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Old 05-28-2009, 06:02 AM   #1
MissMoxy
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23-25 May 2009 1400 mile solo Extraterrestrial Highway Trip

Updated: Story with pics
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Last edited by MissMoxy; 06-06-2009 at 04:46 PM..
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:10 AM   #2
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Did you do it official and get some Iron Butt certification?
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:14 AM   #3
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pdf clickable annoyance factor + 10
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:14 AM   #4
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Day 2 was a suitably beefy day.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:22 AM   #5
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:20 AM   #6
MissMoxy
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezekiel View Post
Did you do it official and get some Iron Butt certification?
No, as this was a spur-of-the-moment-trip ...(one day advance) trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by CuriousMike View Post
pdf clickable annoyance factor + 10
Thanks... I couldn't figure it out.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:34 PM   #7
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Another badass trip. You coming to the BARF Rally next weekend, Robin?
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:50 PM   #8
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Sweet, can't wait to hear the details. At least getting into Reno at 2:00 am you know things are still open.
I just LOVE these epic rides
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Last edited by dsb; 05-28-2009 at 07:57 PM..
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:26 AM   #9
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Just reading the title of the PDF I thought this was just one long epic ride. Now I see it was actually broken into chunks...reading comprehension failed me the first time! Still, looks like a good route! Nap at Cyclegear? I don't know how you could do that! Give us some details.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:49 AM   #10
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She needs 100 miles and a shot at doing it in 24 hours
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:00 AM   #11
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Nice ride
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:57 AM   #12
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Motorcycles: Vstrom650, stuff of stories: F800st, Vstrom650, sv650s, Dr350
Name: Nibor
~~~~~~~~~~~~PROCRASTINATION~~~~~~~~~~

Wikipedia defines procrastination as:

"behavior which is characterized by deferment of actions or tasks to a later time. Psychologists often cite procrastination as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision. "

This spur-of-the-moment trip was such a cause for me to put the Pro (I'm all for it) in my procrastination.

You ask me a math question and you get a look from me which is a cross between news that a meteor is about to hit the earth and getting a whiff of two day old roadkill on a summers day. My brain moves at a snails pace when numbers are involved but eventually an answer is coughed up. However, I love a good mental (and physical) challenge.

My math skills were not up to par with my job. I purchased a math book for dummies and for the past month I have consistently taken this book to and from work . This book has spent enough time shimmying to and fro in its carrier on the motorcycle that it looks like I have used it for reference. Point being I had only accomplished a half a chapter.

The basics:

A week earlier I was invited to meet up with a few fellow off-roaders in Gerlach, Nevada on the Sunday of Memorial weekend. That sounded like a good excuse to finally take the bike across a state border ! But, I didn't just want to head up 80 then come back. The trip had to be spicier.

Thursday evening rolled around I recieved an invite to Lake Havasu in Arizona. My brain quickly connected the two dots and said "how about just ride from Havasu to Gerlach ?" Oooh, tantalizing. There were 4 KOAs between those two spots... that's good enough reason to go.

Friday I spent my free time planning my route and had a tentative idea of where to go. I decided to stop by Cal Sport Touring and talk with Kim and Helmut to see if they had any suggestions. I ended up spending time with a customer talking about my bike and Nevada routes since he traveled through there at intervals. I was concerned if any of the roads were possible dirt. "No worries, all pavement " he said.

I had checked the weather that evening to find that there were isolated thundershowers calling for in Tonopah and near 93 and thundershowers in Ely which was where I wanted to head. I planned to recheck in the morning and then see what to do. My brother stopped by and I lost a couple hours of packing time and got to bed at midnight.

Saturday morning the weather was the same. My Lake Havasu friend texted me that he switched his plans thinking that I was coming down. I couldn't back out. That and the curiosity of the weather system that lay in Nevada was what I needed to push me out the door. Seeing as I was behind schedule I decided to meet him in Ojai and we would skip Havasu. I left my plans flexible : head out from Ojai on my trip or piddle around Ojai for the weekend. Though, the previous weekend I was a sloth in Oceano and this weekend I wanted to make up for it.

The Gear:

My on-motorcycle gear consisted of my well-traveled Rev'it women's Challenge pants that had a rain liner and my 24thousand mile-and-going Airforce jacket (complete with accident-ed hole and scuffs). I wore long johns under my pants which made for a very comfy ride the whole distance. My boots were waterproof Frank Thomas that I bought 7 thousand miles before and my helmet...well, if I only had a picture of it now... is in need of some TLC.

I left home at 10am and zipped down 5. I reached the turnoff to 119 about 3:30pm. I gassed up and on to 33 South I went ! The weather was perfect, road conditions great and the long sweepers were better than I remembered. There were plenty motorcyclists and cars as well but not too clogged.

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Lockwood/Taft Intersection..this time with the Vstrom Highway 33

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Descending South into Ojai on Highway 33...

One clear-your-nose spot I came to was the tunnel just before Ojai: Traveling in the bright sunlight I passed into the dark one-way-either-direction tunnel. My eyes were trying to adjust to the dark just as the tunnel made a turn and a car was coming in the opposite direction. YIPES ! I reached the Deer Lodge about 5:30pm which happened to be a popular stop among the motorcyclists. That evening I spent in Ojai. There was a good fireside chat that evening complete with a blackwidow appearance and talk of brown recluse spiders among smores and staring at the stars. Hmmm... I mummified myself deep into my sleepingbag that night .

Sunday morning I was itchy to continue traveling. 9:30 departure. On I traveled East on 150 then took 126 East over to 5 South. Despite the fog that had rolled in, the scenic route from Ojai to 5 was excellent: tall and individualistic mountains created a beautiful valley to travel through and the fog was just the icing on the cake.

I took 14 North to Palmdale then onto Pearblossom Highway with a BUNCH of other cars and RVs to hit 15 North to Vegas. Congested power lines lined the north side of Pearblossom and was a straight shot to 15. The view of the south side of the freeway was relatively flat and uneventful. The scenery on Highway 15 all the way to Vegas was pretty bland. I started counting emergency telephone locations at every mile on Highway 15. Yup, they are pretty consistent at keeping a mile distance. I passed the worlds largest thermometer (which read 93 degrees at 1:30pm). I think that was in Baker.

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Welcome to Nevada (highway 15 heading N)

I stopped long enough in Vegas to gas up and take a picture of the Welcome to Nevada sign.
I started to take 95 North but found I needed 93 ( I was determined to travel the ET highway). I lost about an hour rerouting myself through Vegas and I didn't have any intention of stopping there. I just wanted to keep going.

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50 miles into 93 N looking into the Storm...raingearing up
__________________
I do NOT have Attention Deficit....
HEY ! Let's go ride our BIKES !!!!

Last edited by MissMoxy; 06-08-2009 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:04 AM   #13
MissMoxy
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: nearer the water
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Name: Nibor
The weather entering 93 was hot, but entering the storms brought my travel temperature to a comfortable cruising speed. The terrain was flat and wide with towering buttes in the distance ....lowlying desert plants and buttes were the scenery for the next 400 miles. Cars and semis were numerous. I would pass through several storm systems that only looked threatening, the latter one before Tonopah pelted me with a good dose of rain. In this storm I knew when a gust of wind was about to hit my frame when the rain raced horizontal across my face shield.

I had a spare gallon of gas and my Slime Power Sport tire inflator as piece of mind- along with some chain lube...the kind that resembles the smell of coconut suntan oill .

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ET and 93 crossroads

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Caution sign
The cow population was astronomical compared to the amount of cars I passed. Let's see....3 cars in approx 200 miles.

My average speed was 80-85. Anytyhing over 95 and my Vstrom would start to get an uncomfortable shimmy. Throughout the drive to Reno I stood on my pegs to relieve my saddle-sore butt. Wheeww...the knees and the nether regions wanted to take a break ! 75mph peg-standing became the norm and was quite refreshing in the heat.

Many miles into the ET highway I came across an orange splat/drag mark....must have been alien remnants.

I soon became adept at taking a picture and driving...this was usually on a slope where I was able to hold in the clutch and snap a shot with my right hand as my speed bled off. Therefore, much of the pictures taken on the ET highway have blurred bushes on the side.

One picture I didn't take that will be ingrained in my memory on the ET highway: I was traveling down a stretch of flatland with buttes that were miles from me on either side and out in front of me I could see 10 miles before my next turn. I look in my rearview mirror to see a towering butte and a turbulent sky that created a spectacular backdrop. Wow... what a sight !

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ET Highway... next 110 miles

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ET highway

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Beating the Storm
__________________
I do NOT have Attention Deficit....
HEY ! Let's go ride our BIKES !!!!

Last edited by MissMoxy; 06-06-2009 at 08:29 PM..
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:08 AM   #14
MissMoxy
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Name: Nibor
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Storm system
I had rounded a bend in the road about 70 miles from Tonopah. The sky became ablaze of crimson to the North which melted in to grey tumultuous sky to the South. The ceiling was low enough I felt I could drive on in. My spine shivered and I was electrified at the scene I was riding into. The blend of colors was breathtaking and rapidly changing. I eased off the throttle and carefully tried to take pictures that would capture the essence of the scene. How careful can one be trying to press the shutter button at 60mph with leather clad hands ? As most riders know, a picture doesn't always capture the true feeling of how the experience was. But for this, I had to capture SOMETHING.
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Just another long stretch on the ET Highway

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Heading into the storm once again on the ET Highway 8:30pm Saturday

I passed through sections of wind on the ET highway that tried hard to buck me off the motorcycle. At one point I felt I was leaning so much into the wind I felt I was working on my chicken strips. Due to these occurences I decided when I reached Tonopah (making sure I and my bike were sound) to continue traveling until I felt tired or reached Reno/Gerlach. I decided to travel based on a few factors: I had passed numerous signs warning of high winds, the road that I had been traveling on for the last 300 miles was smooth and rut-free, the weather was the perfect temperature and the terrain was flat enough on either side of the road that I felt my lights would be able to pick up an animals attempts to dash across the road.

I reached Tonopah at 9pm. My mind wasn't interested in staying in Tonopah even though I spied a small Motel that I could ride my motorcycle up to to the doorstep. I asked the gas station attendent how long to Reno. He pointed to the sign which, among other route times, stated 3 hours to Reno. I hardly batted an eyelash. My brain said "3 hours ? woo....hooo" . So off I went.

Small towns dotted along 95 on my route through to Reno. I asked the lady at the Hawthorne gas station about getting to Fernley just to make small town chit chat and wake myself up. Through my earplugs she said I go left at the next stoplight... she added that around these parts the next stoplight could mean 70 miles. I laughed an nodded thinking I missed some part of the conversation. Apparently she was five miles short !

My mph average was ~ 70. At 10:45 I passed through Hawthorne...apparently not slow enough. I was preparing to chug through but didn't bleed down my speed enough to match the limit and the Deputy stopped me and wanted to see all my necessary paperwork. I took off my helmet and we ended up chatting for 15 minutes about motorcycles and police cars before he let me go with a warning. Phew. That rejuvinating break helped me through to Reno.

I had glimpsed a billboard sign in Fernley at about 1am just outside of Reno and thought "hey, it's a fuzzy-writing billboard" until I blinked again and realized I needed to stop soon and Reno KOA was it. So close to getting to my destination but I would text my friend in Gerlach that I wouldn't make it.
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KOA Reno 8am Sunday... A well worn motorcycle vest and jacket being abused on the ground.

I cruised the large KOA campground at 2am mong the many RV's looking for a tent spot. Finally, A SPOT ! At first I thought it was a crowd of people clapping then the sound died down. The sprinklers hit my tent at 2:30 that lasted for about a half hour. Little did I realize that my helmet would be soaked the next morning but this would be a bonus in the heat as it quickly evaporated. I asked the KOA employee where the tent spots were the next morning and he told me they were on a patch of cement ! I would do with sprinklers in the grass anyday !

The night was frigid however, the hot morning sun had me out of my tent at 8am. The heat was more than I could stand. Funny when looking across at the mountain from the KOA there were still snow spots on it. I took quick pictures of Cabelas and the surrounding terrain, couldn't get clear directions on where my friend was and if they had left so I headed down 80.

Razel, who was keeping tabs on me on the Spot tracker, suggested Donner Pass. I was game to go !
__________________
I do NOT have Attention Deficit....
HEY ! Let's go ride our BIKES !!!!

Last edited by MissMoxy; 06-06-2009 at 08:27 PM..
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:49 AM   #15
MissMoxy
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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...across from the KOA

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Across from the KOA.... what could be better ? (well, ok...a motorcycle store)... Cabelas !

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Donner Pass

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Donner Pass

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Donner Pass

The friend I was supposed to meet up in Gerlach had left later in the day and took 40 to Auburn then 80 back home. Apparently the traffic at 7pm at night was nonexistent.

I finished the drive home from Reno by taking 80. Traffic was congested at spots and I decided to divert to the Cycle Gear Superstore just off the freeway for a nap and a browse for a couple hours. Nothing I needed that I didn't already have -phew-. With a good rest I headed back into the traffic and finally home.
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HEY ! Let's go ride our BIKES !!!!

Last edited by MissMoxy; 06-04-2009 at 06:03 AM..
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