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Old 03-23-2012, 09:27 AM   #31
LittleWan OP
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Yay! Questor! Just in time - we're having Glorp for dinner

Hi DIESELWRENCH


Okay, I gotta get everyone into the dirt...



Day 2: 3/12/12 Topaz Lake to Homestake Campground 279 miles

Our room came with a coupon good for a free continental breakfast, or $3 off a breakfast entree. We chose the $3 off.
2 eggs, homefries and toast (not pictured). Also, some of the worst coffee I've ever had. Is Sanka back? "We're the third largest coffee in America..."



Our waitress was really nice. She said things were unusually slow in the coffeeshop that morning, but we chalked it up to the time change.
I'm sure the place was hopping an hour later.

Everyone who was there was talking about the impending storm.
Apparently, they were expecting some 50-60 mph winds in Topaz Lake and Tahoe was supposed to get at least a foot of snow. Yikes.

Ugh. How are we going to get all of our crap back on the bike??




Here’s a partial map for today. Topaz Lake to Big Pine




Back on the road (Hwy 395)














We pulled over to check out the overlook and take a couple photos.
It was windy and cold, but at least it wasn’t snowing.










Here’s a pic that Matt took when he stopped here in January (2012). He actually got off the bike for his photos.
It was a winter wonderland back then. Wonder how it looks now...



Another one from January




Soon, my friends. Soon.




Back on the road




We pretty much blew past Mono Lake...



Until I spied a bathroom. Stop!
Here’s a quick shot of the lake, as good as I could get from the parking area.



We took a gravel road down to the bathroom, and then back up to the highway.
It was pretty loose and our overloaded schoolbus felt like
shit. crap.
Wow. How the hell did we ride Black Bear Pass with all our camping gear?
This did not bode well for Death Valley.


I liked these clouds.




Not sure what this thing is...




But it looks just like a giant juicer



We blew through Bishop. Our intercoms weren’t working well for some reason, but we didn’t feel like stopping to fix them.
I noticed that Bishop had a beautiful new Vons (SoCal supermarket), and tons of places to eat.
Instead, we stopped in Big Pine.

There were a couple small markets and one place to eat (Country Kitchen). D’oh.
Oh well. The guy at Carroll’s Market was super nice and I felt good about giving them our business.



We got food for dinner and a couple gallons of spring water.
Once we got gas, we were in full water buffalo mode. About 1,100 lbs.


Saw some bikes at the gas station



It was Billy and his wife. They’re from Bend, OR.


We asked if he knew Wachs. He did!
Billy and Stacie came out to get more gas and then were heading back to DV.
They were going to Saline Valley Hot Springs for a quick visit, before heading back to Oregon.
We told them about the impending storm (they were hoping to get home via Quincy) and they told us that the washboard on the way to the Racetrack was brutal.

We didn’t have any problems with the washboard, hope they didn’t have any problems with the storm!


Had a quick bite at the Country Kitchen



And then we’re heading into the park via 168.




Starting to see Joshua trees...












Death Valley Road was kinda washboardy. Not bad, but it felt best at 60+ mph.
I mean, 25 mph.



Heading to Eureka Dunes
(that episode is kind of scary. we’re going to die riding the schoolbus)




It was pretty windy (25-30 mph)









A little gloomy looking the other direction



We had talked about camping here, at the dunes.
But these guys weren’t selling it...




The first of many jets (F-18?). I was surprised at how many zoom around in Death Valley. It gets pretty loud!








Okay, I'll be back with more...don't forget - Glorp for dinner!

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Old 03-23-2012, 09:47 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by LittleWan View Post



The first of many jets (F-18?). I was surprised at how many zoom around in Death Valley. It gets pretty loud!

China Lake Naval Air Weapons station is just to the south west of DV. Got a great show one day. Almost as good as camping outside Area 51... don't worry we had tinfoil hats.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #33
muskeg
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I saw your original post where you found the Playboy, but I won't spoil it for everyone else.
Q~



Dude… come on Questor

just kidding, carry on.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:55 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan View Post
I liked these clouds.




Not sure what this thing is...




But it looks just like a giant juicer




Lenticular cloud, pretty sure they get shot out of those juicers so we think they're a UFO.

http://www.crystalinks.com/lenticular.html
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:56 AM   #35
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Lenticular cloud, pretty sure they get shot out of those juicers so we think they're a UFO.
I think your tinfoil hat is slipping.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:03 PM   #36
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So glad I came accross this...

going to be a rainy weekend so time to settle in with the pop-corn and spend some time here. Thanks for sharing again. Let's ride!
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:41 PM   #37
LittleWan OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskeg View Post
Dude… come on Questor
I know, right?
Come on!


Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy View Post
Thanks for the link - those were cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorPeligro View Post
I think your tinfoil hat is slipping.
Oh, I think the hat flew off when he got hit by the lightning...





Hi redog1 - glad you found us!





Day 2: 3/12/12 Topaz Lake to Homestake Campground 279 miles, continued...




Okay, found another map.
NPS calls it Big Pine Road (not Death Valley Road)









Big Pine Rd --> Crankshaft




Matt slowed down so I could take a photo. Looking out over Last Chance Canyon...




Crankshaft Crossing









BigWan noticed a couple new motorcycle crankshafts




Someone’s got a lot of junk in the trunk...





So, we were testing out some new stuff on this ride.
Tires, for one.

BigWan used to like the Dunlop D606 for the front, but now his new favorite is the Pirelli Scorpion Rally.
We tried one on the TAT and haven’t gone back.
He says it wears better than the 606 and doesn’t cup.


I forgot to take photos of our tires before we left, so I took some in Placerville when we stopped for gas.
Here’s the front after 100 miles




Usually, we have a Dunlop D908 Rally Raid on the back. It’s a great tire, but the price!
It keeps going up and up. It’s roughly 200 bucks now.



For about $100, one can get a Pirelli Scorpion Rally rear. Matt thought he’d give it a shot.
We used to get about 2600 miles out of a D908 (2up), so if we can get more than 1300 miles from the Scorpion Rally rear, it’s a good deal.
Assuming that it hooks up okay, of course.
It’s that part that freaks me out. Not knowing if it’s going to be decent in the dirt...
I felt pretty good about a 908, but this one. Who knows?


Here’s the rear at 100 miles




We were also trying out our new suspension.
Just before we left, Matt took the forks to Super Plush Suspension.
He wanted the front end re-sprung to .70 and re-valved for aggressive, fast offroad.
Be careful what you wish for!





The new settings, combined with the front tire pressure of 34psi, made things rather unpleasant.
It was a harsh, scary ride and it felt like the front end was pushing through the gravel, rather than soaking it up.
The mucking wind didn’t help - it was still blowing 25-30.





As we went sliding around one turn...

me: Augh! Slow down!
Matt: What? Mama likes it slow?
me: Y’know, sometimes slow can be romantic...
together:





LittleWan screwed with this post 03-23-2012 at 01:47 PM Reason: tire links were jacked
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:45 PM   #38
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Sooooo happy!

Kelly,

This was such a great surprise today to see Matt and you are back. I read and re-read your other RR's and loved them so this makes me sooooo happy so see you again.

Thanks for keeping us old farts in tune from our recliners! By the way, I hope to ride from the Phoenix area to Placerville on #395 so can you tell me what that road would normally be like in early May?

Thanks much.....

Gary
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:33 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan View Post

me: Augh! Slow down!


Really? The voice of reason already???
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:06 PM   #40
LittleWan OP
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Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
By the way, I hope to ride from the Phoenix area to Placerville on #395 so can you tell me what that road would normally be like in early May?
Hi Gary!
This one's just a quick RR, but thanks for the kind words.
I think 395 would be open in May, unless there's a late storm.
You can go 395 --> 89--> 88 and then mormon emigrant or omo ranch rd to placerville...
You can check Hwy conditions here when you're getting ready to leave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tn. Walrus View Post
Really? The voice of reason already???
Busted!
Yeah, I was the voice of reason a few times on this trip.

There's something about being in DEATH Valley that makes one a little more cautious. Sometimes.
At least in the beginning, when sliding in gravel feels scary.
I loosened up eventually. You'll see the video later...




Day 2: 3/12/12 Topaz Lake to Homestake Campground 279 miles, continued...



Hey, Ubehebe! The crater was really pretty that day.




Matt walked over to the edge and looked down.
He said some a-hole was down at the bottom, moving rocks around to spell out, “I love you Jackie.”








Okay, we’re off to the racetrack!





Woo! Look at me, mapping my ass off (I know they’re just screen captures. it’s the thought that counts).




Road to the Racetrack. The washboard wasn’t that bad. Nothing special.





I thought you might be getting tired of the mirrors.
Tried to crop them out of this pic. Meh.





I don’t know how many of you read the Summer of Stupid,
but I did this thing where I left some ADV trinkets in strategic spots along the TAT. (scroll down the page)
It was a lot of fun.
Larryboy even found one, which made me super happy!
Anyway, I was going through my stuff and I found some extras that I had mailed home.
I thought they might like Death Valley.





Hmmm. Now where to leave them...?
This seemed like a good spot for one of them (just one).





Wow, there are more tea kettles than ever! Lots of hiding places...





Bye, little guy. Hope you find a new home!





I only saw one ADV kettle - I think it was Bobzilla’s?
That would have been too obvious, so it’s not there...


I’m more of a coffee person myself. Tea gives me a headache.
But, I’ve heard that...
(pay attention - this is your hint!)


tea is a cup of life



Happy Hunting!


I sure hope it's found by an inmate...


It was getting late so we decided we would go set up camp first, and then take pics at the Racetrack in the morning.
Homestake Campground is at the end of Racetrack Rd.
It was still mucking windy and there’s not a lot of shelter there.
Nice views at least...
















Man, the people across from us sure had a lot of water!
Those jerry jugs were stacked like wood - you can’t even see the ones in the back.
There were probably 60 jugs.





There was nothing else to do, so we decided to start dinner.





That pile of rocks is my comfy seat.





I had a tough time with my contact lenses here.
There was about a quarter teaspoon of sand in my lens case the next morning.





We really enjoyed the dinner we had at Glacier Nat’l Park...





So, we tried to recreate it here. Looks like someone hit it with the Glorp stick...
Glacier Mashup. It tasted okaaay, but we’re not going to try that again.




Oh Crap!
Look what I found in my pocket -






We were so concerned with packing up the bike, we sped off without checking out of Topaz Lodge.
Once we got back home, I emailed them and offered to send the keys in the mail, but they were cool and said it wasn’t a problem. Whew.
The manager (rick) said he just wanted to know if we had a good stay (we did).


The wind was still up, so there wasn’t much to do but get in the tent.
I was ready for bed around 7pm
but we watched a couple episodes of Dexter season 6.

Sacrilege, huh?
I feel your scorn.


Next time - the racetrack, lippincott with full gear, hunting for porn...



LittleWan screwed with this post 03-23-2012 at 08:23 PM Reason: can't f-ing spell lippincott :(
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:07 PM   #41
dabracing
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Awesome RR so far!

I'm + 1 on the Pirelli Rally's for my 950SE. They last at least as long as the Dunlop's, no cupping and almost half the cost.

Going down US-395 through Bridgeport, next time stop at Rino's Bar & Grille on the main drag in town. A buddy of mine (Patrick Padilla) owns it and the food/service is excellent.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:35 PM   #42
LittleWan OP
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Awesome RR so far!

I'm + 1 on the Pirelli Rally's for my 950SE. They last at least as long as the Dunlop's, no cupping and almost half the cost.

Going down US-395 through Bridgeport, next time stop at Rino's Bar & Grille on the main drag in town. A buddy of mine (Patrick Padilla) owns it and the food/service is excellent.
What about the Pirelli Rally rear? Have you tried that one? The Pirelli Rally front seems to last forever.
We're all about "adequate" food/service (or "not horrible" food/service), but Rino's sounds good. I hope someone reading this will give it a try


LittleWan screwed with this post 03-23-2012 at 08:42 PM
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:30 PM   #43
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Hi Guys,
I really like your write-up. Keep it coming. I saw that grin in my mirror when he was passing me by, (90+ mph on dirt)
Impressive.
Bartek.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:45 PM   #44
BigWan
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Hi Bartek,

Glad to see you here and I'm looking forward to riding with you again.

Matt
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:35 AM   #45
sion
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The guy at the store in Beatty told us we were going to die.
He said it at least 4 times while we were buying snacks after the ride.

did he look like this?

http://youtu.be/eKwk1ko6ceQ



Not sure what this thing is...



http://www.mmarray.org/
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