Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sierra Club Dilemma

If you are a card carrying, so-called, "Friend" of Gold Butte or Sierra Club member you may need to avert your eyes for this post
          — it isn't pretty.

[Dilemma, n. A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or mutually exclusive.]

Two of your most endeared "causes" are duke-ing it out! And, how oh how, will you ever choose?

The only thing that might make it worse would be if the avian involved would have been a Bald Eagle — but I think they're smarter'n to live in this kind of heat!

You see, a very public endeared species decided to set up…

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mesquite Mayor/Council - Still No Action

Mayor Susan Holecheck
10 East Mesquite Blvd.
Mesquite, NV 89027
Email: sholecheck@mesquitenv.gov

Just in case any of you are wondering — the Mesquite City Council only meets every other week. And, despite how anxious they wanted to "appear" to us to be about putting the Gold Butte/wilderness area issue on the "real" agenda, the follow-up meeting has come and gone - still without any action!   On an issue which is time-critical to the preservation of the riding-experience in Mesquite, so far it looks as though their only motivaton was placation, spin-doctoring and smoke and mirrors.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ride 28: Tassi Springs Trail

Most of us who have ridden around "the Butte" a lot actually long for a ride like this one.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 28: Tassi Springs Loop]

There is a lot to see down here – more than most places – but after awhile it takes on a bit of… let's say… "familiarity." So you can understand when you take a ride that you haven't been on before and see things that you haven't seen before and find that it is a bit unexpected to boot!

A friend and I realized recently that although we were using the same "label" were were talking about different places: "Cottonwood Wash." Did you know that there were two?

The first is in Nevada and I've posted about it previously – Cottonwood Wash leading to Devil's Cove. The other is mere…

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wilderness and Resolutions and Re-Election - Oh No!

Pure and simple, the Mesquite City Council and Mayor's resolution of support for creating the wilderness areas surrounding the city has caused so much angst that it puts their continued seating in their respective offices in doubt.

As such, the item was placed on a recent open council meeting agenda which enabled public comment. As I reported in part-one, the place was packed (an ominous sign when an offroader willingly sits in a folding chair excruciatingly immobile.)

And not only with us lowly rabble-rowsers but with Mesquite's long time and major citizenry: judges, major land-owners, founding families, former politico's, seniors, handicapped and elected officials of adjoining areas.

The mayor and council made opening remarks. To my ears, most of it seemed the expected non-committal rhetoric of elected officials; but, at least one statement which, if I heard it correctly, at best reflects incredibly poor thinking, at worst a dangerously…

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ride 27: Davidson Family Graves

It's not that pretty – at least not by Gold Butte standards – but there isn't anywhere more historic or poignant in the whole area than a trip up toward Davidson Peak.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 27 - Davidson Family Graves. This map also contains the old wagon trails previously posted.]

On a short day where we just didn't want to haul the trailer very far, Gordon and I took the ride and were still back in time for the block party!

We staged at the Toquop wash trailhead just around the corner from the south exit to Mesquite. The first draw was toward the river which looked high from the recent rains.

Then north all the while looking for a passage up to the mesa on the west so we could avoid that "hateful"…

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mayor and Council and Lobbyists - Oh My!

Riders of the Gold Butte area know that the Mesquite City Mayor and Council generated and passed a resolution in "support" of creating an NCA (Conservation Area) and "Wilderness" designation encompassing nearly the totality of Gold Butte and into Bunkerville Flats! Why would they feel the need to do that?

And, the so-called "Friends" of Gold Butte have made much ado about having the City's backing in their continued attempts to close the butte to offroad use. How does such a group garner such preference?

What many people don't realize is just how tightly the two tendrils are entwined and where the culpability lies; but, what is dawning on life-long residents is just how damaging to the Mesquite experience this bill will be, if implemented. And they are becoming increasingly vocal about it!

Realizing the growing animosity toward their actions, the Mayor and Council announced an agenda item for their last meeting, ostensibly to "discuss" their previous resolution; but, as it turned out, to attempt some "damage control."

This, as a matter of course, gave another opportunity for citizens…

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spanish, Mormon-Wagon and Pack-Mule Trails

People traveling through (or past as the case may be) Mesquite could possibly be wondering: "Why on earth is this town here?"

The answer, as with most other western towns, is that "because it is one days journey on horseback from the last town."   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Mormon Wagon Road]

Several groups of Native Americans used the route, then the Spaniards, then the Mormon Pioneers then the Gold Rushers and on and on — and all that was before they invented asphalt, concrete or Interstate systems.

A few Native American tribes actually stayed a while in the area but most were smart enough to just keep "passing through," until…

Monday, March 15, 2010

This Bloomin' Town: Mesquite

It's not just the lower Parashant which is in bloom — Mesquite's Flowering Pears are well underway and pretty much with leaves now.

Word has it that Beaver Dam Wash is actually "washing" with the rain runoff — although Hugh has been known to exaggerate a bit in the past. [It could just be his fishing-withdrawn mind playing tricks on him.]

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ride 26: The Middle Gold Butte Loop

The ride dad and I took today was one of our "old standards" but then again, nothing is quite "standard" on Gold Butte.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 26: "114" - Middle Gold Butte Loop]

We hadn't seen "the Lake" [one of our favorite past times] in quite awhile so we headed toward the water on our ATVs. The trails down the Clives Landing road are a bit confused on the BLM closure maps they publish and when you compare them to some misplaced photos on Google Earth you can get confused.

The trailhead at the Clive's Landing turnoff of the Gold Butte Road isn't often used so makes a good staging point for this ride. It was…


After all the rains the BLOOMS HAVE BEGUN in the desert!

Actually we found the "bigger than your fist" blooms in the Lower Parashant Area down Arizona County Road 111 below Pakoon Springs.

Anyone who hasn't been hiding under a rock down here…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ride 25: "Lollipops" Hike

You know most of us who ride "the Butte" very much have been lied to so often that it shouldn't really surprise us; but, still, whenever I find something that someone has sworn to me wasn't there it is hard to believe.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 25: "Lollipops" Hike]

Such was the case when three of us riding ATV's down Mud Wash a while back stopped to…

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ride 23: Pierson Gap Loop - Pt 2 (The Trail)

Lets see… where were we before we were rudely interrupted? Oh yes, the Pierson Gap Loop (former) Trail! The most scenic trail on Gold Butte.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 23: Pierson Gap Loop Trail]

From the, now inactive, Treasure Hawk Mine we traveled…

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sierra Club Illegally Soliciting in Mesquite

Many times we wish we could be able to canvas areas and invite people with offroad vehicles on a ride with us to spruce up trails. Although I didn't realize it before moving here, a Mesquite Nevada law which makes it illegal to go door to door soliciting or canvasing etc. was explained to me.

Even the Boy Scouts, who everywhere else go door-to-door placing bags on door handles so people can donate to the "food for the homeless" if they want to, are told NO, it is illegal in Mesquite.

SO, even after all the brew-ha-ha over trying to make the entire area a wilderness area is in the press - imagine my surprise…

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ride 23: Pierson Gap Loop - Pt 1 (Treasure Hawk Mine)

After taking this ride you will most likely have a much better understanding of, and empathy for, those patriots who participated in the Boston Tea Party. It did cause us no small amount of angst when we had traveled over 30 miles following "designated trail signs" all the way, over a historic trail which has been there since there was a Gold Butte, down a quarter-mile segment which a third of our rigs would not be able to make it back up, only to find…

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Devil's Fire You Say?

We have visited, hiked around, geo-logged, photographed and posted about Devil's Fire many times now. And it still seems to draw a lot of attention from out-of-area visitors — some from great distances.

And actually I have posted more maps to the place than just about anywhere else.   [For free Google Earth files of this area see: Fire and Man  —  Devil's Fire - The Hike  —  Ride 12: Devil's Fire Hike  —  Devil's and Kurt's  —  Mud Wash and Devil's  —  and Petro and Oasis] [Type in "Devil's Fire" up in the right-hand-corner search box and see how many articles have mentioned the area.]

With all that, you might well imagine…

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ride 24: Mesquite City Loop

Ok, this wasn't such a fun ride — more of a "proof of concept" really, which took surprisingly longer than either of us anticipated.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Mesquite City Loop]

A mostly uncomfortable ride on its own, this map is designed to assist those wishing to get from one place to another inside of Mesquite City — or to get to the riding areas from one's own home. [Double-click on the photo or click on the map link to see a larger image]

All of the roads are paved so be prepared to…