I was scheduled to lead a ride to the Saline Valley hot springs on friday. At the time I left home only one person had signed up, so I was wondering if this ride would even happen. At the rally I learned that two more had signed up, and then found a couple more interested folks around the campfires thursday night. Ultimately, only Cowgirl (Cindy) showed up at the appointed time friday morning. We waited several minutes past the scheduled departure time, and were just suiting up, when Macadamia (Andy) rolled up on a massive GSA with every farkle known to Touratech. OK, this could be interesting.
Three's company, so let's roll. Only ~70 miles out to the hot springs, so a ~20mph speed average should get us there and back well before dinner.
Chasing cats up Hwy190.
Made the turnoff at Saline Valley Road and Cindy was gone in a cloud of dust
Andy paused to make adjustments to the big GS before we gave chase at a slow, but steady pace.
Entering DVNP near Lee Flat.
Caught up with Cindy checking the view at South Pass, near the turnoff to Hunter Mtn.
Starting down into Saline Valley.
Cindy was quickly making tracks.
There were a couple ugly section heading down the canyon. Loose rocks and washouts.
Andy had a couple panic moments, but managed to keep the beast upright until here
The landing looked hard, but another foot or two to the right would've been much worse. Andy was up on his feet by the time I was parked
Luckily, a large group was passing by at that time and two Fine Fellows stopped to help. We got the beast upright and there didn't look to be any damage. Guess the farkles did their job
So now what? We had only gone about 30 miles in 2 hours, and half of that was highway. I knew there would be miles of sandy washboard ahead, and possibly more rock gardens and washouts in the canyon. And we would hafta do it all again on the way out. I know Andy wanted to see the springs, but at this rate we would probably need to turn back before getting there. After some thought, Andy made the difficult decision to turn back.
One of the FF's did a masterful job of riding the GS back up through the rocky sections. I stayed with Andy for a bit until he felt comfortable heading back on his own, then set off to chase down Cindy.
Looking down into Saline Valley as the canyon opens up.
Finally caught up with Cindy near Lippincott.
Cindy had just taken a Jimmy Lewis class the week before and was applying some new skills. I think she was standing almost the entire time.
"Stand on the bike like you are standing at a bar."
JL says this might be a little too relaxed
The sandy-gravel washboard across the valley floor was nasty. Under 30mph you feel every bump, over 30mph it begins to smooth out.
Still standing... Do NOT get in a standing competition with this woman!
Turn right and then a final push over to the springs.
We arrived to find Espi still dispensing fuel to stragglers/sweepers from the big group.
Cindy bummed a gallon or two as well, then we found some shade on the lawn to rest and relax.
Scenery was nice
I kept my sunglasses on and camera off