CA Mine Exploration
A few miles down the road we turned on a little dirt road that led up to an old mine.
A rugged road led up to the top.
We rode all the way up there.
Up at the top, the view of the vast desert was amazing.
Many little artifacts were scattered in the area. On the hillside were huge concrete pools and gravel washes.
A couple old tractors and an upside down Firebird were at the base of the mine.
Goffs, CA/ Route 66
With about an hour and a half of daylight left, we figured there was enough time to head down into Fenner to top off fuel and get some snacks. We passed through Goffs to get there. There aren’t many people or towns out in this area, but there is plenty of history. Mining began out here in the 1860’s and profitably produced silver for more than a decade.
Heading down Route 66, Steve pulled off a nice superman.
As we pulled into Fenner, Steve and Brian posed as for a couple Route 66 pics.
Fenner, located along the I40, is out in the middle of nowhere and items are priced as such. A gallon of water was $6.00. A 22oz beer was actually cheaper, $5.50. Maybe they don’t want you to survive if you were stranded out here. We didn’t have any other options, nor does anyone else since the next closest town is Needles (35 miles) or Barstow (110 miles). So as you can see, they can charge whatever they want. They actually have quite a bit and it’s the reason we return.
Leaving Fenner, it was a race against the sun to get back to camp before Brian and Steve had to make use of their dim, 6V system headlight. We hightailed it (as much as you can on a little bike) back up the 66 and were greeted by the train conductor with a few train horn blasts. Pretty cool!
Racing the Sun
Turning on to Lanfair Rd (in Goffs), the sunset was quite a sight and the perfect backdrop for a photo op at the Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association.
Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association
This place was created by a historian to preserve the history of the Mojave desert. He has some old mining relics and some restored historic buildings on his property. It’s a place I’d like to spend some more time exploring. Learning about the history of an area always adds to the adventure.
Heading north on Lanfair, the sky was awesome in every direction.
Back at Camp: Time to Unwind
We pulled in to camp just before dark and unloaded our goodies: chips, Red Vines, cold beer, and extra water. It was getting cold once that sun went down so we quickly lit the fire and cracked open our beers. Cheers to a great day!
After we warmed up, we made some dinner. I brought a backpacking lasagna meal, Steve had some rice and Spam, and Brian had soup.
Then out came the Apple Crown! Scooby even joined us for some whiskey.
Camping Snack Tip: In case you were wondering if Red Vines made for good whiskey straws, they don’t. I mean, they work, but it is a very strange flavor combination. Not recommended.
Just before midnight, we realized our whiskey bottle must have had a hole in the bottom. It was all gone. We came to the conclusion that Scooby must have drank it all, got drunk, and fell into the fire.
Sunday morning I unzipped my tent just as the sun was coming up from the horizon. It was chilly and I needed to get that fire lit back up asap.
As much as I wanted to crawl back into my warm sleeping bag, I do really love early mornings and my coffee. I felt like I slept good enough to be up at that hour so I chose to push through and gather up some morning firewood.
After the fire was lit, Steve and Brian woke from the dead and joined me. I started up the Jetboil and made some coffee while Steve had some oatmeal and Brian ate cold soup. WTF Brian?? lol
Ahhh, that’s what I’m talkin about! Life is good.
After a couple hours of taking our time waking up, we packed up camp and were ready for adventure. But first…a group photo. Yes, we needed 3 cameras for this. I don’t know why.
We set out for more adventure. Today’s plan was to stop by Hole In the Wall.
But first, we checked out the Rock House on the hill.
The Rock House
The Rock House was build by a man, Bert Smith, in 1929. He came to the Mojave to recover from poisonous gas exposure suffered during World War I. After being told he wouldn’t live for very long, the dry desert air proved to aid his health and he lived another 25 years. After Smith, another man named Carl Faber lived and worked at the house through the 80’s selling artwork to travelers.
Hole In the Wall/ Rings Trail
After the Rock House, we headed over to Hole In the Wall.
We didn’t go in too far. We only went down to the Rings Trail to show Steve since he hadn’t been there before.
Just as we were leaving, Brian noticed he needed air in his front tire. He ended up having a couple thorns in it. We pulled up under a shade structure to swap out the tube.
While riding down Wild Horse Rd, we saw a couple wild horses ride across the road right in front of us! How fitting. I managed to snap a couple pics as they ran across the desert. They looked very healthy!
A little further down the road, there was a calf staring me down.
Steve ran out of fuel in his main tank and poured in his factory reserve bottle.
The tracks below show our side adventure to Hole In the Wall i relation to our camp.
Almost Out of Fuel!
Somewhere around Lanfair Rd (still well into the Mojave Preserve), Steve had already switched to reserve. This wasn’t good. We decided to ride towards Nipton and deal with it whenever that time came. It wasn’t a question of IF he ran out, but WHEN he would run out. We stopped along Ivanpah Rd to repair a dangling turn signal on Brian’s bike. I posted up on social media to see if anyone was bored and felt like bringing fuel to Nipton. We got a few offers, but told everyone to hold off for now. I had a small MSR bottle about 3/4 full of fuel that might get him to Primm.
We headed down the dirt road next to the RR tracks. About 5 miles south of Nipton Steve ran out of fuel as we expected. He slowed down and clicked the bike into neutral. Before he even came to a stop, I pulled up behind him and started pushing him. We had a tow strap, but that would mean stopping. It was sketchy, but it worked! I managed about 30-35 mph and somehow snapped a selfie during the whole situation. We didn’t even crash. We came close in one of the wash crossings, but we managed to stay upright.
Once to Nipton, we poured the MSR bottle of fuel into Steve’s tank. Just as we were about to go for it, our buddy Les pulls into the parking lot with his van. He had just gotten back from a trip to Mexico and actually had a jug of fuel in his van. What a crazy coincidence! So we topped off both Brian and Steve’s bikes and headed off to Primm. With only a 12 mile ride to the CA-NV border, I was still plenty good on fuel.
Primm, NV (CA-NV Stateline)
We headed north and successfully made it to Primm. It was a zoo there! We fueled up and grabbed lunch at the Mad Greek.
Just and we got geared up to make our final leg home, Brian noticed his rear tire was now flat.
We used a concrete curb and the shade structure over the transformers to do the tube swap. More thorns were found in the tire.
The rim also had a nice smile in it.
Beer Bottle Pass
Ok, NOW we’re ready to head home. What would normally take us about 45 minutes to an hour or so, this ride on little bikes would take us about 2.5 hours. We headed through Jean/ Roach area and up through Beer Bottle Pass. Brian’s bike, once again, got tired going up the hill and laid down on top of him for a nap. Luckily he didn’t get hurt. Man, that little bike sure was heavy pulling it off of him.
Going up the back side of McCullough Pass was actually a challenge! It was very steep, rocky, and tore up from the Mint 400 race a few weeks back. We made it up without any issues though.
Headed towards Eldorado Valley, the hills were popping with color!
We turned down the last road to get home, Pipeline. Ugh. This road has been super wash boarded and rough lately. We were not looking forward to this section. We were tired, sore, and ready to get home. We made our way down the smoothest part of the road that we could find.
Steve pretty much summed up our day with this pic. hahaha
Just before we hit pavement near our neighborhoods, we gave each other a fist pump and snapped one last group photo from our epic adventure. This was one fun ride. Riding little bikes really makes you take in everything the desert has to offer, both good and bad! I would do it again in a heartbeat. I love adventures.
Super Sherpa 250 Performance Report
The little Sherpa did amazing with zero issues. I logged just under 300 miles on this bike and it proved to be quite a strong, little adventure bike. The Wolfman Daytripper bags and small duffel strapped very easily to the bike without the use of any racks and stayed secured all day long. That was a great setup and hauled everything I needed for motocamping. The mileage of this little bike is better than expected: 61 mpg when pushing it hard through sand and about 80 mpg when cruising conservatively.