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Old 09-18-2012, 09:56 PM   #47
freefallen OP
down with gravity
 
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: New Jersey
Oddometer: 240
Death Valley

To answer the inevitable questions as to why I didn't turn back.
There isn't a single answer. At first the road was fine, at time it was even paved.
While ago this area was run by the military for the silver and other mines. Sometime in the 60s the mines and roads were abandoned and no one has maintained them since. They have been deteriorating for the past 50+ years. Some of the road was gravel but it was graded and it was a pleasure to ride on.

After that I hit the first puddle where you saw my bike lying in. I crossed the puddle on foot, it was lower than my knees and very passable. I got a running start but in the middle of the puddle I was catapulted out of my seat. Turns out there was a large rock slightly off center that I didn't notice on foot. This was the first time I had to unload my bike.

After that the road started to gradually get worse. I had to unload my bike a few more times to move on. With each fall I wasn't gaining any strength. I left at 5 am to avoid this heat hoping I would reach my destination before the full heat sets in. But once it got past afternoon and the sun was like an oven, it didn't make any sense to go back. Also I knew the road after the Sailing Rocks would be better than what I just passed. Plus I already passed 3/4 of the way.

On the map below this part was from B to C, which should have taken me 2 1/2 hours. This is the exact spot I told my son to look for me.

http://goo.gl/maps/aZWGw

The part after C, as the ranger confirmed, was better and I could have gotten past it without problem. But I couldn't get through the last 8 miles.

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