Saturday, February 28, 2009

Extra Ride 5 - Gold Butte Byway

One would think that we had a "fixation" or something on this ride. Truth is that it contains a lot of the things people want to see.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Extra Ride 5 - Gold Butte Byway]

So, when I describe to someone who wants to take me riding, the various options; this ride is often selected. And, it makes no never mind to me because every time I go I see something new and this ride was no exception.

He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something; he who has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all.”
Sinclair Lewis

I won't bore you with another blow-by-blow, you can read about the directions in a couple of posts back. By now you know how to get to Whitney Junction trailhead, where the byway starts.

We took an SUV this time, because three wanted to go with only two rigs. BJ, the manager of the condo's, has a great one- and real flashy.

We stopped at "first rock" to see the petroglyphs. They are still there and I can say, have no further damage in the three years we've seen them, despite being the most heavily visited. Put that in your pipe fiends of Gold Butte! They remain the ONLY glyps that seniors who don't hike can still see, after this years BLM debauchery.

At the Ghost town of Gold Butte we met a couple on rigs who have lived their whole lives in the Bunkerville area. They knew all about the attempted idiocy of trying to close down the whole area this last year.

They also had met William Garrett, the old-timer who lived his life on the butte and is buried there with his buddy - "the long and short of Gold Butte."

His father had related a story to him about getting to shoot Garrett's well cared for Colt 45. Garrett loaded the pistol, tossed out a can and watched as all the boy's shots missed.

In mock disgust, he took back the gun, loaded it and popped off six rapid-fire shots making the can "dance" with every shot.

They also took us around to an old mill stone which the Chinese workers used to grind ore with. It's made out of one of those huge "pudding" like conglomerate rocks and looks nearly identical to pictures of those olive presses in Italy.

None of the cacti are in bloom yet, but the air was cool and smelled clean. We turned back up North and continued the ride. When we reached Mud Wash we turned East and back to Devil's throat completing the circuit.


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