There has been a little talk about this, but it has not gone into serious discusion yet. I`m willing to try my hand at organizing, thought I`d start by finding out who/how many are interested and what dates best fit the most folks, then the process can go dormant for a while if it looks like a long ways off still.
I don`t know how long we`ll end up taking for the trip, but I earmarked a week of vacation to make sure I have it covered. A Black Rock 101 intro ride really needs about 24 hours up there in "the `hood", and that would be for only a playa romp or only a more northern exploration. 2 days up north would make for a very nice trip. Additional time obviously allows for checking out more sites, and there are plenty of options to fit just about any time frame. For anybody comming from I-80, figure Reno + 2 hours to get to Gerlach via highway (scenic, low traffic highway) or 3+ hours by dirt, depending on exact route and how much stopping along the way. If anybody wants to come down from the north, time estimates are on you, but it would be very easy to rendezvous in Gerlach (I have enough experience with roads from Gerlach up into Oregon to help with routing if you want, but my time estimates would be very vague). For any NorCal or northern NV characters (or anybody else for that matter), I can offer yard or couch camping and nearly unlimited parking at my house just north of Reno. It`s actually situated in a pretty good place to stage a north desert trip from, with some tasty options for routes to and from.
High Rock Canyon (a definite high point when in that area) opens to motorized travel in mid May, so should not be a problem, BUT it has water crossings which will might be pushing things very early in the season. For general weather, spring and fall are best IMO, but the base elevation around there is about 4000 ft, so it isn`t like Death Valley. If we end up with a summer trip, it will still be possible to enjoy ourselves. The playa is only travelable when dry. It has already dried out for this year initially, but will be wet and dry again several times- no way to plan ahead for that one. For what its worth, while it IS fun to play on, and some really neat places pretty much require playa driving to get to, the best stuff up there is actually up away from it, so only a minor bummer if we need to stay off. The Burning Man festival is a huge influence on the whole region and must be considered. It lasts a week and ends on Labor Day (will be Aug 28 through Sep 5 this year). There is no way in hell anybody is going to drag me to or through Gerlach on that week or a week on either side of those dates. However (!!!), if you go out one additional week before or after, you can still get through the area without any real problems, and get to see a bit of the circus ramping up or phasing out as a bonus, which is really kind of cool.
I already have a non-moveable vacation planned for the week of May 22-28 (week leading up to Memorial Day) and will be taking two weeks SOME TIME during summer vacation (wife works at a school), can still play with the dates on that one for a few more weeks, but will need to buy plane tickets by late April and lock it in. Ideally for me, I would aim for some time within the frame of Sep 14 through 18 because a local event in my own area tends to disrupt my peaceful home life so I usually take vacation around there in order to get out of Dodge. So that`s my personal preference, but can easily go at a different time if more convenient for other riders who would like to go.
Aside from timing, a few more points to consider if you`d like to go.There are few services to be found in the "Nevada Outback". All of them can be had within the Gerlach/Empire metropolitan district... gas, motel, restaurant, BASIC supplies from a small general store, pay phone, cell phone coverage for some (mine occasionally works from Empire, never from Gerlach, others have better luck). The next nearest towns all offer similar. Those include Cedarville CA, Adel OR, Fields OR, Winnemucca NV (the biggest of the lot). As of last fall, Denio and Denio Jct had no gas for sale, restaurant closed, store reduced to mostly just chips and sodas- probably has not changed since. Soldier Meadows Ranch offers some services, but not really a drop-in kind of place. We did buy gasoline from them, but it was prearranged and they made it clear that they prefer NOT to deal in gas, were doing it as a favor. They are good folks though, and if the group wants to, I would not be opposed to paying the small fee they charge for camping (and showers), otherwise, camping is free but completely undeveloped. Suggested fuel range is about 200 miles (more is nice so we can share if need be, less can probably be acommodated by buddies or by careful route planning). Figure on carrying most of your food along with you- depending on how we work it, we can get a few good meals either in Gerlach or at Soldier Meadows. There is some "wild" water to be found, but it is not plentiful. Again, routing details will determine how much you need to carry, but figure on 24 hours worth as a general suggestion.
That`s all that occurs to me to write for now, if anybody has questions, let them rip and i will try to answer them. So, who`s in or considering? How much time would you want to devote to the trip? If you can say yet, what dates can you "definitely" "maybe" or "definitely not" go?
EDIT: I will be inviting two buddies riding non-DRs. Can`t say whether or not they will actually go, but their invite is non negotiable.