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Old 01-15-2011, 04:06 PM   #1
tedder OP
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Christmas in Death Valley

Three riders, two bikes, one missing axle, two tire punctures, 168 photos, a dozen videos, one good time.


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Old 01-15-2011, 04:09 PM   #2
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Oh yeah, this sounds good

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Old 01-15-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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Christmas 2010 in Death Valley: Day 1

Ken got into Los Angeles on the 24th, Tamara got in late on the 24th, so we left fairly late- about 9:30am on Christmas Day. Traffic was light and weather was certainly on the cold side.




MacArthur Park (see also: Jimmy Webb, Richard Harris, Donna Summer)


Tamara clowning for the camera on the side of the road in Antelope Valley. Ted showing his best side.

Our first stop was in the Mojave Desert for a late lunch. We were glad that a local diner was open on Christmas Day. The food was entirely decent- not fantastic, but better than fast food. We were amazed by the scale of the wind farms. We've seen plenty in the Gorge and Montana, but the scale in the desert was still stunning.


Terrain and wind farm in Mojave Desert


Wind farm in Mojave Desert


Wind turbine bases on rail cars, Mojave Desert


Wind farm in Mojave Desert


Stopping to eat in Mojave


Chamber of Commerce boxcar in Mojave
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:28 PM   #4
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Wink Ken's trip to LA

I like how he condenses my epic ride from Vancouver, WA to LA in DECEMBER to this simple line: "Ken got into Los Angeles on the 24th..."

Interestingly, Tamara and I were drinking together the night of the 22nd, along with my wife and another female friend. I got up too damn early on the 23rd, took a quick shower and was on the road before the girls got out of bed.



I hit the weather window right, and other than cold it was not a bad ride. About 5:30 PM I stopped to get gas, and realized I was dead tired. The drinking the night before and the lack of sleep combined with the cold to kick my pansy a**. With only about 620 miles on the trip-o-meter I pulled into the Motel 6 next to the gas station and called it a night.

The next morning was cold, foggy and cold. Did I mention it was cold? The first 100 miles or so was on-and-off foggy. Coming over the Grapevine, the sky's cleared and I needed to stop and put on my smoke helmet shield.


Pyramid Lake, CA


Hills around Pyramid Lake and my Biggie Strom.


Old, Cold, and kind of scruffy.

I made it to Ted's place pretty early, and after I helped him send off yet another V-Strom to Mexico he and I played tourists in LA.


This is why I ride 1000 miles to LA in the cold; sunshine and palm trees!

We rode the subway to Union Station (I did not even know LA had a subway!) and then downtown.


Union Station and Ted in tourist mode. Ask Ted why he doesn't have any pictures from that awesome camera around his neck...


More sunshine and palm trees. I really, really like palm trees.


What is wrong with this picture?

After wandering around LA for a couple hours, we headed back to Chez T&T where Ted whipped up a nice bachelor type dinner, since Mrs. Tamara wouldn't be home until almost midnight.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreadPirateKermit View Post
Interestingly, Tamara and I were drinking together the night of the 22nd, along with my wife and another female friend.
Yeah, Tamara, your wife, and a 22 year old blonde. Being outnumbered sucks, doesn't it?
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:35 PM   #6
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Kermit, you've had your moment in the sun. Shall we carry on now?


Mojave Airport

We explored the Mojave Airport including the design-fail Rotary Rocket and Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites, home of the SpaceShipOne.


Mojave Airport


Rotary Rocket (helicopter/rocket combination)


Unknown jet at Mojave Airport

Ken immediately recognized the C-130, since he rode one of these from Biloxi, MS to Tacoma, WA once on a MAC flight. Not quite Virgin Atlantic style!


Ken and Ted with unknown jet at Mojave Airport


C-130 transport plane

We stumbled upon a bunch of very small fighter jets. Some of them had English writing, some had .. something else. I think it's Dutch, though Macchi is an Italian company. Any ideas?


Row of small old fighter jets. Some with US writing, some Dutch.


Ken and Ted with fighter jets


One of the figher jets


Radar pod removed


Writing, apparently Dutch


More Dutch writing. What jet?


ID plate. Dutch?


Ted and Ken in front of Scaled Composites sign


Large biplane, unknown jet, planes in storage

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Old 01-15-2011, 07:38 PM   #7
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:59 PM   #8
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Trona Pinnacles

Our next stop was Trona Pinnacles. Okay, we planned on making it to Trona. Two dirt roads were washed out after the heavy December rain in Southern California. We rode to the washouts, took some pictures, and then hunted for gas in Trona.


Trona factory smoke and mountains near Death Valley


Ken's bike on the road to Trona Pinnacles


Trains and gravel along Trona road

Ken was on the Trona Pinnacles Road in 2007 during the Iron Butt Rally. That time ended in partial failure too, but Ken said it was much easier to ride on a V-Strom than on a Goldwing!


Tamara looking into the bright sun on Trona road


Flats and mountains on Trona road


Trona Pinnacles, seen from a distance


Trona Pinnacles, seen from a distance


Searles Valley Minerals factory in Trona
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedder View Post

Row of small old fighter jets. Some with US writing, some Dutch.


Ken and Ted with fighter jets


One of the figher jets


Radar pod removed


Writing, apparently Dutch


More Dutch writing. What jet?


ID plate. Dutch?
I think those are Aermacchi MB326 Impalas. The language on them is Afrikaans, so good guess on the Dutch. South Africa manufactured them under license for its own military use.

Not sure yet what the green one is yet...
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:40 AM   #10
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Looking forward to the next installment

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Old 01-16-2011, 06:46 AM   #11
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I love death valley

The hottest I've ever been except when I worked in a aluminum casting factory.

Looking forward to more!
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huzar View Post
I think those are Aermacchi MB326 Impalas. The language on them is Afrikaans, so good guess on the Dutch. South Africa manufactured them under license for its own military use.

Not sure yet what the green one is yet...
Thanks! A friend told me the green one is a Saab J35F Draken. Does that make sense?
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:44 AM   #13
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The hottest I've ever been except when I worked in a aluminum casting factory.

Looking forward to more!

summer sucks. I saw 112-113 degrees in September. Ugh. But winter is very nice- it was 32-70 the whole time.

But hey, let's carry on. The videos don't start until "tomorrow".

Trona-Wildrose, entering Death Valley

We were finally ready to enter Death Valley. We went through the Trona-Wildrose Road. This wouldn't be the best choice in a rental car or minivan, but was a lot of fun on the bikes.


Trona-Wildrose Road into Death Valley


Looking back at Ken on Trona-Wildrose Road


Trona-Wildrose Road


Trona-Wildrose Road


Trona-Wildrose Road


Ted and Tamara on Trona-Wildrose Road


Trona-Wildrose Road
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedder View Post

Searles Valley Minerals factory in Trona

I'm disappointed you didn't find the Searles Valley Yacht Club. Its been the cultural center & favored watering hole in Trona for decades.

On the wall at the 2nd or 3rd booth from the front door, you can find a hand-written note from "Turbo Mike" from the late '80s. Its exactly 100 miles of fast pavement from the yacht club to the Furnace Creek Ranch in DV. That note should also state the record (in minutes) it took to cover that distance that year.

When do you get to the good part? Oh, and more photos of Tamara please!

Catfish ...
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
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ID plate. Dutch?
Nope, Italian. Makes sense if the planes were built by Aermacchi.
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