Monthly Archives: May 2014

Two Nights with Friends near Lake Tahoe

We spent the last two nights with friends (Barry & Lori) near Tahoe City. Lori & I made the trip to town for mail & groceries stopping for a wine tasting at Uncorked. We really appreciate their hospitality and the fabulous dinner last night.

Jon & I are now on our way down to Saline Valley in Death Valley National Park for several days. We drove around part of Lake Tahoe on our way to Carson City to reprovision.


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Black Rock / High Rock Canyon – May 4

On Sunday we headed out to High Rock Canyon after taking one last dip in the hot springs.

We drove up Fly Canyon which was pretty with historic markers of the Emigrant Trail.


Since the southern entrance to High Rock Canyon was gated due to wildlife lambing/breeding season, we headed up Little High Rock Canyon. There were lots of wonderful flowers in most of the meadows. We saw four wild burros, a wild horse, lots of pronghorn and five mule deer.


We stopped at a beautiful spot among the rocks for lunch.



After a trip up to the northern entrance to High Rock Canyon, also locked, we back tracked to a campsite next to a partially collapsed barn.




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May 6 – Maintenance


After a great trip to the Black Rock Desert (which we had not been to in many years) with our good friends Barry and Lori Ellis, We are spending two night at their great mountain house just outside of Lake Tahoe.

(See Emily’s posts for Black Rock Desert, here are some of them) May 3 May 2


Robinson’s onboard air system had developed a leak.  We have an Extreme Outback Air Compressor which has given good service in tough conditions – but  the main airline from the air tank to the distribution block had developed a leak and had to be replaced.  As is often the case, this was a 30 minute repair, but required unloading the motorcycle from the garage and removing the garage floor plate to get access to the compressor… so it was a half day job.  I bought some high quality rubber airline as we passed through Reno yesterday at Home Depot, so had what I needed to make the repair.  I had a splice, but the line was pretty old and stiff so I decided it was a better choice to replace it.

Barry helped me clean the compressor air filter using Simple Green APC and K&N Filter Oil.  I really need to replace the filter, but that wasn’t an option.


I also helped Barry re-grease the Superwinch X9 on his Discovery 2.  The winch had been giving him good service but had been getting noisy – we pulled it apart and the remaining grease was either dried out or dirty – we cleaned everything with mineral spirits, re-greased and re-assembled.  Should be good for another 6 years.


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Black Rock – Soldier Meadows – May 3

The best part is that it is next to two Hot Springs pools available for taking a dip. Our campsite had a direct trail to the lower pool. We took a dip shortly after arriving.


It was about as hot as bath water with water so clear you could see the bottom. The bottom was a nice gravel, not a bottom filled with six inches of unknown life.

The upper pool was about the same temp, but with a murky bottom and much shallower.


We all went down the trail to Hidden Creek Springs since we could tell the people camping nearby had left. Jon & I tried the waters. It was certainly warmer than the other two, but it also had a murky bottom and wasn’t very deep. It did have enough space for friends and a “table” in the middle great for drinks.


After getting back to the campsite, it just kept getting windier and even more windy. It meant we took a nap and had a lazy day.

Late in the day, we were entertained by four cyclists that biked up from Soldier Meadows Rd. They bathed at the hot springs, refilled their water, and after deciding our camp ground area was too windy, biked down to the Cabin Creek campground spot. Leaving the four of us our privacy.

We saw some pretty fantastic vistas, clouds and sunset.


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Black Rock – Soldier Meadows May 2

May 2nd, we drove up to Gerlach, NV to meet up with a couple of friends for a weekend in the Black Rock / High Rock Canyon Area. Gerlach is a quirky place being headquarters to the Annual Burning Man Festival and a traditional NV small mining town. We visited “Friends of Black Rock” and talked with the two guys manning the office. We hung out at Bruno’s Country Club bar and talked with a couple locals.

Then finally off to the trails. We headed out up Soldier Meadow Rd which skirts the Black Rock Playa.


The views were pretty amazing. We took a detour to a water crossing and part way up a very loose, sandy climb. Of course, there were the required minor repairs required.


We also saw a couple of snakes.


We eventually made it up to Soldier Meadows Hot Springs and camped at the Hot Creek Campground. It is an Area of Critical Environmental Concern which is part of the Black Rock National Conservation Area.


There wasn’t anyone else in the campground area. It consisted of 5 campsites and an open top vault toilet. (Sorry, no photos).

It was a comfortable temperature for dinner outside. We had good food & conversation before heading to bed.

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Desert at last


So we finally made it to the desert.  We’ll spend tonight here at Spencer hot springs.



Sorry for the short update, on my phone roaming!


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Canyons, Desert and Cave Part 2

We traveled through the mountains in Central Utah taking the back roads when it made sense. We followed highway 50 across the last of Utah passing a dry lake bed, lots of mountain ranges and sagebrush covered valleys.


We passed numerous cattle and quite a few tiny towns. Some towns seem to be doing ok, but the majority seemed to be in decline. The boom & bust mining cycle was very evident in the number of abandoned homesteads and ghost towns.

We drove into the Great Basin National Park shortly after entering Nevada. For once, we got there in the afternoon, so we were able to find a great camping spot & set up and then still had time for a hike. We camped at the Baker Creek campground. We were the only people in the entire campground and we found a fabulous site at the back next to a creek.

We went on a loop trail that was described as 5 miles by one ranger and 4 miles by another. The second one said that there was only 600 ft in elevation during the hike. Both were wrong. We finally got back after more than 7 miles and more than 1200 foot of elevation. We were up at over 7000 ft, so I was puffing during the very long climb. We did get to see two wild turkeys and a trio of Mule deer. That was very cool. At the top of the trail, there were several patches of snow, but nothing too bad. We had a lot of fabulous views down the mountains. It was a hike worth doing. I would do it again, but probably taking the loop the other way around.

Sorry there aren’t any photos. I took my camera and haven’t had a chance to download them yet.

This morning (May 1), Jon & I went on 90 minute Grand Palace tour of the Lehman Caves. It was a really great tour. There were 19 of us in the usual demographic at this time of year during the week – almost entirely retirees along with the token young couple in love and us.

We’ve been taking Highway 50 through Nevada so far. Highway 50 is known as the Loneliest Road in the US. We have been going over mountains and across valleys most of today.

We’re staying at Spencer Hot Springs near Austin, NV tonight. We arrived in plenty of time for a walk and a soak and time to just hang out.



The weather is nice and cool this evening and the views from our campsite is pretty fantastic.


Off to Gerlach tomorrow to meet up with friends.

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Canyons, Deserts and Cave Part 1

On Wednesday, Jon & I drove from Moab, UT to Great Basin National Park, Nevada. We passed some really beautiful canyons and cliffs during the first part of the journey.
The drop down into the Western part of Utah on I-70 is just beautiful.


We stopped at the San Rafael Reef to take a few photos.


And then we were in the canyons.



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