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Old 01-25-2011, 12:53 PM   #1
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Location: Humboldt, California, Earth, Sol, Milky Way
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Burnin' off the knobs SF<-->DV

That's San Francisco to Death Valley. And back.

I popped some TKC 80s on the GS to try those (my favorite tires to this point were Continental Trail Attacks). But it kept raining...then stopping for a few days...then raining again. Arrgh. I was gonna go spend Cmas in DV...rained. New Year's in DV...rained.

These knobs are wearing down fast! I need to get out there! We finally had a few clear days last week and a good forecast. The Park Service page showed a few of the dirt roads finally opening up again (not Wildrose or Titus though) and I decided to roll before I had no knobs left to try out.

I've been itchin' too long; time to scratch. Let's roll.

It may take me a while to post these pix and vids. I'm lazy and there are a few; I tried to document the trip so others considering a ride out to Death Valley this time of year can get a good feel for the conditions.

Lots of fog and damp streets at the crepuscular hour when I hit the start button. Here's the street in front of the house. Yuck, fog and overcast is kinda depressing. Let's hope it clears up further south.

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Old 01-25-2011, 12:55 PM   #2
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The fog and overcast finally lifted south of Hollister. I headed over Panoche Road towards the central valley. That off-and-on rain we've been having has really greened up the hills.

Ah, California in the winter!

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Old 01-25-2011, 12:59 PM   #3
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...but as soon as I got over the next ridgeline and started descending to the Central Valley, I saw the fog waiting for me out there too.

Gosh! (Pardon my language).

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:04 PM   #4
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Crossing the tracks out there in the middle of nowhere farm land, I saw a train approaching so I stopped too close to the tracks to see if I could get a photo.

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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155 had lots of snow and was very icy up on top...some sketchy moments up there, but made it through.

I was winding around the back side of Lake Isabella to connect with 178 and saw this sign in the road. Pffft, "Loose Gravel" ??? No problemo!

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:09 PM   #6
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Wait a sec, that's some pretty freakin' intense Loose Gravel!

The entire road was gone! I wasn't quite in the mood to Evel Kneivel this thing so had to turn around and backtrack to the other side of the Lake and connect to 178 that way....

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:10 PM   #7
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That front TKC80 should give you about 7000 miles.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:13 PM   #8
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Hole E Cow!!! My favorite back road is wiped out!!!
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:14 PM   #9
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178 was clear all the way across to Walker Pass. There wasn't even any snow or ice at the Pass! Great!

It was time to motor on down to Ridgecrest and see if I could scout up a cheap motel.

Here's a quick video rolling down from Walker Pass through that Joshua Tree forest in the conservation area.


The TKCs felt pretty good at speed. A bit floaty, but fine overall.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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Grabbed a chili dog, a shower, and sacked out at the EconoLodge. Nice joint--liked it better than the usual Motel 6 next door.

Up early the next morning for *$ then the run out to Trona.

The Churches of Industry are still there and going strong!

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:22 PM   #11
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Up and over the pass and Panamint Valley spreads out.

These asses/donkeys/mules/burros like it too and were keeping an eye on me.

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:25 PM   #12
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I rode out to Ballarat to see how Rocky and George were doing.

Here's a glamor shot of my consort: The 2010 BMW R1200GS 30th Anniversary Edition.

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trumper View Post
Here's a glamor shot of my consort: The 2010 BMW R1200GS 30th Anniversary Edition.

Something about the solo seat and trunk mounted forward that makes your bike look better than the rest of them. I like it!!
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:28 PM   #14
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George was still asleep, but Rocky said he was doin' fine. I think I read on ADV somewhere that he was ill a few weeks ago?

Here's that old truck rumor has it Manson used to use to haul supplies out to the Barker Ranch.

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:31 PM   #15
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Did I mention it was a beautiful, awesome day? Started out with 35 degrees back in Ridgecrest, but it was 60 by the time I got to Ballarat.

I wandered around looking at the stuff laying all over and saw this old piston and rod.

Kripes, why so many piston rings on this thing?

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