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Scouting Trails for Taste of Dakar

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Out here in Pahrump scouting trails with Curtis and Sky for AltRider's Taste of Dakar in March
Yesterday's route across the dry lake bed.
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I was cold riding up and stopped at Tecopa hot springs to warm up. This is a pic I found on the Interwebs. I thought this lady looked funny
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Cold this morning
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Lunch at Pioneer Saloon

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Nope  :)   They belong to AltRider.

 

This was sure a good time, though.  The challenge is that this is the event's fifth year in essentially the same area; third year with the same lunch stop. So coming up with new ways to get from A to B and back again is interesting.  Some sections may inevitably be the same as in last years but we found some new stuff that will keep it novel and fun.

 

I see the courses as basically one for the adventure novice that is scenic, fast and fun; one for the more experienced big bike rider and then one for the small bike rider who likes a good challenge.  Nothing's finalized but I have in mind a return liaison section for the intermediate course that takes the rider through some of the most beautiful Joshua Tree forests you've ever seen with some really fast dirt sections back to Pahrump.

 

There's a HUGE amount of history in the area from the pre-Columbian days of native tribes to the Spanish colonies to the Mexican land owners to the mining of the 1800's and the Wild West.  The Old Spanish trail winds through the area and was a trade route between Santa Fe and Los Angeles.  It started with mule trains bringing woven blankets out to what would become Los Angeles and then returning with horses and mules.  Many native tribes were picked over by Spanish and Mexican slave traders.  The Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings is one of the oldest saloons in Nevada and has a few bullet holes with descriptions of the victims by the local coroner and is said to be haunted by those killed.  In many ways Nevada is still the Old West and there's a lot to see there you won't see in your own hometowns like gambling, fireworks and prostitution.  I was pre-running a route two years ago and the Pioneer Saloon was mostly empty except for the bartender and a woman who we figured was a prostitute after she showed us her "goods."  That's Nevada for you.

 

I grew up in Arizona and cannot stand to be around the desert in the heat of summer but in the winter and early spring it's one of the most beautiful places in the world.

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Any idea if TOD is filling up fast?  

I am having knee surgery Feb 25th to clean up my meniscus.  I need a few day to see if I can be back in shape to make it.  

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