Year-end rides are bittersweet. Bitter because ice and snow are on their way, the end of the riding season at hand; sweet because of the memories of the past year and, occasionally, the reward of a rare fruit -- sneaking out to ride on one of the last mild, clear days of the year.
I was fortunate to get one of those days in mid-November. The weather was clear with highs in the low 60s and I elected to ride the same loop we took for the Saturday group ride at the 2005 Nevada State Campout. Although, the trees at higher elevations on Monitor Pass were now bare, in my mind's eye I could still see the glorious yellows and reds of the aspens as they were just one month earlier. Later on, cruising down below on roads lined with still golden cottonwoods in the Mason Valley, I thought how much fun it was to share this ride with fellow Guzzi enthusiasts in October.
The 4th Annual MGNOC Nevada State Campout had 32 registrants this year. Though this was the 4th annual, it was only the second held in Western Nevada at the Dayton State Park. Guzzisti from all over the west gathered here, including MGNOC state reps from Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, and Nevada. Many riders returned again this year, creating a strong feeling of family and friendship. It felt like a reunion of sorts, a time to gather together and share experiences from the year's rides. Some partook of the area's many attractions during the day, while others were perfectly content to hang around in the park and relax. Evenings were cool, but Nevada State Rep Bert Fox's dedication paid off big dividends in the form of gourmet coffees and breakfast goodies for all to share each morning. The highlight of the event was a catered BBQ dinner Saturday evening where many attendees received door prizes, one of which was a $250 gift certificate for a Rick Mayer custom saddle. Certainly, nobody went away hungry!
This year was a success due to the friendship of those who attended, sharing a common attraction to an uncommon machine and way of life.
Even though the clouds are now gathering and the winds begin to herald the colder days ahead, I'm still savoring the sweet memory of a special weekend this last October. It's an honor to be part of such a great group of people.
See you next year.