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Day 130/131 – 17/18th April 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on April 18, 2009

Friday – Caliente, Nevada

I think I found a replacement for bundy rum today, maybe, read on 🙂 There will be two days posts today as they are short ones and I want to line up the dates with the posts.

Well, this is it, on the move at last, enough sitting around in the freezing temps, whatever the weather is, it is time to ride! First off though, I want to show you this neat thing of Ken’s. A helmet you say, what is neat about that?

Well, voila, take off the lid, add some tucker and plug it in and an instant crock pot 🙂

I had said goodbye to Bev earlier before she went to work and now it is goodbye to Ken. I will probably see him in Rapid City for the Vstrom gathering in June. It is hard to express how much I valued their support over the past few weeks while getting ‘Americanised’ and sorting the bike out. But anyway, now it is all done and time to ride.

It was cold and a bit damp occasionally to start with and I did not ride for more than an hour before stopping and adding the extra wet gear, pants and boots etc, I was freezing already 😦 But, the good news was that I was riding south and away from the cold, I hoped!

I turned west at Nephi and headed to Delta and the Nevada border, it was not getting any warmer, there was a bit more rain as well. I saw these old domes on the side of the road and it turns out they are charcoal pits from the old days of the pioneers.

I stopped just after this in Delta for fuel as I was unsure of the next stop after this, I miscalculated the amount I needed so I did not get a full tank, just under. I had a hot lunch to warm up before heading back out into the cold. A couple of notes here, I am well pleased with the flag holder, it does the job real well and does not obscure the rear view mirror at all. I am a bit concerned about the Garmin mount though as it seems to move a bit too much. I hope it does not create a fatigue point and break off; I will need to look into that. It was an uninteresting ride for the most part, but as the time passed I saw more patches of blue sky. Then I started to get back into the hills and mountains and snow and possible wild life.

About an hour later I had turned south and had more summits to get over, but there were a few twisties, just to wake me up. Mind you it was not getting any warmer yet, but I was getting higher as well, so that may be why.

I had to get some fuel and found some in a small town called Pioche, I did not trust the range to get all the way to Caliente especially as I did not have a full tank to start with, it was another 40 odd miles down the road and my day’s destination. Ken had said that Caliente is Spanish for hot, so it seemed a good choice.

I got there about 4.30 and looked around for a place to stay, there seemed a few choices and the one I picked was right across from the old style railway station.

I spent about an hour or so in front of the room heater trying to get warm and eventually succeeded. There was a casino/restaurant/bar up the road a bit so I checked it out. They had Amber bock beer of which I sampled a couple, but it was a lousy place full of smoke, despite the cold breeze coming through the open back door and not much life, so after asking about other bars I hiked up the road in the other direction to the Shamrock bar. Now, in case you don’t realise, this is the first bar I have visited since arriving in the states. All the others were either food places or casinos but this one was for drinkers 🙂 I ended up chatting for a short while with Pamela before she went home as she had an early start the next day.

After that I was chatting with Chrissie the bar manager before I went up the other end and introduced myself to some of the locals. I ended up playing some pool and drinking Meyers rum and coke, not bad, but I would need to try it again another day just to make sure 🙂

This is Chrissi, Danni, Gerry, myself and Nick

And the one who was missing for the above photo was TJ, a top bloke and just like me a shit stirrer, so we got along quite well, he even brings his sunnies to the bar just like me.

I had a great night and a bit of a stumble back to the motel, before crashing out 🙂

Day – 380 miles and 612km
Trip – 2,765 miles and 4,450km



Day 131 – 18th April 09

Saturday – Tonopah, Nevada

A stop and go sort of day today and I lost a bit of gear as well and ended up with a worn out rear tyre and none available locally!

It was a nice day out by the time I got up and had some breakfast and packed the bike. I went for a look at the Shamrock Pub to get a photo before leaving town around 11, so a slow start to the day 🙂

I was going to head up the Extraterrestrial Highway which goes north and around the Area 51 and the Nellis Air Force Base, also a lot of missile test ranges in this area.

Just up the road was a nice view down onto the flat and these funny trees are called Joshua Trees I think.

Although it was sunny, it had not heated up yet at all and when I came to the junction to hwy 375 I stopped and considered what to do. There was a town called Alamo down south a bit, now I had heard of the Alamo, so I decided to go look as I may not be back 🙂

Well, wrong, hah, I got sucked in this is not the one I thought it was, that one is in Texas 🙂 Anyway, I chatted to a couple of guys who told me to fuel up as it is a long way to the next stop, so I did, and bought some lunch for later. I also managed to get a free map of Nevada, I had been guessing prior to this and despite 2 GPS’s I still like a paper map for an overview.

Just as I was leaving a small group of luxury sports cars rolled in, nice 🙂

OK, so I backtracked up to the junction I was at before where there were some tables and had some lunch, a not very nice ham sandwich. It looks like a hot dog roll but with no salad and no butter, it made for dry eating. I will find some good tucker one day I am sure.

After that I had my photo taken by a chap who was also stopped here for that same reason.

I got all of about half a mile before I lost a piece of my Charge Guard. It had been doing silly things this morning, like the selector switch was stuck in or something and when I tried to release it the cover came off. That was OK, I found that no worries after going back, but the rubber seal and switch button actuator itself was missing. As the switch was inset, I needed this and the weatherproof seal. I used my search skills for an hour and a half up this stretch of road and could not find it. It was very small and the gravel was very hard to search without a screen.

I searched very slowly both sides of the road and gravel verges for over 50 meters in each direction to no avail, bummer! In the end I gave up and continued on, this is just near where I was looking and by the way I am very unimpressed with the American public. There was not a lot of traffic, about 15 cars during the time I was looking and not ONE single vehicle slowed down and asked if I needed any help, not one! If that was back home the side of the highway would have been lined with cars because anyone stopped on the side of the road is usually in need of help!

Anyway, back to the aliens.

I did not see any, but I hoped to 🙂

A lot of the road is arrow straight, even up into the hills in the distance.

This is the sign at the small stop called Rachel.

And after about an hour and a half of not seeing any aliens or UFO’s not even a normal plane I arrived at Warm Springs, which is closed!

I now turned west and into the lowering sun which is no fun and it was more of the same straight roads.

There was a rest stop just up here a bit, but I think it needs to warm up a bit for the trees to grow some leaves; then it will be a nice place to rest, except the water is not drinkable according to the signs.

I was getting closer to my destination of Tonopah when I saw this missile test range entrance.

When I did get into town there was a smorgasbord of choices of places to stay, and after riding up and down the town a few times decided on the Clown Motel, the cost was good and it was more or less central to the town. I bought some groceries from across the road, but could not find a can opener! That was when I noticed my rear tyre was about shot and I quickly tried to find a replacement. The only luck I had was an Anakee in Las Vegas, 200 miles away or wait until Monday and see what they have in Bishop, which is over the border in California, but it is only 115 miles away. I reckon I could get to LV, but I was not impressed by the last Anakee I had, so I made a decision to stay the extra day here and call some shops in Bishop on Monday and see what they had. Hopefully something better but if not, I would make a decision then.

I really did not want to ride Death Valley with a crappy tyre, old or new. Anyway, I had some nuked food and wandered up town for a look, This place looked like it had it all 🙂

I had a beer at a bar that was noisy and smelly, it turns out there was a party going on so I wondered around and when I came back I noticed that next door was a saloon bar, which at first I thought was dark and dingy. But, after a beer in this quieter bar I was bought a beer by Victor, who is a local and I ended up staying quite a while chatting. He is a miner and has a mine back home in Lightning Ridge and will be heading over there in May 🙂 That is Victor on the right.

When I finally got back to the motel, it seems the bikes had multiplied while I was away 🙂

The days dramas had not ended either, as I could not get an hot water from my shower, lucky the heater worked 🙂

Day – 230 miles and 370km
Trip – 2,995 miles and 4,820km

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8 Responses to “Day 130/131 – 17/18th April 09”

  1. Ken & Beverly said

    Sounds like a good time on the extraterrestial highway, I know you don’t think you saw any aliens, but they are alllll around you…trust me! 😉

    Keep posting, and good luck! Keep our address in your GPS.

  2. John said

    Unless Bishop has grown substantially, I doubt that you will find a replacement tire there. But, they have lots of fishing and boating equipment. Bishop is at a higher altitude, so it may be colder than you are now.
    Good luck!

    • travellingstrom said

      Hi John

      I am thinking they will have a lot of Harly Goldwing type tyres and none to suit me, but I will find out soon I guess.


  3. pirate63 said

    wow,just finished reading your entire blog,great reading,following this with great intrest,you seem to be doing what i have in planing for myself in the next couple of years,on a 650 strom as well,so i am looking really closly at the mods you have done! ride safe
    cheers clive
    from bris vegas qld.

  4. Henry said

    Hey Richard,

    My wife and I hang our hat’s at the Clown Motel, everytime we make the trip out to Camp Verde, Arizona, to see my folks. Nice to hear that we’re not the only peopel who have a likeness to Emmit Kelly.

    Anyway, nice to read the ongoing journey, and hope to see you soon.

    Henry (aka ziggy)

    • travellingstrom said

      Hi Ziggy

      Not sure who you are referencing, but the picture is a clown 🙂

      At this stage I am not really understanding or taking the time to reveal the culture of where I am, I have too many other over riding things on my mind. I really hope to soon get right into the camping and local focus of different towns, get away from motels and such.

      Anyway, at the rate I am going, I will see you in a few months, by then I expect you to show me your vegie garden and maybe even blow a tune on the didge.

      Richard, aka Asif

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