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Archive for July, 2009

El Pepe came to us as a ‘free’ gift. Giana’s husband, Brian and got everything he needed from this bike and had moved on (meaning he couldn’t find a buyer) and gave the bike to us. This old, blue Yamaha 200 shows up at our house looking as worn as a could bike can be. I took one look and he told me to call him Pepe.

El Pepe giving our youngest her first lesson about clutches

El Pepe giving our youngest her first lesson about clutches

El Pepe takes some finesse but he is a hard worker. He was good for a few rides then he needed new tires, get a couple of rides then head gasket, etc.

The reason I tell you all of this is because he brought back a joy we didn’t know we missed. My husband Jim, and I, grew up riding dirt bikes. As a more ‘mature’ man, he’d leveled up to his Harley. But you never lose your first love and El Pepe reminded him of that.

But, as always, nothing is free. El Pepe takes TLC but he’s still a great ride. In the end, Brian didn’t give Jim a bike, he gave him an education in motorcylce maintenance!

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The summer has flown by fast. We’ve done our best to enjoy every moment of playing outside at all of our favorite places in Northern Nevada. This has also been the year of dry camping! We found a great spot in a BLM camp site on Walker River. We’re 20 yards from the river and our kids pitch their tent in the trees. Though the kids call these trips “ride, sweat, swim” the camp site stays cool since we are surrounded by willows and running water. But we are right on some of the best desert riding. Single track, climbs, sand, rock….every terrain is available to ride.

All of this riding started with a Yamaha 200 I call El Pepe. This bike was given to my husband by Giana’s husband. All I will say is that it is the toughest bike we’ve ever owned. It takes alot of abuse and requires little maintenance in comparison. Well this bike kind of lead to our oldest daughter getting a bike after she spend time tooling around on her friends little 50. She laid it down, then got up and picked up the bike before complaining about what hurts convinced my husband she needed her own ride. We found a screaming deal on a KTM SX65 PRO

KTM SX65 PRO

KTM SX65 PRO

that was ridden for 1 year on the KTM racing team. Of course, now she’s zipping all over the desert so we have to get Dad a new bike. He gets a Honda XR 250

Honda XR 250

Honda XR 250

with enough power to zip through the sand but hopefully not enough to kill himself. THAT leads to our youngest daughter commandeering my Honda 650 quad.

The brat stole my ride!

The brat stole my ride!

And so I’m left with…..El Pepe.

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The Nevada Department of Forestry declared no campfires, anywhere, until further notice. We haul our old propane bbq with us in our toy hauler so we can still cook outside when we go camping. We miss evening fires but we’re ok with that. Who wants to be the jerk that burns down the state anyways?

We went from unseasonal rains to extremely dry and abnormally hot weather. Everyone I’ve talked to said they can’t remember ever having a statewide restriction like this. I know it has been common in other states to have such broad restrictions so I guess Nevada just has to follow suit now.

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After having dinner with a neighbor, we came home around 11pm, turned in our driveway and stopped to open the gate. I swear I saw a furry footstool running up my driveway in the headlights! My husband and I sat there, jaws dropped, trying to comprehend what we were seeing. It was hilarious because once he was out of sight, we realized we’d had an itty bitty bear in our yard!

from Nevada Department of Wildlife

from Nevada Department of Wildlife

He was just looking for a snack since he’s learned terrorizing trash cans all over the Virginia City Highlands is a great way to eat. But from the scuttlebut we’d heard, we had no idea he would be small. Probably about 350 lbs. He was heavy enough to jack our gate when he climbed it but luckily we didn’t see any damage to fences.

I still think he looked more like a footstool than a bear.

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The warm weather season is the time to get out and play every chance you get. But it has been especially hard to keep up with the blog because I had to find new homes for my horses this year. Everytime I would log on and see their pretty faces, I would get depressed and just log off again. Working too much, not being able to get out and give them the attention they needed, not knowing where the economy is heading (lets face it, they are probably one of the most expensive pets you could own without getting exotic) all made me decide now was not the time for me to have my horses. Last year when fuel was over $4 a gallon? Yeah, I was paying $20 a bale of hay when I ran out of my bulk shipment.

But time has helped. I miss my girls everyday but we’ve had so much fun this summer I think its time to get back to writing about it!

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