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Old 10-18-2012, 06:14 AM   #151
BUSdriver
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Day 6

This was the best day of the week for me. We headed out west and rode over some ridge lines that had the most amazing views of rock formations, valleys and mountain lakes. It was a route that I hope to ride again someday soon.

Sometime around midday, we found ourselves at Soldier Meadows Ranch and were hoping to get some fuel. They only had a small amount of fuel available and a couple of us gladly paid the $7.50/gal for the 6 gallons we received (measured in a one gallon cider jug). We also were treated to a simple but excellent lunch. Kathy, the ranch owner was very friendly and treated us great! Unfortunately she has sold the ranch and will be leaving soon. I'm not sure who the next owners will be but I hope they keep the ranch going and will welcome us wayward riders as Kathy did.

After leaving the ranch, we made our way toward Gerlach, NV. Sometime in the late afternoon, Mike's KLX broke a chain and wrapped it around the swing arm. It required a lot of collaboration and teamwork but while Mark and I went out to find a place to set up camp, the guys got it repaired enough to limp it to the campsite we discovered 13 miles away.

A cool thing about the campsite we found was that it was that it was located near another elaborate campsite that someone had set up earlier. Shortly after we set up our tents, two guys (Troy and Steve from Redding, CA area) from the neighboring camp rode over to see what was going on. We filled them in on our plight and had a good conversation. They brought us over a few beers and offered us assistance if we needed it. A few of us gladly accepted the beer and the next morning a couple of us took Troy up on his offer of fuel. We tried to pay him for it but he wouldn't accept any money. It was nice to have a bit of assistance way out in the desert.








Some very cool rock formations were seen on this day












Here is Mark picking his way around the washed out road






Since Mark lost his sunglasses (among other things) about 362 times, we decided to attach a flashing red light to them.






The vastness of the NV desert was amazing... and impossible to fully convey via these photos



Probably waiting on me again



Wild Bill



We're still not sure if Dr Dan is standing or sitting but one thing we know for sure is that he is NOT taking pictures



The beginning of a long hill climb



At Soldier Meadows Ranch



Lunch being prepared



One of the ranch residents... Dixie



Dixie and Dr Dan



Trying to repair some injured wrists









We may have a problem here





Yep



Wild Bill didn't do anything to help... he just took pictures and laughed.



ok, well I guess Bill helped a little.



Have you ever seen a monkey hump a football?



At least we weren't on some technical, rocky single track



I believe this was after Mark and I got back from scouting for a campsite



Pretty good repair






Look what Mike found



Our last campsite of the trip



It was actually quite windy


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Old 10-18-2012, 06:48 PM   #152
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So I spent about 45 minutes last night adding the second half of Day 6, only to see the pictures disappear when I posted. F’ing Vbulletin. I never learn. Writing off-line from now on.

So…the second half of my Day 6 pictures:

I’ll pick up where I left off with our arrival at the first of the two lakes:


I didn’t take enough pictures at the second lake, which was much larger with tons of fisherman camped out. At the end we had to traverse a narrow road that was almost completely underwater as it went around a point:


Here is a picture of Scott going around the point:


Around the point we hit this very cool grass valley with more rock formations in the background:


Here is Scott blasting through:


The elevation then dropped, things got brown again, and we came across another deserted ranch:




Bill was mesmerized by the weird spinning wheel mounted in the air:


A little while later we came across another cabin and some much needed shade:



And another strange spinning wheel thing:


Then it was back up into the mountains. Dan blasting by:


As we started to climb, we came across another band of wild horses. Of course they ran away, but not before I got a couple of pics:




The gang confers before going up some more:


Mike and the view as we continue to wind up:


A small high altitude cabin before we REALLY go up:


Chuck in the foreground on his DRZ and the serious uphill in the distance:


This was to be the steepest hill so far on the trip (wait until Day 8!). Scott’s little 250 motors up thanking its rider for lightening the load during the break in Denio:


Mike and the KLX:


Dr. Dan. Is he sitting or standing? No one knows…


Wild Bill being not so wild on the KLR. The KLR just goes and goes and goes.


And finally, the view from the top before we drop down the other side to Soldier Meadows. That is the top end of the Black Rock playa in the distance, thousands of feet below:


No more pictures until we got to Soldier Meadows and not many there. The ranch offered food, shade, a playful dog and an opportunity for Bill to huff some gas (or try to see the bottom of his tank?)



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Old 10-18-2012, 08:50 PM   #153
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Continuing on with my Day 6 pics:

After lunch we headed south into the Black Rock area, carefully avoiding the infamous silt hole in the road (rumored to be 24” deep of man and machine eating dust). Scott navigates his way round and dusts Bill in the process:



Another spectacular wild horse:


Scott takes a gravel nap:


And my pictures of Mike’s thrown chain. How you can throw a chain while cruising at a consistent speed on a graded gravel road is a mystery.


The Mastermarine in action:

The sage brush bike stand in action:


The Duckspander in action (Chuck likes to watch):


Dan helped (and watched):


While Mike and the rest of the crew rebuilt his chain, Scott and I went looking for a camp spot a bit and just screwed around. Scott blasted up this hill and half way up ran out of gas. Oops.


Dan to the rescue:





As others have said, we found an awesome site right next to the only other person within a hundred miles…with extra gas and beers! Some pictures of our site as the sun set












Onto Day 7!
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:34 AM   #154
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Day 6

Mike did a great job with the routes this year the views on this route were off the charts. I had problems trying to post day 6 a few times so I am just going to add my favorite pics from this ride so we can move on to Day 7





The crazy clouds really made the pics look great





Dr Dan passing by, not sure how he gets such good MPG I think he has an ECO button on his bike, last year we had the same setup on both bikes and he got 20-30 miles more on a tank, this year I changed the jetting and I now get 20 more miles out of one tank of gas but still run out long before Dan.






This is one of my favorite pics of the road going on for miles.

Mark and Bill hipnotized by the spinning thing.




We past a lot of abanded homes on our adventure and it makes you wonder what happen to the people that lived there.


Dan what are you doing? Ohhhhhhh No Camera! I guess he is taking pictures in his mind
Click!





After working on Mike's Peritzel chain using every link and chain we could find that would fit, I think all of us will carry a few more spare parts on the next adventure maybe even an extra chain and
I might get Mike a Chain guide for X-mas this year.

Bring on DAY 7!!!!
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:20 PM   #155
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I found an actual chain guide for my KLX. It is in the box with the new chain and sprockets in it out in the shop.

Day 7

June 22, 2012


88.0 miles

Minimum Elevation - 4159 ft
Maximum Elevation - 6211 ft


Today Route





We came up with a plan to get my broken bike home. Mark, Dan and Chuck would head south to Gerlach to fuel up and then they would take the most direct dirt road back to DJ. They would then get Chuck’s truck and trailer and head back to the south to pick up my bike. Meanwhile Scott, Bill and I would fill up with gas from Troy’s stash and head to the north past Soldier Meadows and back to DJ on the big gravel road.


In the morning, Mark, Dan and Chuck headed out. Scott, Bill and I went over to get some gas from Troy. He hooked us up and would not even take any money from us for the gas. He also had some chain lube so I lubed up my ailing chain. It really seemed to help as it did not make noise anymore. We said goodbye to Troy and his brother and headed out.


During the night I had decided I was going to either ride my bike under its own power at 35-40 mph on the gravel road, or we would tow it with another bike at 30 mph. I carefully applied the power and got up into 2nd, 3rd, and then 4th gear. My chain stayed on! Hooray. The route was mostly just gravel roads back so it was not too much strain on my chain. Whenever I crossed a rough section, I would pull in the clutch and coast over it. I tried to pretend like I had no power and to apply it very smoothly.


Before long, we were at Soldier Meadows. It was only 10am. I used the internet at the ranch to send Mark an email telling him we were making good time and not to worry about us. I hoped he would get it while they were in Gerlach.


We left Soldier Meadows and rode back to DJ. We were back by 12:30.I sent Mark a message to let him know we were back at DJ.


Unfortunately, I did not take a single picture this day. I had ridden most of the route before so did not even turn on the GoPro.


I had brought a brand new chain in my toolbox so I got that on my bike. I did not have a spare sprocket so I left the old one on there. The teeth were mostly straightened out by then. I then checked the rest of it over and filled it up with gas. I had to wait for another airplane to finish filling up so I could get to the pump. We still had one more day of riding so I was ready for it. It was going to be a long day!


I had a friend from LA who was riding his Harley up to meet up with us and then have breakfast and a World Famous Shake with us at the Fields Station in the am. He was supposed to arrive at DJ that night and I had him set up to stay in Bungalow 14. Before he arrived, the wind really started kicking up and he had to ride thru it. It was nasty!!


Mark, Chuck and Dan had got my message from Soldier Meadows and had run thru High Rock Canyon on their way back.


I am not sure what everyone else ate, but I had a huge plate of spaghetti that I could not finish.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:55 AM   #156
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Day 7

Due to the reasons Mike mentioned above, we decided to split up again and Bill, Mike and I headed north toward Denio Junction. We weren't sure how well Mike's chain was going to hold up so we wanted to try to get an early start toward the motel in DJ. The chain ended up holding firm and was able to get Mike all the way back without having to be towed.

Dan, Chuck and Mark went south to Gerlach to fuel up and then were going to try to catch up with us. Since Mike's bike was doing pretty well, the other guys ended up deciding to head down to the dry lake beds and see some other sights.




We got another shot at the "Devil's Fork"... pick the wrong path and you may never been seen from again



I wonder how many rattlesnakes are in this little canyon



We stopped by Soldier Meadows Ranch on the way back



Welcome to the reservation



This is where the gravel meets the pavement



The last stretch of pavement



We all eventually ended up back at Denio Junction and we sat down to dinner and filled each other in on the day's events.

Since I was needing to get back to work I ended up leaving early the following morning, a day earlier than the rest of the group. I heard they had a long riding day of over 250 miles.

Summation:

Overall, I had a great time. I rode over 1000 miles in 7 days. I learned a lot about this type of riding and if I am fortunate enough to go on future adventures like this, I'll be much better prepared.

Thanks to Mike for putting in many hours preparing the routes and reserving rooms, etc... and also to all the guys for helping me out when I needed it.

For those who might be interested in viewing ALL my photos of the ride... they are located HERE.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:13 AM   #157
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I'll post my Day 7 pics later (Black Rock Playa and High Rock Canyon), but wanted to comment that I am glad that the Summit Lake sign got upgraded -- both in terms of presentation and level of limitations. Here is what they had posted back in 2008 when I rode through there solo:



TTFN.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:59 PM   #158
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Great scenery!
Phantastic pictures!
This is where we have these bikes for.

Greetings, Matje
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:01 PM   #159
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Day 7

We checked our maps picked the best route back to Denio for Mike, Bill and Scott making sure they stuck with good roads so we could pick up Mike's bike with my truck and trailer if he broke down again Mark, Dan and I started down to Gerlach for gas and grab a bite to eat at the diner, about a mile before town I ran out of gas and had to lay the bike on its side to transfer some gas to other side of the tank. We top our tanks and hit the diner for a hot meal, Mark checked his email and were amazed that Mike already got to Soldier Meadows Ranch informing us things were looking good and we should take our time getting back to Denio. We all agreed to head to Highrock Canyon taking a short cut on the Playa.



Dan was using his Garmin Car GPS and got lost on the Playa so Mark had to come to the rescue and show Dan the way.


We got to Highrock Canyon I did not take to many pics so I will post what I have, the views were great.





It was very dry and dusty and the clouds were looking ugly and you could see heavy rain coming down 10 or so miles away heading our way, so we picked up the pace a little and changed the route some to hit the larger gravel roads heading back to Denio. Flash floods and 3ft deep mud No-Thanks

On the way back we saw a lot of wildlife unlike the others we came cross these guys did not care if we took pics.



We got back to Denio and were happy to see everyone made it back OK.
After a few drinks Bill was showing how much air he got jumping his KLR over a small canyon but he was the last bike so no one saw the event take place.

DUCKSPANKER screwed with this post 10-24-2012 at 10:49 AM
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:55 AM   #160
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That close-up of the horse is a fine photo. Great looking trip!
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:23 PM   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matje View Post
This is where we have these bikes for.

Greetings, Matje

I think you are absolutely right!

It is great fun to use them for what they are made for too! At the end of the trip we are always surprised they made it thru all that craziness without completely falling apart.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:29 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by LavaBull View Post
Gents, cheers to a most excellent & splendid adventure ...

Thanks for sharing! Btw, there's a hint of a UFO in one of your awesome pics ...


....


....

Thanks for reading along LavaBull!

You are going to have to explain this UFO thing. Which picture? I have seen a lot of crazy stuff in the desert but not UFOs...
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:54 PM   #163
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Day 7

Here are my Day 7 pictures. We woke up to a beautiful morning in the hills above the Black Rock desert


Due to Mike’s damaged chain we had to breakup into two groups. Scott and Bill went with Mike straight north back to Denio Junction, making it surprising rapidly as Mike gained confidence in his chain.

Dan, Chuck and I were low on gas, so needed to head south to Gerlach. Our original plan was to head south to Gerlach, gas up, then run straight up the Soldier Meadows road and catch up with the other group.


As it turns out, we barely made it into town. I was getting poor gas mileage on the 610 due to rich jetting and well…because it’s a 610. Leaving Denio the morning before, I had a full five gallon tank and two quart bottles in my panniers. I used all of that gas AND another pint that Mike gave me. Rolling into Gerlach I was running on fumes – the total distance was close to 220 miles. Chuck actually ran out of gas coming into town.

After getting gas, we stopped and had breakfast before heading out. As we sat and ate, we got an email from Mike indicating that they were already at Soldier Meadows and would be back into Denio without a problem. Given this report, we changed our plan and decided to loop in some of the originally planned route – specifically High Rock Canyon and a run down the playa itself.

The mightly Black Rock playa:




Even though Burning Man out on the playa each year, its not a place to take lightly. Without 1000s of naked tattooed people, its very each to get disoriented when even a mile from the edge. The horizon line disappears and its hard to maintain orientation (except for the GPS). I blasted ahead and took some pictures of Dan and Chuck as they approached (once I figured out where they were):




We discovered something we didn’t know about the Duckspanker – he goes berserk the minute he hits flat land:




Dan and I sat and waited until Chuck got it out of his system. It took a while:


Chuck and Dan and the 610:


A few obligatory pictures of the Husky on the playa:




And my favorite:


We ran about 15 miles north on the playa and then jumped back onto Soldier Meadows road:


Came across this. More plates than the last time I was through:


Picture of Chuck taking a picture:


And finally we reached the gate to High Rock Canyon

I came through this on my KLR in 2008 solo:


The canyon is closed for much of the year:


Some shots of the first part of the canyon:




Dan on the gas:


Dan and Chuck check out a cave and show the overall scale of the rocks:


The Spanker on the gas:


And..our first waterhole. We skirted the outside as it was fairly deep in the middle:


And the next one. When I came through this solo in 2008, I was the first vehicle through after the gates were opened and the water in this location was to the bottom of my tank (scary when riding by yourself). This time it was only about 10 inches deep. We made Dan go first again though, just in case:


The sky started to get dark, so we decided to pick up the pace. My last picture of the canyon itself:


While we had maps and GPS routes, the exit to the canyon was a bit confusing, as there are roads that suddenly start shooting off every direction. Using my vague recollections of my last time through the area, we wanted west until we hit a main gravel road going north/south through the Sheldon reserve (3A I think). We encountered some more wild horses and antelope, none of which seeming interested in running off. Strange.






The run up the gravel road was probably 20+ miles, at which point we hit 140 and had about another 40 miles of highway to get back to Denio Junction.


It never did rain, but the clouds that evening made for a spectacular sunset.




The end of Day 7. One more day to go!
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:21 PM   #164
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The Spanker on the gas:
Bitchin shot!
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:32 AM   #165
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