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Old 06-18-2012, 10:02 PM   #496
Rob.G
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Glad to hear you made it home safe!! It was great meeting you today. We'll have to do a ride sometime soon.

Rob

Tyson at my house this morning.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:07 AM   #497
Sl3dge
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Wow, helluva ride. Looking forward to the next RR. Running in my XC now, going for a longer ride this weekend
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:00 PM   #498
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So it begins. After all the "You're going to Death Valley in June?!" comments had been made, we were off to Death Valley.

The trip didn't start out very Death Valley-ish. 8:45 AM at my house. The riders and gear were assembled. The players this year were Terry (GS12ADV), Tyler (GS12), Rob (Wee Strom), Anna (Chevy pick-up/TTR225), and Robert (not old enough to ride on this trip).

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Sunuvabitch. Raining and cold. When is Spring gonna let go? The day started out with some interstate towards Mountain Home. Ride East to go West.

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My spirits are high and I'm in a great mood. No Stockholm Syndrome this year. Work has been pretty easy recently and I am relaxed and in vacation mode from mile 1 this year. Unlike last year that took me several days to actually relax. I like this way better.

The rain continued as we rode South on 51 out of Mountain Home.

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I had to stop the group in Bruneau to inform them that I am going to be the short tank on this trip. My fuel mileage sucks after Triumph put the service bulletin tune in my bike. I haven't noticed a bit of difference, other than it costs me more money in fuel everywhere I go.

Gas was passed up in Bruneau as we went down the road to Duck Valley.

Stopped to get rid of coffee.

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Holy @#$% it's cold today! I was the only one that put the heated gear on. Hence, I was the only one that was half way comfortable in this weather. I guess the others figured we were going Death Valley, so why wear the heated gear?

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Yes, that is snow ahead. Yes, it's June 9th!

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Ice accumulating on the windshield again! I really wish this would stop happening on every ride this year.

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We are almost in Nevada and the sun came out. It sure didn't warm up at all. Still cold.

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Somewhere North of Elko, I stood up stretch my legs. Tyler flagged me down to let me know that something flew out of an open pocket on my backpack. He waited several miles to get along side and tell me, but he did tell me.

We stopped on the side of the road and had our first tip over. Terry got off in the soft shoulder and got stuck. Rob went over to assist. After Terry was pulled out of the trench his wheel dug, he gassed it and got bounced. Oops.

I was of course waiting with camera ready. Photo first, then help.

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I went back and managed to find my soft case. I swear I need my momma along on these trips to check my pockets after every stop. I constantly forget to zip things.

We arrived in Elko cold and hungry. Some fast food at Wendy's and a chance to warm up.

Back on the road and I'm having technology problems. I got some new ear buds and I have to say that they were really comfortable. The problem was, my volume kept skipping to max for a brief second and then back to where it was. This was happening often and beginning to hurt my ears. My phone was also randomly shuffling tracks. I was extremely irritated. I hate it when technology doesn't work.

I finally figured out that half of it was my fault. I had shake to shuffle enabled on my iPhone. That solved the shuffling problem. I fixed the volume problem by cobbling together the comfortable memory foam pieces onto my spare headphones that didn't cause the volume issue. Fixed, kind of. Custom ear buds/ear plugs are on my short list.

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This was our order for most of the trip. Terry in the lead, then me, Tyler, and Rob in the back.

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Just North of Eureka, NV on 278, we were getting sleepy. Terry actually did the head bob thing and work up veering into an oncoming semi! He pulled out his camera and starting taking some photos to stay awake.

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We stopped at the intersection of 278 and 50 to wait for Anna to catch up in the truck.

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A little more background info. Anna is Terry's wife and Robert is their 9 year old son. Anna and Robert were in the truck with all the base camp gear and her dirt bike. Anna will be with us until we leave Death Valley. She will drive back to Boise as we head further into California. Robert will then be 2-up on his dad's GS12ADV.

We saw Anna make the turn going the wrong way and Terry had to call her and get her going the right way.

I had barely enough gas to make it to Austin, so we continued.

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The openness and loneliness of central Nevada.

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Wild horses enjoying the view and their freedom.

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I would occasionally bring up the rear to get photos of the whole group.

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Our goal was to camp near Kingston, NV for the night. 76 peels off to the South before 50 carries you into Austin. I had to go into Austin for fuel, so the group waited for Anna to catch up and they would meet me in Austin.

I shot ahead solo. Such a fun little section of road going into Austin. A decreasing radius caught me a bit off guard and I had to scrape peg to make it happen. I wasn't the only one. Tyler got surprised too.

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At the gas station in Austin, the debate raged on whether to take the dirt or backtrack to the highway. Nobody wanted to make an executive decision, until Anna said "dirt!"

We took off on 002 that followed the West side of the Toiyabe Range. I was always asked to lead when we got in the dirt. Not sure why. Ok, it's cause I ride really fast and tear up tires.

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Three bikes and one truck. Check.

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I actually used my new GPS for the first time. The road split at a "Y" and I couldn't tell which was the main one. GPS came in handy!

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I was loving the new suspension from Sasquatch. Even fully loaded, this bike can rock and roll off road! Our valving correction we made in the front after the initial upgrade was great. I only bottomed the front end a few times on the entire trip. Thanks Jay! You rock dude!

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Here I am at the summit of Kingston Pass. Elevation 8680. I stopped to take in the view and wait for the others.

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5 minutes....10 minutes....15 minutes. Nothing. Guess I'd better head back down and find out what is going on.

I run into Tyler and Rob on the side of the road back down in the valley. Turns out Anna never showed up, so Terry went back to look for his wife and son. We waited.

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And wait we did. It took almost 45 minutes for them to show up. They played cat and mouse for awhile. Terry had to go back into Austin for fuel. They finally found each other with the help of some other campers who had seen both of them pass earlier.

Camp was just up the road 300 feet from where we had waited.

It was an awesome grassy open area that at one time had been dominated by a beaver population.

Camp was set up and now we were on a mission for fire and warmth. It was still freezing and we were all deeply chilled. While we were setting up camp, Terry sent his son on a wood gathering mission.

Terry getting the "lighter fluid" out of the TTR.

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Let there be light!!!

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I made several trips of wood gathering and thanked the beavers for all their hard work. It's amazing how big of a tree they will chew down.

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A few of the trees they had chewed down fell up hill. I can just imagine the beaver going "FUCK" after all that hard work.

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Day 1 in the books. Sleepy time.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:04 PM   #499
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Hi Tyson, I just wanted the thank you for stopping and offering to help last Saturday on Nacimiento Road in Big Sur. I got everything back together and hoped to catch up with you on Carmel Valley Road, but obviously, it didn't happen.

I hope you have a safe trip.

Smitty
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:21 PM   #500
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Nice, Tyson! Yeah, I can only imagine that beaver -- F*ck! -- when the tree falls uphill.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:21 PM   #501
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Been waiting for this report!
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:38 PM   #502
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I was miserable last night. I had my summer bag and I was frozen all night. The others seemed ok. I was still in a great mood when I woke up, just cold.

My patented "first thing I see from the tent in the morning" photo.

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I had to pump water in the morning. My MSR has a few broken pieces and one fell into the stream. Terry had a great eye and saw it float down the river and was able to pick it out of the beaver dam. Thanks!

Camp is packed and we are on the road. Once again, I'm in the lead since we are off road and flogging the Tiger and new suspension. Loving every second of it!

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Terry coming up the pass.

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The moon was up during the day while on this trip.

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I stopped here to wait for the group to catch up and make sure everyone made it over the pass ok. No wrong turns this morning.

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We came out of Kingston Canyon and turned South on 376. I remember feeling more awake and alert than almost ever before. I'm absorbing all the new sights and reveling in the fact that I am lucky enough to do this.

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Robert decided he wanted to ride with Dad for awhile this morning. The truck was "boring" with mom.

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I tried to get the beautiful mountains on the horizon, but the haze and my camera left the images a bit soft.

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Just outside of Tonopah I made a high speed dash and hit 119. Not bad for fully loaded. The others followed suit and hit similar numbers.

We stopped for gas in Tonopah. A few older guys from South Carolina chatted us up for awhile. Two big Stroms and a GS12 that has never been off road. I think it was the first time I've ever talked to other Adv'ers and not gotten any comments on the Tiger. What the hell? Guess they don't know a nice piece of machinery when they see one.

95 carried us further South. The Joshua Trees started to appear and I started to get that familiar feeling that I'm a long ways from home. I love that feeling.

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I've never seen a Joshua Tree before and I actually thought they were cactus. I even learned something on vacation!!

Lots of open ground to cover. Terry did a great job of regulating speed on this trip. Every once and awhile things got a little out of hand when we passed somebody.

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I think that shot was actually after we passed a couple of Harley riders. Almost had a collision with them. There were three guys in assless chaps and they pulled out to pass a car. Terry and our group followed. They didn't leave any room for us to get back in and Terry and I had to SLAM on the brakes to avoid a collision. My ABS actually kicked in. Fucking douche bags. Have I mentioned before I hate Harley riders? I think it might have come up once or twice before in this thread. Then shit like this keeps happening and it further solidifies my opinion of them even more.

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Every time I saw green in this arid climate, I could only think "Amazing what a little water will do."

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We got gas and met up with Anna in Beatty, NV. I picked up some more beer. Only the necessities for me. Beer and gas.

I finally shed some layers. The heated vest had been off for a long time today, but it had to come off finally. I changed over gloves to the summer weight ones as well. Finally.

Terry wanted to stop at Rhyolite, a ghost town, before we went into Death Valley and have lunch.

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Terry is from Cali and knows this area pretty well. He also knows what makes the desert tolerable. Easy up! Shade good.

We took quite the extended lunch. 3 hours worth. Just BS-ing and enjoying being on vacation.

Tyler was already complaining about getting burned. He doesn't have a soul and is a day walker. We started joking about renaming it "Death to Gingers Valley." We had a pretty good laugh at Tyler's expense. We are all aircraft mechanics and have tough skin, so no feelings were hurt in the making of this RR.

All packed up and back on the road. To Death Valley we go!

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I'm sure you're as confused as we were.

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I wanted to get a pic as we entered California, but it was uneventful and only marked with a small wooden post.

We made Daylight Pass summit and began the descent into Death Valley.

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I was completely blown away by the grander of everything here. The mountains were huge and rugged. The peaks in the area surronding Death Valley rise 6000-11000 feet above the valley floor.

I was also stunned by the heat. It was hot back in Rhyloite. Probably in the 90's. But this was a new experience for me. The temperature was proportionally increasing with the altitude we lost as we headed for the valley floor. To be cliche, it literally felt like the wave of heat that comes from opening the oven door. Seriously. I thought it was really neat and I enjoyed every second we were in that intense heat.

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We are here! At the bottom of Death Valley and in the furnace.

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Probably a solid 120 degrees.

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That mountain rises 6732 feet. Massive rise!

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Many things do grow out here and there actually is an abundance of life when you start to look for it. At first appearance, it sure doesn't look like it though.

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The sand dunes on the floor were beautiful. Such smooth and flowing lines. I would get some better pics a few days later.

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A very large dust devil.

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We passed though Stovepipe Wells. There was a campground there. Guess what? No tents set up! Not even any RV's. I passed a thermometer that said 110 in the shade.

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We began the climb out of DV on the West side. It didn't feel like we were climbing at all, until you turned around and looked back a the valley floor. The road gains 5000 feet in 13 miles. It is such a smooth and steady ascent. Well, except for another feature that I have never seen. The road has large rollers in it. Instead of building culverts, they just follow the natural terrain and let the water run over the road. Probably happens just a few times a year.

The other good indicator that were gaining altitude was the drop in temp. It probably dropped 25-30 degrees by the time we reached the summit of Towne Pass.

We got behind a Honda Accord that was taking his sweet ass time though a very fun section of road near the summit. When we finally had a chance to pass the fucker sped up to 80. Why do people gotta be assholes?

After the summit, was another spectacular valley, views, and descent. We drop into Panamint Valley.

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Panamint Valley is nearly 1500 higher than DV, and much cooler. Comparatively. Still hot, but not DV hot.

Base camp for the next three days is Panamint Springs on the West side of the Panamint Valley. It was hot when we arrived, but the higher altitude means the temps will drop at night.

We got checked in and I had the best $2.50 Snickers ice cream bar I've ever had.

Just like calling "Shotgun", I called the best spot under the most shade.

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Home for the next few days.

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I took a few photos from our vantage point over the valley.

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Cold beers and vacation. Loving every second of it. The temp that evening dropped to the most perfect temperature I have ever felt. I slept so well that night as the breeze blew through rainfly-less tent.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:39 PM   #503
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The view from our camp ant Panamint Springs.

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Old 06-19-2012, 07:05 PM   #504
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Today would be our big off road day in the park. Anna would also be with us on her moto.

We had a nice leisurely breakfast and hit the road. We followed 190 further West up the mountain from Panamint Springs.

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At the top, we pulled off to take in the spectacular view of Father Crowley Point. We had to leave the pavement of the parking lot to get to the point. I may have dropped the clutch and ridden a small wheelie into the dirt. The view was out of this world!

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Notice that Anna is missing from the pic. She didn't follow us off the pavement. It irritated Terry because we had a long ways to go off road today and she didn't even follow us the half mile off the road.

She told me later that she just didn't wanna go and she thought Terry made too big of a deal of it while we all sat and waited for them to talk it out in the parking lot as to whether she would even come on the trip with us today. Not trying to air personal business, but it was part of the trip, so it gets written about.

Anna is in, so we continue.

I stopped for this pic since I didn't get one at the Cali sign. There wasn't even one of these DV signs the way we came in.

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Rob pulled in too.

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When we got to Saline Valley Rd we regrouped. I was given the opportunity to lead again. I'm all over it! I don't like sucking dust and I know Hobbes doesn't either! Redline 1st, redline 2nd, redline 3rd. Wheel spin=FUN!!!!

It's wide open and 70 is easy to maintain.

Pause for pic.

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We had agreed I would wait here for the group to catch up at the big Joshua Trees.

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They are a really interesting plant. It takes so long for them to get this large in this harsh of a climate. CLICKY HERE

Terry and Anna were the last to roll up. It was at this point Terry noticed that his GoPro camera mount broke and the the camera was gone from his bike. We know it was in the last 10 miles of gravel somewhere. It was there when we left the pavement. He took off and went back to look for it. Way too much money to not try to find it.

While we were waiting in the shade, Tyler caught a little more flak.

Rob says, "You better get that sunscreen on nice and thick, we don't want you turning into ginger jerky!"

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45 minutes passes and I decide I'm gonna go look for the camera as well. I only got about a mile down the road before I ran into Terry on his way back. No luck.

We head back to where the others are waiting in the shade of the Joshua tree. Terry tells us that we are welcome to continue on, but he will stay here all day until he finds his $500 worth of camera. I wouldn't dream of splitting up like that. The rest of the group agreed that we would all ride back and comb the road. Terry looked left ditch, Tyler center of road, me right ditch, Rob and Anna behind scouring the middle as well. Just three miles of first gear down the road Terry spots the camera. Success!

I joked, without tact, that the only reason I helped was I don't want Terry in a bad mood.

We also laughed about how funny it would have been if the camera was recording when it fell off. Ground, sky, ground, sky, then come to rest and watch/hear the bike drive off in the distance.

All's good and we continue. The next meet up is the viewpoint looking into the Panamint Valley from the North.

I lead again.

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This wash got a bit challenging at points. Nothing bad by any means, just fun.

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Panamint Valley looking South.

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Ok, a few with out Hobbes.

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In the lead again, I was instructed to take Hunter Mountain Road. We would come in the back side to racetrack vs the Lipincott Grade. Anna wasn't up for that. From what I hear, anything but a dirt bike would be a handful on that grade.

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Great temps at this altitude. Sunny and beautiful.

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These mountain ranges are impressive! The road is fun. We start to lose altitude with the trees and shade disappearing.

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DV in the distance.

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Crossing Ulida Flat.

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Terry and Anna. Anna is doing great. I never have to wait too long for anybody to catch up. I would usually rip away from our stops, but slow to sightseeing mode shortly after.

It was lunch time and in hindsight, I should have stopped up high where the temps were cooler and the there was shade. Rob had us covered though. Literally. He had is rain fly with and it knocked a solid 15 degrees off under there.

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Lots of sweet military action in the area. This F-18 came by us low and fast. I managed to get a pic. We are all airplane people and love seeing this stuff. 'Merica. Fuck yeah.

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We traversed Hidden valley and dropped through Lost Burro Gap.

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Teakettle Junction. Apparently they took down what was once here. Terry said there used to be a whole lot more. The hippies probably considered it litter and had it removed from the Park.

South on Racetrack Valley Road. WASHBOARD!!! BAD!! Solution? More throttle.

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A dust devil up close and personal. This one was several hundred feet tall.

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THE RACETRACK. CLICKY HERE.

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Terry's initial plan was to get up at 0'dark thirty to watch the sunrise here. The tracks are way more visible when the sun is at a lower angle. Oh well, its still frickin cool!

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I wanted so badly to get the bikes out here for a drag race. I wish there was a way to do that with out leaving a trace.

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C'mon now, don't give me that look. I'd never do that. I've got way more respect for something this cool. Doesn't mean I didn't want to though...

The playa was cracked in perfect mosaic pattern all over. Completely uniform across the whole thing. And we walked about mile out to see the bigger rocks and then back. Such consistent soil to make that happen.

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Left to right, Tyler (Ginger Jerky), Rob, rock, and Terry.

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Break time....
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:15 PM   #505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboats View Post
How are you liking your new GPS?

Nice to have. Came in handy several times. Seemed a bit glitchy at points with the tracks function. There was a pretty good lag in the altitude while moving. Lots to learn. Overall glad I got it. Hope I got the right one. Now I need to buy to street maps so I can route roads. It just draws a straight line when you put in a destination.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:17 PM   #506
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Originally Posted by Rob.G View Post
Glad to hear you made it home safe!! It was great meeting you today. We'll have to do a ride sometime soon.

Rob

Tyson at my house this morning.
Super nice to meet you Rob. We'll ride sometime in the future....
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:18 PM   #507
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Originally Posted by Sl3dge View Post
Wow, helluva ride. Looking forward to the next RR. Running in my XC now, going for a longer ride this weekend
So how do you like it so far? Are you on the "drive it like you stole it" break in plan? Two 250's? Do you get to ride both of them?
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:21 PM   #508
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Originally Posted by schmidtle View Post
Hi Tyson, I just wanted the thank you for stopping and offering to help last Saturday on Nacimiento Road in Big Sur. I got everything back together and hoped to catch up with you on Carmel Valley Road, but obviously, it didn't happen.

I hope you have a safe trip.

Smitty
Nice meeting you too. Yeah, I was flying pretty good on both Nacimiento and Caramel Valley. Sport bike riders would have had a tough time keeping up with the speeds I was moving on those roads. Enjoy the RR!
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:23 PM   #509
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The view from Teakettle Junction.

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THE ADVENTURES OF TYSON AND HOBBES
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:59 PM   #510
Rob.G
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Holy cow WTF happened to all the kettles?? I saw what you wrote, but I had to comment. There were a BUTTLOAD of them there back in March when I was there. I can't see any valid reason for taking them down.

Great pix! I never got many pix of that trip because I'm always busy riding. It's neat seeing all the familiar roads and trails.

Rob
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