Who are you...and where are we?
Jim's Memorial Day Ride
(Friday May 27, 2010)
One warm Spring day in the early 1990s, the late Jim Mills set out with a band of off roaders on motorcycles, quads and in 4 wheel drives across the desert dirt roads of Northern Nevada, armed only with old maps, tall tales and a modern pioneer's intuition, in search of the famed Hot Springs of the Black Rock desert. We remember Jim Mills as a kind man active in his church, school bus driver and all around good friend to those who needed comfort. So we decided to join in the fun on this memorial ride. The fun included a BB Gun contest, Aerobie Golf, Target Shooting, Mineral Exploration, Jim's Burger Bash, Movie Night and Campfire Stories.
We left home around 1:30 pm Friday afternoon headed for the memorial ride campsite somewhere in the desert just past the town of Empire, Nevada on highway 447 that takes off from 80 at Fernley. If you wind up at Gerlach you've gone to far. Well, we only got lost twice for a short time. Once at Fernley when we missed the turn off by the Love Casino we'd noticed earlier that was blocking the view of the Pilot station we were told to fuel up at. Highway 447 took us past the eastern side of Pyramid Lake through the Indian reservation. There were some interesting rock formations, mountains and a huge desert. Our destination was a gravel road three miles past Empire off the highway on the right. I saw it and told Mel who wasn't listening, so we drove to Gerlach. A couple of rigs with motorcycles passed us when we turned around. They eventually pulled off the highway ahead of us and then stopped. We stopped and asked one of the drivers if they were part of the group, or just lost like us. That got a laugh, but they weren't with our group, and mentioned that there was a dry lake bed where people liked to camp. The dirt road we were on went to Winnemucca. We'd been told our destination was about eight miles from the highway, and to look for a big tree where everyone would be camped. The only tree in the area. On and on we drove, and we were beginning to wonder if we were headed to a desolate area where aliens in UFO's hung out.
They eventually pulled off the highway ahead of us and then stopped. We stopped and asked one of the drivers if they were part of the group, or just lost like us. That got a laugh, but they weren't with our group, and mentioned that there was a dry lake bed ahead where people liked to camp. The dirt road we were on went to Winnemucca. We'd been told our destination was about eight miles from the highway, and to look for a big tree where everyone would be camped. The only tree in the area. On and on we drove, and we were beginning to wonder if it was a hoax, or maybe we were headed to a desolate area where aliens in UFO's hung out. After traveling almost 13 miles we noticed a big tree and a few small ones in the distance.
We were the first of the family to arrive. Dave had us park our motor home in front of his trailer. Shortly Timmy and Arianna arrived. Tonight was movie night, but it was too cold and windy for us. Later, Timmy spent the night with us, while Arianna wanted to stay with an old girlfriend so they could catch up on old times.
One of the many hot springs enjoyed despite the cool weather.
Tim, Marge, Brent, Amanda, Cheryl, Sue and Katie arrived early Saturday morning.
Dave getting ready to lead the bunch on the big ride up to Pete's cabin, an old ranch on the mountain.
Sierra, her cute lil' Wes, and his grandma Lisa.
Lisa, you look too young to be grandma!
Dave's almost ready to go...if it would just quit raining and hailing. Let's give it another half hour.
Cheryl and Sue are ready.
While the riders are gone, we decided to move back where the bunch parked their RVs, and take a nap listening to the patter of rain on the roof, and wondering how the riders were doing.
Meanwhile at Pete's cabin...
And later, back at camp....
Areana and Amanda's sand castle.
Okay everybody...It's time to go watch the contests.
Signups for the BB gun target shooters.
The BB gun contest winds up with a foot race.
And they're off and running!
This contest amounts to shooting BB's at targets while moving....
Cheryl, Katie and Bucky. What's so funny you guys???
Trophy presentation for the contest winners...
From left first prize, two tie for second, and third place winner.
Everybody enjoys the burger BBQ and camaraderie.
Some are just plain silly.
And others enjoy the nice warm water on a chilly evening.
After the BBQ we head for the bunch's camp to celebrate Mason's birthday party.
Happy 13th Birthday Mason!
During the night we hear an occasional train passing nearby...and enjoy hearing the Bullfrog's serenade emanating from the warm springs.. Sunday morning church service for those who got up early...and breakfast to boot.
Checking out the warm pool and it's inhabitants.
Do ya know why are frogs so happy? They eat whatever bugs them!
Lots of pollywogs and minnows.
King of the hill.
Kirk and Meeka out for a stroll.
Are you gals ready for Aerobie Golf today?
Happy Birthday dear Amanda!
Bucky tries out Maggie's bed.
Sunday winds down with some spectacular fireworks and songs around the campfire for the night-owls. Sometime tomorrow we'll all be heading for home, but Cheryl, Sue and Katie have to be up and on the way early.
Monday morning we were all busy getting ready to go. The bunch wanted to ride up the road to check out another hot spring. We were ready to go, but decided to join them in our RV before heading home. Glad we did.
With that we were on our way. It's been a very uplifting wonderful adventure, the likes of which we've never experienced before. Thanks all you dear people who made it happen. What a marvelous tribute to Jim Mills this memorable weekend.