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Old 01-16-2011, 09:36 AM   #16
Gustavo
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Originally Posted by tedder View Post
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


There is nothing on this road that a rental car couldn't handle...

Good start. Get that Kermit guy to keep up with the story's pace.


Gustavo
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:49 AM   #17
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Ahhhhh Death Valley

Good job Tedder you even pulled HMarc out of the shadows.

Waiting for more.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustavo View Post
There is nothing on this road that a rental car couldn't handle...
We were on VStroms, the ADV equivalent of a rental car

Carrying on!



Mahogany Flat and Charcoal Kiln snow

Ken really wanted to go to the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns (aka Panamint Charcoal Kilns). These were down a road that was paved and then gravel. From the turnoff, the road went from 4000 feet to over 6600 feet and kept climbing! That would be fine except for the snow. Motorcycles don't handle snow well. We went as far as we were comfortable riding, went a little further, then turned around.

Times like this are when pillions are helpful- three motorcyclists on two bikes makes it a lot easier to lift bikes and turn them around in the snow. It would be very difficult to turn around in the snow as a single rider, but with three people pushing, it was fairly easy.


Mahogany Flat


Snow on the way to Mahogany Flat Charcoal Kilns


Coming to our limits in the snow


Ken in the snow with his V-Strom 1000


Ken's bike in the snow
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:51 PM   #19
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Death Valley park

After getting the bikes turned around and coming back down the mountain, we headed north into Death Valley proper.


Harrisburg Flats(?)


Ted and Tamara near Emigrant Pass

It was getting dark, so we just rode through the park to our Beatty motel, The Atomic Inn.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedder View Post
Thanks! A friend told me the green one is a Saab J35F Draken. Does that make sense?
Yep, that's a Draken all right. Not sure how I could have missed that the first time I looked at it... I kept thinking it was a Gripen or a Viggen, but the wings didn't look right for either.
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:30 PM   #21
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Laugh ribit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustavo View Post


There is nothing on this road that a rental car couldn't handle...

Good start. Get that Kermit guy to keep up with the story's pace.

Gustavo
I had trouble keeping up with Tedder's pace the whole ride (well, except for one high speed pavement run) so I don't see why I should change now! Actually, I don't have a lot to add, as we collaborated (i.e. Ted wrote and I said, yeah OK, that looks good) on the report he is posting. OK, I do have something - Ted and I have ridden literally thousands of miles together, and have shared more than a few motel rooms. The key to traveling successfully with another rider is flexibility of BOTH riders. Ted and I share a lot of interests, and where those don't coincide we are both willing to go do or see something the other wants. His references to places I wanted to see in this report show that, and there were places he and Tamara wanted to see. Interestingly, we often find that what the other person wanted to see is the one we find most interesting - in this case, I had no real desire to go to Zabriski point but ended up blown away by it.

It goes without saying that hanging out with Tamara is NEVER a problem for anyone, because she is super sweet. I've never quite figured out what she sees in Ted though.

This was my first trip on the DL1000. I've put over 50K miles on DL650's, so I know I like the riding position. I did a bunch of work to the bike just before the trip (see thread in Beasts) and I'm really happy about the way the bike worked. I put a PC III on the bike with a 'stock' Fuel Moto map, and was able to crawl up the hill towards the kilns in 2nd gear, at times lugging the engine clear down to 2K rpm, and it would still respond when I twisted the throttle. I found the 1K is (for me) much easier to ride in these conditions than the 650 was, which didn't have the torque to lug like that. OTOH, I averaged about 35 MPG for the entire trip, compared to 52 MPG on a trip to D.V. on my 650 in 2009.

One minor correction Ted - the third woman at the drinking party is 23, soon to be 24. Same age as my son.
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DreadPirateKermit screwed with this post 01-16-2011 at 03:36 PM
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:50 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreadPirateKermit View Post
OK, I do have something - Ted and I have ridden literally thousands of miles together, and have shared more than a few motel rooms. The key to traveling successfully with another rider is flexibility of BOTH riders. Ted and I share a lot of interests, and where those don't coincide we are both willing to go do or see something the other wants.
Indeed, it's all about have most things in common and being willing to compromise on the rest. I hate riding with most other riders.

Quote:
I had no real desire to go to Zabriski point but ended up blown away by it.
It was further down my list, but moved up when many parts of the park were closed.

Quote:
It goes without saying that hanging out with Tamara is NEVER a problem for anyone, because she is super sweet. I've never quite figured out what she sees in Ted though.
Tell me about it!

Quote:
One minor correction Ted - the third woman at the drinking party is 23, soon to be 24. Same age as my son.
23 going on 14. Blondie (Cindy) on the left, Tamara on the right.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:52 PM   #23
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on to day2.

Christmas 2010 in Death Valley: Day 2

Map



Early morning foo

Coming into Death Valley was very pretty. It was worth a stop to capture it on film.

Before leaving in the morning, we adjusted our chains. I loosened my axle, handed to the wrench to Ken, adjusted the axle, Ken handed the wrench back, and I put it away. What's lacking from this story was tightening the axle nut. This would come back to bite me as the day went on, as you'll see.


Ted, taking a picture of on the highway


Looking south into Death Valley


Bikes along Daylight Pass Road


Looking into Death Valley
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:35 PM   #24
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Video: high-speed gravel

This is from the east end of Titus Canyon Road. The road was closed where it enters the park (1.5 miles from the highway). The road is nearly straight and in decent condition.



Titus Canyon East

We first ran through Titus Canyon from the east end. It was closed, so we just did the 1.5 mile straight run to the gate and back. It's hardly worth noting except for the picture. It shows the beginning of my axlefail.


Bikes on east end of Titus Canyon (astute viewers will note my axle nut is already missing)

Titus Canyon West

Titus Canyon itself was pretty. Ken hadn't been there, and it was one of the big highlights of the trip. The canyon is amazingly narrow, yet wide enough for a vehicle to go through. Ken thinks it was blasted at some point- I can see that.


Road to Titus Canyon




Ted's bike in Titus Canyon


Ted under overhang in Titus Canyon


Bikes in Titus




Ted


Ted


Bikes in Titus


Ken, stopped on road through Titus Canyon


Great pattern on sedimentary rock in Titus Canyon


Ken and striated rock


Coming to entrance of Titus Canyon
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:20 AM   #25
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Road to Racetrack

Once we left Titus, we started heading to Racetrack. It's 25 miles of National Park pavement, then 30 miles of moderate gravel. My axle started falling apart within the first few miles of gravel. As the above photos show, the nut was gone perhaps 40 miles before this time, but the axle began rattling out.

I felt the axle drop, which was the bolt falling off one side of the swingarm. The bike began rear-steering to the left as the wheel was tracking sideways. My brain did a Rolodex flip through what would cause that. The nearest thing I could chalk it up to was a flat tire, which wouldn't cause it to slew. So, I pushed on.

The next failure was when the axle bolt dropped out of the brake hanger and the wheel dropped radically. I instantly felt that, and at that moment the chain came off the rear sprocket. Fail!

Once I got off the bike, it was immediately easy to see what was wrong. It was also easy to see what was missing: nut, washer, and the axle/chain adjuster. Ken and I talked about it for a minute and he reminded me that I probably had a spare castle nut in my tool tube. After spreading everything out, I found a rusty and marred castle nut, but it was better than nothing. While I was putting the wheel back on, Ken turned around to look for my missing parts.

I struggled with the wheel but finally got it together. It's always a struggle to lift the wheel and get the axle through, especially alone and in the gravel. I then rode back to help Ken look for parts. In the end, he found the adjuster, but not the nut and washer. Now we know that makes sense, as the washer and nut were gone at least 40 miles prior!


Bodged repair: washer from far side, missing adjuster, old castle nut



Finally, we decided to go two-up on my (repaired) DL650, as we were worried about running out of gas on Ken's DL1000. There just aren't many gas options, and neither one of us are terribly keen on carrying gas cans. So we parked Ken's bike and I took him on a terrifying two-up ride.

Terrifying for Ken that is! He had to hold on to the luggage racks, as the stock V-Strom handholds are gone with Ted's Happy Trails top rack. The problem was twofold - he's not used to being on the back (and not in control) and he had to stretch his arms out to hold on. His right elbow ended up locking up, and for most of the ride to the Racetrack he was petrified!

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Old 01-17-2011, 07:57 AM   #26
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Titus Canyon

Titus was amazing. I really wish we had been able to ride the whole road from the East end all the way; hopefully the next time I'm in D.V. the weather will be a little more cooperative and I will.

Riding out to the Racetrack was just crazy. This is the second time this year I've ridden on a bike two-up, and the first time was probably the first time in over 5 years. I trust Ted on gravel - he has a lot more experience that I do - but still, half the time I felt like we were just about to biff. It did not help that his Rich's seat, while very comfortable, is built for Tamara in the back. not me. I kept sliding down and into Ted. In hindsight, I wish I'd ridden my own bike just for the experience.

Ted - can you post a zoomed in view of your axle nut from the east-end Titus picture?
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"Excluding diamonds and Vicodin, there’s nothing more precious than children." Ella Morton, The Elegant Guide to Children
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:34 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by DreadPirateKermit View Post
Titus was amazing. I really wish we had been able to ride the whole road from the East end all the way; hopefully the next time I'm in D.V. the weather will be a little more cooperative and I will.
It was amazing. Sort of reminded me of the canyons featured in Dakar this year. OTOH I'd rather go south of the border again than go back to DV.

Quote:
Riding out to the Racetrack was just crazy. This is the second time this year I've ridden on a bike two-up, and the first time was probably the first time in over 5 years. I trust Ted on gravel - he has a lot more experience that I do - but still, half the time I felt like we were just about to biff. It did not help that his Rich's seat, while very comfortable, is built for Tamara in the back. not me. I kept sliding down and into Ted. In hindsight, I wish I'd ridden my own bike just for the experience.
Pussy. You would have regretted taking your bike when you were pushing it for gas.

Quote:
Ted - can you post a zoomed in view of your axle nut from the east-end Titus picture?

Here are two- one at the east end of Titus, one at the west end when we were coming out. It's sad and funny to see the missing nut in these pictures, as I didn't recognize it at the time- yet it's captured in a couple of photos.

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Old 01-17-2011, 07:47 PM   #28
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No comments on the videos? Guess we'll carry on, then.

Teakettle Junction

One of the stops on the way to the playa is the Kettle Junction. Any guesses what gets collected on the sign?


Kettle marked Ken


ADV RAT kettle


ADV RAT teakettle. FYYFF.

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Old 01-17-2011, 09:06 PM   #29
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Joshua trees

We also made a stop at the Joshua trees. The sad thing is neither of us recognized them as Joshua trees; we thought they were a cactus.


Joshua trees


Joshua trees


Joshua trees and one weird-looking Joshua tree
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:57 PM   #30
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and the playa before I go to bed.

Racetrack Playa

Even discounting the sailing stones, the Racetrack Playa is stunning in its flatness and size. We first walked to The Grandstand and saw a couple of small stones, then got back on the bike and went to the south end of the playa where most of the sailing stones are.


Ted walking towards The Grandstand


Ted, taking a picture of a sailing stone with its track


Ted on The Grandstand


Racetrack Playa


Ted walking towards a sailing stone


Sinkhole/depression in the playa


Ted, taking pictures of tracks




Ken on The Grandstand


Ken on The Grandstand


Ken looking across the playa towards Ubehebe Peak from The Grandstand


Snail trail/rabbit tracks of a sailing rock


Ken on the playa


Snail trail/rabbit tracks of a sailing rock


Ken with a sailing rock

Ubehebe Crater

We then rode out and collected Ken's bike, which for some strange reason he hugged. We then stopped at Ubehebe Crater. It's hard not to stop at Ubehebe since the road goes right through the parking lot. It's also neat too see, though not after seeing Titus and Racetrack.


Ted at Ubehebe


Ubehebe Crater
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