Father and Son Death Valley Weekend Ride
You may have seen my other ride report of a father and son ride down the Continental Divide (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=606301). Well here is another installment, this time a 3 day weekend ride around Death Valley National Park.
My Dad and I have been riding together ever since I can remember (started out with 2 up on his K bike when I was in grade school), and since he had never been to Death Valley I figured it would be a great idea to get him to fly out from Michigan and then take him out for a ride on the dirt to explore Death Valley. After all, dirt is the best way to explore one of the best national parks in the country.
We loaded up the trailer with my F800GS (to ensure that I would be limited in not riding to too crazy of places) and my WR250R (the smaller bike will better suit his non advanced dirt riding), and headed up the DV last Friday evening. With a quick overnight stop in Ridgecrest, we then unloaded at Panamint Springs on Saturday morning.
I'll also add this was perfect timing to try out my newly acquired camera, the RX100 (Thanks Lost!)
The first loop was an easier loop to get him warmed up. We first headed out to Chloride City.
Next we went east in NV to Beatty for lunch and gas.
A quick stop in Rhyolite...
My Dad here on the way to Titus Canyon.
Here we are at one of the passes near Titus.
Both of us in Titus Canyon.
Next up, a quick stop by the Charcoal Kilns.
Finally, heading down Wildrose Rd back to Panamint.
We started out with a stop in Ballarat, and learned that this old truck out front is most likely Manson's old truck.
A shot of the store. I warned the caretaker that a bunch of ADVers would be stopping by on Easter weekend!
Next we headed up to the infamous Goler Wash Steps. Though they are not so big now!
Here is a head on shot.
They are very easy now. I had zero issues on my F800GS, and my Dad, who would call himself a n00b in the dirt, had zero issues too. The gravel definitely has filled in. Overall the entire wash has been graded with gravel, which is a little more annoying then sand, but also not a show stopper for getting n00bs up. Well a fresh of the boat n00b might not like it on a 1200, but on a single it should not be a problem.
Spring water still running down the wash.
Quick stop at the Barker Ranch.
And onto Mengel Pass...
My bike took a little nap, but all due to my fault and lack of attention, not really a hard spot. :lol:
Mengel does get a little rocky. I definitely had to go a bit slow in spots on my F800GS to doggy paddle it up.
Top of Mengel Pass.
Heading down Mengel. Going W to E is definitely easier. Going E to W will present more problems for those on bigger bikes.
Lunch with a view, at the Geologist Cabin. A couple was set up there for the week, but let us use the table for lunch. Trader Joes has some good wraps that travel well for remote lunch breaks!
Striped Butte, one of my favorite geological features.
My Dad then got caught off guard by the softer gravel in between the two track and went down. He did bruise his foot up a bit and had a little limp, but it didn't stop him from riding out. Some Ibuprofen helped to keep the swelling down, and all was good. I definitely laid into him about the "told you so". He hates clunky dirt boots and insisted on his street boots, which do go over the ankle, but do not offer armor or stiff support.
Stopped by one of the old mines at Warm Springs.
A sand storm was blowing quite hard, as you can see at Warm Springs and West Side Road.
Since he was a bit worn out from the long day of dirt so far and his ankle, we decided to head south a few miles and then jump on the paved Bad Water Road. We stopped for a photo at Bad Water.
Next up, a quick detour through Artists Drive. We came around a corner to see 3 people trying to get a K1600LT over a dirt hump and back onto the road. So we gave him a push. Turns out a group of Brazilians had rented some bikes from Las Vegas BMW (two 1200RT's an a 1600LT), and one went off the road. Lucky for him that he nor the bike suffered any damage. I should have grabbed a photo! :lol:
Obligatory gas price photo at Furnace Creek.
Another solid day of riding, finishing up just at dark.
The closed signs, per usual, out on Saline Valley Road. No worries here.
I love this Joshua Tree section.
Looking back at Saline Valley Road, from Hunter Mountain Road. Click on the photo for a larger view.
It was here I set my helmet on my mirror, then it blew off and rolled a few feet. If it rolled 10 more feet, it would have gone down a VERY steep hill, and I probably would have had to ride back helmet-less, unless I found a rope and anchor to rappel with. Watch your helmet!
Hunter Mountain Road was in great shape. No mud puddles, unlike last year at the 2012 n00b ride. No snow at all. Though I heard its raining/snowing this weekend/tonight, so that could change. I will be back there next weekend to check it out again though.
Coming down the other side. Again, click for a bigger view.
Can you spot my Dad?
LOST was here!
We then went out to the Racetrack and walked out to the Grand Stand to eat our second set of Trader Joes wraps. Perfect view!
The south end of the playa has the moving rocks. Unfortunately, some idiots still drive their cars/bicycles/motorbikes out there, and like messing with the rocks and tracks.
The Playa from a distance.
Last dirt stop is Ubehebe Crater. Click for a bigger view.
My Dad enjoying the view.
We then rode back to Panamint to load up for the drive back to LA. I rode VERY VERY fast,as you can see here!
Actually, my speedo just needs to be warrantied!
GPS Tracks, we rode 557 miles overall.
I have some Go Pro helmet shots that I have yet to upload, which will show more details on road conditions. Maybe I will get to that some day. All in all, a great ride!
Wow. Those are some amazing pics from an amazing place!
awesome pics and lots of miles you guys covered...:clap
once again, great rr and pics, isaac
best part though is hanging with your pop
Nice pics! Gotta ask…what did you do with your DR650 that you had used on the Great Divide ride?
Looks like you guys pretty covered it all. That's the best I've ever seen Goler Wash, peice of cake:clapYou saw someone in the Ballarat Store? Usually when I stop it's just the dog. Great report, thanks for sharing.
I believe their names are George and Rocky, they help maintain land and water piping out there. Usually on the weekends they are around the store.
Nice write up. :clap
Which auxiliary lights are those on the WR?
Info on WR install: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...4#post20803544
Info on F800GS install: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...3#post20803583
George was Rocky's Dad, he passed away a couple of years ago. Rocky lives there full time as did George, all you gotta do is hang around for a little bit and Rocky will come out to visit.
Another good report with your Dad, really liked your divide report too. :thumb
Rocky and his Dad, George. I think George was in his 90s and had lived out there most of his life. He passed on a few years ago.
Here's a pic of my friend Leslie with George a while back.
The dog's name is Pot Licker btw....
I returned two weeks later (this past weekend) for another round with another Michigander, this time my friend who I used to wrench on bicycles with (another fellow inmate). Since right now I am too lazy to write another ride report, here is the best of that trip, a little cap on this trip.
Click on any for a full size version.
Stripped Butte Valley and a wild burro.
Eureka Valley Dunes
Big Pine Road
Saline Valley Road
Swansea Grade Road
Yours truly, looking off at Lone Pine, Alabama Hills, and the infamous Mt Whitney.
Burgess Mining Cabin
Off into the hills...
can't get enough of dv huh?
the pictures are turning much nicer. front page materials for sure.
lots of riding to be had....can't wait. will be there next thursday....:clap
thanks isaac for sharing your experience.
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