Taken from the October 2004 Newsletter

Photos from the October 9th Outing at Fouts Springs:

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Late Review of the Labor Day Outing:

"Sweetwater in the Fall of '04"  by Le Wallin

Friday, Sept. 3rd. It was a time of heat wave in Sacramento - triple digit temperatures, while Sweetwater had ice in the water buckets. Someone who had one of those nifty memory thermometers said it got down to 24 degrees with a brisk wind. I believed it. I became very much in love with my down comforter Thursday and Friday nights as it stood between me and that frosty witch, Mother Nature. Friday morning we were slow in getting started because it was so cold and windy. Finally six or seven of us took an exploratory run north and west through Risue Canyon in the back country. Two flats on Chas’s trials tires later, we came out on Eastside Lane in the general vicinity of Coleville, and this is where we left Chas. Of course, we promised someone with a truck would come back for him. There were a lot of turns in the road and I was hoping we could find him before dark. Well, Dale was true to his word and, after two beers and a mixed drink, headed off to find him. Disregard that last sentence - it was actually a Diet Pepsi. By the time they got back, half the people were in bed, but the rest of us cheered and shouted and shot off our pistols into the air because Chas and Dale were back safe and sound.

Sunday the 5th of September (you will note that Saturday has been left out at this time, and there is a reason - read on). On Sunday a group of us headed out to visit the mines at Rockland and what was left of the cabins that made up that town. As we took the two-track east/northeast of Pine Grove Summit and dropped into the Rockland area, we realized that there were areas of Rockland that we had not visited before. One mine in particular caught our fancy because it was in such good shape, but none of us had flashlights along - oh, well - next time. We took a new way out of the area and headed for Pine Grove and a lunch stop, and who should we run into at Pine Grove but one more group of TBSA riders. The road home was through Taylor Springs and down through the Cowboy Mine area, racking up close to 50 miles on the ride and no flat tires.

Now Saturday turned out to be a special sight-seeing ride attended by two of the more serious riders in TBSA - Ralph Adams and Le Wallin. Together these two have close to 115 years of motorcycling experience between them and NEITHER of them could remember seeing such a riveting sight as what they beheld that day. Ralph and Nadine were going to Austria a couple of weeks after Sweetwater and Le was getting over three broken ribs from Virginia City, so both of them were looking for an easy ride - no one needed an accident. Off we went, south on 338 to Route 28 running along the Walker River, off on 46 toward Masonic. About three miles shy of Masonic, we took an old two-track that drifted off into a cabin site with hot and cold running water, a hot tub with fresh toasty water, and a couple of fine-looking ladies with a stash of cold beer. Ralph says he can’t remember that part - all he remembers is the cabin and the two mines. Well, anyway, it was uphill to Masonic and, slowly but surely, the old mining area is crumbling into history. I’m sure another 20 years and it will all tumble down.

Taking Route 169 across the crest of the range and the junction with Aurora Canyon Road and 168, we turned northeast on 168 and connected eventually with Route 28, the road that runs along the Walker River. As we headed west toward camp, we passed this one campsite along the river and, sure enough, this is where Ralph was given the inspiration to label the scene "Moonlight on the Walker." Picture a couple - the woman bent over holding her ankles, the man in some way attempting to assist her - his hand was on her back and a rag was in his other hand, and their backs were toward us. What made this so special was that all the woman was wearing was shoes - well, I think she had on shoes. It was all over in the twinkle of an eye, but it left such a lasting impression on the both of us that Ralph wrote a poem about the experience and was good enough to share it with the camp at the steak dinner that evening.

Talking about that steak feed, one more excellent experience put on by Ron Cottrell and Paul Boettin. Well, this is enough tale-telling for one time. Hope to see you all on the trail, - - Longfellow

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