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Old 05-07-2012, 04:03 AM   #1
silverspurs OP
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The IDA-NEV High Desert Ghost Town Tour... #1


My friend Trent and I originally planned to go to the Grand Canyon this past weekend and ride down to the Toroweap overlook and environs... but family issues changed that plan, we still had the time scheduled off from work, so we decided to take a few days and do a local ride... and while at it, pick up a few IAMC challenge sites...

We decided on a tour of the IDA-NEV high desert to visit some of the IAMC challenge sites which would take both of us to some country we'd never seen... We were all set to head out at noon Friday... only problem was... it looked like this!!




This was not good!... we waited a couple of hours, even considered calling the trip off,
the High Desert roads get extremely slimy when wet and we didn't feel like fighting the gumbo for three days... finally we came up with a solution... we'd change our route... and give those desert roads some time to dry out... so instead of starting out toward Jarbidge like we'd planned, if we had to ride in the rain, then we'd do it on Tarmac... we had to go Wells NV on this tour eventually, so we decided to head for Wells first... here we are ready to leave and get a good drenching...



We battled the rain down past Mountain home and then the rain started to lighten up, finally by Glens Ferry, it stopped, only problem was, the wind didn't stop... it was blowing steady at 40mph with gusts up to 50mph... lots of fun if you like riding your bike at a 45degree lean for miles on end... it was also friggin COLD..., by the time we got to Jackpot,we were frozen and considered just stopping there, but decided we would push on to Wells... when we got there, we were hammered and wussed out... instead of camping per plan, we went to Motel 6 and ate at Subway!! total cop out!! we were ashamed...

When we got up on Saturday morning, it was 25degrees... hmmm, maybe we made the right decision after all! We were heading out to an abandoned town called Metropolis... it is about 15 miles North West of Wells, we put on all the clothes we had and headed out... on our way, we passed the old California Emigrant road that ran from Fort Hall Idaho to California by going past the City of Rocks, down the Humbolt river and over Donner Pass...



just as we pulled up to this California Trail marker, Trents exhaust fell off!!
fortunately, the bolt was stuck inside the inner heat shield of the muffler, so all we had to do was bolt it back on... lucky!! we had it back together and were on our way in short order... while we were repairing Trents muffler, a guy in a jeep drove by and asked if we needed any help, we didn't but thanked him for stopping to check, he said his grandfather had been born in Metropolis in 1910 and had built the monument marking the old town site... pretty cool... here is the monument his Grandfather built...



here is a pic of Trent standing on the second floor of what is left of the School...




and looking from the school towards the Ruby Mountains...




Then it was on to Elko for gas and to prepare for the next leg... we knew we had about 190 miles from Elko to our next available gas at Jarbidge NV... that's if the roads were good and we had no detours or closed roads... so we each took a small emergency supply just in case... this would turn out to be a life saver!... more on that later.

After Elko, we headed for an old gold and silver mining town called Tuscarora...



it had a very old cemetery that had some interesting head stones, some not stone at all, but the original wood markers more than 100 years old...




the climate is so dry in Nevada that the wood has lasted that long... pretty amazing...




some of the grave sites were very ornate with imported wrought iron fencing and fancy marble stones




the town had over 5000 people in the 1880's, but just a few now...




a relic from the past...




From Tuscarora, it was on to Charleston... more here:

http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/nv/charleston.html




Charleston is kind of a creepy place... there is this old building there that is part ruin, part new(er) construction, and totally funky... it is built over a creek, and is furnished with an array of odds and ends... there was a sign out front that said "come on in" we did, no one was there, but you could tell someone had been or still does live there... very weird... not one lock or door knob on anything...




bridge across the creek to get to the building... rickety!!




the interior decorator must have worked in a Vegas lounge??




maybe this was someones dream of building a motel in the middle of no where... dream gone bad??




anyway, this place gave me the creeps, so it was time to move on to our next objective, Rowland... but we weren't sure if the road we planned on taking (NF road 67) was passable... conflicting reports from the NFS and Elko County Sheriffs office... more on that in part 2!!
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:06 AM   #2
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The IDA-NEV High Desert Ghost Town Tour... #2

When we set up our route for this tour, we saw a road on the maps that would take us directly to Rowland. The problem was, that when I tried to route it on Google maps, it would not take it as a route... hmmm something wrong there, perhaps abandoned?? I called the NF and also the Elko Sheriffs office to see what they knew about NF rd 67... the gal at the NF said there had been a washout some time past and that the road had never been repaired, but that she thought there had been people get through on dirt bikes, the Sheriffs office just said the last they heard the road was closed... hmmm, conflicting reports!!
if we didn't take NF 67, then we had two other options from Charleston to Rowland; the first was the Charleston/Jarbidge road which was closed due to snow, the other option was to back track out to hi-way 225 and Mountain City then try to take NF rd 37 to Rowland. Problem was that we didn't have enough fuel for that, even with our emergency fuel that we carried... we needed NF rd 67 to work, so we cold go to Rowland and then to Jarbidge where we should be able to get more gas...

so... we have just left Charleston and it was decision time... do we try NF 67 with the possibility of being turned back?... We decided to go for it.

The intersection of decision... left is back to the Hiway (30 miles) or right on NF 67 to Rowland (22 miles... Maybe...)



We decide to take NF 67... there can be no "adventure" without some risk!...



looks good so far!!
after about a mile, the road goes through a Ranch yard, then a closed but accessible gate... it then becomes a much narrower and less traveled road...



NF rd 67 parallels the Bruneau River for over 22 miles... it is a beautiful ride



NF rd 67 doesn't get much traffic, we saw no fresh tracks as we headed North for the first 15 miles, in places it's more like a jeep trail...



we are starting to fall in love with this road... hope it goes through!!



22 miles of this!! even if we don't get through, it is worth it!!



we're starting to get a bit nervous at this point we have come upon a few troublesome spots, but nothing we couldn't handle easily...



but it gets better... we're starting to have hope!!



maybe this is why the roads closed! maybe for a car, but no problem for a bike!



we did find a spot where a canyon had blown out and there was a large mud mound over the road for 30 yards or so, but it was easily passable on our loaded KLRs... we also found a creek crossing that has large basketball size boulders in it, a rough crossing, you have to pick your route carefully, but doable...



as it turned out, while NF rd 67 is a level 3 road due to a few rough spots, it is passable on a fully loaded DS, and it is 22 miles of the best DS motorcycling I have ever ridden!! Highly recommended!!

Since we had last filled up 180 miles ago in Elko... we were glad we had made it through, after visiting Rowland, we had about 30 miles over the mountain to Jarbidge where we expected to get gas...



Rowland



Now on to Jarbidge... a very pretty ride... this is the divide between the Bruneau and Jarbidge river drainages



heading toward Jarbidge...



wide shot...



Sooo it's been 200 miles since our last gas... We're finally at Jarbidge we need gas!


Oh nuts!! They have Diesel, but no Unleaded!! we are screwed!! each of us are getting close to going on reserve... fortunately we each are carrying 1 gal of gas as emergency backup... question is, will that be enough to get to the next station which is at least 60 miles away??

It's been a long day, it's 8:30 pm and we need to find a campsite... we go down the road toward Murphy HS and find a nice spot along the East Fork of Jarbidge River about two miles From Murphy HS...



we find a nice site, set up camp, heat some water and eat our Freeze dried dinners...



it is very cold tonight... we both have good gear, but my toes are cold all night and water left out is frozen in the morning, really glad I brought that down jacket!



first time I've tried this instant oatmeal from Quaker... it's good stuff, highly recommended...



we finally get our frozen gear packed up and head East toward Three Creek... hoping we can make it out on the gas we have...



topping out of the canyon with the Jarbidge Wilderness in the back ground



we are having a tough time finding Three Creek Store... the coordinates on the IAMC site take us to a ranch, not Three Creek, Frustrating!!



we come to a ranch that matches the coordinates posted for Three Creek, they are gathering cattle to brand the spring calves today, so they have all their relative over to help... these kids wave as we stop and are very interested in our bikes... cute kids!



they are all cousins having a good time seeing each other



gotta love the hat! and the smile!



having done some buckarooing earlier in my life, I was tempted to stay and help out! Here's the crew bringing the herd in...



but this nagging worry about whether we were going to make it to a gas station wouldn't go away... so we pressed on... we debated between Rogerson or Buhl as the best place to go, we ended up taking the 17 mile road to Castleford hoping to find fuel there, but the station was closed because it was Sunday... I put in my extra gallon of fuel at Three Creek, and had to go on reserve about halfway to Castleford, by the time we got to Buhl, I had gone 25 miles on the reserve... I put 5.7 gallons in a 6 gallon tank when I filled up... whew!!

finally with full fuel tanks, we could breath a little easier... Trent had never been to Balanced Rock, so we decided to go that route on our way home to Boise



Even though it was a pretty cold ride with freezing nights, it turned out that the roads in the Desert were fine... we found no muddy roads and with the exception of NF rd 67, all roads were level 2... a great ride, great new country visited and riding with a good buddy, can't beat that with a stick...

with all our concerns about NF rd 67, it turned out to be the highlight of our trip... we highly recommend it if you get out that way, you won't be sorry... happy trails!....

silverspurs screwed with this post 05-07-2012 at 02:57 PM
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:45 AM   #3
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more info...

Although it should be obvious, if you decide to go into this country, the gas stations are few and far between, and even when you find a place that sells it, it doesn't mean they'll have it on the day you are there... bring plenty of extra gas, food and water... and have a good tool kit, you are truly on your own out here!... ride safe!

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Old 05-07-2012, 11:02 AM   #4
benwiggin2
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what an awesome adventure! Great pictures!!!!!!!!!!

Now...
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #5
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what an awesome adventure! Great pictures!!!!!!!!!!

Now...

Thanks!!
There are 48 challenge sites spread around Southern Idaho, Northern Nevada and Eastern Oregon this year for IAMC... this ride only collected 6 of them... so there will be plenty more to come!! will post em' up as they get done... I was able to collect all 45 sites last year, but this year.... who knows?? will be fun trying

here is a link to the club Web site... some good stuff about Idaho and surrounding area in there... rick


http://www.motoidaho.com/
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:10 PM   #6
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Nice ride, thanks for taking us along. Gonna have to get my challenge photos out there soon enough. Kinda makes me nervous about gas if your 2 supertankers ran shy. Which BMW model is that?
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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Nice ride, thanks for taking us along. Gonna have to get my challenge photos out there soon enough. Kinda makes me nervous about gas if your 2 supertankers ran shy. Which BMW model is that?
... it's the Budget Model...

Fuel is not such a big deal if your just riding out to Jarbidge from Buhl, or Rogerson... it's only about 120 miles round trip if you go out and back... it's trying to make a loop out of it that gets complicated... coming in from Rowland or from Charleston can get complicated because there is no reliable gas South, West and North except at Elko, Owyhee and Bruneau, and I think the availability of fuel at Bruneau is spotty... so getting these sites in segments isn't the real problem, making the loop takes some planning... good luck with the challenge this year!!

rick

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Old 05-07-2012, 06:36 PM   #8
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What a great adventure! Included almost all the elements: rain, wind, cold, snow blocked roads, parts falling off, worry of gas etc...

Though not a member of IAMC, I am familar with your challenge sites. Many of the challenge sites intrigue me, and maybe I'll be able to ride to some of them, past and present, just for the fun of it. I've seen many posts of rides to Jarbridge. I hope to ride there, more than likely next year, but you also went to some other places that would interest me, like Metropolis. Cool stuff. Hard to believe the old school could fall apart.

Thanks for sharing your adventure.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:05 PM   #9
silverspurs OP
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Originally Posted by TheAdmiral View Post
What a great adventure! Included almost all the elements: rain, wind, cold, snow blocked roads, parts falling off, worry of gas etc...

Though not a member of IAMC, I am familar with your challenge sites. Many of the challenge sites intrigue me, and maybe I'll be able to ride to some of them, past and present, just for the fun of it. I've seen many posts of rides to Jarbridge. I hope to ride there, more than likely next year, but you also went to some other places that would interest me, like Metropolis. Cool stuff. Hard to believe the old school could fall apart.

Thanks for sharing your adventure.
Interesting thing about Metropolis... the brick and masonary School and fine Hotel were basically torn apart by the locals for the building materials... there are a lot of buildings in the Wells NV area that are made from parts of those two buildings... the only portions of the two buildings left standing were just too big to cart off!!
Aslo; if they'd had any wood in them, vandals would have burned them down long ago...

so we're lucky there is any thing left there to see at all... I guess one man's heritage is another man's booty, junk or bonfiresad...

yes; it is a cool place, get there if you can... syotr!... rick
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