RubiKon Adventures

Tales and travels of "GrizzLee", "Looksha Lori" & "Yukon Johann"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Viva Las Vegas - Solo MotorCycle Journey on my BMW R1200 GSA

"The shortest distance between two points is boring" ~Unknown

Okay, here is the scenario...
It's the week of my Birthday. I have to attend a work conference in Las Vegas. I formulate a plan in my mind. Yes, I think I can fit in business and pleasure. Why fly, when you can ride? 

The plan is to ride over 1200 miles from Seattle to Nevada over the course of 3 days through some remote high desert country. Along the way, I passed through freezing rain (31 degrees F), snow, severe winds and scrotching 100+ degrees F desert heat. The mountains were beautiful, laden with recent snow. Along the way I camped and froze during the night in subfreezing temperatures.  I also took a few side trips down some dirt roads and make some amazing discoveries in the desert. The return trip will be a different route.

Read the Blog, see the video.

Leaving home.

Waving goodbye to my family. My bike is a bit more loaded than I want it to be, as I have to carry my clothing, computer and other items needed for work, in addition, to camping gear, food, tools, air compressor and other emergency essentials.

Lake Easton State park.

The sun is shining, but my thermometer reads 31 degrees.

Lake Easton is low, but thawed.

Artful shots

A side trip along the Yakima River from Cle Elum to Ellensburg.

The river is gorgeous...

Looking behind me up the hill, I see another wind farm.

After a cold and uneventful trip through the Blue mtns, I spend the night in a Boise motel, drying off.

The next day, I head over to Twin Falls. This is the bridge acorss the Snake River Gorge. About five miles from here, is where Evel Knievel attempted his failed infamous Snake River Canyon jump. 

Another view looking west down the Snake River.

Later that day I cross into Northern Nevada.

Somewhere outside of the town of Jackpot, I take a side trip off the road to do some xploring.

Next stop, Wells.  Less than a week ago, they got well over  foot of snow in the mountains. I traveled most of the day between 4000-6000 feet of elevation. The weather and temperature were perfect. I did however, experience tremendous wind gusts. Many were so severe, that they nearly threw my bike across into the opsosing lane or into the ditch. It was a bit rough at times, especially when the big trucks were coming and shifted the wind. Across the dessert, I saw the occasional dust devils.

Somewhere before Ely, I crossed the old Pony Express trail. I had to compare my horse to the original. Personally, I like my horse better.

Another side road detour.

I discover this old truck, garage and gas station.

Later that day, I look for camp at Cave Lake State Park. I took the bike for an evening stroll down some dirt roads to do some more xploring. I began to get in some nasty mud and could see the road was getting worse and it appeared there was still snow on the road. Fully laden with gear, I turned around back to the asphalt. 

This was the aproach to the the Park.

I think this rock is called Shoshone Butte. Not sure. But it was beautiful.

This was a great shot. The lighting was perfect and it really captured the mood and the moment.

The entrance to the park. It was getting late, I had to setup camp.

My views from camp.

More camp views.

My camp setup for that evening. It dipped to freezing temps over night. I was a bit cold in the morning.

My morning coffee was complimented with this great view.

After leaving Cave Lake, I saw this old lonely homestead across the desert.
It was complete with windmill, water tank and a log home.

This made for a classic western scence.

It was lonely out there.

An old horse corrale.

I love this shot. Picture perfect.

Later I drove down the backside of Great Basin National Park, the Great Basin Hwy. At one point I rode fr 40 minutes without seeing another vehicle.

I took another side trip across some fenced in BLM ranch land to do some xploring.

And to sharpen  my off road riding skills. Nothing technical.

Just north of Caliente, I discoverd another state park.

The park is called "Cathedral Gorge" and is best described as a minature Bryce Canyon with out the brilliant colors. A very worthy stop.

The scenery is beyond anything I see in Washington State.

Nature's intricate beauty has no equal.

Later, I came upon "Dry Lake Valley".

The ancient lake bed appears a few miles before the cutoff to the Extraterrestrial highway .

After working until 1:00 on Sunday, I had the rest of the day to do some more xplorring. I chose to tour the "Valley of Fire" state park. 

I've been here before and have made YouTube Video which can be found here:

The colors are fantastic. It looks like some alien infested land.

Silica rock mixed with red sandstone makes for an incredible cornocopia of colors.

This was a neat stop.

The thumb-like rock in the distance was striped with silica and sandstone. 

Look at this road!! A motrocycle dream.

Desert flowers.

More road... bring it on.

Gibralter rock.

Near the end, toward the White dome trail.

The pillars look like alien ghosts, mocking visitors with some silent giggling.

The rocky cliffs from the parking lot and the start of a hiking trail.

Again, Gibralter rock.

A place called "the cabins". They were originally designed to house the Civilian Conservation Corp. They look alot like native pueblos.
I happened to interupt a wedding ceremony.

Another beautiful shot. It ws just a tad over 100 degrees F. I was hot and very tired from the heat. My helmet and mortorcycle safety clothing, armour pants and jacket made it very tiring and uncomfortable. In the end, it was worth it.

I turned around to head back to Las Vegas. The temerature was dropping to a mere 97 degrees F in the shade.

The east end entrance. I have a big drink of water and head back to the hotel.

Stay tuned, as I hope to update my ride home. At the moment, the plan is to ride the eastern edge of the Sierra's and through eastern Oregon.

Until next time....


  1. Good for you. I've done this at least twice (to Reno, NV recently and to Mesa, AZ a few years back). Combining work and pleasure...on a a great idea. Nice photos, too.