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Old 12-18-2012, 10:14 PM   #706
LeDakaR!
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heading out December 26th_-31th expect cold cold weather?
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:24 AM   #707
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Also heading out between Xmas and New Year, maybe 12/27~31.
Saline Valley, Eureka Valley, northern DV, into NV.
Expecting cold, but hoping for dry.

Any updates on road conditions?
South/North Pass? Oriental Wash?



-M
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:03 AM   #708
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Good to hear there's gas in Trona, hopefully they still have those delicious breakfast burritos.

Heading into DV today, scouting out for 2013 season - high 50 low 30 in Furnace Creek forecasted.

I'll update what I find with the road conditions in this thread of course.

Here's my DeLorme tracking page, just in case I disappear or get LOST.


-Finn


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Old 12-19-2012, 09:40 AM   #709
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Heading out on MLK weekend to ride Titus Canyon and Racetrack. I'll be looking for road conditions. thanks
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:34 AM   #710
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No gas in Trona

I just got off the phone with the guy from the Trona gas station and there is no gas but the store is open and there will be no gas for the New Years weekend.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #711
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Thanks for posting, will get gas in Mojave now.

Cheers!


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Old 12-19-2012, 08:39 PM   #712
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I bought fuel at Valero in Trona today, the lady said there's no reason they shouldn't have gas all the time now.
Had a huge burger there too. (;






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Old 12-19-2012, 09:20 PM   #713
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Sorry about the mistake i called the guy at the Texaco station in Trona not the Valerio station totally for got about that station.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:45 AM   #714
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Rider View Post
I bought fuel at Valero in Trona today, the lady said there's no reason they shouldn't have gas all the time now.


New Valero is the old Chevron?

-M
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:45 PM   #715
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2on2off View Post
Day Two from PSR to Beatty:

South Pass:
I have ridden over the Saline Valley South Pass many times on a variety of bikes including a fully loaded BMW R1200GS Adventure without a problem.

This trip the conditions of South Pass were very different. The road is still signed "closed" as it has been for years. The road was in good condition up until the Hunter Mtn turn off but then as we headed down the north slope of South Pass, we saw the road had been washed out in many places.

Some equipment has done some repairs and has pushed bolders into some of the washed out sections where there used to be water crossings. Once again, a lighter dual sport, we were on a KTM 525EXC, KTM 500EXC and a plated XR600. I consider all of these bikes light weight dual sports.

Based on what I saw, anyone rideing a fully loaded KLR650 or heavier adventure bike will need to have outstanding skills to navigate South Pass. Larryboy is one of those kind of riders who could probably ride an adventure bike on South Pass.

A good rider on a light dual sport (less than 400 lbs. and preferably a 300 lb or less bike, with experience riding rocks, will do fine. Again, I think it is a bad idea to ride alone. With all the rocks that have to be navigated, you could easily tip a bike over and find yourself pinned under your bike with no one to get you out for hours or days.

South Pass got worse and there was a 100 yard long section with a deep rut and large rocks to navigate near the bottom of the north slope of South Pass. This picture does not give a good idea of how hard this section was to ride:





I wanted to share our experience in response to your comments on the dreaded south pass into Saline Valley
Let me start by saying My Husband is my Hero. He takes me to greater, more exciting heights in this life than I ever dreamed of going.
With that said, here's our "South Pass" experience: We geared up our '08 BMW1200GS with about 185-190 lbs. of camping supplies, heated wear, and hot spring skivvies to enjoy the few vacation days I had left for 2012, totaling about 520 lbs on top of the bike. We left Bakersfield on Dec. 7 for a leisurely ride to Lone Pine. We camped at Lone Pine on the ground in our toasty sleeping bags with a low temp. at about 24* F that night. We spent an extra night in Bishop and rode the north pass into the valley on Sunday the 9th. That ride was fairly decent, nothing majorly difficult for us.
This is our fourth year of going to the Saline Hot Springs, second time on the north pass, the previous time being when we had our Ford pick up hauling our 36 foot fifth wheel, with our mountain bikes and BMW650 Decar in tow. (We'd brought the fifth wheel in the through the south pass the year before that but I think I'd cleared a few thousand pounds of rock from the road to get in and I just wasnt in the mood to do that again.)
This time we spent one day in the springs with the daytime temp. peaking at just about 80* F. The skies were clear, there weren't more than 10 people, a dozen donkeys, three or four coyotes, a peanut butter, honey, and Pretzel Crisp thief, and us out there. It was perfect, except I had to get back to work on Wed. So, tues. we packed back up and decided, upon the suggestion of some others, to head out to the south pass, literally flying across the dessert.
We got past one of the water crossings on the north slope of the south pass and hit this section of road that must have been completely washed out in the weeks beforehand and had since been filled in with huge rocks. The west side of the road was drive able but the dirt was ecruciatingly loose, and narrow. If we were going into the valley we could have managed this much easier, but coming out was white-knuckled kind of scary, but we did make it through without loss of life nor limb. As I stated before, my husband is my hero. He was bound and determined to get us out of there in time for me to get to work the next day and he did it. It was a much rougher ride than the north pass. We've never seen this pass so messed up before. It was worth the ride but unless you're a rider like my husband I wouldn't suggest the south pass.
We were too busy staying alive to take pics, sorry. But saline is a great destination.
Thanks for taking your time to read this.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:55 PM   #716
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotex View Post

I wanted to share our experience in response to your comments on the dreaded south pass into Saline Valley
...
This is our fourth year of going to the Saline Hot Springs, second time on the north pass, the previous time being when we had our Ford pick up hauling our 36 foot fifth wheel, ...


Excellent first post RBB

-M
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:20 PM   #717
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Thank you! You know you've now encouraged me/us to post more.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:50 AM   #718
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotex View Post
Thank you! You know you've now encouraged me/us to post more.

I think we've met...didn't the truck break down one time and you guys rode the 650 out for parts? Brake problem or something?


Welcome!!

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Old 12-21-2012, 12:31 PM   #719
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A Lost Road Report.



I didn't cover too much seeing as I only spent one night in DV, this was just a quick and dirty recon mission to squeeze in before xmas.


Left Ventura mid-morning, was 37 for first gas stop in Mojave around noon, then got gas again and a burger in Trona at Valero, which is the old T-Stop place. Cold as hell there too.
Skipped the Escape Route and got off pavement right before the paved switchbacks, heading towards Ballarat.
Roads there all seem the same as last year, Wingate Rd heading towards Goler Wash is all high speed hard pack up to the mine, and the same as last year with a little sand past that.


Golar wash has no steps, it has a gravel ramp recently maintained instead. Bummer.

In between Golar and Mengel Pass, Coyote Canyon Rd is kind of tore up and rougher than last year, with active maintenance with heavy equipment happening now, I made the only tire track besides the big machines on lots of fresh grated soil, though it seems the maintenance is making it worse than anything. I'd imagine the jeeps will pack it down in time.

Snow around Mengel, well below freezing with all the little creeks frozen solid. The 2 cabins near Striped Butte were occupied, with new warnings signs about Hantavirus.... I hung out there to watch the sun go down as it is a remarkably beautiful place at sunset.

Butte Valley Rd seems the same as last year, Warm Springs rd is still a little rocky in the wash sections, hopefully they don't take a bulldozer through there and screw it all up.


West Side Road is the same high speed gravel as before, if not a little less deep gravel.

I camped in Furnace Creek, after getting some hot chili at the resort and fuel I was getting conflicting reports and couldn't confirm if Titus was open of not, was hoping to camp up around there.
The new and improved campground is "nicer", but still the same old same old with generators running, dogs barking, and groups thinking it was their own personal night club area. All to be expected.
Frost on the bike in the morning.


Titus Canyon was indeed Closed, even through a ranger told me it was open in the morning. Waist of fuel on that one, but I wasn't about to go around a road closed sign and get a $$$$ ticket...

No gas at Scotty's Castle as always, Racetrack Valley Rd was the same high speed grated gravel road with a few surprises hiding around a few corners, lots of fun. Around 25 at the Racetrack with snow all around, though not on the roads.

Lippencott Rd has about the same sections rough rocky in the decent as last year, if not just a little more tore up.


Saline Valley Rd is definitely not the fast rocky road is was last year and takes a little more effort to get through in the new washed out sections, probably wouldn't be too easy on overloaded big bikes for many riders. Then again, if you want easy stay at home sitting on your ass watch someone else do cool challenging stuff on reality TV.
Light snow around South Pass, well below freezing mid-day. I didn't have the fuel range to explore Hunter Mountain after finding Titus closed and having to backtrack unfortunately.


Olancha Dunes were looking good and the rest of the ride home was uneventful, if not very cold.


Should be a great DV riding season with plenty new challenges for folks to overcome and concur!
A person can never improve as a rider without real challenges.
Know your limits..... then push yourself beyond what you think they are and surprise yourself!



Here's some long boring unedited helmet cam video of the roads between Ballarat and West Side road and a few photos from the mini-adventure.

Get LOST!


-Finn



















Golar Wash








The wrecking ball on Coyote Cyn.












Mengel Pass








Geoligists Cabin, Striped Butte.
























West side road










Coming back from a closed Titus








Near the Racetrack







They cleaned up the junction! I left a few decals in one of the tea kettles for those that find them.







Brrrrrr at Lippencott (and everywhere else for that matter)






Coming down Lippencott, looking back up.






Saline Valley Rd.







Back side of South Pass







Olancha Dunes

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Old 12-21-2012, 01:02 PM   #720
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Nice ride report. I was hoping to get a ride report on this area soon have not been their since last year. Heading up after xmas for 5 days of riding Death Valley. It's going to be cold Brrrrr.
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