Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bikepacking Dayton to Fish Springs. Time to get FAT!

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Oct 2016 - Just an overnighter but seriously fun. I'd only just learned about Eldorado canyon a few days prior, good cause to spend some time with google earth putting a route together. After Eldorado canyon the obvious route is Sunrise Pass road, (SPR), but I didn't really want to ride SPR all the way back down to pavement and ride pavement home. Let's say it together...BORING! So I planned a route using the extensive and unmarked back roads and trails  between SPR and my home in Fish Springs. Turned out really well and I had a fast downhill on SPR to an unmarked dirt turnoff. Several other unmarked turns brought me out to pavement just a half mile from the house. PERFECT!

The first day was planned as a rather late start because the ride was relatively short and I didn't want to pull into camp too early. Joannie dropped me off about noon and after packing my bike, I leisurely rode up the Eldorado Canyon rd with lot's of breaks for pictures and exploring the area. Eldorado Canyon is rather spectacular with running water and geology that appears to range from volcanics to sandstone. A few moto's and ATV's were my intermittant companions as I made my way up canyon. A delightful and surprisingly warm night was spent atop a ridgeline well off SPR with views back to Virginia City to the north and deeper into the Pine Nut range to the south.  The only problem was, I forgot the beer.

Eldorado Canyon "road"

The final day navigating all the unmarked roads was of course no issue with GPS. I was expecting a pretty dull ride but it was actually quite nice riding through the edge of the Pine Nut and Juniper forest to the more open desert near Fish Springs. I made a long stop to watch and photograph the local herd of wild horses. I initially only saw three and then as they became more uneasy with my presence the herd of probably around 20 head came over the rise and trotted off the to the NE. Later I came upon the second herd, numbering about the same, closer to my home. They commonly visit our house and help with the lawn mowing. Then on the final half mile paved segment a roadie caught me and he was curious about my adventure. We chatted briefly as my turnoff was only a short distance ahead. I pulled up on the porch, went in, cracked a beer and called it a day. This ride could easily be done as a day trip...if you wanted to.

Fast run down SPR

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