Today’s map between Bullhead City and Big Pine. 416 miles
Laughlin is a strip of casinos along the river. I rode by on the opposite side and got this shot. Not great, but you get the idea.
Hwy 163 out of Bullhead City heading to LV is a blast. It’s a bunch of big sweepers that climb out of the valley. I imagine it’s probably patrolled, but I saw no one and threw caution to the wind, literally. It was a very fun ride and charged my morning. I know that some of what I would be riding was going to be totally dull so I decided to have fun where I could.
I nearly missed the turn off to Nipton in the middle of Searchlight, NV, as it’s barely marked. The road swings left and you ride into a Joshua Tree filled desert. It’s very pretty there.
But there are miles and miles of nothing.
Until you get to Baker, CA and see this place. Then you know you have reached heaven. ; ) The Mad Greek makes awesome Baklava.
Heading to DV via Shoshone and Badwater or Hwy 178. 178 is a wonderful road and the back way into DV. It’s full of some fine riding as the elevation drops into DV and heats up along the way.
I saw this group of cruisers in Baker as they pulled out to leave and I was getting off the bike to shoot the Mad Greek. I was about 15-20 minutes behind when I came upon them. They were riding the speed limit, out in the middle of nowhere. I guess people do that…It made passing this parade an easy task.
The day went from sunny to cloud covered which meant that the valley would be hot and humid. I was glad to have water, but sorry I didn’t bring my camelbak.
Riding into Shoshone.
This guys were pretty sad looking and hanging out on the road. I tried to convince them that they needed to find some shade, but they weren’t having any of it.
Badwater, NV. The lowest spot in the US at 282 ft below sea level.
Even thought I had filled my tank in Baker, by the time I had reached Furnace Creek, I was afraid to let my gas get lower. It was reading one blinking bar which means about 1.5 gallon left. I knew the next gas was in Beatty, NV which was about 50 miles or so. Better safe than sorry, so I got 1.8 gal for $10. Geeze.
I stopped in Beatty and filled up and then headed back over my two favorite passes, 266 to 168. It’s amazing how different a road can be going the other direction. I had a blast once again and reached Big Pine, CA about 5ish. I knew that Carson City was at least 4 hours away so decided to terminate my ride here for the night. I found a small old skool motel called the Bristlecone Motel. The rate was $55. Not bad.
Across the street (highway) is an Italian restaurant, but my dilemma is always the same. I hate eating solo. I instead opted for a sandwich made by the deli in the Mobile Station. She made it to order with 4 kinds of cheese and veges on a croissant. I was content and got a nice bottle of Pinot Grigo to have with it. Mmmmm.
I downloaded photos, posted to my forum and called it a night.
Hwy 266 at Lida Junction…beautiful sky!
Gratuitous Bandit shot
The top of 266.
Tomorrow Big Pine to home!
Some of the goofiest comments come from non riders. A guy sweeping up the parking lot of my motel in Bullhead City said, “I never seen no woman on that type of bike, ” to which I replied, what type of bike would that be? And he said, “well, one of those tall sporty bikes.” I had to assume he had not seen many women riders except those riding cruisers to Laughlin events. He said “he had also never seen no woman riding alone, not ever”. Wow…what a profound statement, since never a long damned time.
I don’t know, maybe i’m thinking too much about this, but he seems to represent a great bunch of the non riding community. I can’t tell you how many questions I get about why I am riding alone, why I am married and don’t travel with my husband, why I ride the bike I ride and so on. It’s a very fine line to walk and be taken seriously as a rider. People don’t understand why anyone would want to ride solo, let alone a woman riding solo. I have tried to explain on several occasions, but I get that glassy-eyed look that deer have in headlights. No explanation no matter how worthy, will rise to their understanding.
Each time I set off on a journey, I get at least a couple of credulous responses from people that want to but can not understand my passion. I, on more than one occasion, have been called intrepid. I love that description, but find it exaggerated. I find women who adventure ride across Africa, intrepid…not one who rides a touring bike on paved roads across America, but I thank them all the same. I find it as complimentary as they do inspiring. I suppose a solo woman rider is considered off-beat, but I just think so little about it, so each time I am asked, I am taken aback by the awe. To me, it’s just doing what I do. I ride.
When i arrived home, I stopped at Safeway for a couple of items since I know the state of the refrigerator while I am gone is quite different from when I am home. As i pulled into a parking spot, two young boys in a pickup truck pulled near me and said, “wow, is that your bike, it’s really cool and good for you to ride it by yourself. Are you leaving for somewhere or just coming back?” I told them I had just returned from New Mexico. They both looked at one another and said, “cool”. I was easily old enough to be their mom. But I think the cool part was that they didn’t question it at all. I was matter of fact so things are changing for us female riders and getting better and better. It’s not quite as quickly as I’d like, but it is better!!
So…on that note, the final leg of my journey from Sacto to TorC, NM and back.
In Big Pine, I had some construction workers ask me if my bike was an automatic. Uh, what sort of question is that and why would you ask. They looked knowingly at one another as if it was a private joke and then said well we just figured if you were riding that bike, it had to be an automatic. It’s a good thing I don’t ride with a firearm. Morons…
Other than the idiot construction trash the stay at Big Pine was quite nice. The motel owners remembered that I had booked the Pashnit Girly Ride there so cut me a deal. It was comfortable and clean at the Bristlecone Motel. I’d definitely stay there again but would check to see if there were construction workers first. : )
Who parks like this?? I had room to go forward onto the sidewalk to turn around, but I just couldn’t believe anyone would actually do this. After I pulled up to my door to load the bike, I saw a middle aged woman get into the truck. Since my room was behind her my concern now was that she wouldn’t hit me backing out!! Some people should not be allowed to drive a motor vehicle!
What would a demenshea RR be without at least one self-portrait?
My route home is here.
I decided to take Hwy 6 to Benton and then ride over 120E to Hwy 395. It’s alot more fun and gets you off Hwy 395 for a few miles anyway. There is no police presence on 6 or 120 either and Hwy 395 is heavily patrolled, especially through the small towns. When they say 35mph, they mean it!
I left around 10AM knowing it was the final leg of my journey. I was wishing Monitor Pass was open, but no such luck. Instead I was stuck riding through Gardnerville and Minden to get to Hwy 88 and the easiest way back to my home. The traffic there is a huge mess as they never planned for such an over-run population. I was glad to get past the clusterfook and onto the highway home. The ride was excellent over Hwy 88, sans a bit cold without ‘lectrics. I did love the big sweepers and the pace at which we can ride them. Before I knew it, i had reached my cutoff road of Shake Ridge and was on my way down the mountain.
Hwy 120 E out of Benton
Love these beautiful rock formations.
For those that haven’t taken this road, it’s covered with about 18 miles of whoops. They are a total blast!!
Traveling up 120E you wind into the White Mountains.
Then suddenly you crest the top of the White Mountains and see the “real” mountains of the Sierra Nevada range. Wow, it always takes my breath away.
Dropping into the fire damaged Mono Lake area of Lee Vining.
A few more whoops at the base of 120 near Lee Vining.
After a good hour of riding through Gardnerville and Minden and back out 88, I’m back up in the snow around Caples Lake.
On Fiddletown Road, spring glows in verdant green lushness.
I ride up onto my driveway and my own yard welcomes me home with its Spring offerings.
Now to contend with one very dirty Bandito, to order new shoes before my next jaunt and for good measure an oil change. Gotta treat him right, as he has been nothing but awesome to me!! I also need to solve the ‘lectrics mystery.
Another SW ride totaling 2785 miles of desert beauty.