The BMW MOA Rally in Salt Lake City was packed with thousands of riders with a burning desire and passion for everything BMW. Burning is the key word since, by coincidence, a heat wave was in full effect keeping temperatures in the 90's. Not to mention the humidity was a lot higher than what we are accustommed to in the desert southwest.
Being contrarians, we brought a Honda Africa Twin, the one I rode in the filming of the Nevada BDR movie. It was well received by many but frowned upon by those with Bavarian blood in their veins. It was a lot of fun watching the staunch BMW riders gasp as though they were witnessing the bearded women at a circus. Oh, the fun we had bringing the newest Honda entry to a BMW Rally but possibly the best part was riding the Honda into the building for display and upon conclusion of the event we rode it out with style! Upright, braaaping the engine and standing mightily on the pegs as I rode through the double doors only dabbing once to keep a door from blocking the egress.
After our fun at the BMW Rally we headed off to explore and piece together our newest Adventure route in eastern NV.
Jeff and I were fortunate to have been invited to ride a bunch of private ranches in north-central Nevada over a 3-day period immediately following the Rally. It was only about 5 hours from Salt Lake City to adventure heaven in the outback of Nevada. Our guests were gracious enough to invite us to a family dinner at the ranch house that first night to share a meal and great stories of rural ranching. The trials, challenges, and adaptation required of ranchers speaks to the strength, agility, and stamina of an outstanding breed of individuals and the cowboy spirit that makes Nevada a special place on earth. The stories of turning sage brush and dirt into a successful business operation were truly inspiring. Raising cattle, growing alfalfa, and wrangling herds across enormous valleys and huge mountain ranges gives one pause to think that adventure riding is only reserved for those of us with, what we think, are tough exteriors.
The American cowboy is alive and well in rural Nevada since the horse is still the best mode of transportation to reach the most obscure sections of the wilderness. We opted for our preferred mode of transportation which consisted of 40 horses with the KLR’s and about 100 horses on the Africa Twin. We averaged just shy of 200 miles per day but rode all day. There were severe elevation changes with enormous inclines and descents that would take your breath away. Loose shale, water crossings, gullies, and ruts that were big enough to eat a rider whole became part of each day’s ride experience.
We routed the roads and trails in advance and rode with an outstanding young cowboy that rides a motorcycle with the best. Yes, he rides horses and told stories of bulldogging deer, antelope, and other wild creatures for fun as a kid. They did it by horseback and they did it by motorcycle to add a little more spice to an already lively lifestyle.
There will be more shared about our latest adventure into some of the most amazing mountain tops and the greatest razorbacks I have ever ridden in all my years as a motorcycle rider. The scale of the peaks were reminiscent of riding the Rocky Mountains, as was were the meadows and enormous vistas that allowed us to see hundreds of miles in any direction. We experienced dozens of mines, ghost towns, and old dwellings dating back to when Nevada was part of the Mexico Territory.
Our next blog will be chalked full of details, photographs, and maybe a video that will inspire others to seek out the magnificent riding and hidden gems found in the vastness of the Nevada outback.