Blessed Hell Ride
Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California. Situated within the Mojave Desert, it features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America. Badwater, a basin located in Death Valley, is the specific location (36° 15' N 116° 49.5' W) of the lowest elevation in North America at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. This point is only 84.6 miles (136.2 km) ESE of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m). Death Valley holds the record for the highest reliably reported temperature in the Western hemisphere, 134 °F (56.7 °C) at Furnace Creek on July 10, 1913, just short of the world record, 136 °F (57.8 °C) in 'Aziziya, Libya, on September 13, 1922. However, the record high still remains the hottest July temperature ever recorded.
Located near the border of California and Nevada, in the Great Basin, east of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Death Valley constitutes much of Death Valley National Park and is the principal feature of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve. It is located mostly in Inyo County, California. It runs from north to south between the Amargosa Range on the east and the Panamint Range on the west; the Sylvania Mountains and the Owlshead Mountains form its northern and southern boundaries, respectively. It has an area of about 3,000 sq mi (7,800 km2). Death Valley shares many characteristics with other places below sea level.
Death Valley is home to the Timbisha tribe of Native Americans, formerly known as the Panamint Shoshone, who have inhabited the valley for at least the past 1000 years. The Timbisha name for the valley, tümpisa, means "rock paint" and refers to the red ochre paint that can be made from a type of clay found in the valley. Some families still live in the valley at Furnace Creek. Another village was located in Grapevine Canyon near the present site of Scotty's Castle. It was called maahunu in the Timbisha language, the meaning of which is uncertain, although it is known that hunu means "canyon".
The valley received its English name in 1849 during the California Gold Rush. It was called Death Valley by prospectors and others who sought to cross the valley on their way to the gold fields, although only one death in the area was recorded during the Rush. During the 1850s, gold and silver were extracted in the valley. In the 1880s, borax was discovered and extracted by mule-drawn wagons.
Death Valley National Monument was proclaimed on February 11, 1933 by President Hoover, placing the area under federal protection. In 1994, the monument was redesignated as Death Valley National Park, as well as being substantially expanded to include Saline and Eureka Valleys.
Information courtesy of Wikipedia
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The Blessed Hellride courtesy of Black Label Society
last minute...Monday I looked at the calendar, not much going on, haven't got out for a bit, fuck it! I'm going to Death Valley. Never been before, drooled over pictures, read reports, studied some websites, but being an East Coaster for the last 10 years I never had the chance to see it with my own eyes....so, screw it. I am going!! :D
End of March is a special time for me (touch on that later) and figured this would be a cool way to commemorate it. It was this or climb Mount Baldy alone and there was too much snow and ice up there.
I knew there was a nOOb ralley going this weekend too, but no offense to Joel or anyone else..I'm just not a big ralley guy, call me anti-social, but I really wanted to just get out and get away from it all... including people. To ride, sit, sleep, eat, shit with nothing, but Mother Earth, God and myself :lol3
more to come, but Momma just rang the dinner bell :D
Always like Death Valley RR --- :lurk
I share your outlook on riding:
"I knew there was a nOOb ralley going this weekend too, but no offense to Joel or anyone else..I'm just not a big ralley guy, call me anti-social, but I really wanted to just get out and get away from it all... including people. To ride, sit, sleep, eat, shit with nothing, but Mother Earth, God and myself"
Well said :D.
It all begins
with an idea...to get out of town and away from the madness of the city. A stop at REI brought me some more gadgets and most importantly a good map
I know better than to take the 4x4 required canyon trails, but I do want to get out of the pavement.
My original plan was to get out the Racetrack on day one and camp Homestead, but fear got the best of me :cry and talk of the nasty road surface made me decide to get to Wildrose campground instead. The map stated Heavy Duty tires required, the Ranger said everyday we have vehicles with multiple flats out there, another much better sounding ranger chick said the rocks on that road are the same material the natives made arrowheads out of :huh ADV guys said "Everytime I go out there at least one guy gets a flat" It was a fear that I would get some failure of the Tourances I couldn't plug or patch and be stranded...looking back now, I regret giving in to the fear. :cry
The loose plan was to ride from Ventura 250ish miles see Mount Whitney in Lone Pine and then unto Father Crowley Point, the Charcoal Kilns, Zabriski Point, Dante's Views, Ubehebe Crater, Titus Canyon, Artist Drive, BadWater, Teakettle Junction and the Race Track...fuel up every chance I had, carry two extra oh shit gallons of fuel and one oh fuck gallon of water with I am going to be out here for awhile stove and some Backpacker's Pantry.
The bike was being packed about 6 hours after the decision to go was made, to say I was excited is an understatement...:wink:
Now, how was going to carry the extra fuel and H2O? I tried to keep it down low and strap to passenger pegs, but it was too unstable. I was looking at Rotopax, but I am cheap and time is getting close. I found an old 2 gallon can and a one gallon Igloo container on the cheap...gas can was free....Igloo container was not much at Wally World. I ended up strapping to the seat, won't be much different than the wife sitting there :lol3 if she weighed 24 pounds..some folks warned, but, but, but liquid is different..it will slosh around, you will loose control and die :rofl Yeah...way different than the 5.8 gallons of fuel between my legs..this time I would ignore the fear because I found it silly.
Lookin a wee bit crazy in this pic....but I accept it, I am nuts.
Put in for Thursday and Friday off with plans to be back late Saturday to rest up and clean up on Sunday....man, Thursday dark thirty couldn't come fast enough, bike was fully packed beside nid niod stuff by Tuesday afternoon :D
:evil Final preps in the first glow of dawn...t-minus 20 to blast off :ricky
Out of Angeles was pretty sketchy, early morning traffic mixed with fog and throw some speed demon commuters :jerko sketchy...glad to get out of LA county and into the wide open....winds were horrendous, but still better than traffic
What? That's it? Great so far, will check back.
After 250 miles of barron desert and high winds, especially coming through Mojave area. Holy crap!! I was getting blown all over the road, some of the worst cross winds I ever experienced. Had to stop a couple times just to get my breath back...:huh
It was so worth it though when I can fuel up in Lone Pine, CA and spot this from the store parking lot :clap
Tallest Peak in the lower 48
Had a very interesting conversation in the lot with an old Vietnam Vet,SF Green Berret. He was so politically incorrect and knarly that it was a trip talking with him. He rambled on and on about Nam, the state of the country, Hollywood, Harleys and Death Valley...didn't want to be rude, but hell I wanted to roll...certaintley didn't want to offend as he looked like he would gut me in a second :eek1
I finally broke free and stop a bit down the road for some glamour shots
Shitty stitch, but still pretty cool lookin
Left off 395 toward the valley, looked in rear view and just had to stop :D Freakin beautiful contrast between the barron high desert floor and the snow cap peaks of the Eastern Sierras
Dream coming true...so fired up at this point.
Down into the valley, nice twisty road to Father Crowley Point
Had another great meeting with a photographer and his son at this point. He was in Antartica a few weeks earlier, we talked about Frozen Planet :wink: I directed him to Titus Canyon, I was amazed he never heard of it :huh Hope he can get some money shots in there...not that kind sicko :lol3
Down into the valley, right onto Panamint, looking for WildRose. I have got to get some of this camping gear off...bike is a slug, but really slug like when loaded down...
left onto Wildrose, begin to climb back out the valley...roads getting rougher and I like that :wink:
Having not seen what lies ahead I am already tickled by this terrain...it pales to what is coming, but it is still very neat to ride through for a Yankee like me
Success!!! Found a nice little spot to lay my head, right next to the H2O faucet and close to the brush for late night piss trips
not bad, 4 minutes to set up :lol3
butter a roll with that smile :rofl
let's ride :ricky
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down, down into the valley below...temps are nice and warm down here, but I chose to sleep up top..lows in the 40s there, good sleeping weather.
mountains to the left of me
flat land to the right
back out of the valley to Beaty, NV..figure gas would be cheaper there and I want to ride Titus Canyon before I lose light
rollin into the little town of Beaty, locals warned me to stay below the 25mph limit, cops love to ticket out of towners
now we are getting somewhere!! the sense of nowhere :thumb
Titus Canyon road, one way into the park, very washboarded until you get into the canyon areas, then it was nice and graded...awesome road
Beautiful place!!! :tb
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