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Old 08-02-2008, 12:20 AM   #4
dave6253 OP
The Tourist
 
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Joined: May 2006
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Oddometer: 3,069
Day 1, The Beginning

July 18, 2008
The alarm sounds at 1:30 AM. I went to bed much later than planned. After 3 hours of restless sleep I'm now WIDE AWAKE. Today is the day I have dreamed and planned for. I quickly get dressed and load the last few items into the tank bag.

At 2 AM I'm off. The early start is to get as much desert riding as possible completed before the hottest part of the day. It's forecast to be 110 in Phoenix today. I plan to get as far as possible in the first day. I have a well planned route, but have not planned where to camp or how far to travel each day. I will camp where I can and will ride as far as possible early in the trip in order to hopefully slow down and enjoy each day more later. (Or add the side trips I had to delete.)

I make it almost to Laughlin, NV before stopping to get some early daylight photos and the moon going down on the desert.







Laughlin, NV





This is me trying to outrun the sun. I was unsuccessful. Notice the high tech paper maps I used to plot the route, highlighted, and displayed on the tank bag. I could have probably done the entire route without the map considering how much thought went into it. (No GPS needed)





The following 4 photos were taken on highway 164 that runs between the 95 and I-15. It is a beautiful desolate desert highway with almost no other traffic. This was my third time to ride it and each time has been amazing.









I stop in Baker, CA for gas and a photo of "the Largest Thermometer in the World". It's reading 93 degrees already.



I notice how the bugs really love Aprilias and Scorpions.



On to Death Valley. I should have my head examined for planning a ride through Death Valley in July.







Badwater Road
















I make it to Badwater Basin. The lowest point of land in the Western Hemisphere. 282 feet below sea level. It's before 10 AM and the bike instrument panel displays 121 after sitting in the parking lot only 5 minutes.










I purchased the trips most expensive gas in Furnace Creek. Beggers can't be choosy.



I stop at the Visitor Center to purchase an annual park pass.



It's 10am and 109 degrees in the shade. The Ranger told me it was forecast to be 122 today. I'd better get the hell out of hell...





Day 1 will be continued...
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