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Old 04-30-2013, 05:51 PM   #1
Ladybug0048 OP
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Wink The Superbug experiences a little Death Valley Magic



This report is going to be full of ramblings and photos of many things in addition to a little riding. If you get bored with reports that arenít full of motorcycles and technical trails this one may not be for you. If you like a variety then join me & the Superbug on our latest adventure.

Why go there?
This is a question many people have asked me because when they hear Death Valley they think desolate, hot, unforgiving, barren, and why would anyone willingly go there? It is all those things and more. For me Death Valley is a magical place filled with extremes and adventures. Death Valley is harsh, beautiful, rugged, soft, drab and colorful all at the same time. It has a feel, I donít have the words to adequately describe the feel but itís all about the feel.

During my travels over the years I have encountered three places in the United States that made me feel good just being there. A special type of good, and sense of happiness, the world is wonderful, and itís taking care of me, type of good. Places that made me feel like I was wrapped in a warm special type of happiness and unicorns would prance out to entertain me at any time.

The first place I experienced those feeling was in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and the second place was outside of Flagstaff, AZ. The second time it bothered to have those feelings because I couldnít put my finger on why these places made me feel the way they did. I wanted to see what was making me react this way but I couldnít. Finally I decided to just accept the good feeling and go with it. I have not returned to the Ouachita or Flagstaff partially for fear that the good feeling wouldnít be there and I preferred to keep the memories of how I felt and not ruin those feelings with reality.

Death Valley is the third place I found that special feeling. My first visit to DV was in the spring of 2005 on my way home from buying a motorcycle from a friend in E. Texas. The idea of going through Death Valley was OK but it didnít have me excited or even really generate any interest. I just decided to do it because I had not been there and I might as well do a ride through. A couple friends decided they would meet me there and that added to the plan. I stopped for a few days rather than just doing a ride through and I was glad I did.

My first visit to DV


It was toward the end of the day when I entered DV for the first time all those years ago and I discovered those good feelings surrounding me. All the sudden everything was good, the world was a happy place and I was thrilled to be there. The unicorns looked more like mules but they were there nonetheless. I spent a few days with my friends exploring some of the more popular attractions but I didnít spend anywhere near the amount of time that I would have liked. All three of us discovered the bikes we were riding werenít the best bikes for the sand in Death Valley, at least not with the street tires they were sporting.

We also discovered how incredible the night sky was and the rugged beauty around every corner. The few days were filled with discovery and I was amazed with all DV had to offer.

March of 2008 I was able to return to DV on my way riding the Superbug home from Baja. I arrived in the evening and left the next morning but I was happy to discover the good feeling again. The feeling didnít go away as I feared and I got to see that incredible night sky again. (sorry, no photos of the sky) This time even though the time was short it was special since I was treated to flowers blooming. It was at the end of the bloom but it was still cool to see what was left of the pretty little bloomers in DV.

The Superbugís first visit to DV




Nov. 2011 there was another opportunity to visit DV but again the amount of time was limited. It was a drive through on my way home from buying a motorcycle in Pahrump, NV. I did stop long enough to hike to Darwin Falls and again found the Death Valley Magic.




Living in Pacific Northwest is wonderful but sometimes the winters are just too long even when it has its pretty times.


Stay tuned for more.....
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:57 PM   #2
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Looking good...Nice to see the Superbug out and about.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:44 AM   #3
Ladybug0048 OP
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Hi Brad
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:58 AM   #4
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When the nOOb rally popped up I decided it would be a perfect solution for getting through the cabin fever days of winter. Iíve wanted to spend some quality time in Death Valley and this was going to be my chance to do just that. I decided I would spend the entire week there rather than just the rally dates and make a great real vacation of it. The Superbug is the perfect Death Valley bike for me so it would be making the trip with me.

Getting There:
Once the vacation time was approved it was the long wait until March. I plotted, planned, routed, calculated, and saved my pennies while looking forward to spending time in DV.


While waiting, not so patiently, I did a little farkle shopping. Oooooooo Rotopax.




Having any shortage of fuel issues resolved my next step was learning to change a tire. With the posts on the nOOb thread about flat tires it was time. Kootenai Rider came over and taught me to change my tires showing me a few tricks he uses. I discovered it was easier than I thought it would be. Thanks Junior!! No pictures but you all know what a tire looks like.

Knowing from previous experience I couldnít count on the weather to cooperate for the ride there and back the Superbug would be making the trip in my pickup. The pickup was serviced, The Superbug was serviced, had new farkles and we ready to go. As I was loading up to leave the next morning the weather reminded me why I was hauling and not riding.


After daybreak on Saturday 3/23/13 I headed out south on Hwy 95, over Winchester Pass (S of Lewiston, ID) and I wasnít feeling bad at all that I was in the pickup.


Whitebird Pass also made me happy I wasnít riding.


I couldnít get the photos to convey how beautiful the scenes were through this area but I tried. Take my word for it the view was magnificent and the clouds were dancing.




Salmon River N. of Riggins, ID


Took a wrong turn in Wieser or maybe it was Payette, ID but I found an interesting rock church.


It was getting a little warmer but there was still plenty of snow on the mountains in Nevada.


A stop to find a geocache was frustrating. There it was, I could see it, but it was about 4Ē from the tips of my fingers when I was standing on my toes. I looked around for a rock or piece of wood to stand on with no luck. I have a fold up step stool in my pickup to use when I need to wash my windshield but it was conveniently packed at the bottom of all the junk.


I made my way to Austin, NV. The last time I came through this way I thought I would enjoy spending a little time exploring the town. This wasnít going to be the day though because Death Valley was calling my name.


Searching for a geocache took me to the local cemetery for a quick stop. This rock cross was creative.


The rocks were sure pretty.


When I spotted this sign I had to go check out the town. It was just 5 miles off the main road so why not?


And I was there.


There were some interesting places in Manhattan. Itís nothing like the Manhattan on the other side of the county Ė thank goodness.


Some people grow flowers in their front yard but these people grow bottles.


It was like taking a few steps back in time.






Houses have the latest luxuries








Time to head back to the highway and a more modern time.




Stopped to make friends in Tonopah, NV




And enjoy the flowers while the Superbug waits patiently in the pickup.


Tonopah is another town worth taking a little time visiting but again I was going to keep going rather than exploring.

It didnít seem like long and I was at my destination.


My home away from home for the week.


I was pleased that Airhead Bruce and his wife NoRa would be in the area and agreed to come to DV for a few days to hang out with me. They were already there, set up when I arrived. Moto-Treks spent the weekend attending a Jimmy_Lewis class and he would be joining us as well.

Airhead Bruce


Moto-Treks


Some riding will be coming up.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:05 AM   #5
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Dang ..That thing is huge!!! Jax
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:16 AM   #6
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladybug0048 View Post
There it was, I could see it, but it was about 4Ē from the tips of my fingers when I was standing on my toes. I looked around for a rock or piece of wood to stand on with no luck.
Sometimes it really sucks to be short!


Did you go through Belmont, too?
We rode through Manhattan and Belmont last summer, following boney and Luke's tracks to Torrey...


Looking forward to the riding in DV!
the Superbug in the sand - woooo!

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Old 05-01-2013, 09:10 AM   #8
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Nice pics LB, I really like the looks of the KLR at the begining of the report. Anybody I know?
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:47 AM   #9
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:11 AM   #10
Ladybug0048 OP
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Hi JaxObsessed & RokLobster Nice to have you along


Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan View Post
Sometimes it really sucks to be short!


Did you go through Belmont, too?
We rode through Manhattan and Belmont last summer, following boney and Luke's tracks to Torrey...


Looking forward to the riding in DV!
the Superbug in the sand - woooo!

Hi Little Wan,
That short thing is a bugger at times.
I didn't go through Belmont but I did add it to my list of places to return to. There and a number of other roads I spotted that I wanted to explore but didn't take the time to do it this trip. It just gives me another reason to go back.

I was working on making sand my favorite after the last time I tried playing in the sand with the Superbug - - - - Here's the last sand experience: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=622716

Quote:
Originally Posted by Live2Ride View Post
Nice pics LB, I really like the looks of the KLR at the begining of the report. Anybody I know?
Hi, it is a nice looking KLR isn't it. Too bad it doesn't get out and about much any more.

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Originally Posted by larryboy View Post
Superbug






Hi Larryboy, I'm hoping to see you and Becky soon - Fingers crossed.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:18 AM   #11
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Day 1 Monday 3/25/13
An early morning walk to enjoy the sunrise sure started the day nicely.


I even discovered some flowers along the way.


Here comes Airhead Bruce, my riding partner for the day.


The plan for the day was to visit the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns and we were on our way.


Things are going to get fun now.


Bruce must have stopped to check something out.


Ahhhhhhhh here he comes


The ride through Wildrose was very nice although I didnít get pictures of the best parts.


Wildrose Charcoal Kilns/Mahagony Flat Road/Death Valley National Park
Built in 1879, 10 Kilns Stand 25í high and are 35í in diameter


Designed by Swiss engineers and built by Chinese laborers in 1879, these kilns produced charcoal for the Modock Mine smelter, about 30 miles west of here. The kilns closed after only three years of use. Because of their brief life and remote location, these may be the best-preserved examples of charcoal kilns in the West.

Workers filled the air-tight kilns with pinyon pine logs (relatively abundant in this area) and fired them. The burning, which reduced the wood to charcoal, took 6 to 8 days. Cooling took another five days. Wagons then hauled the charcoal to the Modock Mines smelter, where it was used to extract silver and lead from the rich ore from Modock's mines.
Source: National Park Service display at the site.

The charcoal kilns front view


The inside of one of the kilns


The kilns back view


The kilns were formed so perfect, each one looked like the other but we couldnít figure out why there were some rock sticking out of the tops making them look like a balding porcupine.


The rocks they were made from were very pretty.


More coming....
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:51 AM   #12
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ladybug0048 View Post
I never saw one of those

Give us more
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:55 PM   #14
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So here you are. I knew you were down there, just took your time posting up.

I can see you've put a lot of creative time and effort into it, beautiful writing and disclosure, love the early morning sunrise picture, alas if was too cold and windy to crawl out of bed when we were down there.

Well I am off on a ride in the morning and will catchup when I get back, but I will say a beautiful start. BTW hiking to Darwin Falls is the longest 1/4 mile I've ever walked then it could be the boot's

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Old 05-02-2013, 10:13 PM   #15
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This is going to be fun!

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