10 Things You Never Knew About Ghost Towns… #3 Will Blow Your Mind?!

Due to the utter futility of attempting to understand whether anything that has ever happened in this world is good or bad, and despite everything I said previously, spending too long in Las Vegas was not a mistake. If we had left any earlier, we never would have gone to the Gold Point dirtbike rally, and our current life would be a little bit different, and a lot emptier. It was a weekend that will go down in history… now that I have a blog. I mean, frick, watch out, History.

Unfortunately, this all happened over 2 years ago, so the order of events will be mostly inaccurate. The only 3 survivors who know what happened that weekend have had all of their finger tongues removed in case they felt like being contrary in the comments section.

The gallows. Oh, and a bathtub.

The gallows. Oh, and a bathtub.

Arriving in Gold Point, NV feels like stumbling upon a gold mine, and, ignoring the fact that that is literally what you are doing, the feeling has nothing to do with precious metals. Gold Point is a preserved ghost town complete with decommissioned fire engines, original town Gallows, random bathtubs, old-timey saloon, and nothing for miles but the bleak Nevada desert. The story is that Herb Robbins purchased Gold Point in 1979 on a mission to preserve its historical buildings and thriving ecosystem of ghosts. Since then he has been restoring the town and hosting some of the best dirtbike rallies in the galaxy.

His saloon is a crazy thing, full of knick-knacks and goob-gobs, and liquor. Against all odds and despite our (my) wretched personalities, we made a couple of very important friends that night. They are known only as Travatron and Porkchop, and they were probably the only people at the rally who were willing to pretend to be a gay couple in order to get a cheaper rate on their campsite. They had matching fishing hats and liked to talk about gross human stuff as much as I do, and we will be friends forever.

The amazing people at My2Wheels organized group rides for the weekend, including the ride to Bishop, CA and the infamous “Death Ride.” This would be the first time I ever set foot in Bishop, and I didn’t see a single boulder the whole time. This was also one of the very first times I rode with anyone besides Eli, so I was a bit nervous about being the slow girl holding everyone up. We had to suffer through some twisty pavement when we first set out, and I was the slow girl holding everyone up. Turning has never been a strong point of mine on a motorcycle, and everyone and all of their forgotten ancestors passed me in this section. The streetbike gods seemed to have deemed my humiliation sufficient, or more likely ran out of motherfuckers to pass me with, and we finally pulled off of the awful black stuff and onto some dirt. Wyman canyon lay ahead, as well as my chance for redemption!

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Those guys!

There are few worldly pleasures as soothing as a gnarly dirtbike trail. Wyman canyon has what your dirtbike craves, from embedded rock step-ups to water crossings, and sweeping, flowy dirt sections. After the humiliation on the pavement I was just about dead last heading into the canyon, and since my experience on a dirtbike had almost entirely been 2nd gear technical obstacles, I had some passes to make because everything is a race, don’t you know. Before we got going on the dirt, the only other girl on the ride came over with her husband and they gave me some condescending advice, which I’m sure I deserved. During the rocky sections I passed everyone until I ended up behind those two. We happened upon a water crossing, through which she was crawling in 1st gear, and I couldn’t take it. I blasted past her, because the best way not to crash in a patch of blind river rocks is to maintain speed! Unfortunately, I splashed her real good during the overtake. It was a cleansing wave, erasing all possibility of friendship. At the next water crossing I had to stop because there were 3 dudes on KTMs waiting to pick their balls up and go through it, so I blasted around them as well because I am the elemental spirit of creeks. The rest of the canyon was beautiful, we came to a vista overlooking the Owens River Valley, and then dropped into Bishop.

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Buncha naked mole rats eating blissful danger lunch.

The next day, our new 4-person best friend platoon bailed on the “Death Ride” in favor of a self-directed “Dead End Tour” and dropping our bikes in the sand one million times. As soon as we took off, Porkchop got himself and his bike innocently but thoroughly tangled in a nest of rusty wire like he was an endangered animal trapped in a set of uncut six pack rings, and things only went downhill from there. We encountered dead ends in the sand, which are the domain of the Dark Sorcerer Gritsloth, who makes me crash. Eli managed to find a spectacularly camouflaged dead end cliff drop-off that the rest of us agreed we would not have recognized in time and flung ourselves off of into oblivion. In another dead end, Travatron, utterly transfixed by a shiny thing he saw on the ground forsook his dirtbike entirely and threw it down. Once we wrestled him from the clutches of his enchantment, we continued on our way. We found an abandoned mine and wondered with glowing sparkle hope what could be down there?? So we tied a phone to a piece of paracord and lowered it while it recorded the scene. We found gravel sand. So onward we carried in search of shade to eat our lunch, and found another dangerous, abandoned monument of the area’s mining legacy. Naturally, we curled up inside of it the way a family of naked mole rats would: ugly and without concerns about that or the mining thing’s structural integrity, but in full appreciation of its coziness. I honestly don’t know that I’ve enjoyed any ride ever as much as I did this one.

At the saloon that night we asked the organizers about other ride options out of Gold Point, and were told of one with technical single-track that sounded like fun. We embarked, and on the way up, there was a deep, long trench full of boulders, and a smooth path next to it in the dirt. Well, see the rock, hit the rock, I hit all the rocks because while I was on the smooth path I couldn’t stop watching the train wreck of my future happening inside of that trench. This is actually my main training, uh, strategy because I’ve never been good at choosing proper lines. Porkchop and I both learned hard lessons in line choices on this ride. Here is a heartbreaking video of his:

The moral of this story is that some people won’t be your friends ever because you are a repulsive person, but that some people will be your friends forever because of the repulsive person you are. You really are horrendous to be around. Travatron kindly generated this hilarious flowchart (Let’s be real, aren’t they all?) full of inside jokes to help begin the weeding process.



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