Tuesday, August 26, 2008

(Day 21) More sagebrush or new state?

Thursday, July 24th, 2008
Day 21
McDermitt, NV to Lakeview, OR

Up and rolling at 6:25am, the trail would lead me down the NV/OR border. OR to the right and NV to the left:

I thought these hills were interesting:

The trail would venture off into Oregon for a bit running by Disaster Peak:

Dropping back down into Nevada, the trail would become hard to follow again… imagine that. The road would eventually just disappear and I would start sagebrush surfing… again. My path was similar to a Plinko chip on “The Price Is Right” with the pegs being the sagebrush, the chip being me and the Plinko board being the purple line on my GPS screen. I struck the “top prize” on the “first drop” when I found this gate:

What’s that green stuff? Grass!? No way, I must be hallucinating:

This desert, big it is:

Finally, signs of life. This is Denio, NV:

Denio Junction (apparently a different “town”) was south of Denio and where I would stop for gas. The gas station/bar/restaurant/convenience store was the only building around. I paid for my gas at the bar. I’ve watched westerns and thought the saloons depicted in them were a thing of the past. And although many places try to recreate the atmosphere, they just fail miserably. But not anymore; if you want to see a modern day saloon, go to Denio Junction, NV (I also hear the nightlife is… well… interesting).

Amazingly though, I didn’t get any pictures... doh. Oh well, back on the trail… a little sandy here:

Gradually, oh so gradually, things were starting to turn green:

Soon after the above picture, I presented myself with 2 options. Cut over to Hwy 140 and slab it to Lakeview, OR with plenty of gas or trek through the rest of Nevada and possibly find gas in Fort Bidwell, CA. I don’t remember all the thoughts that were running through my head, but the good outweighed the bad by taking the blacktop to Lakeview, so that’s what I did:

Just like all of my previous detours, I was glad that I took them. In this particular instance, I got to meet a very nice couple (towing a KLX 250) traveling east from Medford, OR to Denver at this rest stop:

The wife “hated this part of the trip” because there was “nothing” out here. I concurred. The husband was more interested in what the (still visible from the highway) trails were like; he said he had “always wondered where they went” and “somebody needed to explore them”. I guess he missed the part where I said I had just gotten off those trails, but that would have been hard to explain with me currently sitting at a highway rest stop. I thought about finding my way back to the trail at this point, but figured I had already seen enough of Nevada’s state flower and got back to slabbin’ it.

Next up were some donkeys on the road. Notice the donkey warning sign on the right and donkeys on the left:

On a highway where most people run 80-90 mph, you would think they’d know how to get out of the way. But, I ran across one group that just simply did not move, even as I zig-zagged my way through. Its funny how different animals reacted to the bike coming at them, but once you learned their pattern, they were all easy to avoid (except for white-tail deer). And for the record, the donkeys were the worst and the antelope were probably the best at getting out of the way.

Oregon, the official welcome:

But we’re still in the desert and I take a few side roads just to make sure I’m not missing anything…nope, not missing anything:

On the road again:

Then I finally get to see something a little different. There was parking for hang gliders behind me in this picture:

I’ve never hang glided before, but this seemed to be the perfect place to do it with the wind, sharp cliffs and wide open plains beneath:

I would have liked to just coast down that hill as well, but being on pavement, you never know when Joe Trucker or Ronnie Ricer will come up behind you at 90 mph, so I just put the Orangutan in motard mode and hammered down the hill. What eventually happens when you continue to go downhill? You’ll run into some water:

Next was the final surprise of the detour and the gas station/restaurant/bar/grill/grocery store/pharmacy/saddlery/taxidermy/post office/story-telling store that serves Adel, OR:

The taxidermy work you see above is only 1/8th of what they had. I really regret not getting a picture of a mount that they had of a bobcat attacking an antelope, it was very cool. I got the special which happened to be a BLT. And this was the best BLT I ever did have (mom, yours are great too, but they had all the “bad” stuff on this one which made it extra tasty and not as healthy as yours):

Here’s my best transition shot from desert to cascades:

Terrain transition shots were hard to get because they didn’t last long:

The pine trees were great to see as I had been looking for them for quite some time. I eventually roll into Lakeview, do some motel shopping, get some oil and groceries, eat at a small ice cream shop, change my oil, lube the chain, download/upload and get to bed before sunset. Another day in the record books:

Tomorrow’s plan is to get off the trail again and visit Crater Lake and possibly camp out somewhere nearby…

Total mileage: 4260
Daily mileage: 190
Wildlife observed: Nothing new except the donkeys
Favorite Sight: The hang gliding area (inspiration for my next adventure?)
Favorite Scent: I’m not good with the sniffer I don’t guess (or maybe there’s just nothing to smell out in the desert)
Favorite Sound: I’ll continue to say that my favorite sound was my thumper thumping. When you’re out there that long by yourself, it’s good to know your bike is running well.
Favorite Taste: BLT at the Adel Store
Favorite Feel: Catching a breeze in the rare shade at the rest stop on 140.
Ailments: About to barf if I see another sagebrush “flower”. Otherwise, my body seems to be adjusting to and holding up well to the road.

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