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Old 04-11-2012, 12:17 PM   #181
joefromsf
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Friday: Double-Darwin, Cerro Gordo & Olancha Dunes ride

Good job on the photos and ride reports everyone. Time for me to stop lurking and start posting. I didn't take as many pics as usual because I was also shooting video, so I will post some pics now rather than wait until I figure how to edit/process my videos into something watchable.

Fridays ride was my Double-Darwin, Cerro Gordo and Olancha Dunes loop. I almost always go thru Darwin now for any rides to the north or east of PSR as the dirt starts 1 mile from camp. Cerro Gordo was a destination because some of my buddies had never been there due to snow the last couple of years. And during my research of legal roads in the BLM lands around Darwin I discovered the BLM had a very small OHV area called Olancha Dunes about 10 miles off of my planned route.

I had never seen any mention of Olancha Dunes in anybody's ride reports from the noobs rally, so I did some googling and determined that it would likely be deserted and was good for about 20-30 minutes of entertainment.

We had a group of 14 for the day, including Bill (Speed Racer), Darrell (Kawtipper), Steve (tuffgonger), Mike (n6oft), Dean (mootsuno), Dave (DaveBro), Phil (Suzuki Phil) and Luke (eggroll) and many more whose real and ADV names escape me. It was a great group of riders and we seemed pretty well matched as I don't recall us waiting much for stragglers.

Here is a screen shot of our loop (green track), pretty much ridden counter clockwise.



Since I had ridden most of the morning route before, I didn't take any pictures until we got to the dunes which was a new experience for most of us.

Darrell (Kawtipper)



Suzuki Phil's friend (forgot his name)



Dean (mootsuno) coming in hot for a jump attempt







My understanding is it was not a pretty landing.

Speaking of not pretty landings, I was making my last pass at the dune (not jumping) and had a pretty good faceplant; seeing double for a few minutes and being unsteady on my feet for a while.

Chillin in the sand after my spill (pic by Bill - Speed Racer)



Brain scan at the time (or maybe my tracks at the dunes)



We (primarily me) took a long break at the gas station in Olancha before headed back to camp. Due to the time we missed out exploring some of the planned side trips west of Darwin, but still had another 30-40 miles of dirt back thru Darwin to camp. Let the record show we made it back to camp before dark.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:44 PM   #182
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Saturday ride: Pleasant Canyon - South Park loop

On Saturday, I convinced my friends Bill (Speed Racer), Darrell (Kawtipper) and Steve (tuffgonger) to do (attempt) a new route for us, the Pleasant Canyon - South Park loop. The mileage would be short but I warned them it would likely be the hardest riding we've ever done.

Here's our track (in red) that we rode clockwise.



A short rest after Darrell's gravity complying moment on the wet rock ascent up Pleasant Canyon.



Looking back down the road from that point:



Finally made it to Rodger's Pass.



If we're at a "pass" is should be downhill from here right? Nope, instead it goes up even steeper/looser terrain than we had already done.



Bill made it about half way up before running out off traction. I figured more speed was needed so I gave it a go and made it about half way up before running out of . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



We were considering to bail on the loop and head back down Pleasant Canyon, but when we got my bike out of the tree, we discovered a separate smaller road/track that zig-zagged to the top of the steep section. In the google maps link below. A>B>C is the normal direct approach. I crashed in the trees to the left of the B pin. Bill rode B>E>C and declared the road from C forward was going to be easier. Darrell and Steve walked to to their bikes via B>D>A to verify that was doable and thus the easier A>D>B>E>C variation was used to get us to the top.


View Larger Map

Here's some pics of Darrell and Steve coming up the D>B section.






Soon after that hill we came to an intersection and another decision point. To the right was the descent to Middle Park and then to South Park and the most direct way back to camp. Straight ahead the road would continue climbing and presumably reward us with spectacular views of Stripped Butte and Mengel Pass. We originally chose to go straight but quickly changed our minds when it looked like more steep climbing. We knew we still had the unknown challenges of South Park still ahead of us and figured we'd better not waste any more time up here.

South Park was a challenge for us with its steep rocky downhills. Passed a group of fellow noobs that were riding up South Park. Took a break at the lower of the two cabins below Chicken Rock. These cabins are very well maintained.





Looking back up towards Chicken Rock and the bridge.




When we finally exited South Park Canyon, we were greeted by the strong winds everybody dealt with Saturday afternoon. Back at camp Darrell found his tent had been saved by somebody who piled some rocks on it to keep it from blowing away.

It was a very hard day's riding for us, and I secretly wondered if we would still be up for doing our longest ride of the weekend, Steel Pass, the next day.

BTW, let the record show we made it back to camp before dark.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:20 PM   #183
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Sunday ride: Steel Pass and Lippencott

As folks packed up to leave Sunday morning, we still had another full day in DV and had to decide whether we were still going to do our planned Steel Pass ride on Sunday. Darrell (Kawtipper) and Steve (tuffgonger) were still up for it and I wanted to do it on the DR650 since my previous times had been on my WeeStrom.

We set off at 9:00 AM and rode this loop clockwise.



We took a long (non soaking) break at the hot springs as Darrell and Steve had never been there. No beers or gas were greeting us , but the scenery was pretty decent for a change. Then off to tackle Steel Pass.

At first I thought I had built it up too much in describing it to Darrell and Steve, but we were all riding bikes much more appropriate than my Wee Strom, which made it easier. It finally got harder for the last mile or so before the pass. I dropped my bike in the gravel and as we picked mine up Darrell's parked bike fell over and then Steve arrived saying he had just biffed a minute ago. Time for a break.



Almost to the pass



The view of Eureka Dunes from our lunch spot in Dedecker Canyon



Not sure why, but it seemed riding in the sand passing the dunes was longer than in past years.

Stopped to make a deposit at Tea Kettle Junction.



Hey, aren't there 5 names on that teakettle.



Off to the Racetrack, first time for these guys.



Group shot.



Lippencott was fun and uneventful. A great, but long day riding, about 217 miles.

And let the record show we made it back to camp before . . . . . . (oh well 2 out of 3 days isn't bad).

--------------------------------

Epilogue: Thanks to Joel for his efforts for organizing this gathering of the noobs and those that remember what it was like to be a noob. And thanks to the huge support cast and doners of raffle items, glasses and brownies. Hope everyone has a great year of riding.

----------------------------------

P.S. I posted most of my good pics, but there's a couple more here: http://joefromsf.smugmug.com/Motorcy...2324580_ZMPPGD
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:27 PM   #184
LittleWan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joefromsf View Post
On Saturday, I convinced my friends Bill (Speed Racer), Darrell (Kawtipper) and Steve (tuffgonger) to do (attempt) a new route for us, the Pleasant Canyon - South Park loop.
What? you did that loop and didn't look for the playboy magazine??
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=680888

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Old 04-11-2012, 02:38 PM   #185
joefromsf
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Originally Posted by LittleWan View Post
What? you did that loop and didn't look for the playboy magazine??
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=680888

Believe me, I was extremely disappointed to not discover your Ride Report until after I got back home and find out we missed all the booty. Although as mentioned, the scenery at the hot springs was great (and I'm not referring to the ADV'ers we saw there).

I was on a little bit of a quest on Sunday though. I was looking for the elusive "blue marble bathtub" around Steel Pass but didn't find it. Oh well, another reason to go back.

Looking forward to seeing Matt again and meeting you at the Mendo Rally.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:45 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by joefromsf View Post
Believe me, I was extremely disappointed to not discover your Ride Report until after I got back home and find out we missed all the booty.
Aww, too bad!

yeah, there's so much in DV, many trips are in order.
Looking forward to meeting you, too See you there!
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:11 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by loupiote View Post
i've also been through this goler wash trail years ago, when there were no loose rocks like that.

one of my friends who went there recently told me it was easier to pass the "step" by walking the bike (rather than riding it) and playing with the clutch on the empty (much lighter) bike.

has anyone tried that technique with a 650cc or larger bike? (I have a KLR650)
Like this:


From http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=774723
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:59 PM   #188
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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...
Nice vid Larry. Thanks for taking us along.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:13 PM   #189
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Quote:
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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...






very nice larry....gonna relive that vid for a long time.


anyone who hasn't done that route - warmsprings rd to butte valley, will get the idea what the road looks like.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:21 PM   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joefromsf View Post
Good job on the photos and ride reports everyone. Time for me to stop lurking and start posting. I didn't take as many pics as usual because I was also shooting video, so I will post some pics now rather than wait until I figure how to edit/process my videos into something watchable.

Fridays ride was my Double-Darwin, Cerro Gordo and Olancha Dunes loop. I almost always go thru Darwin now for any rides to the north or east of PSR as the dirt starts 1 mile from camp. Cerro Gordo was a destination because some of my buddies had never been there due to snow the last couple of years. And during my research of legal roads in the BLM lands around Darwin I discovered the BLM had a very small OHV area called Olancha Dunes about 10 miles off of my planned route.

I had never seen any mention of Olancha Dunes in anybody's ride reports from the noobs rally, so I did some googling and determined that it would likely be deserted and was good for about 20-30 minutes of entertainment.

We had a group of 14 for the day, including Bill (Speed Racer), Darrell (Kawtipper), Steve (tuffgonger), Mike (n6oft), Dean (mootsuno), Dave (DaveBro), Phil (Suzuki Phil) and Luke (eggroll) and many more whose real and ADV names escape me. It was a great group of riders and we seemed pretty well matched as I don't recall us waiting much for stragglers.

Here is a screen shot of our loop (green track), pretty much ridden counter clockwise.



Since I had ridden most of the morning route before, I didn't take any pictures until we got to the dunes which was a new experience for most of us.

Darrell (Kawtipper)





Dean (mootsuno) coming in hot for a jump attempt







My understanding is it was not a pretty landing.

Speaking of not pretty landings, I was making my last pass at the dune (not jumping) and had a pretty good faceplant; seeing double for a few minutes and being unsteady on my feet for a while.

Chillin in the sand after my spill (pic by Bill - Speed Racer)



Brain scan at the time (or maybe my tracks at the dunes)



We (primarily me) took a long break at the gas station in Olancha before headed back to camp. Due to the time we missed out exploring some of the planned side trips west of Darwin, but still had another 30-40 miles of dirt back thru Darwin to camp. Let the record show we made it back to camp before dark.




joe, i've been to olancha dunes many years ago, but yours is the first documented RR.

all your routes in the 3 days of madness are great, wish i was able to tag along.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:13 PM   #191
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cool.... did the guy crash at the top? looks like he hit a big rock before disappearing.

[edit] cool, i just found the photos of me, sharon and my KLR ( http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...+valley&page=6 ) - thanks!

joel, do you mind if i repost some of those photos on my FB?

it's inspiring to see that people had no major problems doing all those hard trails around death valley. great trip reports!

i've been on the pleasant canyon / middle park / south park loop a while back (in 1989), with a FJ40 land-cruiser and with 2 friends that had a XT350 and a KLR650 (in fact the actual same KLR that i now have!). i remember that my friend with the KLR had a really hard time on the steep ascend, and crashed several times. this is a very challenging trail.

loupiote screwed with this post 04-11-2012 at 10:29 PM
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:01 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by loupiote View Post
cool.... did the guy crash at the top? looks like he hit a big rock before disappearing.
I'm not sure, but I highly doubt it. Looks more like just a bounce at the end.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:15 AM   #193
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for everyone to enjoy

Quote:
Originally Posted by loupiote View Post

joel, do you mind if i repost some of those photos on my FB?

it's inspiring to see that people had no major problems doing all those hard trails around death valley. great trip reports!

tristan and others, feel free to copy and share all the pics i posted on this thread.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:54 PM   #194
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thanks! :)
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:56 PM   #195
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Looks like a fantastic trip.

Funny how the stills don't show the windstorm that was happening that weekend!
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