The Trinity Tour


By Whizmo

Traversing the wide open spaces of southern Oregon and northern Nevada in leaps and bounds, the lads continue to enjoy great fall weather and great roads.  Today's major challenge: finding fuel.

The lady's voice at directory information on the other end of the line was polite in that "I'm-getting-paid-to-be-polite" kind of way.  "What is the city for your listing?" she queried.

"Uhm, I think the gas station is in the town of Field or Fields Oregon," I replied.  "I'm not sure. The gas station is called Fields Service or something like that."

"Sir, our listings are by cities, not towns.  What is the city name?"

Argghhh.  Momentarily stymied, I stammered for a second, then realized that I had committed a grievous user input error.  Still wanting the damn number, I promoted the tiny hamlet of Fields Oregon, population 23, from small town to a bustling metropolis.  "The city is Fields."  But it didn't make any difference; she still couldn't find a listing for a service station in Fields.  I thanked her for nothing and hung up.

So why was I trying to call a service station in the middle of the vast expanse of southern Oregon today ?  Well, being the chief trip planner for this mission, I was worried about running out of fuel and I was trying to confirm that we could buy some dead-dino juice somewhere in the 240-mile leg of today's journey spanning Burns Oregon and Winnemucca Nevada.  I had heard previously, via the magic of the internet, that a gas station in Denio Nevada had closed, which left Fields as the only possible refueling spot.  If they were closed on Sunday, Gizmo would be towing Whizmo to Winnemucca.  Not desirable.

Unable to get directory assistance to cough up a phone number—a phone number, I might add, that I had looked up before we left Seattle and someone didn't bring with me—I had to assume that Fields might not be open or have gas, so on to Plan B.  Which was to carry extra gas in whatever makeshift container was handy.  In this case, it was a one-gallon water jug, emptied of water and filled with Chevron high-test while the attendant was looking the other way.  It ended up that Fields was open, but I felt a lot better embarking on a 240-mile leg on a 170-mile range bike carrying that extra gallon of gas.  It still would have been tight even though I was babying the throttle for a few extra miles, but I could have made it.  About halfway through the leg, we got confirmation from other motorcyclists that Fields was open, so we made up for lost time by returning to our preferred speeds.

Ah.... gasoline, the elixir of rapid and efficient transportation in today's modern world.  It is pretty marvelous stuff really—put a gallon of the good stuff in your motorcycle and it will carry the bike, your sorry carcass and all your gear for 40 or so miles.  Can you imagine what the pioneers who crossed this bleak landscape 150 years ago would have thought of the capabilities of a gallon of gas?  The thought that a gallon of that pale, smelly liquid would have enough power to move a huge machine across several days journey in less than an hour!  It would have been mind-boggling.

Given what great stuff gas is, I have to ask:  Why do motorcycle manufacturers persist in not installing gas tanks on bikes that are big enough to comfortably go places far away?  Sad fact is, most bikes these days have gas tanks that hold, at best, 5 or so gallons, seldom more and often less.  Gizmo's Honda ST1300 is an exception, holding 7.5, but this is uncommon.  My BMW holds 4.8 on a good day which is just not enough.  Many sport bikes and cruisers hold a lot less and there are a handful of street motorcycles out there that are hard-pressed to travel 100 miles before sputtering to a stop.  Ridiculous.

Of course, we're traveling in an area of the country where the gas stations are few and far between.  Which also means that traffic is few and far between as well.  This is wonderful country, where you can top a rise and see for a hundred miles.  We're having perfect weather and generally living large.  Another great day in the can.

Tomorrow we have a relatively easy day—275 miles or so—to Tonopah Nevada, at the northern edge of the Nellis Range where the jet jockeys like to practice their war games, and where the spooks are holding space aliens who landed in Roswell back in the 50's against their will.  It would be very cool to see an alien spaceship, but we'd probably settle for a low pass from a F-18 flyboy.

Thanks for keeping us company.

l Maps

Sunday, September 26, 2004
Redmond OR - Winnemucca NV
396 miles
6:00 driving time

l Gallery

Aggressive Cattle Guard
Crossing at a 90-degree angle is required!
Discussing Adventure Touring
We met a group of adventure tourers (on dual-sport motorcycles) near FrenchGlen. They were planning on camping in the desert that evening. They had heard of Whizmo and Gizmo at
Captain Proton Looking Quite Tidy
I'm not a huge fan of the ST1300's styling, but it is growing on me.
Typical Nevada Non-Interstate Cruise
About 87 on the optimistic speedo, a little less on the non-optimistic GPS.
Road King Carrying a Load
Does there appear to be any weight whatsoever on that front wheel? No wonder this guy wobbles down the road!
Road From Prineville to Paulina
The roads in this area are paved with asphalt made from volcanic gravels. Traction is excellent; tire life is not.
Typical Terrain in South Central Oregon
This is incredibly rugged terrain.
Fall Colors in the Oregon Mountains
At higher elevations, the trees are in high color.
Entering Nevada Near Denio
Denio looks like it has seen better days. The gas station was closed.
Open Road Near Winnemuca Nevada
The roads in southern Oregon and Nevada are very wide-open. You can often see exactly where you will be in 15 minutes of fast riding.

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