As most of you readers know I purchased a 2004 Goldwing about 22 months ago, and have happily putting as many miles on it as I can find the time to do so. You also know that I tend to be a procrastinator – especially when it comes to committing to the various rallies that abound when one belongs to the Goldwing Road Rider Association. May 25 – 27 was another of these opportunities that I put off committing to until the Monday before it was to start! The region “F” rally in Elko, Nv. is a rally for all of the local GWRRA chapters from Ca., Nv., Ut., Az., Nm., and Hi., so it’s a pretty good sized event. It is held in a different spot each year. This year it was Elko, last year it was Montrose, Co., next year it sounds like it will be in St. George Ut. I wasn’t going to go, but my friends Rich and Linda convinced me otherwise SO here’s how it worked out.
I managed to wrangle the time off, and indeed was able to leave work early on Wednesday so that I could ride up to Winnemucca, Nv. My original plan was to take 88 and the Carson Pass into Nv, then hook up with US-50 to either Nv-305 or Nv-281 into Elko. But when I was packing and inspecting the bike I found my tires were in marginal shape to be making a 12 – 15 hundred mile run in remote areas and less traveled roads – so iI-80 it was straight from San Ramon to Winnemucca, arriving at 7:00 PM. A quick dinner at the Red Lion and a little TV and it was off to dreamland for me.
I was wheels up and back on the road at 7:00 on Thursday morning, and arrived in Elko at 8:30 where I completed my rally registration, met up with Rich and Linda and made it to the opening ceremony’s along with about 150 other attendees. After the ceremony’s we took a quick tour of the Vendor area, and, as usual Rich suggested that we take a ride up to Lamoille Canyon just a few miles out of town. A quick check of my tires confirmed there was still plenty of tread left so off we went. The scenery in the Lamoille Canyon was breathtaking. We gained in total about 1200’ in elevation above Elko before snow closed the road and we had to turn around and come back. We got back into town and we split up – Rich and Linda to get lunch and do a poker run, and me to check out the local Honda dealer, and get checked into my hotel, and finally to get some lunch. We hooked back up at 4:00 to ride in a grand parade through Downtown Elko – that was pretty fun, because by then our numbers had swelled to over 400 bikes – and a lot of the town was out waving and taking pictures.
Friday morning after breakfast Rich suggested another ride (Ever notice how he always seems to be ready to go?) – This time it’s a 200 mile round trip up Nv-225 to the little border town of Owyhee (OW-eee). We were on the road by 8:30 eating the miles between Elko and Owyhee along Nv-225. This highway represents my perception of Nevada perfectly – 80-90 miles of nothing, only to be completely awestruck in the next 10-20. The road out of Elko was flat and straight with the Ruby Mountains to the North and East of us and the Wild horse (I believe) to the North and West of us. The high plateau breaks away at the Wildhorse reservoir and begins a stunning twisty 25 MPH descent into Duck Valley and the Duck Valley Indian reservation, and ultimately Owyhee. The down side to this ride was the return back to Elko was along the same path! L
We all decided to leave on Saturday and head home. Rich and Linda wanted to go at least part way, and I pretty much knew I should try and get all the way home if possible. I was out of the hotel and on the road at 7:30. A quick stop in Battle Mountain for a light breakfast, and some fuel for the bike put me on Nv-305 heading for the tiny town of Austin on US-50, were I would turn west and head for Fallon, Carson City, Markleeville, Carson Pass, Jackson, and finally home. Mother nature decided to make sure I was awake and paying attention pretty much all the way home. Thunder storms, hail, rain, and blowing snow from about 50 miles East of Fallon all of the way into town. Then rain off and on into Carson City, followed by a nice break in the weather till the top of Carson Pass where there was more rain and blowing snow. I was very happy when Jackson finally came into view. The rest of the ride home was in mild to sunny weather. A good trip! I’m looking forward to next year at St. George, Ut. – the entryway to Brice, Zion and a ton of other great rides.
Get out there and Ride! – Safe J