We began Sunday's ride a little late. It takes a while for the fall sun to warm Lone Pine up to a pleasant riding temperature. We lit out on this course a about 11am.
We had big plans. maybe 200 miles most of it hwy and good dirt roads. Well that didn't work out. LOL
First we stopped in at Craig the sculpturist place out at Keeler. I'd been there before but Fey hadn't. She deserved to be subjected to Craig. Quite an experience really. Never stops talking, but in an interesting way. He made the first of the upcoming pictures. Guess which one is Craig.
We spent till noon there and ten headed to Darwin. Darwin is an old mine site that has more of society's eclectic dropouts than anywhere else in the world, except maybe Keeler...
We stopped at Darwins 'Garden' where a couple of the towns folks were tidying up a bit. Lady in the picture is Canyon. She and Fey had met at the Keeler Halloween blowout Sat night.
She told us the storm a couple weeks ago had washed out the road that we were headed for. Washed out is a relative term, but judging from what the ranger told us earlier a few of the old main back roads in DV Park had gotten seriously washed out from the same storm. We'd have to see for ourselves of course.
Off to the wash in question we went, and sure enough last years tracks were hard to find at times, but the wash was wide enough to find a way. There had been 10 vehicles or so thru before us so finding the way was fairly easy riding.....but of course Fey was terrified in the large loose gravel. Nip and I struggled too, but having more experience meant a lot less fear for us.
I'd been thru this canyon 5 years back in a 4 X 4, but I'd forgotten a lot of it. There a pump house (No longer in uses) down there with a 2 foot dia electric motor that drove a huge pump to supply water for a mine hundreds of feet above and a 1/2 mile away. We saw what we could see at the pump house, then headed off to Nip's surprise.
At "D" on the map we were able to ride a mile north to that small black spot on the map. That's a spring/oasis....with gold fish, yet. It was so lovely that it was an hour before we started to leave.
Look and see if you can see what's wrong in this picture.
So, we spent the next hour patching his rear tube. Fey is a good hand when it comes to fixing tires...who knew?
Then we were back under way. It was another couple miles of loose sand before we started up out of the sand wash. Fey struggled mightily. She was sure that the trail wasn't a road. At one time she dug her rear wheel in so deep the bike would stand up by itself. Then after she'd gotten a picture she forgot that the kickstand wasn't down, and upon hiking her leg to get on, the bike promptly threw her on her butt.
...Then........Remember, Parking lot drops don't count.
So we started up the mountain....first we had to get through a rutted area at the bottom. I got my first F'you from Fey when I told her to just punch it. She eventually got control of herself, and made it thru after Nip and I threw some stones in the worst part. Pretty gutsy gal once she quits whining and crying in her helmet about, "This is so not a road". :)
So the next several miles was up and down. The trail was slow but passable with vistas to die for. Eventually we got to the parking area to hike to Panamint Falls. Nip say that there is a 50 ft pool that has an actual water feeding it. It's down wash from the oasis where we had the flat tire. Water for Panamint Springs is piped the 7 miles from the Falls thru a pipe that can be seen all along the canyon wall. Nip says that pipe has to be repaired constantly.
Panamint Springs Dunes out there....
We wished we had enough time to walk to the falls, but it was 6pm, we headed for the barn post haste. It was a 1000ft where we found the hwy, and by the time we got to 6000 ft on the way back is was down to 55 degrees....cold enough for this old desert rat.
Our 200 mile ride got shortened to a 100 with only 15 or so of challenging dirt. It wore us out enough we were to tired to cook. We rewarded ourselves with pizza when we got back well after dark at 7pm.
The rest of the pix are at...starting after the picture of Nip and his drum set.