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airborndad 04-08-2010 04:39 PM

Father and Sons First trip to Death Valley
<HR style="COLOR: #575757" SIZE=1><!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->OK so here's my First Ride Report
It's about me and my sons First trip to Death Valley and our First trip with ADV riders
I saw Joels (h8chains) post about a nOObs trip to Death Valley Death Valley March Madness nOObs Ride 2010 several months ago and decided this would be a good trip to meet some of the people I have been reading about doing all of the cool rides that they go on, and since it was called a nOObs trip I figured it would be more of a casually paced ride
Perfect for Justin who only had 800 miles under his belt and was still learning to ride, or so I thought ( I learned on this trip he's a pretty damn good rider on all types of surfaces)

So off we go
(BTW Justin got his motorcycle Learners permit Wed.the day before we leave) nOOb

Thursday afternoon in the driveway ready to leave
The plan was to stop at Wagon Wheel off of Trona Rd on the way to Death Valley spend the night there do a short ride then go to Panamint Springs Campground Friday afternoon but it was Too Windy
so we decide to gas up in Ridgecrest get some more ice then head out to Panamint Spring to see if there was an open Camping spot for the night

Luckily for me there was 3 spots left, and even luckier for me, one of them was the spot I had reserved for the next 2 nights so now we have a spot to stay and we don't have to relocate the next day

Thursday night laughing it up (photo By h8chains)

Had a couple of couple of couple of beeeeers last night
Day # 2
Friday morning (photo By h8chains)
(photo by DSM8)
Pre ride meeting (photo By h8chains)

Waiting in the shade for everyone to show up (photo By H8Chains)

Joel's Orange KTM puffing Blue smoke, had to stop and investigate

Ballarat :
Parked at the base of the Panamint Mountains, it's hard to imagine a more lonely and empty spot than old Ballarat. The weather is extreme; summer highs reach into the 120s, and winter nights are freezing cold.
Ballarat was born in 1896 as a supply point for the mines in the canyons of the Panamints. A quarter-mile to the south is Post Office Springs, a reliable water source used since the 1850s by prospectors and desert wanderers.

In its heyday -- from 1897 to 1905 -- Ballarat was home and headquarters for 400 to 500 people. It hosted 7 saloons, 3 hotels, a Wells Fargo station, post office, school, a jail and morgue, but not one church. Ballarat was an oasis of fun, frolic, and relaxation -- a town to go to and blow off the dust of long trails and hard work. The town began its decline when the Ratcliff Mine, in Pleasant Canyon east of town, suspended operations. Other mines nearby also began to play out, and in 1917 the post office closed and all that remained were a few diehard prospectors and desert rats.

The excitement was over, and there was little reason for Ballarat to continue as a town; it withered but would not die. Some notable names in Death Valley history made the mud houses of Ballarat their home, including the inimitable Frank 'Shorty' Harris -- the prospector's prospector, responsible for numerous gold finds.
Looking out across Panamint Valley to the Argus Range is a restful sight. Behind the town, the Panamints rise almost straight up from Ballarat's 1,067 feet to Telescope Peak's snowcapped summit at 11,049 feet.

Also in the 1960s, another famous (or infamous) visitor came regularly to Ballarat. Charles Manson with his family of killers stayed at the Barker ranch south of town, and left their graffiti in Ballarat. An old Dodge Power Wagon parked near the general store still bears the stars the family used as their signature, on its headliner.
Today Ballarat has one or two full-time residents, and the store is open most afternoons and weekends.

On the way to Ballarat (photo By H8Chains)
Me, Charles Mansons Truck, Justin (photo By H8Chains)
2nd rest stop Ballarat
Fixer upper with great views
Hot in the Summer and cold in the Winter
Accomodations for a variety of folks So are you a criminal dead or just visiting
Antique car, lowered, does not run, missing a few parts

on the road to Golar wash
Nice FAT single track for nOObs
First Crash oh crap one of them is Justin

BMW Sandwich with our Cheesy Yamaha's in the middle (cheesy compared to their big & Super nice bikes)
Going up the Canyon to the Waterfall In Golar wash (photo By h8chains)

Second crash oh crap again one of them is Justin AGAIN

the waterfall was not an easy thing to ride up

From the top looking down, and yes it was steep! (photo by h8chains)

Justins 2nd attempt (photo By h8chains)

third attempt at Golar

Me coming down the step at Golar (photo by Justin)
Another one of me coming down the step at Golar (photo By h8chains)

Justin at the top picking which way to go down
Time for a quick bite to eat
resting up after lunch

Where did everybody go (photo By h8chains)

Oooops #1 almost everyone was stopped fixing these 2 bikes so they could return to PSR (photo By h8chains)
Oooops #2 Shit Happens as long as no one gets hurt its just a learning experience, oh and $$$$ (photo By h8chains)

On Wingate rd on the way to Wildrose (photo By h8chains)

on the way to Wildrose and the Charcoal Kilns

Wildrose Charcoal Kilns :

In 1877 George Hearst’s Modock Consolidated Mining Company completed construction of the charcoal kilns in Wildrose Canyon. The charcoal produced by the kilns was to be used as fuel for two silver-lead smelters that Hearst had built in the Argus Range 25 miles to the west. The kilns operated until the summer of 1878 when the Argus mines, due to deteriorating ore quality, closed and the furnaces shut down.

The Wildrose kilns employed about 40 woodcutters and associated workmen, and the town of Wildrose, a temporary camp located somewhere nearby, was home to about 100 people. Remi Nadeau’sCerro Gordo Freighting Company hauled the charcoal to the smelters by pack train and wagon.

Each of the 10 kilns stands about 25 feet tall and has a circumference of approximately 30 feet. Each kiln held 42 cords of pinyon pine logs and would, after burning for a week, produce 2,000 bushels of charcoal.

Considered to be the best surviving examples of such kilns to be found in the western states, the kilns owe their longevity to fine workmanship and to the fact that they were in use for such a short time.

The last 3 miles of the road are unpaved and the road is subject to storm closures.

Row of Charcoal Kilns
On the inside looking out
Window / vent view from inside one of the Kilns
Row of Charcoal Kilns

Group photo (photo By h8chains)

Parking lot with snow ( trashcan / camera stand )
The road with a view
Getting ready for the ride back (photo by h8chains)

On the way back Justins Shifter Fell off (photo By h8chains)

Some twisty's for the ride back to Panamint Springs

I Hit reserve at 117.3 miles Justin hit reserve somewhere around 120 when we get to the bottom of Emigrant I tell the rest of the group we are on reserve turns out everyone was on reserve
I had 2 - 30 oz MSR bottles and one of the BMW's (anthglicks) had a 1 gallon Rotopak. So we figured to go until someone runs out then we'll get the extra gas out

No one needed it :thumb

Back at our home for the night 145 .8 miles for the day and this is exactly where I ran out of gas (photo by DSM8)
Friday night scenery (photo by r3r3r)
Back at PSR
Nice warm fire

Some of the Sacraficial victims

More to come
Next part
Stove pipe Wells
Chloride Cliffs bypass
Beatty Nevada
Titus Canyon :thumb

GB 04-08-2010 04:44 PM

Looks great all around.. but man, some of those rocky sections... I can't see how the big bikes go up there!! :eek1 bike carnage all around :lol3

father and son rides are just precious!

NSFW 04-08-2010 05:33 PM

hi keith, very nice report. i'm impressed with justin's riding, i see him all the time on my rear view mirror for the 2 days we rode together.....:evil not sure if the best way for a nOOb to learn ride is to follow the master nOOb....:rofl

Fishyhead 04-08-2010 05:40 PM

Cool RR. So it was YOU guys on the Yamy's. Nice riding with you :D

Questor 04-08-2010 05:53 PM

A father and son trip to Death Valley. :thumb

I enjoyed the humor and the pictures.
EX: "Fixer upper with good views..."

Beer is for ADVriders like gas is for motorcycles...


XC Rider 04-08-2010 07:23 PM

:clap :clap :clap

Hi Keith! And family! :wave

So glad to see you guys are out there ridding and reporting! Congrats to Justin on getting his permit and making it up that waterfall. :eek1 I see you got some sweet cheeks for the XT's; bet that helped on the first 150 mile day!

RR is great so far; lookin' forward to reading the rest.

1224R 04-08-2010 07:32 PM

Hey Kieth and Justin.... Had a great time riding with you guys.... I hope to see you both soon...that was a fun weekend!!! Maybe you guys can make it to warped for the rides.....

airborndad 04-08-2010 08:03 PM


Originally Posted by XC Rider
:clap :clap :clap

Hi Keith! And family! :wave

So glad to see you guys are out there ridding and reporting! Congrats to Justin on getting his permit and making it up that waterfall. :eek1 I see you got some sweet cheeks for the XT's; bet that helped on the first 150 mile day!

RR is great so far; lookin' forward to reading the rest.

Thanks for turning me on to the Sweet cheeks they literally saved our asses
I was completely done after 50 miles before, now 150 miles was no problem,
I was ready for more except for that Ice chest full of cold beers that kept me from going any further:dutch
(BTW Justin tore one of the straps off of his Sweet cheeks during his first CRASH)

Link for everyone elses RR's for that awesome weekend
Beware the nOObs of March (a sure to be epic weekend in Death Valley)

airborndad 04-08-2010 08:46 PM


Originally Posted by 1224R
Hey Kieth and Justin.... Had a great time riding with you guys.... I hope to see you both soon...that was a fun weekend!!! Maybe you guys can make it to warped for the rides.....

That was the best riding I have ever done.
It was a little intimidating showing up at the Shell station and seeing a bunch of 800's and 1200's and then Joel's 640 was the smallest bike besides our measely little 225's but it turned out to be the best ride we have ever done and we could not have picked a better, nicer,friendlier, funnier,group of folks to ride with

as far as Warped I think it's to the waiting list already so probably not this year

hensons 04-08-2010 11:20 PM

Thats going to be where i go with my kid first. Its a great place for a first timer. <object classid="clsid: D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase=",0,0,0" width="16" height="16" id="movie" align=""><param name="movie" value=""><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed allowScriptAccess="always" src="" quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff" width="16" height="16" name="movie" align="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage=""</embed></object>

klaviator 04-09-2010 08:46 AM

Many years ago I rode through Death Valley on a Yamaha Venture. I thought it would be more fun on a dual sport. Reports like this confirm it.
Nice pics. Nice report. Thanks for posting:clap

airborndad 04-09-2010 03:06 PM


It was going to be a long day so I made a big breakfast for Myself,
Justin and Nicole (nicomama) whom we shared a campsite with for the weekend

I have the coolest wife in the world but she didn't think it was very funny
when I said Nicole has a nice Rack
and that I gave her some sausage, I guess I could have worded it better
Check out her awesome rack that she designed and sell's :thumb

(you can barely see the lump on my forehead anymore):dunno

I have been fabricating for 25 years and have done some pretty cool / trick stuff
but the rack she designed and sells makes me fell like I just left High School metal shop,
a very well thought out Work of Art Absolute perfection !!
Be sure to check out her website a lot of great info throughout it

Breakfast at Panamint Springs Campground ( photo by Nicomama )
We all met at the shell station for the kick off of the ride it seemed to me roughly about 20 bikes + one very cool Ural with sidecar were ready to launch off on this days ride

Start of the ride to Titus Canyon (photo by H8Chains)
Start of the ride to Titus Canyon (photo by h8chains)

It was pretty cool seeing everyone pull out and heading up the road in a long line up the mountain where it got pretty cold at the top we stopped at Stovepipe Wells to pick up our Park Entrance Tags just to be legit $ 10.00 for the tag and a park map that you had to take?? Plus I got to hear the same speech for the robot behind the counter that he gave everyone else in line

anyways after that I headed over to the gas station to top off the tanks in both bikes as most all of the smaller bikes did also

Stove Pipe Wells (photo by nicomama)

Stove Pipe Wells (photo by h8chains)


Then we rode past the Dunes then we turned left on Scotty's Castle rd. then a quick right onto Daylight pass rd we took that through a nice canyon rd all the way to the "You are now entering Nevada" sign
1st attempt at a rear viewing picture, pretty good I think
Daylight Pass rd :thumb (photo by h8chains)

Coming up next
Dirt in Nevada
Lunch in Beatty
Titus Canyon Yes the place is huge

airborndad 04-09-2010 03:28 PM


Originally Posted by Fishyhead
Cool RR. So it was YOU guys on the Yamy's. Nice riding with you :D

Hi Duy
It was cool riding with you too
you are in quite a few of our pictures
stay tuned for more

airborndad 04-09-2010 07:56 PM

Nevada hitting the dirt
Joel getting some pictures
Cool sidecar

Nicomama hitting the dirt for the First time ever :thumb :ricky

Edit : BTW this next road was part of the SCORE Nevada 500 race course back in 94 or 95 when I finally realized that it was
I went to catch up to Justin to tell him there's some nasty dipps in this road But I couldn't catch him :lol3

Just before these next 2 pictures I was following Justin when I saw him launch sideways into the air
I thought for sure he was going to crash but amazingly he pulled it off and was back on the gas like it was no big deal
when I got close to what he hit I thought oh no this is going to get someone so I raised my arm in the air to signal the 1200 BMW behind me to slow down
At this point I was going Half the speed Justin was when he hit it but it still launched me about 1-1/2' in the air there were a few more of those but that was the worst of them

Justin First time riding in Nevada (photo by H8Chains)
Me (photo by H8Chains)
Amazingly while we were waiting there Huell Howser showed up and he was amazed we were riding through such an amazing desert on these amazing machines
We were there for a while so after the dust trails settle someone went back to see where the missing Ural and HP2 were turns out the HP2 had a flat and they would meet us in Beatty so we agreed we would stop for lunch at the Ensenada Grill
then we all hit the pavement towards Beatty apparetly all but one Sopascat / Cathy had ran out of gas so I gave one of my 30 oz MSR bottles to someone ( can't remember who, help me out folks) and they ran it out to her

Lunch in Beatty (photo by H8Chains)
We had a great lunch, me and Justin both had delicious Bacon Avacado Cheeseburgers although some people had some really good looking food sitting in front of them
I was secretly wishing I had ordered the grilled fajitas but nevertheless was very pleased with the burgers and the service at
The Ensenada Grill :thumb
Ensenada Grill

600 E Hwy 95 N
Beatty, NV 89003

(775) 553-2600

Definately worth stopping for next time we end up in Beatty

Next up Titus Canyon

airborndad 04-10-2010 06:06 AM

OK lets get back to riding

Road on the way to Titus cyn
Dirt rd to Titus
More Dirt rd to Titus
On the Summit looking east
On the summit looking West (photo by h8chains)

Leadfield :

Leadfield's legacy is the road through Titus Canyon. A narrow, twisting canyon that would have been avoided by road builders any other time, but the reports of potential riches were too appealing. A newspaper headline in March, 1926 read, "Tonnage of ore from new California district will be large." The road went in, and over 300 people moved to Leadfield, a post office was built. The residents were ready to get rich -- but that didn't happen. The ore had been salted and the investors defrauded. After six months of futile digging the post office closed and the people vanished. One of the promoters had made off to Singapore to escape the angry investors.

Everyone coming into Leadfield
Everyone coming into Leadfield (photo by H8Chains)

we are almost to

Titus Canyon:
Although the Grapevine Mountains were uplifted relatively recently, most of the rocks that make up the range are over half a billion years old. The gray rocks lining the walls of the western end of Titus Canyon are Cambrian age (570505 million years old) limestone. These ancient Paleozoic rocks formed at a time when the Death Valley area was submerged beneath tropical seas. By the end of the Precambrian, the continental edge of North America had been planed off by erosion to a gently rounded surface of low relief. The rise and fall of the Cambrian seas periodically shifted the shoreline eastward, flooding the continent, then regressed westward, exposing the limestone layers to erosion. The sediments have since been upturned, upfolded (forming anticlines), downfolded (forming synclines) and folded back onto themselves (forming recumbent folds).
Although some of the limestone exposed in the walls of Titus Canyon originated from thick mats of algae (stromatolites) that thrived in the warm, shallow Death Valley seas, most of the gray limestone shows little structure. Thousands of feet (hundreds of meters) of this limey goo were deposited in the Death Valley region. Similar limestone layers may be seen at Lake Mead National Recreation Area and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
At one of the bends in the canyon, megabreccia can be seen.

Native Americans carved petroglyphs on some of the rock faces of Titus Canyon, especially at springs and other points of interest.
Several different types of flowers, including the sacred datura, inhabit the area. Bighorn sheep are in residence, particularly in the Klare Spring area of the canyon.

Titus Canyon is located on the east side of Death Valley . It can be entered on foot from the west or by four-wheel-drive vehicle from the east. The drive is several miles long and can take more than an hour at a leisurely pace. The road, one-way from east to west only is closed during the winter months when there is snow in the pass to the canyon.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________
This is one of the classic 4WD (or two-foot!) canyon tours of the American West and should be near the top of your must-see list.

Named after Morris Titus, a prospector who disappeared in this area in 1906, Titus Canyon offers fun driving (or hiking), beautiful scenery, and extraordinary geology. From Red Pass, the Titus Canyon Road drops a vertical mile, at times winding through passages hundreds of feet deep but barely wide enough for your vehicle.
Check with Death Valley rangers before driving this route, as it’s often closed due to snow, mud, or flash floods. Do not enter the canyon if thunderstorms threaten.

2nd attempt Over the shoulder shot of Justin (it's a lot harder to do in the dirt at speed!)
Joel (h8chains) Amber (chickfire) Cathy (sopascat) Nicole (nicomama)
Nicole (nicomama) climbing the rocks to get a picture of the Petroglyphs
Joel & a view of the road we came in on
Justin at the Petroglyphs sign
Starting to get to the narrows of Titus cyn (stupid finger)
bad picture of a cool canyon
It's getting better everytime we come around a corner
3rd attempt shooting backwards, Really I meant to make it blurry
Awesome views everywhere you look !
Almost to the end

168.7 miles for the day :ricky

Dinner for the night Carne Asada Mmmmmmmmm! Duy (fishyhead) Jimmy (1224r) helping out with the killer food Made by Cathy (sopascat) and her Family with the help of many others
Thanks everyone !!!!

Found these in the morning
Next up
Sunday we found a real nice Waterfall

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