Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Final Push

We left Fallon, NV, and our motel for the previous evening that we lovingly refer to as the "Bud, Get in!"

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Headed towards California.

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We tried to take some forest roads over the mountains, but it wasn't happening. Still gated shut, I assume due to all the snow fall.

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Just a couple of hours later we arrived at Lake Tahoe.

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We decided to stop here for the day, check out the lake, and relax a bit.

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The weather was turning bad on the other side of the range, so we figured we would enjoy the nice weather in town today, then push through the bad weather in the morning. The next day, we woke up to a rainy 38 degree morning.

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I was kinda second guessing our decision to stop here yesterday, but it was too late now - we had to push through it. We hit some snow as we climbed up and over the Sierra's, but the weather warmed up as we dropped into the valley. The sun actually came out, and it turned into a beautiful day, as we picked up some smaller California highways...

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That brought us through some wine country,

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And towards San Francisco.


As we neared the Bay area, we took a little diversion into the Muir Woods, and out to view the Pacific Ocean.

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WE MADE IT!!!

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Well, sorta.... We still had a couple freeway miles to go without getting hit by a Toyota Prius before we get to our destination in town.

Heading back up to the 101.

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We catch our first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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And like good tourists, we drive half the speed limit, while taking pictures and video of the bridge.

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Heck, it cost $6 per bike to cross, we gotta get our money's worth!

And we arrived at our destination in town, no worse for wear really, considering the path we took to get here.

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We will spend the next several days in San Francisco being tourists and resting.


Jordan

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Creating the TNT

We are heading due West now from Eureka, NV. Yesterday we finished up the potion of the Trans-America Trail (TAT) that we are riding. By use of a bit of dead reckoning we will attempt to continue on West on similar primitive roads that we have been on so far - we will see how we do.

Heading out of Eureka, NV.

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Picking up our new trail heading West - we dubbed it this new route, "The Trans-Nevada Trail" (TNT).

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Passed some abandoned mining sights today...

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It is quite amazing seeing the poor condition the mining companies leave these areas in once they are done with them. I guess there was no clause in their contracts about "removing all contractor debris"?

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Following the Nevada two-track across the open valley...

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An old homestead?

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We spotted our first wild horses.

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And would you believe it, a wild donkey!

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Accidentally routed us through a section of private property, but this was confirmed after we had already come through.

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Continuing on, we passed this sign:

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Looks to me like they planted a million acres of sage brush, not wheat grass.

Then we jumped on Hwy 50 for a few miles to go check out a Petroglyph Site.

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Then we head back into the ranch land.

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Spotted some mule deer, or maybe pronnghorn?

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Maybe these people were attempting to drive the TNT! HaHa!

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Then it was time to cross over the range, through the N.F.

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Which started out really nice...

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But soon we came to our first really deep water crossing, which we passed through...

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Only to be stopped at the next one, due to fear of drowning the bikes by getting water into the airbox. Water was close to 3' deep. It has been an incredible year all over the west for heavy snow fall, and this equates to a lot of flooding when it melts. We had to bail out and headed into Austin, NV for some gas, and lunch.

Heading out of Austin, our off-road options were non-existent due to salt washes and Naval bombing ranges - we stuck to the main route.

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Which was long, hot, and boring.

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But all that can be dealt with when you see this in your rear view mirror!

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She has been quite the traveling partner!

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Random sand dune.

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We ended the day in Fallon, NV. Tomorrow we head into California and the Sierra Mountains.



Jordan

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crossing the Emptiness

Last night, we stayed at a very eclectic little motel called the Silver Jack Inn. It was probably the most comfortable bed we have ever slept in, or maybe it was the beating we received from 200+ miles of Utah/Nevada - either way it was a great night. They have an attached restaurant as well, and we had some breakfast there before we headed out.

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Picking up the trail where we left off from yesterday.

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Snake Farm... Our first live rattlesnake - ewwww....

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Nikki road for the next couple of miles with her feet at her elbows - just in case.

Some old structures along the way...

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We blew a turn, and Nikki snagged some sage brush on her U-turn.

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The emptiness out here is almost overwhelming - you have such a clear view of the empty flat valleys as you clear each range.

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Q: What's the shortest distance between two points?





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The cycle repeats: mountain range, valley, mountain range, valley, and so on...

Taking a break... Nikki is still smiling cause she doesn't know what we are about to get into.

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Tight trees, Ruts, loose rocks...

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Sand...

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Downed trees...

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Single track cow path through all the above.

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And Nikki's nemesis: Nevada double rut.

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It was tough, but once we cleared that section we were on to some faster roads to, and over Patterson Pass, and to Preston, NV for gas and a late lunch.

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The lady at the gas station let us eat our snacks in the closed down diner.

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After we left Preston, we headed into the Humboldt N.F.

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Nice roads, beautiful terrain.

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Wildflowers everywhere.

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Progress was halted.

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But only momentarily...

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And soon we were riding a section of the original Lincoln Highway

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Which was only found after a little bit of searching in this valley.

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For this very faint two-track road.

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By the way, lot's of gates today. I tried to close myself in on the wrong side of this one...

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But Nikki stopped me before I looked like a total fool.

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Once we got off the old Lincoln Highway, we headed for Hwy 50 which took us into Eureka, NV where we got a motel for the night. When I came out from getting the room, I found Nikki chatting with a local.

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That completed the TAT portion of our trip. From here in Eureka, NV the TAT heads North, then Northwest. We need to head due West from this point on to San Francisco. Although we will not be on the TAT, we will try to follow as many unpaved roads as we can find to cross the remaining portion of Nevada, as well as California.


Jordan

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