I’ve been to Moab, UT once before about 10 years ago and I’ve always wanted to go back. My latest wild idea was to RIDE there from Sacramento on as much dirt as possible. This worked out to about 98% dirt in NV and maybe 60 or 70% in UT. Dale was up for it as well. We set out on May 14, 2010.

Day 1
In the interest of getting out of town quick, we started on the asphalt. We left town on Highway 16 and rode the twisties through Fiddletown to 88 then over Monitor pass and down to Topaz. There was still quite a bit of snow on Caples lake, the pass on 88, and Monitor pass. This is a nice ride, but we were itching for the dirt.

In Topaz we eagerly hit the dirt and never looked back. A wise man once said, “You ain’t ridin’ if you ain’t slidin.’”

Mt. Patterson is up there somewhere. I’ve ridden to the top of it in the summer.

I was following waypoints from a GPS track I got off Adventurerider.com (thanks boney!). This was quite useful for the trip across NV. Once we got into UT we made up our own route. Despite having the waypoints, I did a ton of research before the trip and took detailed maps. My biggest concern was gas. There are some very long runs between gas in NV. Especially when you’re not on the roads! I think the longest was about 220 miles. More about that when we get to that day…

So back to our story: we were heading towards Hawthorne, NV. I saw this powerline road that looked fun, so I broke from the route and we followed that for a while.

Eventually we got to Hawthorne. There’s a ton of military storage bunkers there. Old bombs? Nuclear stuff? Dunno. We were just in time to ignore a Harley rally, grab some fast food and fuel up. After dinner we went out in the desert and found a spot to camp before the daylight ran out. I did not sleep well at all. Somehow the first night in the tent is usually a tough one for me.


Day 2
We gassed up in Mina, NV. It’s one of the worst looking towns I’ve ever seen. Everything there looks like it’s about to fall down in the next strong wind. We headed for Hadley. This is pretty much the only gas in the middle of the state, so we had to go there. That’s OK because there’s lots of great scenery on the way. We crossed some mountains and I made up my own route in a few places before rejoining boney’s GPS track.

At one point we were bushwacking through the sand and sagebrush towards a road that I knew had to be there. This is about when I first started to feel like we were in the middle of nowhere. Shortly after finding the road, I stopped and shot these pics.

I look ahead: nothing.

I look to my right: nothing.

I look to my left: nothing.

I look behind: still nothing. I love it! Phones, email, deadlines, traffic, bills, furloughs, pay cuts – all that means nothing out here. Less than nothing. It’s just the desert and the bikes. My mind is clear now, I’ve achieved enlightenment! There’s nothing like a big dose of motorcycle therapy!


We finally arrived in Hadley. Full gas, full water and bellies full of pizza at the only restaurant in town. This town is all about gold mining. That’s what these big piles are about.


This was the start of a 220 mile run without gas, pavement or civilization, so we both carried extra gas with our luggage. After Hadley we went through Manhattan: a small town with ATVs running up and down the streets. I liked the church, but the trucks in front ain’t so great. Quite a contrast!

Next was over another mountain range and through McCann Canyon. This came out in Stone Cabin Valley where we set up camp for the night. I liked this site better, but again I hardly slept. Too much caffeine at the pizza place was the main problem I think, but it was a pretty cold night as well.

Day 3
Eagle Pass. This was the most challenging terrain on the trip to Moab. It was very rocky and slow with soft sand mixed in. A casual pace with the big bikes and luggage was necessary. The difficult part was only a few miles, and we got through without any trouble. Of course we don't have many pics because we were too busy staying upright!

Hot Creek Canyon was really beautiful. It has lots of green by the creek as it winds through the rock walls. There were a few houses out here in the middle of nowhere. Ranchers I suppose… cattle are all over NV and we had to open and close lots of gates in this canyon.

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