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Old 02-13-2011, 08:51 AM   #1
TheIronWolf OP
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Merced, California
Oddometer: 31
3500 Miles of Freedom - Direction: South West

Full report:

DAY 1

September 20, 2010
Merced, CA - Death Valley, CA
239.7 miles
8 Hours
$ 20.84

Started my trip later than I planned. It was around 11:30 am that I was driving in Sierra Nevada mountains over the Hwy 120 - Tayoga pass in Yosemite NP...The destination for today was simple: get as close to DV (Death Valley NP) as possible...


The weather was perfect! Regarding almost 9000 ft elevation it was warm and pleasant....! It was also Monday so the road was practically empty...I was enjoying the ride....


Suddenly I came to a screeching stop...road work ahead....! As far I can see...traffic...! I tried to be a good citizen and obey the road rules...no passing on double yellow or on the right...after 5 minutes stop and go in 1st gear...I gave up...and started passing traffic in the front of me ...on the left and on the right...some people were honking out of frustration, but hey...what do you want me to do...smell your exhaust for next 1 or 2 hours...?


After good mile of traffic I was finally free again...


By the time I crossed Sierras it was almost 3pm. I decided to push for Death Valley NP and camp up there...The sun is not setting down until around 7pm so I had good 4 hours of riding...I have driven this way couple of times in the past...so I did not stopped as much as I usually like...


At the Mono Lake I turned South on Hwy 395 and headed for a town of Big Pine. I got some gas, some food for a dinner and headed to DV (Death Valley National Park) via Death Valley Road...


Stopped to "mark my territory" in the middle of nowhere ...the smoke was roiling over the Sierras I could smell it from miles and miles away....must be a big fire...but I was heading the opposite direction so no worries here...


DV Road was fun road to ride...left and right...some up and downs...no traffic whatsoever...love in it!


I was really surprised to found some trees here...trees means camp fire...camp fire means hot coffee in the morning, so I found a nice spot away from the road and parked....

It was around 6:30 pm...I collected some firewood, set up my tent ...Pulled out a bag of snacks and notebook...There is nothing better than having 2 weeks of vacation time, pocket full of money (OK, maybe not that full), good bike between the legs...and miles and miles of open road in front... No appointments, no obligations... no destination...just riding. Those are the best road trips...

It was warm night so I did not started fire...after the sunset I smoked couple cigarettes, gazed at the night sky for a while and hit a bunk...Slept like a baby...


To be Continued....
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TheIronWolf screwed with this post 02-14-2011 at 03:20 PM
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:02 AM   #2
explr
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Chicago
Oddometer: 168
Amazing!

Great pictures!
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:57 PM   #3
TheIronWolf OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Merced, California
Oddometer: 31
DAY 2
September 21, 2010
Death Valley, CA - Grand Canyon, AZ
559.7 miles
12 Hours
$ 75.04

I woke up at 5:30am...it was a little chilly so I started small fire and set my coffee pot on...Slowly packed my gear as the sun was creeping up...Around 7 am I was packed and ready to go...


Just a minute away from where I camped last night the scenery changed...


The pavement ended...there were a gravel road as far as eye can see...


I did not seen a single person or car driving by since I left Hwy 395 at the Big Pine last night...I had the desert all to myself....the air was fresh and silent as the sun was creeping up the sky...


The gravel road was well maintained...except some washboards, dust, lose gravel and sand pits ocationaly...I was able to maintain pretty good paste...


Came across some abandoned mine...first sign of civilization (except the road itself of course)....


Couple more miles and I came across this landmark...I have seen this in some other posts...and now I had opportunity to see it with my own eyes...


Here is another monument at the same location...


I continued down the dirt road for another 10-15 miles...finally connecting to Scottys Castle Road...and headed South to Hwy 190...the sun was getting hotter and hotter....by the 10am it was getting uncomfortable hot...so I did a quick stop at the Badwater where the desert floor lays 282 feet bellow sea level...and continued East to Los Vegas....


Stopped to see Hoover Dam...but it was like a wild zoo here... people and traffic all over the place, I did not even bother to take my helmet off. ..pulled in crowded parking lot, snapped this only shot and continued South East on Hwy 93...


I was planning to stay in the National forest closer to Grand canyon, but my power inverter kicked the bucket and I needed some juice to recharge my laptop...so around 7 pm I pulled in to this campground...set up my tent, got dinner, beer and plugged laptop to charge...


The night was warm...I had my dinner, couple tall cans of BudLight and crawled to my tent for a good nights sleep...





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