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Old 08-27-2010, 06:22 PM   #1
Super Suz OP
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Super Suz goest to West Fest

Here it is, folks. Another West Fest road report.

I'll first make my disclaimer that this is not a moto campout ride all the way from Oakland to Montana. This is a report about my trip with my camper van and hauling my Super Sherpa. I stopped off and took the Sherpa out for a ride around here and there.

I live in Oakland and I have the summers off so I took off in June around the 18th. I had a gig to do in Tahoe that would round up some gas money for me. Friends of my family live there and they were overwhelmed with the idea of moving soon and asked if I could help them. Cool! Two weeks in Tahoe with gas money at the end. And, I got to do this too:

I hit up the Assault on Tahoe ADV rally and missed the big day of riding when my van blew a radiator hose. So TahoeAcer and I took the easy route on another day. We saw this bear in the road drinking from a puddle and tried to get a pic of it. The Assault thread has more pics from Jeff's camera.


Mr. and Mrs. TahoeAcer came over for tacos. Mrs. Acer brought chocolate dipped strawberries and for those who went to Assault at their house know that she is a great cook and baker. Yummy!


I fished at Spooner Lake in the Tahoe area and can't say I'd be back. After an expensive license fee, you have to then pay for parking. It's full of leeches and I didn't see anyone catch anything except a little spud boy who caught a mini fish.

I can say that Tahoe has excellent hiking and swimming areas. I really enjoyed that!


Thanks for bringing out the boat, Rick.

There's some great hiking above Incline Village

I got to do some riding in the back of Tahoe City and Brockaway Beach.
There's little roads in back and even a small lake with four "dispersed" campsites.
On July 4th when I was back there, only one two sites were in use.
I should mention that the end of the dirt road that leads into
Tahoe was for sure 4x4 and steep. So don't bring your street tires to get out of the area via the dirt. The
small lake is Watson Lake and there is a paved road #73 that takes you there.
The back road is dirt road 50. The beautiful twisty, small and quiet road
# 73 can be accessed by the west side of hwy 267. This corner is right around
Brockway Summit.
Thanks to TahoeAcer for telling me about it. Get free maps at ranger station.
Here's a nice sllide show of part of a day of riding. I was trying to find the backwoods lake.


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Super Suz screwed with this post 09-08-2010 at 04:30 PM
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:50 PM   #2
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Virgin Valley Preserve in Nevada, with warm springs pond

And opal mines!

I brought my hot springs guide book, Hot Springs and Hot Pools of the Northwest (and Southwest) with me and used them to figure out where to go first when I left Tahoe.

I headed towards Winnemucca and slept comfortably in their rest stop. I had the camper van after all. After checking out my choices, I picked

The Virgin Valley Preserve off of 140 and just after the small store at Denio Junction. As usual, I asked the locals and they directed me to the best spring in the area, even though there were closer ones with flies and murk.

At this location, you have a wonderful campground established in the 1930's and complete with new BLM privies, two showers that run warm spring water 24-7, and this wonderful warm pond to cool off in. The kiddies would love this campground. Bring your fishing rods and mountain/dirtbikes because there are TRAILS and moderate 4x4 stuff to explore in the area. I rode around the back and explored the opal mines and the local gorges. There's one just three miles in back of the campground that is the most amazing gorge I've ever seen. I was awestruck!

On my way back, I had to do a road repair. I turned my idle stem dial all the way off. And the spring and washer go flying onto the desert floor. Ugh.


After getting that resolved as best as I could, I see stuff like this..

This gorge is only three miles away from camp. Careful with the kiddies. It's deeeeeep.


Oh and the burgers are better at Denio Junction than Fields,

per the locals in the area. Gas up when you can. This area is deserted desert! In fact, bring gas jugs on the bike. You'll feel better if you do. I bring three jugs and one of them I fill up with gas.

Here are some pics.

This guy is trying to make a call at the top of a ridge. He was not successful. Make your calls before you go in too deep into the desert. Bring plenty of supplies and lots of stick meat

The opal mine store with lots of examples of opals. Oh yeah. Ask the camp host to show you his collection. He'd love to and the rocks are super cool to check out.



Plenty of fishing for fish and opals


The warm springs pond and next to that is the shower house. There's potable spring water too.


I took some really cool pics of the back roads that lead to Nevada's Black Rock Desert. I did not get as far as the Indian Rez before I felt uneasy about being out there alone. So I headed back and checked out an old homestead and more opal mine stuff. I would have gone much further if I had a riding partner with me.

When I find those pics next week, I'll post them here.
I'll be back with more info about my trip, including Alvord Desert, Steens Mountains, Stanley, Id backroads, a great, warm swim hole nearby Jackson Hole, Ol' Faithful, Darby and West Fest shananigans, a decompression lakeside campout with some mods, totally cool and far-out gold mine towns in Idaho, more hot springs, riding around Idaho, Craters of the Moon National Monument, and more goofing off with the Super Sherpa.
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Super Suz screwed with this post 08-31-2010 at 06:36 AM
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:57 PM   #3
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Hiya Suz!!


I've been to that Opal Mine place before, I came down from up in the hills heading for the main road. Stopped in to say hi and bought a cold soda pop.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:58 PM   #4
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Lots of West Fest threads on the go.., it looks like you took the best way there

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Old 08-28-2010, 09:05 AM   #5
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Willow Springs off of White Horse Ranch Road

Hey Larry Boy and Sticker Dude GB that always gets there first! Thanks for checking out my first posts.

After cooling off with a swim in the warm pond, I took off in the afternoon to find White Horse Ranch Road. I knew that there was a dude ranch with tipis for rent and a kitchen facility to use (similar to hostels) but I didn't end up going there once I found the nice campground next to the Willow Springs BLM hot springs campground. It was there that I found a bunch of Idaho ADVrs who were doing dirt roads all day. They made a thread for their weekend ride and here it is right HERE. They were all very nice guys and probably AWESOME riders. They were too much for me so I took off and did my own thing.

White Horse Ranch Road

Oh. That's going to make a nice sunset





Willow Springs: This used to be called White Horse Ranch H S but they gave it to the BLM: GPS N 42 16542 W 118 15.930 You can get there from Burns Junctionon hwy 95 or Denio Junction going on Oregon Harney County Road 201 for 12 miles and then turn right 8 miles south of Fields and continue on gravel for 29 miles where you follow signs to White Horse Ranch. From BJ, 2.5 miles past the ranch is your left turn. Do not attempt if it's been raining as can get extremely muddy and impassable





Anyone know who this ADV rider is? He's from Idaho.


Well what do you think?

I was going to ride around the mountains in this area but decided against it since it was not traveled much and I'd be way out there on my own. But you FF's ought to give it a go and let me know how it was. Better yet, invite me along next time.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:17 AM   #6
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West Fest Summer!

what do you think so far? More on Monday!
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Suz
what do you think so far? More on Monday!
You and that blasted sportsmobile, gonna get expensive.




ps, look up ford nugget :swoon
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Suz
what do you think so far? More on Monday!

Looks great, Suz!! Do you have Lat/Long's for the different hot springs? I'm heading out in a few days and it's fun to try to find a place from a few coord's.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:58 AM   #9
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:13 AM   #10
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Been waiting for this writeup and pics. I was also in Darby for the Montana 1000, great ride.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Suz

This gorge is only three miles away from camp. Careful with the kiddies. It's deeeeeep.

Nice find, like a mini-grand canyon. That gorge could make for a really good landscape photo in the right light.
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Suz


Anyone know who this ADV rider is? He's from Idaho.
It kinda looks like me. Yep, it's me, there is my coffee mug with your wine in it. It was nice meeting you Super Suz. And thanks for the wine. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your pics and report.
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:20 PM   #13
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I can get the coordinates for you

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy
Looks great, Suz!! Do you have Lat/Long's for the different hot springs? I'm heading out in a few days and it's fun to try to find a place from a few coord's.
Larryboy, I can do that for you. Right now, I'm hanging out in Santa Cruz. I'll be home on Sunday eve and will look up the coord's from my hot springs book. I have an extra Northwest book and I'm going to leave it in the clubhall library. Wait till you see the other H.S. I visited. I have about ten or more to share with you guys and I can get coordinates for all of them. Wait and see... Teeeeeee Heeeeeeee!
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Super Suz screwed with this post 08-28-2010 at 07:34 PM
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Old 08-28-2010, 06:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Suz
what do you think so far? More on Monday!


Don't make us wait til Monday!!



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Old 08-28-2010, 07:21 PM   #15
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Alvord Desert and Steens Mountain Range

After a visit to Fields for a milk shake and a chat with the locals,

Get your free maps of the area, including Steens, at this store.
I headed to the Alvord Desert dirt road that runs north in the direction I was headed. I had seen the threads by WoodsChick and decided to see the beauty for myself. Again, there is not much gas out there gas up in the small "town" of Fields. While you are there, take a pic of the unusual telephone booth out in the middle of nowhere.

Here are some manly men getting ready to go hunting in this contraption that someone built for the job. I wondered how legal it was.
In their "element" here. They looked so happy with each other and all their beer and gear.





This hot spring is very hot and is best enjoyed in the evening. Bring bug spray and expect others to soak with you. That's ok. You meet the darndest people when soaking in a hot spring. It's as enjoyable as solo soaking, if you ask me.
Alvord Hot Springs by qousqous, on Flickr
I forgot to take a photo so this is a bootleg copy from Flicker. By
Christopher Cotrell


I met up with two of the Idahoan boys while parked near the springs. We all camped up on the dirt road that's near the spring. There are several flat areas with fire rings on the hills I made sandwiches and then we all went down to soak up. I counted 23 mosquito bites the next morning. Those buggers there were silent killers so don't be fooled when it gets dark. The two ADVrs had been up to Steens Mountain that day. I told them I was headed north and they said I would be a sorry if I'm that close to the Steens Mountains and don't go to the top. So I made that my day's outing the next day.
Here is a video of Steens Mountain.



Here's an extra added feature:
The Alvord Playa hosts all kinds of play toys, including plane gliders. I chatted with some of them while hanging out on the playa. A Cadilac was towing them with a long-ass rope and if the wind funnels are right, this is the sort of thing they see...
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Super Suz screwed with this post 08-30-2010 at 03:23 PM
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