Soldier Meadows

On Wednesday we ride to dinner and on Saturday we ride to breakfast. Those and any other rides are coordinated and (sometimes) reported here.

Soldier Meadows

Postby Shopdoc » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:36 pm

Greetings to the band of twenty-five. After Soldier Meadows I have things pretty much back in order but my mind keeps turning back to that shimmering outdoor display. I can say Northern Nevada, or Black Rock Dessert but it is something special and a part of me is there where we spent the three day weekend. Sure, fill your tank to the top in Gerlach, then 2 !/2 hours of dust and gravel leaves just about enough to ride and explore the next day and Sunday return to fill an empty tank. This contrasts to three hours of ham-fisted riding on the slab before she sputters empty. But I can say, all that we did, the riding, the stories, and learning of this beautiful world of the west made every night a truly gratifying rest stop.
Beemers are wonderful tourers and we/RCB are expert about riding, equipment and routes. On the Soldier Meadows Road or CR 217 one experiences a bigness as the small rider leaves and is seen only as a marker of dust on the playa or the rolling sage under clear blue skies. This country defines small so that the human element is always struggling. An occasional coyote seen running breaks the stillness. Piles of mustang poop abound but never its owner. One thinks he can quickly get to know this just like Oregon and Washington but Maker left out the plans, and roads without names meet roads with two names or no roads where you were expecting and this strangeness takes some getting used to. After GPS and multiple maps your only understanding comes from the slow, carefully ridden tracs you take along with your buddies. Unforgiving? One should never ride alone, but also four eyes can better appreciate the meaning in this lands wildness. You ride for an hour, alone, but strangely, unannounced a bald eagle and then a mountain lion briefly cross your path like phantoms. We are used to herds and multiples of things, but this country is a cow for every fifty plus acres. The water comes from nowhere and disappears for unknown reasons. Interestingly, nature seems most comfortable here. Settlers used it as a through-way to other destinations, not seeing it in their journey. Out of the sand grow hundreds of different grasses, flowers bloom in fields of yellow and purple after a rain and color here is more pronounced than sounds. Moonscape? Nature seems most content and unchanged in a thousand years. Are we humanoid visitors? The Indians found that a family and very distant neighbors made tribes unessential. The land seemed to stretch and stretch again everything further apart than was accepted and understood in most other places.
What is it, my minds mantra, which pulls my bike travel up sharp mountains, through canyons, over sand and rocks. What makes the ranch family so interesting as they chat, help and instruct us to teach what they love. Visitors come for thirty years to learn the uniqueness that exists and our three days, so fun is barely a taste. While vistas are broad, history and time are deep, Soldier Meadows brings together the bike and country into a wonderful ride.
Thanks, appreciation for all the effort Jim. Shopdoc
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Re: Soldier Meadows

Postby JimC » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:46 pm

Thanks Bruce for expressing your views in only a way that you can.

I want to thank all this years attendees for making the event the wonderful time is was. As bad as the weather was last year was how good it was this year. Saturday was one of those rare perfect summer days to explore the high desert, sunny, cool, with brisk winds to keep the dust down and clear the skies of haze. Flowers were in bloom everywhere and the desert floor was still green. The hospitality of the owners of Soldier Meadows made us feel like family and, like last year, the food was terrific. It is hard to imagine a place that offers better hospitality and services in a more remote place. For all the RCB adventurers that a attended again a big thank you for making a great weekend even better.

I will try and post some pictures when I have a chance. I have some pictures of our newest Adventure Rider extraordinaire Roy Ulfsrud riding his big 1150GS through areas many of us on small bike didn't want to go. Roy put on a clinic on riding the big GS off road.

Jim
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Re: Soldier Meadows

Postby lyelland » Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:54 pm

This is an email that my husband Jey sent to our family members trying to explain where we had gone for the weekend. Thought you would enjoy, also photo link.

"For the weekend just past, members of our motorcycle club rode to Soldier Meadows Ranch which is 50 miles up Soldier Meadows Road, a dirt / sand / gravel road. From SM ranch there are hundreds of miles of dirt tracks to explore, some of which are in better shape than others. There is a rich history of explorers and the Applegate Trail through this area from the late 1800's when explorers were in search of gold and the United States was expanding west.

The weather this year was quite pleasant, 50's and breezy overnight with 80's during the day, and super-low humidity, not a rain cloud in sight. It was a perfect combination! Lynn has stories of last year when it rained all weekend and it was a soggy and slippery slog back to pavement. Thank goodness for nice weather this year!

On our departure this year we couldn't resist the urge to drive atop the playa. It's really more like dense silt than sand. The bikes wheeled over the the dry playa without any problems. Out there in the expanse of the Black Rock Desert is where Burning Man has been held over Labor Day weekend since the mid-80's.

Much of this area is prehistoric lake bed of ancient Lake Lahontan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Lahontan). About 25 miles south of Gerlach we recognized "tufa" rock formations alongside the road in a valley east of and paralleling Pyramid Lake, now high and dry, created when mineralized spring water rises into alkali lake waters, much like Mono Lake does today. Fascinating!"

I've uploaded a few pictures from our April and June trips to the area if you're interested.
http://picasaweb.google.com/jey.yelland ... erMeadows#

Best! Jey
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