Archive for July, 2009

The Nevada Desert Pt 4

July 23rd, 2009
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Tonopah to Hawthorne – 104 miles. Longest distance to date, of both trips. Started out great. 24 miles of mostly downhill cruising. Two problems with that is that, until I reach the coast, there is always another hill to climb on the far end of each downhill, and the heat in the valley flats is intense.

At the bottom are drylakes

where I watched a mairage shift for miles and got this pic

It was kinda mesmerizing. At times I could see the peaks behind reflected.

I saw some feral burros

Came across a most unusual sign (with a story behind it)

There actually is a lobster farmer in the Nevada Desert. And that’s kinda the beginning of the story. You gotta love this guy. From the article,

A lifelong resident of the Mina area, Eddy raised cattle for decades. Tired of federal rules and boom-and-bust market prices for beef, the 59-year-old went searching for a new career seven years ago.

He found he could sell lobster for $14 a pound. Just as important, nobody in the federal or state government had dreamed up regulations to hinder such an endeavor.

We had lunch at his place; at this time, the state has figured out a way to “regulate” him and his operation is temporarily shut down. He said an interesting thing about tyrants, “They may control the cities, but the country is much bigger than that, and the redneck rules the hinterlands.”  And that is why I think it is so important to bring the solutions we have out there…

Anyway, if you notice in the last pic, clouds were moving in a a storm was brewing. While the clouds provided cool shade, the storm brought strong winds which made the rest ofthe day quite… interesting. I dodged this duststorm

which went into the mountains

These things can be quite ominous… I pedaled through one and the wind was buffeting me around like a balloon on a rollercoaster. Everytime I saw a new squall approaching I would grit my teeth, brace myself, and pedal into the maelstorm. To say the least I was stoked to finally see Hawthorne (and Walker Lake – not a mirage) in the distance.

And it looks like the desert will need one more post to finish…

pedal pedal

Journal, Photos

The Nevada Desert Pt 3

July 22nd, 2009

I’m glad I waited till I was out of the desert before finishing reflecting on it. While researching routes I ran across an account where an Aussie was going W>E and saw a cyclist coming the other way who met his greeting with a blank stare… While Dave kept me from being reduced to such a state, days in that bleak, forbidding heat can easily color ones observations unnecessarily negative.

I remain in awe of the early pioneers; explorers, mountain men, 49’ers. I just can’t imagine heading into such desolation with no roads, etc.. The great unknown… I am fascinated by the remains of trails and railbeds that follow the modern strip of asphalt that led me, imagining the type of folk who have passed this way through history.

The Beatty to Tonapah run was long, but (for the most part) cooler than the day before. There were two valleys that got very hot, but was climbing into cooler temps (120 or so on the road side) the whole day.

I got to the top of this summit after 60 miles or so. And looked down on another hot valley with another summit in the distance. But what this valley had that the other had not, was the really cool old town of  Goldfield, NV.An old mining town that, at it’s height, was the most populated place in NV. It has since shrank, and the ruins are everywhere, but it is not a ghost town by any means and had some great visuals.

If I was on a pleasure cruise I would have stayed and (with a better still cam) would have taken lots more photos. Still wondering what this thing is/was…

We found this place:

and absolutely had to stop in

bring them some literature and have a frosty cold beverage

The place had been open since 1905 and the original owner was killed in a gunfight. Jack Dempsey and Virgil Earp had stayed there, and we would have too, had the internet been up (or even if I had cel service). But alas, no connection at all, so after one cold one, I saddled back up for a 26 miles slog across another hot valley and up another large hill, to Tonapah, where we spent a fairly un-eventful night getting ready for the 104 mile day between towns to follow.

to be continued after I get some grub…

One more pic though. Here is Dave and I trying to figure out how the timer function works on his new camera – haha

pedal pedal

Journal, Photos

The Nevada Desert Pt2

July 20th, 2009

What can I say about the heat? It was intimidating, oppressive, and perhaps un-bearable in other circumstances, but these are the circumstances I faced and in order to succeed, must be born. KInda like the rising police state which inspired this ride. In the beginning the sheriff offices were intimidating, but after a while became less so. Same as the heat. It kinda spooked me when I saw the thermometer top 130 (shade). That meant I was pedaling in about 150 degrees… O.M.G.

But what could I do? Giving up while I can still walk is not an option. Yes, it would have been easy to say to Dave, ‘This is too dangerous and just too much, lets load up the bike and drive to the next town.”  But the thought never entered my brain. It wasn’t the challenge, it wasn’t pride, I don’t think it was stupidity, it was simply what I set out to do, and shirking due to fear or discomfort is not the way to win a r3VOLution. To win we must push ourselves past where we thought our limits might be (and by doing so most find that their limits are not so easily found, and the strength of voice such activism empowers is well worth the discomfort)

150 degrees…

I won’t ever do that again, if I can help it. And if I do, I’ll be even better prepared.

More pics…

A vast emptiness…

But not completely empty.  There are ghost-towns

and burros

and very expensive places to stay

The curiousity, and thought of AC, kept tempting me to stop in, (but I pedaled past…)

There are also, other wanderers

I pedaled up on Dave and this gentleman during the hottest part of the day. This pic was after Dave gave him the hat, white shirt, sunglasses, and water. He was dressed in heavy Carhart type gear (including an insulated vest), was pedaling a bike from Twin Falls, ID. to his camp in… Death Valley. Amazing… When Dave found him he was walking his bike due to the rumblestrips and seemed on his last legs. Dave, being the kind and helpful person he is, set him up for the next 30 miles to Beatty  After we parted Dave mentioned to me his mother telling him, “be careful how you treat people, you may be entertaining an angel”  Then I pedaled on.

to be continued…

pedal pedal


Journal, Photos, Uncategorized

The Nevada Desert Pt 1

July 19th, 2009

A perilous place, especially in summer. Relentless sun and baking wind. Craggy and blackened ridges, stark, tortured. One can almost imagine Frodo and Sam, lost.  Hills, once verdant seamounts, now crumbling into featureless dunes. Sandy flats, where the heat soars and the vast emptiness stretches on. Awfully awesome, I’m very glad the worst is behind me.

Two days of skirting Death Valley, (a well named place.) I covered over 180 miles in those two days, in temperatures topping 150 degrees.

That’s kinda warm… no haha.

The first day from North Vegas to Beatty was absolutely brutal. Headwinds and narrow shoulders, with a hellish rumble strip.I rode on the road as much as I could, but that can get quite tiresome as I must always be aware of what is in front, and behind, contantly craning my neck for a quick look and snapping back to see I’ve drifted into the rumble strip. Or the traffic coming both ways would see me have to cross the divets to a narrow strip where one wheel of my cart would ride the edge of the desert and the other would chatter through them. Or the final few miles where even narrower sections saw me riding the bike itself through the nightmare. In the bright sun. Being rattled to pieces. And baked…

I can easily see how quickly madness and death could trap a person out there. I would look with longing at some shade on a distant ridge… I saw a little patch of shade from a small sign, barely enough to curl up in, and thought, maybe I should take a rest… NOT!. Get the heck off the road and out of the heat, ASAP… As careful as we were, it was still not the safest thing in the world to be doing…

Here is how I dealt with the heat. Long sleeve white shirt that a supporter from KC helped me get at a GoodWill in MO. White Hat that Dave had bought me, with a thin towel under that I would soak occasionally.

A Mister/Fan in my handlebar bag that I could lean forward and get a blast from.

And lots, and lots, of water.  It was amazing feeling the cooling effect of the longsleeve shirt, the moist towel on the head was critical, and the mister heavenly.

One thing about being out in the desert, people are curious and know that I’m serious about my mission. Had a few people stop to give me water and ask about the ride. Can’t find the pic for that at the moment, and have to get on the road. I’ll break this post up into parts so I can keep them coming. The long days make it a bit harder to get the posts out.

Here is the bike, a speck in the empty vastness

pedal pedal

Journal, Photos, Uncategorized

Vegas Pt 2

July 17th, 2009

After Freedom Fest, I was picked up by Dave Freeman, National Peace Officer Liaison for Oath-Keepers, and brought to his house for two days to get ready for some dangerous ground; the Nevada desert on the edge of Death Valley… eek

But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself…

We had a productive time in Vegas. Dave is a 30+year vet of the LV Metro Police (Sgt – Motorcycle Division) and he knows quite a few folk. So he got me in to see the Clark County Constable, Bobby G

Bobby deserves special mention.  The constables office is an electoral one, and perhaps more ancient that the sheriff. (Some reports say the constable is the only one who can arrest a sheriff, others say the coroner is – I imagine different jurisdictions handle these things differently…) They serve papers. When he took over it was running a deficit and the officers had no uniforms, vehicles, or firearms.  Now, the office has a large surplus and runs consistently in the black. The officers are armed, uniformed, have vehicles, and they are about to move to a bigger office – at no cost to the taxpayer.

Hmmm… I wonder where the money was going before Bobby G…

As usual, a little confused on why I was there, at first, but thanked me for the materials I dropped off, and gave me some great swag, including an “official” shot glass, and another star for the ride… Thanks Bobby

Next we went to the Sheriff Office, where we found out the Sheriff had to cancel, but we met with Asst. Sheriff Ray Flynn

He knew right what I was talking about when I got into the part about the DHS reports and even asked if I knew about the “Sovereign Nation” thing the Feds sent out a memo on. I said, “do you mean Sovereign Citizens.” He said, “yes, that’s it”  I said I know little of the nuts and bolts, but that it has something to do with the corporatization of the nation and birth certificates.  He said, “yeah, they don’t accept any government paperwork as valid.” I said that I imagine there is some merit to their concerns and I believe that the corporatization of America is a large part of the problems we face. As the card I gave him states, “Face the Facts – Gov’t INC. is Fascism” I hope he reflects on that and decides to look further into the other side of the story.

He was glad to get the Sheriff Mack book. The others he was just going to pass on to the sheriff, but he knew the Sheriff already had a copy so figured he’d get to read this one. I encouraged him to pass it around. All in all a good visit. He was a noticeably intelligent man, took notes, and promised to relay our conversation to his boss.

Then he gave me some more swag 🙂 A Patch, a Poker Chip, and… another star (so far, it’s a four star ride – haha)

Thanks, Ray…

Back at the ranch, Dave had decided that the desert was quite dangerous to travel alone, so he told his lovely wife Eileen that he’d be going away for a few days to accompany me across his state. A godsend…

But before we left, he did one other kindness that made my month. I haven’t been talking much of pain/etc. While most of it has been the normal aches of a working body, one thing was pretty bad. My sciatic started acting up in MO, and if you’ve had sciatic problems before, you know what that can be like. A dull ache and shooting pains. Finding a comfortable position for sitting was tough, and standing near impossible. Walking wasn’t bad, and I didn’t feel it at all on the bike, but I was kinda miserable for weeks…

Well, I mentioned my lament to Dave and, lo and behold, the man who knows everyone, knew a former officer who had become a Chiropractor. He called him up and told him my story.  The Doc comp’ed me two visits, and the pain was gone a day later. THANK YOU!!! Dr. Greg MacKay!!! May your business prosper.

Interestingly, while he was testing he did a strength test on my legs. The affected Ham and Glute (lft) were not firing on all cylinders (much weaker), because the nerve carrying the brain signals was pinched. After fixing it I have noticed the difference on the bike. Muscles on my left side had over – compensated and now my right side had to deal with the extra load… haha.

Needless to say I am a much happier man… Dave really is a godsend…

The last thing I did in Vegas was a send off dinner with the Oath-Keepers

and put a new sticker on the bike, (I think it fits perfectly)

Next post, the desert…

pedal pedal


Gallery, Journal, Photos

Las Vegas & Freedom Fest/CfL

July 17th, 2009

First an AZ vid recap, from Tom Costanza of Freedom’s Phoenix

(and a side note, the section of I-40 where the continental divide was had two ten mile construction zones where pedaling through would have been suicidal. As disappointed as I am not getting a Continental Divide pic, I am grateful for the RV assistance past these major obstacles)

I’m sure most of you have seen the vids, and reports, from Vegas.

I will not go into the whole thing, just post pics. It was great seeing old friends and making new ones.

Here is Drew (left) who I first met in Tuscon on the RP ride, and to the right is Tim, who was the PA coordinator for the ride and was kind enough to share his room with me…

We made a classic group picture for Jeff G and all signed it

We went to the CATO party for a bit. Here is Ben (rt) and 4409 (lft)

Spent some time at the booth, here is Andrew Ward who I first met during the Lawson Campaign

My favorite pic, by far, is this

I consider Tom Woods to be a treasure of the r3VOLution. He truly is a grassroot. Even with all his intelligence, degrees, and accomplishments, I cannot detect a single “elitist” bone in his body. He has power, and as we all know, power so easily corrupts, yet this man remains as fun loving and down to earth as a child. An easy smile, a hearty laugh, a firm handshake, all things I like in a man. While there are a few in our movement who I think have let celebrity, and power, get to their heads. Dr. Woods 😉 is not one of them. Long Live Tom Woods!

Speaking of celebrity, people keep calling me one and it is really strange. I’ve resisted the thought. Perhaps I just am cynical, after watching those in our movement who get that “elitist” attitude and don’t want to be associated with such. Or, perhaps I fear the temptation of power that celebrity brings, and I will fall into the same trap. Regardless, I pedaled my way into this position, am here now, and do appreciate you all very much. So I figure I’ll just keep using Tom Woods as a role model, in hopes of remaining as down to earth, and in tune with the true grassroots, as I can be. (and if any of you every notice me being “elitist” please don’t hesitate to let me know – damn, even writing that seems weird…)

Finally here are some videos, from Liberty Rider #3’s channel, for any that are not aware of what Freedom Fest was about.

pedal pedal…

Gallery, Journal, Photos, Video

Vegas (The Approach)

July 14th, 2009

Lets see if I can catch up…

I left off crossing AZ after the Kokesh Independence Celebration. The final day was amazing.

Joan and Jeanne caught up with us as we reached Hoover Dam, and informed us that the temp was 119 deg. in the shade. That means the roadside temp was around 140.

Yep, 140 degrees. Baking hot… Kinda hard to believe, even though we were there…

But, like most challenges in life, sensibly using mind over matter, and keeping a determined eye on the goal, allows us to do things we never imagined. Allows us to do the kinds of things we will need to win. Extraordinary things. The term extraordinary is entirely subjective. Comepletly diiferent ballgames for each individual. The point is that we all need to find our limits, and reach past. Expand your limits. Keep pushing. Press On! I’ll be content with “I did what I could” when this body is rotting. For now, I intend to win!

Pedal pedal  – haha

Anyway, we made it to Hoover Dam

Where we were joined by Jeanne and Joan (who had recorded the temp- still waiting to see the pic 😉 ) I was concentrating on mapping the (added) next section, so missed the camera call…

Then we pedaled across from AZ

to NV

We stopped halfway across the dam for the AZ boys to savor their border to border success

and pitched a few passerby including these guys

pedaled up a steep friggin hill out of the canyon and came on the Welcome to Nevada sign

This is where Ed got off his bike, but Tom decided to accompany me to Vegas. We had a nasty long hill to climb after this shot, but from Boulder City to Henderson was a downhill breeze. Here is Tom after his accomplisment. The Kingman to Vegas run was close to 100 miles in baking heat. He has every reason to feel like he looks in this picture

We got a motel in Henderson and I went through the RV gathering my scattered belongings, (thinking, “how in the heck do I fit all this in that cart?” – haha) said uor goodbyes.

I’ll make a new post the continuing saga, but want to, again, thank from the top, bottom, and sides of my heart. The AZ r3VOLution team for the hospitailty and support. The armed escort across your state was classic. Mahalo Nui Loa

Journal, Photos