt. Kramsetac pulled up next to me complaining of a strange noise coming from his bike. I told him there was a building just down the road a bit and that we should stop there and take a look at his bike.
We stopped to have a look. Uhoh!!! It turned out his sprocket was only held on by one bolt with a nut and one without. I don’t have any pictures of it but I know someone else does! Everyone scrounged thru their kits and found enough bolts and nuts to reattach the sprocket.
There was lots of traffic on the roads up here. The wind was blowing as we made our way to Windy Gap.
We headed down the grade.
Then we hit Highway 95 and headed north to McDermitt for some gasoline and late lunch. We were happy to get in out of the wind as we made our way back into the Say When Casino for some chow.
We headed southwest out of McDermitt on the route. Supposedly we were on 798 but it looked like this:
Everyone was wondering what I was thinking including me!
More of 798…
And finally we ran across this, which turned out to be 798 too…
I was running down this super freeway at the terminal velocity of the mighty KLX for quite some time when I thought, maybe I should slow down a bit. I dialed back the throttle and then there was this. That gate next to the cattle guard looks open but it is not!
The road got more fun as we headed across the desert. Somewhere in here, I realized we still had a long way to go to get back to Denio Junction and the sun was getting kinda close to the horizon! We needed to hurry up a bit!
This gate was unlatched so I just pushed it open with my front tire.
And then, we ran into this fence crossing the road. And then we ran into it crossing the road again. WTF? It looks like an awful fancy fence. I wonder who put it there?
From there, we had to do another reroute on the fly to get us back. Luckily, we were very close to the route we had taken to get from DJ to McDermitt so I just had to get us back to there and then follow our track back to DJ. It was an interesting trip with some wrong turns, sandy hills, and runs thru skanky ponds before we were on the track from 2 days prior.
We rode at a very brisk pace once we were on the old track to DJ. There were some challenging sections ahead and we wanted to get thru them in the daylight if possible. Bill was right behind me the whole way. He can really ride that KLR! My GoPro went dead so no more pictures of that. Here is a couple from a bit closer to DJ.
I was ripping down the road here and came very very close to hitting a barb wire gate across the road. I took some pictures with the Lumix back toward Ugo1st coming down the hill.
The sunset was beautiful as I rode back down Wilder Road to the highway. I made a right on the highway and then arrived at DJ. When I turned left off the highway into the Denio Junction parking lot, I spun my bike out. I blamed it on the bit of gravel on the pavement but it was mostly just because I was so excited to be back at DJ. It was not even dark yet! At least not totally…
I walked into the bar and Bobby was ready for each of us with a Denio Burger and fries and of course the appropriate ice cold beverage. It was around 9 pm and the kitchen was closed but I had called him when we were still in McDermitt and arranged for us to have dinner in the warmer for when we arrived. If you are ever headed for DJ and know you are going to arrive after the kitchen closes, be sure to call ahead and they will cook you something up and keep it in the warmer. Bobby told me that someone had come in and told him that a guy on a motorcycle had just crashed out in the parking lot. He told her not to worry about it.
What a fantastic day! Other than the wipeout and hurt ankle part...