We'd cooked all our meals up to that point, but the Panamint Springs restaurant was calling-------couldn't resist. For weeks I'd been raving about the selection of ales at PSR and I don't think my son quite believed me until we walked in the door and I showed him the refrigerated cases. Enjoyed burgers and a couple nice ales and crawled into the bags.
For the first time on the trip we woke up to make coffee and didn't have to chop through ice.
Didn't take much discussion to agree that we're going to stay here another night and enjoy the warmth.
I'd never been to Saline Valley Hot Springs so we unloaded the bags and headed back up 190 a bit to catch Saline Valley Road, climbed up over South Pass
and found our way to the springs. Bryn got to stretch out the fire-breathing DR650 a bit--he's an off-road racer at heart
--and I just tried to keep within sight of his dust cloud. That was hard enough, too.
Many of the roads in Death Valley had been hit hard by flooding last fall and I wasn't too sure what we'd find. There were a couple rocky areas, a long stretch that was still snow and ice covered and a few washouts but nothing impassable, at least for motorcycles. I wouldn't want to take a passenger car over that way.
The hot springs were great.
Very clean, an oasis of palms and green plants, with some great choices for soaking. We took advantage of the lower pool and enjoyed watching the fighter pilots practice low altitude runs right over our heads.
That evening we were invited to share the campfire with a couple a few sites down. They were traveling in their "land yacht" a very cool home-built rig complete with blacksmith foundry--he gives historical demonstrations for schools--and a boom for loading his TW200.
We'd met him on the road to Saline Valley along with his friend, both riding TW's. Lots of great stories, and photos missed. The land yacht was created because they'd had a dream of sailing around the world, started their voyage, and discovered he was highly susceptible to seasickness. Now, they're pursuing their dream
We could have spent weeks exploring Death Valley but Baja was calling, so up the next morning and set out for a place that many Death Valley travelers had highly recommended: Tecopa Springs.