Well I need to keep DSM8 happy (who I completely failed to meet this weekend), so here is my report.
So as many of you know I had a lot of issues leading up to the event. March was over-booked and stuff kept coming up. I'm a stubborn bastard though and was going to get out there no matter what, sorry to those who lost the bets.
After two hours sleep Tuesday night I departed at 4:50 AM for PSR. My method of travel didn't notice wind, rock solid all the way.
It took me quite some time to get there, I believe I rolled in at around 3:00 pm after many
stops to do work via my Verizon MiFi card and about thirty minutes of sleep outside Trona (yes I still had hubcaps after I woke up).
As mentioned the drive was easy and while I felt a little guilty having a perfectly good dual sport motorcycle in the back I enjoyed it. I stopped in Trona for a little extra fuel and coffee and kept going. If you haven't seen Trona it is a wonderfully quaint little town full of affluent people with beautiful homes. It really is god's country.
After Trona came the point that I thought "hey, this would be a little fun on a moto."
I arrived at PSR, ate a delicious blue cheese burger in the restaurant and enjoyed a couple of Firestone DBAs. Afterward I set up my little home for the weekend, I took up as little space as possible expecting to share site 40 but nobody ever arrived.
In the late-afternoon I decided to head out to a cell spot I discovered on Panamint Valley Road. I went to grab my gear and realized in my haste that I grabbed my FirstGear Kathmandu Jacket but not the pants, I grabbed my FirstGear HT Overpants instead; my commuting pants. I was not happy but figured I would deal with it.
I wandered around camp like a lost puppy for the rest of the day. Having been involved in Jeep clubs for a long time and gone to numerous events where everybody knows me it was odd being the new guy again. In the evening I went over the the PSR restaurant and had dinner and a few beers. I hung out there for the evening sampling a few of the great beers on tap and in bottles, meeting a few ADVers along the way including Felix from Team Adobe. Later that night I brought my laptop over and took care of some work that had to be finished before going to bed.
Thursday morning I got up and did more wondering around. I was half-assedely looking for a 4x4 to place the repeater box on Hunter Mountain but failed to do so. I had some offers but didn't bring my printed information with me. By the afternoon I abandoned that project in favor of joining up with Joel, Larry, Jim, and a couple others (I'm shit with names, sorry folks!) to take a ride, I suited up in my commuter pants and armor and hit the road (not literally). We ran out toward Lookout Mountain where my KLR got to be the first one to stop for fixing. My GPS mount that had been solid for the past 5,000 miles decided to go loose. I opened my tail box and guess what? No tools! I lament my stupidity and wonder if I had left them in camp or at home. Larry grabs a Torx bit that just might maybe sorta work for the phillips screws on my mount. I thank him and walk around the bike to tighten it, in doing so I see the nice little tool carrier I mounted to my front fender. Yup, forgot all about it, there they were! We stopped to watch a little riding tequnique demo by Larry when I screwed up again, I was parked on a bit of a sidehill and missed my footing, down she went. I found out five miles later that I had broken the drivers side turn signal (earning me a Pelican hat brim light). After that we headed to Ballarat for some cold drinks.
After Ballarat it was off to look at the Golersteps; myself, Jim, and guy whose name I forgot ran up the steps. Me and the nameless dude kept going about halfway up the canyon before Joel caught up with us and told us we went too far; I was under the mistaken impression that Larry had gone up ahead, plus I was in the moment having fun and didn't want to stop. Sorry Joel! We turned around and made our way done.
That was my first real dirt day on the KLR, I had a blast and didn't drop it once while moving! The pants really sucked as they don't breath well, every time we stopped I zipped up the pant leg for ventalation giving Larry a bit of a show. I celebrated with ADVdinner and beer, thanks for the chili Bob, it really made that burger tasty. Much bullshitting happened at camp. I'm not responsible for any of it.
Friday morning I woke up early. I wondered around camp and saw a Klim dealer setting up. I decided to take a look. I walked away with a set of Klim Mojave pants. Yay for 10% discounts! Yay for not shitty pants! I went on Titus with Mr. G Greg. We stopped first at Beatty for fuel, supplies, and a friendly toilet before heading into Rhyolite and stopping by the museum / open-air gallery.
Albert Szukalski's Ghost Rider
Szukalski's Last Supper
Hugo Heyrman clearly liked natural blondes. Here is the pixelated Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada made out of cinder blocks.
After that we headed down to Titus. We had a good time and moved at a noob friendly pace, an anonymous member of the group may have said hello the ground a few times (no, it wasn't me)...
We had lunch at Leadfield where I took out my nice balance chair then continued on through Titus and ultimately back home in the mid-afternoon. While waiting at the construction site on Towne Pass ParaMud and Natalie pulled up behind us. I complimented Natalie on her pink KLR; she replied that, unlike Para and myself, hers was intentionally pink.
Friday night we had our dinner and first raffle, I didn't win :(
Luckily I had only consumed a couple beers at this point as word came out that Diego was stuck at the hot springs with an injured wrist. A good friend of mine keeps his built Cherokee at PSR so I grabbed it for the rescue. Larry took the lead in his F150 with a couple of guys inside and I jumped in David's Jeep along with John and we went down Saline Valley Road. We made it a good distance in before I got the call from Joel on the sat phone that Pablo had gotten Diego out of the hot springs and the bike was coming out in the morning. We turned around and got back to camp at around 1:45 or so. (John, give me those GPS plots!) It was a good night to do a bit of night wheeling and I had a good time. I was glad to hear Saturday afternoon that Diego had no breaks in the wrist.
Since I was up so late I didn't commit to any rides for Saturday. I woke up and wondered around camp a bit before taking David's Jeep across the street to get some breakfast. Then I filled the Jeep up and put it back where it belongs.
My *two* borrowed rigs for the weekend!
After locking the Jeep away I walked back to camp and started tidying up the camp and the bike's tail box while I decided where to go today. In case anybody is curious what that ugly tail box contains here it is. Two quarts of oil, two tubes, a few tools, a chair you'll see later on, and lunch in an East German surplus bag (yes, it is a requirement for all KLRs to use surplus crap). The black box mounted beneath is a first aid kit.
By mid-morning I had decided my final ride for this weekend; I went out toward Wildrose. Along the way I saw a white Jeep Grand Cherokee pulled over on Panamint Valley Road. Her radiator was completely knackered (and my was the coolant dirty inside). I made sure she had everything she needed and that help was on the way before I got back on the mighty KLR and continued my way to the dirt.
Heading up Wildrose I saw some larger than a rabbit wildlife. As soon as I saw the male on the road I killed the engine and coasted to a stop. This allowed me to take some photos of the whole family, two adults, one adolescent, and one cute little juvenile that you can't quite see here (to the right of the right-most full sized one).
Anyway blah blah blah I'm getting tired of typing so am just going to photo bomb a bit.
Uncharted road off of Emigrant Pass Road.
Lunch on Aguereberry Point
Previously mentoined chair, yes you balance on those two legs and is quite comfy and light. Don't use it while drunk.
My attempts to be a 14 year old goth kid.
I love the shadows of the clouds on the terrain.
Anyway after lunch I wondered back to camp and started the process of procrastinating packing up the truck. I went off looking for Long to see if he needed a ride home but he, being the hardcore motherfucker he is, had ridden out on the back of somebody's motorcycle. Afterward I grabbed a shower and got into some clean clothes. Then I packed my clothes away and broke down the tent. To celebrate this great accomplishment I had a beer and wondered over to eat dinner and be a big loser at the raffle.
Directly after the raffle I broke down the awning I had set up over the dinner area and packed it up. Felix helped me load the KLR into the truck then I finally set my stove up for the first time that weekend to make a pot of coffee. While the coffee was brewing I started tossing stuff into the cab and bed of the truck, being very careful not to be in any way organized. After the coffee was finished I let the stove and my lantern cool while I went and said my goodbyes/talk shit to the East and West wings of camp. I attempted to give my regards to Joel but he was probably passed out in his van after those pulls of Karma he had. I climbed into the truck and hit the road at 11:30, stopping about ten miles outside of Trona to grab an hours sleep; I made it to Torrance at 4:45am.
It was a great event and I am glad I went. Shout outs go to Joel for organizing this herd of cats as well as leading me into my first real dirt and Larry for sweeping. Greg for leading the Titus run and his sweeper Don. Heirhead Dave for letting me pester you on Wednesday afternoon. Jim for also letting me be a pest. And finally Team Adobe for keeping me from getting sun burnt the entire weekend and the half and half for my coffee Saturday night, I hope you got your wounded F800 off Goler and happy again.
One last note. I had a hell of a fun time on the paved Emigrant Pass road, some nice little corners that were fun with my low trail gearing and 606s.
All photos above and more are here: http://events.sequoia4x4.com/v/20130328-advdv/
Until next time, goodbye Panamint Valley.