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Old 08-12-2011, 07:32 AM   #1
Hodakaguy OP
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Eastern WA State
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Riding through History - NV...A Land Lost in Time.

Here's a quick overview of our plan. Head to the Alvord Desert in OR, camp for two nights there then head south on the bikes for 3 days of exploring the remote regions of NV. Camp at Soldier Meadows and maybe head as far south as the Black Rock Desert. One of the top items on my list is to locate the crashed B24 Liberator that rests in the Pueblo Mountains above Denio NV, it's eluded me for three years (See my ride reports in my Sig line) so this may just be the year to find it!

I posted an open invitation on ADVRider for anyone that wanted to join in on the ride so I won't know who all is going until we get down to the Alvord Desert. Three of the riders have already had to cancel last minute so who knows how many will make the trip.

This ride report will be Pic Heavy! The pictures are a combination of Andy's and I pics.

Day 1:

We roll out early for the Alvord and arrive at 3pm on the "Dry" Alvord lake bed. Feels great to be back down here again!




The lake bed is full of water still so we search around a bit for a place to park Don's trailer. I look down and notice he has a flat! We had two flats down here last summer....I guess we'll get it out of the way early this time




We finally head back to the spot right above the hot springs since that's the only dry place to park the camper. One more day until we head south on the bikes to NV! Oh Yeah!!! The desert bike fleet.




My 530 ready to do battle with the desert....bring on Adventure!




James getting ready to head out on the "Fat Thing". It's a RV90 that he installed a 140cc LIfan into, he cruised all over on that bike.




I walked over to check out the hot springs...just as I remembered them. Can't wait to go for a soak tonight!




Josh from CA (Inmate Josh.orco) had arrived the previous day and was out exploring on the bike when we arrived. He rolled back into camp on his 640 and I noticed his rear tire was flat! He headed up the hill to his camp to install a new heavy duty tube in the rear tire.




Looking back at the Playa...I've never seen this much water in the desert...Crazy!




I headed back down to camp to get ready for a soak in the hot springs. A lightning storm had been going on out in the distance and it wasn't long before the lake bed was completely surrounded by a awesome thunder storm. Dust started blowing across the playa and lightning was striking all over the lakes surface. I managed to catch 4 strikes with my camera. Very Cool! After a long soak I headed to bed...ready for tomorrows adventure.










LOTS more to come...the main ride report starts on Day 3.


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Old 08-12-2011, 08:46 AM   #2
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Day 2.
Miles on Bike: 4365
HRS on bike: 136.2

I woke up and headed down for a soak in the springs. Soon everyone was up and it was time to have some fun on the bikes. My friend Andy (Inmate Romppy) would be showing up today with his 530 so while we were waiting Don, Terry and I decided to play up in the hills a bit above the springs.

Picture of the canyon directly above camp




The end of the Playa is just starting to dry out. I doubt that it will fully dry out this year.







Don and I heading up the trail.




Up in the hills heading towards the first abandoned mine above camp.




Don slipped down into a wash




Andy arrived so we unloaded the bikes and decided to head down to Borax Hot Springs, then on to Fields for a world famous milk shake!




Borax Hot Springs




Josh arriving at the Springs. His tire is holding up great...but his rear brake keeps locking up and over heating, will have to look at that when we get back to camp.




Borax Lake. There used to be a Borax mining operation located here. It's a warm lake and the source boils up in the middle of the lake. The Borax Lake Chub is a small fish that can only be found in this lake, pretty amazing it can live in water with high Arsenic concentrations.




My dad checking the temp in one of the hot pools. You can swim in the lake and there is one pool cool enough to soak. It's located at the very end of the chain off pools.






A couple other shots of the pools, true Yellowstone quality.








After checking out the hot springs we headed to Fields to get a World Famous Milk Shake!




A ride report through Fields wouldn't be complete without a picture of the World Famous Milk Shake sign.




Andy and Josh enjoying their shake. Yummm....




After having shakes at Fields we headed back to camp to play in the hills a bit and prep for our bike adventure that starts in the am. Josh is going to look at his rear brake and see if he can get it functioning again.

Once back at camp Andy and I played around in the hills a bit above camp, we checked out the what was left of the miners cabin located directly below the first abandoned mine.




The first year I came up here the walls were intact and the cabin was in pretty nice cond...not sure what happened to it since then.






After checking out the cabin we rode up to the first mine. This shot was taken from the mine looking back down at the lake bed.




And another shot of the lake full of water.




There is a lot of water damage up in the hills. There used to be a wooden rail track running down the hill right where the wash out is located and the lower audit is completely covered now with tailing that have slid down the hill.




Here's a picture from a past trip to this mine showing the tracks



More pictures of this mine, cabin, mines and relics are located in my other ride report here: CLICK HERE


Andy and I headed back down to camp to soak and finish preparing for tomorrows ride. We stopped and talked to Josh on the way down to find out the status of his rear brake. It looks like the master cylinder is toast so he is going to head home in the am....leaving Andy and I to head out into NV on our own.

Bring on NV!

Lots more to come!

Hodakaguy
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
Hodakaguy OP
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Day 3:
Miles on Bike: 4434
HRS on bike: 138.2

Andy and I woke up early and had the bikes loaded and ready to roll. Our plan was to locate the crashed B24 Liberator then head south to Soldier Meadows. We broke camp and headed to Denio for Fuel before starting the ride into the Pueblo Mountains.

After a stretch of slab run we arrived at Denio Junction.




No ride report through Denio would be complete without a picture of God's Ride.




We left Denio Junction and headed out to find the Bomber...I wasn't exactly sure how to locate it and we soon found ourselves at Bog Hot Springs. We stopped to check out the Hot Springs. Bog is really cool, it's more like a hot river than a springs. I will be back here some day to camp and ride.






After lots of looking at the GPS and talking to a local that passed in a car we headed out again in search of the B24. Here we started climbing up into the mountains, you can see Denio Junction off in the distance.






We stopped on the way to check out an abandoned mine, I headed up to see how far in the audit went.






Not exactly sure what they were mining here but the tailing had some sort of mineral in them. The audit only went in about 15 feet so I imagine whatever they were after wasn't to abundant.




Looking back at the bikes from the mine, lots of wide open country down here.




We left the mine and started working our way further up into the mountains.




Andy blasting through a grass meadow




Stopped for a picture in the meadow.




Getting closer!




And there it is!

"On February 9, 1945 at approximately 10 PM a B-24 "Liberator" bomber crashed into a rocky ledge in the Pueblo Mountains in southeastern Oregon. The plane was on a "round robin" navigation training mission from Gowen Field near Boise, Idaho to Hamilton Field in California.
An eyewitness in Denio recalled seeing the plane fly over Pueblo Mountain on its return from California and, for some unknown reason, turn sharply to the left, narrowly missing the summit as it crossed back over to the southwest. This maneuver cost the plane 2500 feet in altitude and a few seconds later it crashed into the west-side of the mountain at the 7500-foot level. All 11 men on board were killed. The cause of the crash was never determined." Taken from the BLM Website


If you would like to learn more about this crash Oregon Field Guide did a story on it a while back, you can watch it here: CLICK HERE




The wreck is scattered over a football size area on the slope.




Andy and I took a lot of pictures at the crash site...so I'll post a lot of pics here.




A heavy piece of armor plate, still has army green paint on it!




Main landing gear




The bomber burned when it went in, the extreme heat discolored the chrome on the damper.




One of the super charger assy.




Lots of melted aluminum.




Another engine




Engine and super charger








More parts










Looks like some sort of inter cooler




More parts








Cylinder with part of a exhaust manifold attached.



























They were so close to making the top of the hill




Another panoramic shot.




Andy at the crash site




There were several wild flows growing at the crash site...it's amazing to see this much green this late in the season up here.




Another shot of the bikes in the meadow




One last shot of the wreck site before we head out for Soldier Meadows.

**On a side note I talked to a guy in Sumpter Oregon a few years ago that said he came up here and hauled off several parts of the bomber..including the remains of the ball turret to send back east to his sister. PLEASE don't remove anything from this site! If everyone that came up here did that there wouldn't be anything left for future people to explore. Watching the video link above I can spot the turret and several other items that were in the video and have since been hauled away...forever lost.




After we left the bomber my stomach wasn't feeling to good and I just wanted to rest in the shade for a bit so we decided to head back to Denio Junction, get fuel, rest, then head on to Soldier Meadows. I rested at Denio for about a hr then we hit the road again.

Andy cruising down the main road to Soldier Meadows






Some cool eroded rock formations on the way to Soldier Meadows.




Andy captured me cruising down the highway




We finally arrived at Soldier Meadows. This place is full of History and owned by Jim and Kathy, the nicest people you'll ever meet! There is an original army fort on their ranch that dates back to the mid 1800's. For the history of the Soldier Meadows ranch CLICK HERE.

Soldier Meadows is an oasis in the middle of the desert. They welcome outsiders to camp at their ranch, use their hot springs and you can even have home cooked meals and showers! Kathy will make sure you are comfortable during your stay. I will be back here again! They are the best!!




We set up camp and cooked our dinner in the shade.






I charged up my phone and gopro while I was here :-)




Here's a picture of the original army fort that's still standing.




After we ate diner Kathy asked if we would like some home make ice cream...we couldn't turn that down! We ate desert and headed back to the tents. I was going to head down and soak in one of their two natural hot springs that they have on the ranch but fell asleep laying in my tent before I had a chance, Oh well, the extra sleep felt great!

Andy caught some dear playing in camp after I fell asleep.




Lots more adventure to come!

Hodakaguy
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:23 AM   #4
killurtv
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Looking good so far!!!!! Man there is a ton of water in the Alvord, too cool!!!
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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The photos are freakin' awesome! I like RR's with lots of pics. I would so like to come ride this area some time.
I read very similar ride report from another inmate and that fueled my desire to come ride out here. You just added to that fire. Great job.

I'll be heading to Colorado Sept 2nd for some R & R, (ridin' n well....ridin'). Hope I can do as good a job as you did on the report.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:56 AM   #6
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Ahhh, most excellent!!!


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Old 08-12-2011, 06:13 PM   #7
brad21
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Hey, get outa my tent space!

Nice RR so far Tom!
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:17 PM   #8
Hodakaguy OP
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Day 4:
Miles on Bike: 4620
Hrs on Bike: 142.7

This day will be picture heavy!

Woke up early at Soldier Meadows after a great nights sleep. We decided to eat breakfast at the ranch this morning, they served french toast, bacon, eggs and toast....it was a great meal! We each took 2 gallons of fuel before heading back out on the trail.

Doesn't get any more accurate than this...a gallon cider jug. You get your fuel one gallon at a time. Here Andy is getting ready to top off.




I forgot his name but this is one of the hired hands at the ranch, he's a glass blower and pilot as well. He's getting ready to head to Burning Man to help set up the runway on the Black Rock Desert.




And my bike taking fuel




We weren't sure if we would make it back to Soldier Meadows tonight so we loaded all our camping gear back onto the bikes and headed for Fly Canyon.

This is a historical marker on the road to Fly Canyon, Soldier Meadows was originally called Mud Meadows by people heading out west on the Applegate Trail.




Since I was running the GPS I was usually in the lead. When we would get to a cattle gate I'd open it up and ride through, Andy would close it after he came through. We did this routine numerous times out on the trail. Here Andy is closing one of the many gates we passed through.




The entrance to Fly Canyon. Here's another historical marker, notice the spelling.








We soon came to an abandoned ranch so we stopped to check it out. Here's a panoramic shot of the ranch.




A couple of buildings still standing






Andy checking out the inside of the buildings, lots of messages written on the walls from previous passers by.




Inside the main house




I thought these shingles where interesting that were covering the side of the house, made to look like brick. :-)




Bikes parked at the ranch, getting ready to head into High Rock Canyon.




Jack rabbits were everywhere down here




Looking out at the entrance to High Rock Canyon from the ranch




High Rock Canyon is a beautiful place. Wagon trains would pass through this canyon on their trip out west.

More historical information on High Rock Canyon can be found here: CLICK HERE




Looking back at the entrance to High Rock Canyon.




And here comes Andy




One of our first stops in the canyon was Mail Cave. Settlers on the wagon trains would leave mail in this cave for family members or friends that were coming behind. It's hard to imagine what it would have been like to travel through this country with horse and wagon.

Here my 530 sits in front of Mail Cave.




And a couple minutes later Andy arrives.




Mail Cave








Historical Graffiti on the bluff next to Mail Cave, 1852!




During breakfast this morning Jim had told us that there are two caves in High Rock Canyon but most people only find Mail Cave. He said there was another cave a couple hundred yards away from Mail Cave hidden behind a rock that had more writing inside from the settlers. After checking out Mail Cave I set out to find the second cave, here I'm hiking along the bluffs.




See the second cave?




Here I'm standing at the entrance to the cave. If Jim hadn't told us about the cave we would have passed right by it.




It's a small cave and there are two entrances, a small gap at the top and a large hole down lower. Here Andy is standing by the upper entrance.




And here's Andy inside the cave, taken from the lower entrance




More writing inside the cave. The BLM says this writing was written in wagon grease, since it's out of the weather it's survived intact.





There was more writing in the cave by the entrance but it was no longer legible.

Here's a shot of me looking up from the cave.




After checking out the caves we continued up the canyon. Beautiful scenery at every turn.






Here Andy is getting ready to cross a creek




Hit it a tad fast LOL. Oh well, it's hot out side and the water feels great.








Yep...wet.






After leaving High Rock Canyon we cut through Yellow Rock Canyon. Here we stopped to check out a small cabin.






Parked at the cabin with the High Rock Canyon in the background.




Lot's of yellow rock.




Once through Yellow Rock Canyon the roads smoothed out a bit and we made some time.








The Ruby Pipeline. They are just finishing the installation of a 42" Natural Gas Pipeline that will supply the CA market. We crossed the pipelines path several times throughout our trip. They are at the point now where they will be doing remediation work.




Andy and I looked at the maps and decided to head to Cederville CA next for fuel and food...off we go!

CA off in the distance.




The road passed by another "Dry" lake bed. The water smelled terrible!




We found a nice little bakery in Cederville that served lunch. Since we had cell service and full 3G we decided to make calls home and catch up on emails as well.




Andy catching up on his phone calls. The food here was great and the portions were HUGE! I should have taken a picture of our plates when they brought them out.




After lunch we filled the bikes with fuel and topped off the hydration packs with water. We decided to try and make it back to Soldier Meadows tonight to camp, the thought of grass and shade to pitch the tent in sounded pretty good!

Back out on 8A heading to NV. I noticed this rock that someone had painted a shark face on...pretty cool!






8A is pretty much a boring long gravel road so since we still had time we decided to head out in search of something more off the beaten path.

This road should do nicely!




Cabin off in the distance.




Closeup of the cabin. We were going to check it out but it didn't look to abandoned.




Andy taking a picture of the cabin




This road was great, parts of it looked like it hadn't had traffic for years. It was rough, dusty and rocky....Perfect!










The views are incredible out here!






After a while we came upon the remains of another cabin.






We rode up to have a closer look, not much left of this one.






Bikes parked at the cabin




After leaving the cabin we came around a corner to find a huge group of wild horses. I wish I had the helmet cam running as one group starting running right beside us for a bit.










Crossing the pipleline again






Coming down a silt road, almost back to Soldier Meadows






Home sweet home at Soldier Meadows. We cooked dinner out of our back packs tonight and rested in the shade.




Jim and Kathy came over to chat a while.




Awesome day on the trail today!

Lots more to come!

Hodakaguy
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:41 PM   #9
PersonaNonGrata
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Absolutely fantastic report so far. Love the pictures, especially old structures and caves. Keep keep it comin'
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:00 AM   #10
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Nice score on that second cave!!

I've seen that rock shark before, seriously remote country out there.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:01 PM   #11
Hodakaguy OP
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Day 5
Miles: 4805
Hrs: 147.7

We woke up early and cooked some instant oat meal for breakfast. We each purchased 1 gallon of fuel just to make sure we had enough, we'll be working our way to Denio again today then back to the Alvord to meet back up with family that's still camped there.

We said goodby to Jim and Kathy and headed east out of Soldier Meadows to play in the mountains a bit. The scenery up there is incredible!








It's amazing how green everything is.




Andy heading down a rocky slope...I really should have stopped and snapped a few pictures of the rocky sections, there are some rough trails out there!




More incredible scenery.






Andy playing with a cattle gaurd






I could spend weeks up here riding around and soaking in the view.











Andy bombing down the trail




Some cool rocks in the distance




Another Cabin along the trail. This one had No Trespassing signs all around so we settled for pictures from the trail




We finally worked our way up to the abandoned dozer. No passage through this area would be complete without a stop here. Not sure why this dozer got left at 7000 ft in the middle of know where or what they were trying to do with it up here. There is a couple small ditches that they were building but I'm not sure why. My guess is it broke down and wasn't worth trying to retrieve so they just abandoned it where it sat.




Andy soaking in the view, it's incredible from this peak!




Still a little snow up on top




Me in my desert sun hat taking pictures of the bikes in the distance






Home brew repair to the main pins holding the lift pivot in place. Guess they wern't worried about having to remove it for service any more LOL.




I've never heard of this brand of Dozer before




Andy getting some stick time






This dozer has a different way of tilting the bucket that seems overly complicated and would require a high amount of maint. Not sure why they didn't just pivot the hydraulic ram off the main lifting arm and attach the other end of the ram directly to the bucket like most equipment...maybe this arrangement was stronger?




While were were at the dozer we sat down and ate lunch. Nothing like tuna and banana chips for lunch!






We left the dozer and headed back down to Denio.














Back to Denio Junction one last time for Fuel and a Burger.




Back to the Alvord again. It was a great trip! No wrecks and the tool pack never had to come out of the bag.

I can't say enough good about the giant loop luggage that we both used on the trip. I've used Giant Loop luggage for several long off road trips now and it's worked flawlessly every time. If you want to be able to ride like you don't have the luggage with you the Giant Loop is the only option.






Can't wait for the next trip!

Ending Miles on bike: 4939
Ending Hrs on Bike: 151.3


Hodakaguy
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:19 PM   #12
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Nice report!
It looks like the tractor is an International TD9 and the dozer/bucket attachment is made by Bucyrus. Was that plate on the tractor or the dozer/bucket attachment?
I googled Bucyrus Erie and saw where Caterpillar just bought them out for $8.8 billion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucyrus_International
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:29 PM   #13
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Excellent All The Way Around!

Hey that was a great ride indeed...I of course kept looking to see if my skills on my '07GSA could have taken the routes you did...certainly gave me pause to reflect, since I ride solo, that having two out "beyond the rim" is not just security but a way to get through..

Since I posted on another thread about an upcoming trip in the Alvord/Steen area [9-10 to 9-16 for me] hearing that the dry lake was anything but dry entirely alters my plans...I had hoped to go out East past Mickey Hot Springs to J. Valley and on to Silver City..but having never been out there, the last thing I need is my behemoth axle deep in mud.

Your photography was also first rate...very good eye.

Thanks..Phil

PS...Tell Josh I am a 2005 escapee from HSU and the land where you don't tan, you rust!
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailrider383 View Post
Nice report!
It looks like the tractor is an International TD9 and the dozer/bucket attachment is made by Bucyrus. Was that plate on the tractor or the dozer/bucket attachment?
I googled Bucyrus Erie and saw where Caterpillar just bought them out for $8.8 billion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucyrus_International
The data plate was attached to the dozer itself.

Hodakaguy
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:47 AM   #15
Hodakaguy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallowa View Post
Hey that was a great ride indeed...I of course kept looking to see if my skills on my '07GSA could have taken the routes you did...certainly gave me pause to reflect, since I ride solo, that having two out "beyond the rim" is not just security but a way to get through..

Since I posted on another thread about an upcoming trip in the Alvord/Steen area [9-10 to 9-16 for me] hearing that the dry lake was anything but dry entirely alters my plans...I had hoped to go out East past Mickey Hot Springs to J. Valley and on to Silver City..but having never been out there, the last thing I need is my behemoth axle deep in mud.

Your photography was also first rate...very good eye.

Thanks..Phil

PS...Tell Josh I am a 2005 escapee from HSU and the land where you don't tan, you rust!

You should be able to take a GSA on a lot of the trails/roads that we went although your speed will be real slow (LOTS of huge rocks). I didn't take any photographs of the worst sections of trail, some were solid boulders!

There is still a lot of ground that can be ridden down that way, the roads around the lake are dry it's just the lake bed itself that has water.

Have a great trip, beautiful country down that way.

Hodakaguy
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