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Old 02-08-2014, 01:48 PM   #1
AKMotorbiker OP
Searching for sanity
 
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Joined: Jun 2013
Location: So California (temp)
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Searching for Sanity!

I've decided to do an ongoing ride report with stand alone reports for big journeys. Searching for Sanity is an ongoing effort to avoid, dodge, side step, and out maneuver real life in exchange for the next ride. In a world of commercial bombardment, politics, inefficiency, and bureaucratic spider webs it's important to separate yourself from all the BS and unwind.

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Last summer I purchased my 2013 BMW R1200 GSW. I did a fly and ride adventure to pick it up and return home. That report was "First Ride, BMW R1200 GSW" which was followed a month later by "First Ride, Off Road Edition". Since then I commute every day, rain or shine, slick or loaded down, because its therapeutic for me. On the most stressful days I can look forward to at least riding to and from work at one with the road, senses fully engaged. Over the last six months I've logged 5400 miles, 115 hrs, 30*-102*F and a little rain (my commute is very short).


Ride Index

Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada (Nov 2013) Post 2
Palms to Pines, Idyllwild, California (Feb 2, 2014) Post 7
Coronado Island, San Diego, California (Feb 13, 2014) Post 16
Angeles Crest, California (Feb 15, 2014) Post 20
Balboa Park, San Diego, California (Mar 3, 2014)Post 34
Death Valley, California (May2-5, 2014)Post 50
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Death Valley

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Old 02-08-2014, 02:24 PM   #2
AKMotorbiker OP
Searching for sanity
 
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One of my goals is to retrain myself to slow down, enjoy the journey, and relax. I want to strike a balance between enjoying my ride and stopping to enjoy the scenery. Basically to explore not travel. It won't happen overnight but I hope to make progress.

In November 2013 we decided to head to Las Vegas from Orange County for the weekend to visit some friends. To show the like mindedness of my wife and I, we both thought I was riding while she transported the kids (my support crew).

On the way in to Vegas a friendly Officer reminded me that lane sharing in traffic was not allowed. It doesn't mean I didn't see it happening though, I just got caught. No violation, just a warning.

The real gem of the trip was heading out to Red Rock Canyon for the afternoon. The contrast of the red sand stone to the surrounding desert was amazing. The kids climbed around for hours and we had lunch taking in the landscape.

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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Death Valley
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:17 PM   #3
Rutabaga
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Admirable goal in your search for sanity. Let us know how the hunt is going.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:30 AM   #4
AKMotorbiker OP
Searching for sanity
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
Admirable goal in your search for sanity. Let us know how the hunt is going.
I plan to keep you updated regularly. Keeping this report going is like having an upcoming test. I know I have to study, ie have material to put in it.
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Death Valley
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:36 AM   #5
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New Years Eve

Wife:"Can you pick up the pizza?"
Me:"I sure can!"

image
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Death Valley
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:49 AM   #6
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Super Bowl Sunday was my next trip out. I was doing reconnaissance for camping areas in the San Bernardino area up by Idyllwild, CA. This would take me along the scenic byway known as "Palms to Pines". I started out along the Pacific with the clouds and a front moving in. The forecast had rain for me and 2-4 inches of snow for the mountains but, not until midnight. I headed up Hwy 74 with temperatures down to 30*F, bundled up with head to toe layers and heated grips blasting. I made a mental note to invest in larger brush guards and gauntlets for next "winter".

Here you can see the front moving in at the coast.

image

Here is an example of needing to pause and get a good picture. I didn't want to stop so I depended on pulling a still off my video. I didn't turn out well.

image
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Death Valley
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:05 PM   #7
bhb
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Great shots and report!!


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Old 05-09-2014, 10:06 PM   #8
AKMotorbiker OP
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Stone dude and bhb, I hope this plants the seeds for part of who they grow up to be and thanks, I sifted through over 1,000 pictures and pulled about a third to tell this story. So many incredible shots but, they don't replace the memories, they only help to recall. I just hope at least one person chooses to go here after reading this report and I'll feel good, aside from being able to relive this trip for me and family.
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Death Valley

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Old 05-09-2014, 10:09 PM   #9
AKMotorbiker OP
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Location: So California (temp)
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Here is the turn off for Devil's Golf Course. It is basically a road isthmus out into the formation.

Devil's Golf Course turn off

Devil's Golf Course

It says on a warm day you can hear sounds. It was warm but, we didn't hear anything out in the course but, who can hear anything with four kids, and I'm half deaf. What'd ya say?

Devil's Golf Course

Devil's Golf Course

A little farther North is Artist Drive which is a single lane, paved loop that goes past Artist's Palette. The colors were amazing, even if our pictures don't show it exactly how it was. It was also late morning, which wasn't the optimum time. Impressive none the less!

Artist Drive turn off

Artist Drive

Artist Drive

Artist Drive

Artist Drive

Artist Drive

Artist Drive

Here is Artist's Palette

Artist's Palette

Artist Palette

My wife and I were discussing the colors and decided that the Palette was missing a few key primary colors so, here is the improved Artist's Palette with a "pop"(as my wife would say) of red and yellow!








Artist Palette

Continuing on Artist Drive.

Artist Drive

We headed back to Furnace Creek the get fuel and eat lunch at the day use area next to the gas station. The temperature had just surpassed yesterday!

Temperature Saturday 3 May 2014

Here is the gas prices at Furnace Creek. Stovepipe Wells was a dollar cheaper but, they only had 87 octane and it was a generic brand ie, no name.

Gas prices at Furnace Creek 3 May 2014

Here was an impromptu museum outside the gas station featuring two antique pay phones. I remember using these as a kid to call my parents when I needed a ride home. If they didn't answer the phone anchored to the wall I would wait and try again. Good thing we didn't have answering machines then, it would have swallowed up my .15 cents!

Antique pay phone display at Furnace Creek


Don't forget to hydrate!

Hydrating at Furnace Creek
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Death Valley
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:12 AM   #10
AKMotorbiker OP
Searching for sanity
 
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Joined: Jun 2013
Location: So California (temp)
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We headed East now to see Zabriskie Point, ride/ drive the 20 mule team canyon, and visit Dante's View.

CA 190 East heading from Furnace Creek to Zobriskie Point

Here is the turn off for Zabriskie Point

Zobriskie Point turn off

And the parking area. Most of the parking lots have a toilet of some sort (mainly pit toilets) but, no trash cans! Pack out your trash. That's the view point on top of the hill. A short hike. This was the busiest venue in the park with the exception of Scotty's castle which had everyone spread out so it seemed less.

Zobriskie Point parking area

Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point

This sign warns you not to chase your balls over the edge! So, keep your hands on your balls and under control.

Warning at Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point


20 Mule Team Canyon

Twenty Mule Team Canyon turn off

Twenty Mule Team Canyon

Twenty mule team canyon

Twenty mule team canyon

Twenty mule team canyon

I was expecting a little more of a challenge in 20 Mule Team Canyon. It was a dirt road and the last picture showed what could have been a more substantial road previously. It was still a nice little ride.

Now on to Dante's View. The ride up was nice and the temperature started dropping rapidly! Not like an Alaskan winter but, dropped to a comfortable mid 80F. Sooooo refreshing! That is Badwater Basin directly below (the parking area and viewing platform).

Dante's View

On the way up I had started to see flowers and I was glad to see theses little specks of life in the desert. Color blasting back the tan desert shades!

Coming down Dante's View


On the way back to Furnace Creek I noticed this.

Furnace Creek?

Could this be "Furnace Creek"? It flowed to it and it was the only creek I've seen. I'll just say yes.

We were now in the mid afternoon and at the point we should have been last night. We put in enough gas at Furnace Creek to make it to Beatty, NV. So, off we went to fuel up in Beatty then hit Rhyolite Ghost Town and into Titus Canyon if we had time.

It was a very good thing we got gas in Beatty!

Gas Prices at Beatty, Nevada 3 May 2014


And it was cooler. I was hoping Titus Canyon would be cooler as well. Next stop Rhyolite.
__________________
"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Death Valley

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Old 05-10-2014, 11:47 PM   #11
AKMotorbiker OP
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Location: So California (temp)
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Rhyolite Ghost Town


Here's a picture documenting me taking a picture.

Rhyolite


And here is the bottle house!

Rhyolite Bottle House

Built by Tom Kelly and constructed using mostly beer bottles from the towns saloons he never lived in it and raffled it off for $5 tickets after completing it. There were two other bottle houses in the town. Rhyolite has a couple websites with more info.

Rhyolite Bottle House

Rhyolite Bottle House


My oldest Daughter noticed that the shapes in the foreground were actually buildings which we assume is a model of the town.

Rhyolite Bottle House

This picture is a little creepy. I think seeing children's things in a ghost town is unsettling.

Rhyolite Bottle House

Here are some pieces from around the town laid out at the bottle house.

Rhyolite Bottle House

Rhyolite Bottle House

Rhyolite Bottle House

Rhyolite Bottle House

Rhyolite Bottle House

Rhyolite Bottle House

Here we can take vandalism and have it suit my purpose.

Rhyolite Bottle House

Rhyolite Mercantile

Rhyolite Mercantile

An old truck in back of the Mercantile

Rhyolite Truck

Rhyolite Truck Speedo

This building started as the railroad depot. I couldn't tell you what other purpose it had later, if any. You can make out the "Rhyolite" faded on the first layer under "Rhyolite Ghost Casino".

Rhyolite Casino

Rhyolite Casino

Across the parking lot from the depot.

Rhyolite Union Pacific Caboose

Rhyolite Union Pacific Caboose

Other buildings around the town.

Rhyolite

Rhyolite

Rhyolite

Rhyolite

A street sign.

Rhyolite Street Signs

Then there's this...

Rhyolite open air museum

Rhyolite open air museum

"The last supper" strange and morbid for me. But, to each his own. The artist liked this area and here is some of his work.

Rhyolite open air museum

Truthfully, this wagon wheel in the parking lot is way more intriguing than the art, no really. People traveled hundreds maybe/ hopefully thousands of miles with all their possessions rolling on these wheels.

Rhyolite open air museum

We have just enough time today to get through Titus Canyon, just enough. Let's do it!!! If you liked the last two days so far, you gonna love this, and if you love this, tomorrow will blow your mind!

It starts off just like any other dirt road.

Start of Titus Canyon road

Titus Canyon road

Titus Canyon road

Road to Titus Canyon

Road to Titus Canyon

Road to Titus Canyon

Break enroute to Titus Canyon

This is right after I stopped horizontally. I came around the inside of an uphill curve full of loose marble size rocks in second gear. Before I could get into first gear I lost all momentum and that's why my right mirror is over my instrument cluster instead of over the throttle.

Titus Canyon Road

Titus Canyon Road

Titus Canyon road

Titus Canyon road

You don't see a curve this tight all the time.

Titus Canyon road

Titus Canyon road

Titus Canyon road

If you look close on the left you can see the structures of Leadfield.

Titus Canyon road Leadfield

Leadfield

Leadfield

Dropping into the canyon.

Leaving Leadfield

Titus Canyon Road

Petroglyphs

I'm not sure which ones are authentic and which ones are vandalism but, interesting.

Petroglyphs

Beautiful views the whole way. Incredible ride site wise and it was cooler!

Titus Canyon

Titus Canyon

Titus Canyon

Titus Canyon

Titus Canyon

Imagine the force and water that carved all this!

Titus Canyon

Coming out of the canyon.

Exiting Titus Canyon

Sunset at end of Titus Canyon

End of Titus Canyon

End of Titus Canyon
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"Fear is the moment before you decided to do it anyway, courage is every moment after that"-AKMotorbiker
First Ride BMW R1200GSW
First Ride BMW R1200GSW:Off Road Edition
Searching for Sanity: Newest Chapter- Death Valley
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