Monday, December 28, 2009

Ride 11: Horse Spring-Valatier Ridge-GB Mine

Lower Gold Butte from Valatier Peak
You've heard of the "road less traveled"? Well, this is the road-less-traveled's road less traveled!  [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 11: Horse Spring-Valatier Ridge-GB Mine]

We took Gordon's RZR and my Kodiak for an 'explore' that even Christopher Robbin and Pooh would be proud of!

You know, the ride down New Gold Butte Road through our 'million acre woods' is a bit long; and, when you've done it a few times, a bit…

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ride 10: 3-Corners Explore

After our pleasant ride to the 3-corners area a few days ago, several of us wanted to give the benefit of the doubt to the potential toe-rags who removed the geo-cache and flag and see if they might have merely "moved it" to the "true" 3-corners.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 10: 3-Corners Explore]

If any of you have zoomed in to a close up of Google Earth (where Utah, Nevada and Arizona are supposed to meet) you find that they don't! I can honestly say that I have never noticed a tiny bump-out glitch along the Nevada maps east side – but it's there plain as day on Google Earth.

Now why would people think that Utah, Nevada and Arizona all meet in one place? Well it's because…

Friday, December 25, 2009

Native Plants of Southern Nevada

Creosote Bush, leavesThe book Native Plants Of Southern Nevada
by David Rhode
is a real find and a help during a ride in the desert. I ran across this book a couple of years ago and the man really knows his stuff!

Most of the time for the past several months the book has set by my computer while I've been updating the Offroading Home website; but, it is really handy as a field guide to help you identify and understand the plants in this area of the desert around Mesquite Nevada as you ride.

For example, you almost can't spit around here without hitting Larrea tridentata, or "ya'tam'pi"…

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ride 9: 3-Corners/Lytle Ranch Loop

This is a great ride over widely-varied and historic terrain and is both a destination and scenic type of trail.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 9: 3-Corners/Lytle Loop]

BJ and I trailered up to the
Mormon Wagon Road Trailhead , Utah USA
[37.010423, -113.912540]
  on Old Highway-91 in Utah. We got a bit later start than we usually do but…

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ride 8: Nevada Mica Mine

This was a good days ride and the photo doesn't do it justice! Today Gordon and I RZR'd down to explore the "middle - lower Gold Butte" area [a.k.a. the "middle" of the Lower Gold Butte riding area – sort of between the Gold Butte townsite and the Nevada Mica Mine.]

Under the "Fiends of Gold Butte's" plan that whole area would be considered "wilderness" and automatically off-limits to motorized vehicles – but…

Monday, December 14, 2009

Map Update: California Trails - Central Mountains

This was a fun update, largely due to the weird and varied trails which run through areas which I tangentially know. I just wish I would have had these maps when I was in the Navy in California. [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: California Trails

I was able to obtain the use of a copy of California Trails Central Mountains Region and spent several hours updating all the trailhead waypoints along with improving the descriptions of the trail. In some cases I needed to hand-draw trails that the book had omitted.

There are several trails running along old highway 1 on the coast. "Old number one" has a great view, I can only imagine what looking down at the ocean from the cliffs above the coast would be like.

Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.”
Jerry Seinfeld

There are great wooded campsites and trails but I do need to warn you that California has a lot of "protected" areas in one sense or the other with their own "rules" about who, when and how they are used. This translates in some cases to fees and permits so please check with the governing authority and/or local riding clubs when you are planning a visit.

Also, if you live in the area and find that some of these trails have either changed or closed please let me know so I can alter the maps accordingly.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ride 7: Whitmore Mine Trail

On a Sunday afternoon out for a "little" drive we decided to take a look at where the Old Spanish Trail runs along the freeway for a ways. Going West on I-15 from Mesquite we exited at the first truck stop and we were there.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 07: Whitmore Mine Trail]

There is an exit out the fence onto a dirt road which has all the appropriate signs but it sure looks like an ordinary dirt road to me. It runs along the freeway as sort of a "frontage road" for awhile then takes off across the desert every which way.

The one heading toward Mormon Mountains looked so wide and inviting that we decided to see how far we could get...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ride 6: Northeast Mesquite Flats

This ride has almost become the "search for the Northwest Passage" for us. We have friends in Beaver Dam Arizona and keep thinking that "there just has to be a way to get there from here."   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Northeast Flats]

Unfortunately, there are a LOT of 2-wheel drive eating chasms between here and there and we have never made it despite three tries.

The Mesa Boulevard trailhead is convenient to ride the area (just at the top of Mesa Boulevard) and you are soon down in the flats next to the freeway. The sandy trail rides parallel

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ride 5: Upper - Lower Gold Butte: "Nada" Mine

There are so many places to ride down on Gold Butte that it's a bit difficult to describe your ventures to people.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Upper-Lower Gold Butte]

You see Gold Butte, the "fat thumb" of land projecting from Mesquite toward Lake Mead, is divided (for riding purposes) into "Upper," "Middle" and "Lower." UPPER, of course, is on top and contains what locals call the "petroglyph trail" as well as several camping areas.

MIDDLE, is the strip of land which runs on both sides of Mud Wash and contains places like the Grotto, Devil's Throat and Devil's Fire as well as some very scenic riding and hiking.

The LOWER, basically, is everything below the middle — as it should be in an organized world.

The division is more than arbitrary because

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snowbirds Delight - (Neaner Neaner Neaner)

Looky what we got! It's in the mountains out our back door but stops 2/3 the way down.

However, there is a bit of a difference between Mesquite snow and Utah snow.

We still have dry streets, we still have shirt-sleeve weather and we can still go riding — neaner, neaner, neaner!

I think that Google may have heightened the color intensity of this photo a bit in the upload; but, we still have green trees with most of their leaves, the golf courses are still green, the desert dirt is an iron rich dusty reddish brown and now… the tops of the mountains are white and we can throw snowballs whenever we wan't to – which honestly isn't very often.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ride 4: Lime Kiln Loop with Cabin Canyon "Kicker"

The ride was one we had taken enough times for it to become a comfortable tradition; but, this time we rode with some "fresh eyes," which were fun to watch while they did their "discovery," and with just enough difference to keep it from becoming stale.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Lime Kiln Loop with "Kicker"]

Riding up Lime Kiln Canyon into Parashant Grand Canyon is grand any time you take it. And if you've been there enough times to remember specific plants and/or animals you've seen (or hope to see again) the search for growth or other change generates great