All rides are good.   Anything over 200 miles where you sleep somewhere new is memorable.   Some are more memorable than most.

Early Friday afternoon I rode north to  meet my brother Pat at Beryl Junction, about 50 miles away.  He rode down from Salt Lake and it’d been a while since we’d ridden together.   A few months.   I was pretty glad to see him.   I’ve said this before, but it’s pretty effortless to ride with him.   We’ve settled into a good mixture of  fun, beers, an occasional cigar, and busting each others chops.    It’s always good company, and Pat is a rider to the core.

We rode the 50 miles to Caliente and stopped at the Knotty Pine for a brew and some burgers.    We thought about staying in Caliente for the night, but decided to head on into Rachel Nevada, and I’m glad we did.   We rode, Wyatt Earp Style.   Great Fun.

Rachel was great. we had supper there and a few more beers  and The Little A’Le’Inn was a nice place to stay.   Good Service, cheap prices and interesting people.   We we smoked cuban cigars and drank 18 year old scotch as the sun set on the nevada desert.   We crashed pretty early, watching Soylent Green on the VCR.   Soylent Green, as you know, is people.

I gotta tell you, if you can’t have a good time riding to the UFO capital of the world on the edge of Area 51, smoking cuban cigars, 18 year old scotch and staying in a single wide trailer converted into a motel room watching Soylent Green…. well, your wick is wet.   Have If you haven’t seen it, here’s a preview:

Chuck heston is the Shit. I swear the man does his own stunts, in a leisure suit no less! Charleton Heston is my president. I’m gonna be a dick and give you the spoiler right now. If you don’t want to know it, then don’t click this one:


Side note:  There, I found the cure for a sore throat at 11 pm at night.  A “Nuclear Bomb” is  3/4 shotglass of Tobasco sauce, and 1/4 shotglass of tequila.   Instant cure.

The next morning we woke up, skipped breakfast and headed 50 miles to warm springs.   Warm Springs Nevada i’ve been to a few times, but this time we checked out the hot springs and some of the old structures.   Lots of ghosts there with some unknown stories.   I’d still love to hear of someone who knows when warm springs was alive and kicking.

From warm Springs we went into Tonopah and finally had cell service again, called our wives and had lunch, then moved onto Beatty.

Then we found Goldfield.   I wished we’d spent more time there.   At one time it was a town of 30,000 people as a Nevada Boom town from the turn of the 20th century.   400 people live there now, mostly because it’s still the county seat.   Some neat old artifacts and really old buildings in great shape.    I want to go back.   Supposedly, the hotel is haunted, and we just drove right by it, not knowing.

From there on, it was just hot.   Well over 100, we opened up and made time.   We still had to get to what was our loose destination, the Ghost town of Ryolite Nevada.    We pulled in around 1:30 and gassed up, and found us a good bar to settle into to decide what was next.   We decided to stay for the night.    Our original plan was to ride to Mt Charleston, 100 miles away and tent for the night.     We both realized that the 4th of july weekend would make it rough to get a camp spot.  Besides, this was a pretty good bar!  and there was 3 more next to it, and a hotel across the street where we could park the bikes and walk.   We got a room, and then headed into Rhyolite.

Rhyolite Nevada is a ghost town I’d seen on the history channel a week earlier, and realizing it was not all that far away, wanted to go see it.     We headed the 4 miles up the road to go check it out.

Rhyolite started in 1904 when gold was discovered.   by 1908 Rhyolite had 10,000 people, forty-five saloons, 3 of the most modern banks in the state, an opera house, a Stock Exchange, a slaughterhouse, two railroad depots, three public swimming pools and dozens of businesses. Rhyolite supported over 85 mining companies.   It had power, piped water, telephones, sidewalks and entertainment.

By 1909, it had less than 1,000 people. By 1915, 20 people. by 1924 it’s last remaining resident died.

All that’s left is some of the most bitchen ruins I’ve ever seen. Including a house made up entirely of bottles, a full train depot, and crumbling buildings.

We stopped and had a beer in the heat, and tripped out over the history and archetecture of a city who’s time had long since passed.   It’s amazing to see that in only 100 years a town can disappear.   Monolith’s to the history of man.

We took a dirt road deeper into Rhyolite to check out the old jail.   When we pulled up, a woman approached us and explained she was making a movie and asked if she could use one of our bikes.    I said no.   I did not know this woman, and quite honestly, noone sits on my bike but me unless I know them pretty well.    Pat was much more open and talked me into letting them use it in their movie.

So a girl got out of her car, walked up to my bike, and started taking off her clothes.     It got pretty interesting, and I found that I was hasty in saying no so quickly.     I’m a happily married man who is loyal to my wife.   This was also not what I thought I’d find at Rhyolite.   They were 5 kids from UCLA making a movie about a muslim woman.  I started up the bike so they could get the full effect.    I will say this, they have good taste in motorcycles.   Fast women I think, can sense speed.

We shook hands, got a picture or two and headed back to the bar to have dinner.

Beatty nevada was a pretty cool town for a town of 1100 people. We found a good spot that served a mean sandwitch, the right kind of beer, and listened to a classic rock band play songs directly from my Ipod and had a great time. Even the fireworks in beatty we’re pretty good. You could sense the town pride.

We staggered back to the motel and crashed. Pat headed out around 7 to make the long ride back to Salt Lake. Thats another nice thing about riding with my brother – we don’t get get butt hurt — either one of us — if we split off to do our thing. We’re both pretty self-contained. I realized he had to go, and he realized I was probably a bit hung over and was 3 hours from home. Around 9 I headed out of town, and made it home.

Great ride. Quite honestly, the whole weekend was great. Maybe my favorite ride I’ve done.   Always wanted to stay in Rachel, and being with my bro just made it fun.

Go riding.

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641 miles, 3 states, 3 days.

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Leaving Ely

Leaving Ely

Woke up around 8, and randy took my bike down to the auto parts store to get something to fix his cable. Nothing. So we ate breakfast across the street, and parted ways… Randy to head north to Wendover and then to Morgan, I headed west to Tonopah. I debated whether I should go. 500 miles in a day isnt a short jaunt, its a commitment that might mean not getting home that night if something happens, or I take too much time. I decided to go.

The ride out of Tonopah surprised me.

It was nice! long sweeping turns and nice and cool outside. My head wasnt in the ride tho. I was feeling guilty for not heading home, spending money (even though this trip was extremely cheap) and not coming home and getting ready for my work week. I struggled to get my head into my ride untill at the junction of hwy 6 and 318: Halstead’s Blackjack Inn. For one, I love ghost towns. I love seeing civilization in the middle of nowhere, where a person has taken a risk and put his shingle out to start a business and to piece together its history. I love it.

Halstead's BlackJack Inn

Halstead's BlackJack Inn

Second, there was an old trailer that im sure had a ton of history that someone had spraypainted on that put my mind in the right place:

"Home is something some of us never find"

"Home is something some of us never find"

That was the ticket. I headed out with a new point of view, and knew this was going to be a great ride.

Currant Nevada

Nevada always suprises me. It wasnt what I was expecting, theres more there than just sagebrush. I want to explore it all now. Life in nevada comes in surprising places, and in little pockets.

"Home Cooking - Come on In"

"Home Cooking - Come on In"

At the end of a really awesome 50 mile ride I found Currant Nevada. its still on the road signs, but there isnt much going on there. I was there for probably 20 or more minutes and never saw a soul, let alone a passing car. It was almost apocalyptic — the abandoned bar/motel/rv park/gas station was overgrown with weeds, but looks as though the people were vaporized mid spot. theres still bedding and pillows on the beds, clothes hanging in the closets in the hotel. In the restaurant, theres an unfinished bottle of wine on the table. The bar has a cowboy hat on it, and a stocked bar. Theres vines growing under the doors, and the calendar reads november of 1996. It was trippy, if anyone knows a story, or THE story behind this place, please email me or post here. I’d love to know it.

Food in the plates and a half empty bottle of wine on the tables...

Food in the plates and a half empty bottle of wine on the tables...

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Almost apocalyptic - Wierd

Almost apocalyptic - Wierd

From then on out, it was 100 miles of Flat and long, with the only turns coming at the mountainous rises from the high desert floor.

Hope I make it

Hope I make it

I’ve never ran my bike out of gas before. I know around 100 miles the needleleaves from being pegged full, and at 175 miles its pegged empty and pretty much out of gas. My ride was 170 miles between gas stations, and I was pretty confident when I left, untill I started wondering how much the extra weight and wind resistance on a full tour pak would make. I know at around 1/4 tank it drops visibly fast. You have about 10 or 15 miles max. I pulled into tonopah and i was nearly empty, and my gas gauge read 174.4 miles. Awesome.

Pulled into tonopah around 2:30 pm, checked out the place a bit, and stopped into a local watering hole for a brewski, and doubled back to head toward Rachel and home.

House in Warm Springs Nevada

House in Warm Springs Nevada

Warm springs is another place i’d love to know the story of. I stopped there, stretched my legs and checked out the old bar/cafe and the house across the street. some of the grafitti inside told the story, and theres a warm spring that runs into a pool on the site that is fenced, but I’ve read about people still using it. The writings on the wall suggest that the house was inhabited as late as 1988, but whether or not thats true is another story. The house is starting to fall in on itself a bit. In the back were evidence of an RV park.

Warm Springs Bar and Cafe

Warm Springs Bar and Cafe

Warm spring is at the junction of 6, and the Extraterrestrial highway I headed south toward Rachel.

Little A'Le'Inn in Rachel

Little A'Le'Inn in Rachel

At rachel I stopped to check the Little A’Le’Inn out. This place is famous if you run in UFO Circles (which I dont, but find it interesting), and is the closest town to area 51. I think its awesome to see a place survive for 20 years out in the middle of nowhere, and hopefully will for 100 more.

I walked in, and the only other people in there were from Pittsburgh. I had my penguins shirt on, and we talked for a bit. Really nice guys, just checking out area 51. Its just amazing that 5 penguin/Steeler fans meet in the middle of nowhere. I had me a patty melt, a couple of Guinnesses (obviously a place with good taste), took some pictures and started heading for home. Ill come back to rachel. They let you pitch a tent for free there, and are extremely friendly folks.

The Black Mailbox

The Black Mailbox

The guy at Little A’Le’Inn told me about the mailbox for area 51, 20 miles outside of town so I stopped and took pictures. The real story of the mailbox can be found here, but the box was interesting nonetheless. I guess alien afficianados gather around it at night looking for evidence, and holds the claim as the most famous mailbox in the world. I took some pictures and moved on.

20 miles of good road later, I was at the junction of Extraterrestrial highway and nevada state road 93. I felt closer to home now, but this was all new. If I go left, I go through caliente and the map says its a scenic drive, and Im home in probably 90 minutes. If i go right, its 3 hours. I went right. I figured left is a ride erik and I can do later possibly, and I didnt want to go home yet.

I got gas in ash springs, and was surpised to see so many people again. the pumps were all full of people and I had to wait, and the store was busy. Getting close to civilization again. Lots of trees and a couple of lakes. I opened it up and started heading south toward moapa.

Waiting out the Rain

Waiting out the Rain

I’d had the rain at my back all day, but heading south at moapa it caught up to me. It came down pretty good. Had to wait it out a bit in glendale. No big deal, the break was nice before the stretch home.

I made it home around 10pm. Id done 480 miles that day, and honestly, I could have done 500 more. The bike ran great and I 100% enjoyed riding in nevada. Like i said, it surpised me. I want to check it all out now. Nevada is no longer a state to just get through, its a place to explore. To be able to find places like I’d visited today that were so intact and not vandalized was amazing to me. I need to find out more about them and go back again.

Ride totals: 3 States, 485 miles in 12 hours

NOTE: I didnt realize but the date on my camera is wrong this trip.


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