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 > Cuddeback to Calico ride

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dedmiston

The West

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Posted: 05/03/21 02:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We took a crazy ride this weekend. We met up with a group we haven't camped with for about a year because of covid. It seemed like a good opportunity to get together and squeeze one last desert trip out of the 2020/2021 season. It was a great trip and I'm glad we got to go.

Cuddeback Dry Lake off 395 north of Kramer Junction (395/58) is a pretty decent place to camp, but the riding is mostly flat with long distances between POIs.

Friday was insanely hot. It was 97° when we left home after work. Ugh.

We had a fire Friday night, but everyone sat about 10' away from it because it was too hot. We just needed the light of the fire to be able to see each other, but didn't need the warmth.

I asked the guy who put the trip together where we were riding on Saturday, and he said "Tonka Town" (fine) and then to Calico (WHAT?!?!?). I told him I thought he was nuts, but nobody else in the group complained. Whatever.

We got a nice early start and hit the trail by 8:15. It was a big group though: eleven side-by-sides and a lot of people I hadn't ridden with before. Just as we were about to hit it, the leader asked me if I could lead the ride, because he likes the trails that I pick and he knows I have a good nav. I agreed because it's not as dusty when you're leading. Fine.

I know the Can Ams can make it around 150 miles on a tank if you use Eco mode and don't stay on the throttle the whole time, but the RZRs made me nervous because they don't have the same range. Even though a lot of us were carrying a few spare gallons, we'd absolutely need to get gas for the whole group to make it back.

It was cooler on Saturday (low 80s) and pretty comfortable. There was also a pretty good wind to keep the dust off the trail depending on our direction.

The ride to Tonka Town was pretty uneventful with only a few backtracks to put the group back together again. Even though I called out all the turns and kept the speeds down in the 30s, some of the riders weren't very good about keeping an eye on the person behind them, so we split up a few times.

Tonka Town is a trip. I wish I had taken more pictures. Everyone should try to see it once if they're in the area. People have taken hundreds of toys out there and set up little diorama scenes with an airport, hospital, and even a brothel.

[image]

[image]

From there I was just winging it and improvising the route. I knew where Calico was, but I was trying to keep it interesting and avoid the straight roads. We explored a lot of amazing canyons and the riding was great, but we kept hitting dead end after dead end. We were literally under two miles from Calico, but I just couldn't find a way to get down the hills to town. And the group was too big and the experience levels just not right for taking any big gambles on the trails. So I turned us around and we backtracked all the way around the hills and ended up taking the straight (boring) roads.

We finally made it to town and gassed up. I forgot that the decent fast food places were on the other side of the 15 and our group was too big to risk riding down the paved roads to get to food, so we just had chips and ice creams from the c-store at the Shell station.

[image]

I was kind of ready to be done and head back, but a lot of people wanted to see the ghost town there at Calico. I've been there plenty of times and don't like how much of a tourist trap it is, but the group really wanted to see it. Fair enough. When we got to the gate, I told the State Park employee that I didn't want to pay to get in and I asked her if I could just hang out in the parking lot while others went in. She told me to just go to the lower lot and anyone else could walk up the billion stairs if they wanted to go in. So she waved everyone else through and didn't charge anyone. My wife told me to stop being a poop and go up with everyone else since they wanted to see it so badly. Fine.

I had told everyone that my plan was to kind of bee-line to Calico via Tonka Town and then take a more scenic route home depending on everyone's fuel situation and attitude. When we left Calico, a couple of the guys came and asked me which route we were taking, and I told them "the fun way, not the fast way". Everyone was fine with that.

Once we were committed to the fun way, one woman's RZR started giving her trouble and went into limp mode. I don't know what her error was, but her friend cleared it by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery. This became a recurring issue, but I wasn't really surprised that someone had issues out of our group of eleven cars.

We rode back via Inscription Canyon (petroglyphs) and Black Rock Canyon, one of the most scenic areas out there. Everyone rides out there to see the Husky Monument, but they're missing out on a gorgeous ride by skipping the Black Rock Canyon.

As the day went by, the "breeze" turned into a gale, and everyone had bobblehead syndrome from holding their heads up against the wind. It was blowing so hard that it snapped the flagpole mount off my trailer and destroyed my pole, flags, and beacon light.

All told, it was an eleven hour trip and 167.5 miles. We saw a lot of great things and had a great time together. But with the wind and the long day, we skipped the fire and everyone just stayed inside for dinner and drinks.

[image]

[image]

I didn't think anyone would want to ride the next morning, but nine cars jumped in with us and we took a nice loop through the hills above Cal City and had lunch at Randsburg before we packed up and headed home. I'm grateful that we got one last trip in, and that the heat wasn't too bad.

[image]

[image]


2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. AISIN trans & 4.10 rear. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • Hooligan #3

Toys:
  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230



Y-Guy

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Posted: 05/03/21 03:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like a good time Dave thanks for sharing!

Grit dog

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Posted: 05/03/21 04:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thumbs up!
I could get used to desert riding! A buddy took us out when we were down near Vegas for Xmas. Left Boulder and took some trails all the way down to the river. Not a long ride, but super fun!


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momentum rv

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Posted: 05/03/21 07:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Call out turns AND everyone should wait at the turns for next car [emoticon]


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dedmiston

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Posted: 05/03/21 09:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

momentum rv wrote:

Call out turns AND everyone should wait at the turns for next car [emoticon]


Yeah. That was a tough lesson to explain to the newcomers. Luckily the guy riding sweep was one of our regulars and knows me well enough to know when we weren't on the same page anymore.

TRIPLE8

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Posted: 05/05/21 06:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's an awesome trip. I'm heading out there solo on my bike this weekend and tonka town is one of the few places I have never been but going to try to find. Thanks for sharing.


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dedmiston

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Posted: 05/05/21 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TRIPLE8 wrote:

That's an awesome trip. I'm heading out there solo on my bike this weekend and tonka town is one of the few places I have never been but going to try to find. Thanks for sharing.


Good luck. It should be nice this weekend.

Careful riding solo out there. We didn't see anyone else last weekend.

nayther

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Posted: 05/07/21 12:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dedmiston wrote:

momentum rv wrote:

Call out turns AND everyone should wait at the turns for next car [emoticon]


Yeah. That was a tough lesson to explain to the newcomers. Luckily the guy riding sweep was one of our regulars and knows me well enough to know when we weren't on the same page anymore.


I've been so frustrated with this before and from seasoned riders as well. Had a large group get totally separated when ONE rider didn't confirm a turn. And we were only going form north of Cuddeback to the Husky. Makes it worse when its really dusty and everyone spreads out, or you have one or two VERY slow riders.


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dedmiston

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Posted: 05/07/21 02:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nayther wrote:

I've been so frustrated with this before and from seasoned riders as well. Had a large group get totally separated when ONE rider didn't confirm a turn. And we were only going form north of Cuddeback to the Husky. Makes it worse when its really dusty and everyone spreads out, or you have one or two VERY slow riders.


The other thing that I'm really cautious about is when we're in a big group and we come up on another big group. I've had clueless riders in our group peel off and join the other group. What a nightmare.

Dirtclods

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Posted: 05/07/21 06:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Awesome trip info and nice pictures Their are system's out their to track each other but everyone would need to buy the same product. Also theirs a cheaper follow me app you can use but the depends on who's your cell provider and coverage.

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