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Old 04-09-2012, 10:19 PM   #166
browneye
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Browneye's RR for Saturday - Conclusion

Saturday was to be the big ride. Our group split off of Pointman's Hysterical Tour of Cerro Gordo to make room for more of them and to moreorless seperate the 'big bikes' from the 'small bikes'. We were to have a few more husky's but they bailed. After a couple of days of some of these runs some folks were looking for some easier routes.

So there was just 6 of us for this one, 3 husky's, 2 KTM's, and twowheel's new 'berg. Out west past Darwin, north and across the 190, then up the 136 to Keeler Junction, and then east and back up the mountain to Cerro Gordo. Johngil had the tracks and lead, I was sweep for this run.

Spafxr decided to brave this one with us, his first ride after knee surgery. I winced a few times as he held that leg out, dabbing a time or two, and wondering if he was hurting or not. The roads out west of Darwin are SAND. Those 40mph float-on-top washes where you better keep moving or you're going to bog out. It all pretty much looks like this:



Once we got to Keeler and started up the grade the wind started blowing off Owens Lake. About half way up the grade Spa's bike overheated and spewed all the coolant out. He came to a halt in a cloud of steam, we all thought for sure it had blown a hose or....worse.

Turns out just keeping the bike on the pipe for such a long period of time was asking too much. We took the tank off looking for broken or loose hoses and nothing. So we re-routed the overflow so he could keep an eye on it, buttoned'er back up and kept going. I was glad we had tools and extra water for coolant, some tubing, zipties, everything we needed.



Cerro Gordo is just so cool, but it was now really starting to blow and none of us really wanted to stop, we just wanted to keep going.



Johngil was leading this trip and he hesitated for a bit on whether to try to make it out to the Salt Tram because it was so windy. "Screw it, we're up here, we're going!" As everybody headed out the trail I just about got knocked over a couple of times and actually stopped and thought to hell with it, I'm not going to deal with all this wind further up a mountain. But when everyone just kept going I thought crap, I'm not going to sit down here and wait so I'll just go.





Oh boy, what a scary ride. Some of the trail is on a virtual cliff face, built out of stones that were turned flat from trucks driving on it, so it was almost like cobblestones. But every gust tried to either blow you into the hill side, or off the cliff on the outside. This kind of trail would normally be fun but was now rather treacherous. But we all made it to the tram and everyone was so glad we made the effort. What a sight to behold.







Overlooking Saline Valley





And a decent view from on top, elevation about 9000'. Sierra Range looking across Owens Valley



There's a new roof on the abandoned caretakers cabin. Nice place to get in out of the wind, have some lunch, and regroup









Time to head back down the mountain towards Saline Valley. Once we headed down the grade the mountain blocked most of the wind, so now I was way overheated and stopped at the bottom to take off my shell. Nice two-track through pine forest back to the Joshua Tree valley and on out Saline Valley Road.

Absolutely spectacular. As was the entire weekend. Dinner, raffle and awards was a hoot. It blew pretty hard that night, winds up to 60mph, but settled back down in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Another beautiful day in Death Valley.

I was tired and ready to head home, so packed it in and hit the road.

That's all folks. Many thanks to Joel and all of the volunteers. Was so nice to see such a big turn out and everyone having a very enjoyable time. Ready for next year! I'm....IN!!
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browneye screwed with this post 04-10-2012 at 01:38 PM
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:30 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by spafxer View Post
Nice RReports all you guys.. Wish I could have ridden more, but it worked out well to help the Steele Pass group get enough fuel for their loop... and I got to do some hot water rehab


Did anyone find my truck's muffler on Saline Valley Road? I noticed it got a little louder, but I thought just the tailpipe came loose... When I got home I looked below, and nothing there, completely gone... Dang, I left trash in DV



.
You know, I swore I saw a rusty muffler on Sunday, though it looked like it could have been on the ground a while too.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:35 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by isaac004 View Post
I believe this is pinocono, flying up the step with some wheelie action to boot.


Awesome shot!

Husky's rule!

And he said he was a noob.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:55 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by browneye View Post
On our way back down the mountain we ran into RobG, Cowgirl, and Macadamia on their way up Hunter Mountain Road on their ill-fated adventure. Glad they finally all made it out okay. I had reservations on seeing them up there, Cowgirl had already dumped at least once in one of the mud-slicked ruts, but it wasn't my place to tell them where to go or what to do. Hindsight is 20-20, right?
Hey Chris, I love your ride report! Great pictures

Actually I was OK on Hunter Mountain - I had fallen once but I figure if I don't fall down once in a while I'm just not trying hard enough I have to challenge myself or I won't get any better. The mistake I made (and which I had promised myself beforehand that I wouldn't make) was to go down Lippincott - that was far and away outside of my skill level. If I had just used some sense (surprisingly I do have some although it had abandoned me that day) and gone back to PSR from the Racetrack by way of Ubehebe all would have been fine. On the other hand if I had done that then I wouldn't have another epic ordeal to write a RR about
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:18 PM   #170
jnyrav
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Great RR,Chris, really missed riding that day....but glad you and Johngil had a good go! Next time!
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:05 AM   #171
macadamia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browneye View Post
On our way back down the mountain we ran into RobG, Cowgirl, and Macadamia on their way up Hunter Mountain Road on their ill-fated adventure. Glad they finally all made it out okay. I had reservations on seeing them up there, Cowgirl had already dumped at least once in one of the mud-slicked ruts, but it wasn't my place to tell them where to go or what to do. Hindsight is 20-20, right?
Advice is always appreciated, Chris... I'd rather have more information about the ride than just wing it.

One thing I believe is if going down Lippincott would have been the first thing we would have ridden, it would have been a different story. The length of the loop we took put Lippincott at the end of a long day of riding, where we were all a bit fatigued.

Hunter Mountain Road was a blast. I loved riding in the mud. I have video of our ride that I'm working on editing (grrrrrrr it's taking way too long...) and will post when it is done.
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macadamia screwed with this post 04-10-2012 at 05:06 AM Reason: spelling
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:17 AM   #172
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Hi Guys,

This sounds really like a lot of fun!

Ciao

Nic
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:19 AM   #173
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True Noobs

Baybueller, Billygs and I (jazzer) had a great time and really appreciate the patience of Nowwhat (Mike), Toast and the other guys on "Big Bikes go East". Here are a few pics.





Robert got the first flat on the trip. He came prepared. Nice piece of wood.



I got the second flat, but had already given my tube to Robert (Baybuller). Toast had another one. Thanks Toast! And then the tire change angel appeared again!


You guys were great!


This was the first time any of three of us had seen Titus Canyon. Awesome place!



Nice breeze back at camp.

Baybueller pointing the way.

Billygs wanted to ride highway 155 on the way home. Last time we went over it there was a lot of snow. I promised him that there was no snow this time of the year. oops...



Thanks Joel and all who put this together! See you next year.

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:30 PM   #174
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.

i like the facial expression of the pinch flat master here....
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:39 PM   #175
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Striped Butte....this site is absolutely stunning and no photos can do justice to how the bands of colors stick out against the barren landscape.

great place, beautiful weather....just add people = awesome....


not just from isaac, but lots of very nice pics and RR from everyone.

by monday morning......some lucky people will get stuff.....
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:01 PM   #176
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Check out Josh back there!



another good one...josh the human kite...
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #177
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i like the facial expression of the pinch flat master here....
i don't know why i have such a sourpuss expression on my face there. after all, i was NOT changing a tube out of a 908, so the entire operation took about 1/6 of the time. i actually kinda enjoyed it!

that ride was a hoot, and i'm glad i met you guys. good crew. i didn't know it was your first time on titus canyon! it was probably my 6th or 7th time, but trust me, it never gets old or boring! the view from the vista never fails to impress.

the ride back home through the snow didn't look like too much fun, though.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:13 PM   #178
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Isaac Steel Pass Report

Thanks for the great report. A salute to all the guys that finished The Longest Loop!
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:11 AM   #179
GalacticGS
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Heading to the Geologist Cabin

Here's a helmet cam video I took heading west between Warm Springs Camp and the Geologist Cabin. Kinda long (about 9 mins), gets a little boring, but you get the idea...

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Old 04-11-2012, 09:01 AM   #180
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Great RR,Chris, really missed riding that day....but glad you and Johngil had a good go! Next time!
+1 Nice RRs, Chris!

Great photos. The cabin overlooking DV is as awesome as you described, I need to get up there some time.
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