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June Lake to Hawthorne 2011 (2 days, 228 miles)


DAY 1.  MISSON TO THE EL CAP


September 23, 2011 – The 3rd official club event for 2011


We met at an undisclosed camp in June Lake Ca.  Our group was 10 Mammoth M/C members and 1 guest.  Along with our assorted group of “individuals,” was every style of bike imaginable:

 

There was an Arizona plated CRF150 (small but sporting 50 mpg) 

A Ca plated KX500 (clean and rare) 

A 500lb+ BMW adventure bike (WTF were we thinking?), 

A “Dukes of Hazard” edition CRF450R (with MN plates…not really) 

A blue DR350 (it might have been an XT – not sure) 

A XR650L (ultra ugly but reliable) 

A WR250 (special Israeli edition)

And CRF250X (sporting a huge dez tank)

And there was also an 800cc side by side RZR (equipped with different kinds of booze in the trunk).


The night before our big ride was done in typical MMC fashion… 

John, the chase driver,   was busy getting our minds and bodies ready for

the early morning start – cooking up some spicy meatloaf and pouring White Russians over ice. There was tri-tip too and Asian style chicken on the BBQ… 
we ate good, drank like Pirates, listened to a young cellist, and talked shop as we waited up for late night arrivals.   


The next morning we woke up early, finished up some last minute packing, and on our bikes by 9:15. 




I led the group (or so I thought) for about 7 miles before stopping to regroup.  I soon found out that there was no group to re-group with... 

A fine mess indeed.  We were only 7 miles in to our 125 mile ride and the riders were already lost - The heavy dust clouds had already taken their toll.

After a short double back, the stragglers were finally spotted.  The BMW was buried up to its chain guard. 

The group was together at last


We pressed forward – on to the endless sand pits that surround Mono Lake… 

Johnston seemed to be handling that heavy load just fine… just wait.


Glen and the KX5 setting the pace & eating up the desert roads...



Mono lake is also known as “The Desert Lake,” and for good reason.  Deep sand and volcanic rocks surround it for miles. 

Without a good set of knobs your luck will soon run out!   

 


And it didn’t take long for our luck to run out either… 

Shortly after Cow Track mtn, an evil witch must’ve put an ugly curse on the group:

Kim took a number of “gnarly” crashes (she lost count), and ended up getting burned from her exhaust…  She was ok, and could push on.

Member Sam also took a (or several) hard fall, and eventually retired himself to the passenger seat in Coreena’s “little buggy.”  Probably not one of the best ideas Sam has ever had as Coreena did her best to “thrill” him with her driving skills.  Coreena’s man-whore Brian, dressed in his nicest church attire (shorts, tee-shirt and tennis shoes), offered to ride Sam’s 250x through the deep pumice sections.  

Thanks Brian!  

*** It should be noted that Brian had a good sixer in him at this point (probably more), and was having a little too much fun.

Now Johnston, in all his wisdom, soon found out that BMW’s should really keep to Starbucks parking lots, and have no business crossing the moon dust of Mono Lake.  After a few terrible crashes (sorry no pics), Johnston decided to let Marc Coma take over the rest of the way.

…Or maybe he was kicked off his bike, I can’t really remember.

At any rate, we decided to mix it up a bit and play some “musical bikes.”  

Johnston jumped on Alan’s 250, Alan jumped on Weird’s 450, and Weird jumped on my 650, and I jumped on the "Beamer."  Yes, I did look sexy on the 800 (ask anyone).  Kim wanted to swap with Glen, but she didn't want to embarrass him!   

We ended the sand section without any further incidents - and hour + late.  

John was waiting for us on the other side – with cold beer, dump cans, and meatloaf.


After a short break (and some first aid), we took to the Bodie hills.  Weird’s excellent GPS navigation skills managed to get us lost immediately. 

Yes, this is the same guy who got lost in Baja with a GPS mounted on his bike. 

Youth is definitely wasted on the young. 

Anyways, after getting our bearings back, we rode up some of the rockiest terrain around.  It was long and brutal (mostly for the BMW), and everyone was wishing they were back in the sand. 

Sometime later the rock trail ended, and we finally made it up to the top (in one piece)!


Coreena and Sam… in their thrillcraft


Sam with a big smile...  


It was about this time that "Dr." Alan decided that going slow around blind turns just wasn’t “fun” enough.  

Alan needed to go faster – no matter what the consequences.  So he did, and quickly suffered from them.  

Yes, this is the same guy that is banned for life from operating any kind off-road desert car, dual sport buggy, or sandrail type car.  Alan’s wreck nearly cost him his neck, but instead he suffered severe bruising all over his huge ass and legs.  Although He eventually made it to Hawthorne, his wreck would cost him the entire second day, and nearly cost him his marriage. 

*** Since we need something to laugh about… and look forward to, actual Pics of Alan’s injuries (ass) will be shown in Part Two. 





So, Things were looking good.  The "Doctor" was still alive and we were almost to Hawthorne… 

We decided take another break, and your fearless leader took his first pull off the bottle.
Coreena definitely approved.

It was shortly after this that another bad decision was made (possibly the worst yet).  Being adventurous, I decided to lead the group (now tired and ready for bed) over to the original “Lucky Boy Pass.” 

It seemed harmless at the time, so we exited the nicely graded road and made the long trek over to the trails beginning (see GPS track - left).  

No one in our group had ever taken this route before so we didn’t exactly know what we were getting ourselves into. 

Basically, The trail was completely fuc*** beyond belief, but we continued up it anyway – crossing over and riding up washes, and crevasses… and dodging rocks and downed trees…. 

Navigating the trail was just a series of fortunate guesses, as most of the trail was washed away.  Then suddenly things became extremely difficult, and I was forced to make the decision - to turn around, or to push onward. 

Glen scouted ahead and returned with a 50/50 chance on whether or not we could get through.  I didn’t like those odds, so I turned the group around and we made the 10 mile trip back!  It wasn’t fun, but we eventually worked our way back out.


The sun was slowly setting, and it was probably the best thing to do.


An hour later we were coming down Lucky Boy Pass, and into Hawthorne.  John was waiting for us as we approached the town limits – with cold beer (over 3 hours late).  We drank a bit and talked about the day’s challenges, then we loaded up the RZR (and some bikes) on the trailer and headed over to the El Cap Casino.


Weird, looking forward to a nice hot shower....  Actually, he doesn't like showers too much.


Rooms were nice and roomy, what more could you ask for?


After cleaning up, we hit the El Cap restaurant… then on to the casino / bar. 

Weird, Angel and Dr. Alan met some nice Sierra Clubbers at the bar, while Coreena and Brian tried their luck at the slots. 

John was at the bar too – playing Keno. And Sam couldn’t believe the cheap resort prices (drinks) – 8.75 for 4 drinks?  Love Hawthorne!

Then things went bad…  Shots of Jager were being passed around like water, and Weird passed a phone number to a Cougar...  Then "Doctor" Alan showed his breast to our pregnant bartender, and the rest of the night was history (blurry). 

I think we played some pool that night too… and listened to a live band.


…Johnston was happy to be alive.




End DAY ONE


CLICK HERE FOR DAY TWO 






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