I got across the river and to camp at 5:15, it was 61 degrees according to the bike computer. I'd ridden 248 miles that day, and 90 since McDermitt. Funny, the last time I climbed that hill I'd just come from McDermitt, and the route I took that time from McDermitt to this creek was also about 90 miles.
I set up camp then went down to the warm creek for a soak. It wasn't as warm as I recall it being in the past, but still inviting enough for a 1/2 hour soak. Being in the warm water helped work out some of the soreness from the afternoon's struggle up that damned hill. Back to camp and ate some dinner, then settled in for another long night.
What a long cold night. Didn't sleep much. I really failed on the sleeping bag situation. Last year when I was out and about the last weekend of October I brought a liner for the bag and was very comfortable in much colder conditons. I won't make that mistake again.
Up at 6:30 the next morning, day 3, and its 32 degrees. It took me a while to get going this morning, probably due to the cold. I changed out the air filter, ate breakfast, got packed and ready to go. But first, lets visit the creek.
Steam rising off the creek
One of the pools seemed a bit deeper than usual, I now see why
Pic zoomed upstream to the crossing I did at night. Had to briefly dab a foot once but didn't get water in my boot
Leaving the creek I took another pic of the stream crossing
You can see that the fire went right down to the river. In fact, this little canyon was the eastern extent of the fire. Supposedly. There was actually a burnt patch on the other side of the river not too far from the top of yesterday's hillclimb.
Up out of the canyon and on the burned-out plains. This scene really framed the situation quite well
All those square miles of burned up countryside was startling. There are plenty of patches where the fire jumped over or ran around the vegetation, but so much is just black. It will be interesting to watch it all grow back over the upcoming years
I think that bedframe has been there a long time
There were so many beds around and in this cabin. I counted 12 all together
I wished I'd seen this place before it had burned
Headed out to 95.
This pic looks down to another working ranch and in the distance there's a real pattern to the ground
Once I got closer I saw 3 tractors working the valley. They were pulling seed drills. They're re-planting the desert.
Out to 95 with the plan to take Wildcat Rd over to Mickey Hot Springs and the Alvord. I decided to take a new route taking me farther north into the Sheepshead Mtns.
Ran across this
And then I got lost. I got really turned around and just kept finding dead-ends. It finally occurred to me that I might have a low-gas situation. And I did. A lot of gas ran out onto the ground on that hillclimb yesterday afternoon.
I did eventually find my way to the right road.
Coyote Lake in the far distance
The Alvord Playa is out there, too
Finally on the right road. Steens loop is probably out of the question now.
Down to Fields for gas. I've been riding very slowly for about 30 miles now, needing to make sure I had enough fuel.
Coming up to the hot springs, there's a couple guys on dirt bikes in the new parking lot
Jeff on the right, Greg on the left.
They were nice enough to take a pic of me
They're from Yakima and were making their way toward Moab for their annual trip. They'd never been here and did the usual playa shenanigans and were headed up into the hills above the hotsprings. They gave me a splash of gas and I tagged along
Here comes Greg
Jeff in the shadows
Dead end, turn around
Playa's getting wet
I bid them fun travels and rode out to Fields for gas and gas for me. I hit the playa real quick to see if I could trust that back tire to some sliding. No dice, it just felt like it'd let go and not get reeled back in. Some vid of the big circle I did. You may notice the bike ran out of gas toward the end and I had to put it on reserve.
Hit Fields at 2:30, temp was 76 degrees. Amazing weather.
I put 5.5 gallons in the bike. With a usable 6 gallons out of the tanks supposed 6.3 gallon capacity, and 263 miles since McDermitt, I really did push it farther than I wanted to.
I dawdled too long and realized that to make it to the night's destination, Hart Mtn hot springs, I had to get moving. The highway gearing finally paid off well.
Miles of cattle headed south toward Roaring Springs Ranch
Tried to get a pic of my shadow from the low, setting sun
Long shadows, it was getting late. More throttle
The ride west on Rock Creek Road was terrible. The sun was so low I couldn't dip my visor low enough to keep the sun out of my eyes and still see the road.
Quick vid of what I got to try to deal with
Finally made it to the campground, and before dark. 5:30. 264 miles.
I was ready for a soak and very much enjoyed the hot springs - it was the first time I'd been in them.
Dinner and sleep - another long night coming up.