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Old 03-31-2011, 08:30 PM   #1
r3r3r OP
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Location: Santa Cruz, Ca
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Two days of Madness

March Madness 2011 - Part 1 (Thurs/Fri)

Death Valley March Madness 2011 - My personal ride report

The primary RR for the DV March Madness rally is located here:

If anyone wants larger size images of these photos, please let me know and I will e-mail them to you.



(If I got anyone's name or user id wrong, please let me know)


Driving over Tehachapi on Thursday afternoon it was clear that we would be encountering some snow this weekend...

Stop at Jawbone store for some firewood (it turned out that we had more than enough!)

On the way to Trona I was stuck at this RR crossing for 15-20 minutes waiting for a LONG freight train...

Coming into Trona, I came up on a long line of trucks hauling bikes toward PSR. One guy was even riding in on a late model European Transalp - something I've never seen in the states.

Driving up into Panamint Valley, I knew it was going to be a great weekend

Arrive at Panamint Springs Resort with enough time to get settled before the Thursday dinner

Up early on Friday, ready to ride

Randall (r3r3r - me), Kevin (kfcz400) & Seth (WeAre138) ready to ride

Indian Ranch Road on the way to Ballarat (photo of Joel -h8chains taking a photo of us)

Ron (ramjet) & Kevin

Stop at Ballarat, taking a break and pressuring down the tires (I let all of the air out of my front by accident and had to pump it back up...)

On to Goler Wash and the infamous steps. We got there quickly, ahead of the n00bs group (which we passed) and ahead of the jeeps that would attempt the step (but not make it) while about 50+ riders watched.

Keith (airbornedad)

The bikes started backing up into the canyon at this point...

Jim (spafxer) with Ron (ramjet) in the background ready to catch falling riders

Dennis (kj7687's buddy)

Clint (Memnok)

Chris (Memnok's brother)

And, here come the jeeps...

After many attempts, they finally gave up and we headed on up the wash towards Mengel Pass. We took a few side roads to find Manson's cabin (Barker Ranch) but no luck.

The group split up for a bit after Ron (ramjet) had a couple of spills. Kevin & I went ahead to search for the Barker Ranch turnoff. Even with this sign, we still didn't end up finding the right road.

The group came back together at Mengel Pass. Seth found his way after being separated (and he found Barker Ranch along the way). KJ (kj7687) called to him from a top a high ridge and he came back up to the pass.

Dennis (kj7687's buddy), Dain (driverdain), Seth (WeAre138), Ron, KJ (kj7687), Joel (h8chains), David (dirtdiver's son), Kevin (kfcz400), Randall (r3r3r)

My trusty old 1991 XR250L at Mengel Pass

We headed down from the pass through the rock section towards the Geologist Cabin for a lunch break

Thanks to Paul for providing a great rest stop!

Some of the group turned around at this point. Joel, Kevin, Seth, myself, and Mike (who joined up with us at the cabin) headed east for a longer loop via West Side Road and pavement from Furnace Creek.

We rode out through the rocky canyon towards Death Valley and West Side Road. Stopped at the Queen of Sheba mine along the way.

Joel and Kevin at West Side Road.

Mike headed down the last stretch of dirt on West Side Road. Pavement from here back to camp. Stop in Furnace Creek to pay entrance fees and gas (for the others, I was stretching my tank to it's limit).

Finally hit reserve coming down Towne Pass. Back to camp after 175 miles of riding.

Weather was much better at camp on Friday night (Thursday was windy and cold!) Good company, a nice dinner, and a campfire, what more could you ask for?

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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March Madness 2011 - Part 2 (Sat/Sun)

Sore and tired from Friday's ride, but up early and ready to hit the trails again on Saturday morning.

We headed out towards Darwin. Close to camp and a fun ride right from the start.

We turned and headed up a loose rocky trail, which was also pretty steep.

After a couple of falls and a broken clutch lever on Bob's (Lonestar2112) XR, we headed back to the main dirt road. Out to China Camp with a water crossing, and a pond filled with goldfish (we're in the desert, remember...?)

And we checked out the old mining facilities

The we headed on up towards Darwin, with a turn up a loose canyon to get to a series of mines.

Up the loose, rocky canyon


Dain (driverdain)

Steve (dirtdiver)

Regroup at the top and head for Darwin

Headed west out of town into some sandy washes. Lots of options here.

We rode for awhile, exploring up and over the hills, down and through a rocky canyon and back on the main road to the same mine we stopped at before. We rested and ate lunch before heading back out of Darwin on the paved road to Hwy 190.

Across the highway and up the old Saline Valley Road. Junction with the broken pavement on Saline Valley and out towards South Pass to find the snow. Nice stand of joshua trees at the V junction towards Cerro Gordo along the way.

Melting snow and sloppy mud along the road towards South Pass

Then we turned around and headed across the valley to Cerro Gordo. Still snow, but more of a rocky surface. Dennis let me ride his DRZ400S, major upgrade from the old XR.

Back down the canyon towards Hwy 190 and camp

I turned off from the group at Father Crowley Point for some photos of Panamint Valley and my trusty old XR.

Back at camp and ready for another tasty dinner.

Great to hang out after another day of riding. Big fire and lots of folks gathered here at PSR - this was quite an event.

Time for bed

Headed for home. Another wonderful adventure in DV, I'm looking forward to next year.

I had a great time at this event and I want to give thanks to everyone who made it happen, from Joel who put it together, to all the volunteers who helped out, and to all of the riders who came to share in the fun. Thanks to everyone!

r3r3r screwed with this post 04-04-2011 at 01:34 PM
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:03 AM   #3
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Exceeded bandwidth. None of the pics show.
"but why is all the rum gone?"

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Old 04-01-2011, 04:56 PM   #4
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I'll use my imagination for this one LOL !
Map? What map?

2008 KLR650 sold 1-4-14
2012 VStrom DL1000
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:15 PM   #5
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great photos, loved them
Old Bridges Thread
Riding the TWAT
475+ Bridges in Illinois,
985+ Old Bridges in Missouri
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:26 AM   #6
De Eee
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Was that Thurs. Mar. 18th?
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:38 PM   #7
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Loved it! Great pics.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:15 PM   #8
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It was 3/24-3/27. Some people rode all 4 days, I only rode Fri & Sat.

Originally Posted by De Eee View Post
Was that Thurs. Mar. 18th?
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