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Old 10-25-2012, 04:50 PM   #136
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Death Valley National Park, CA

The name of this valley speaks for itself, this place really is inhospitable. Badwater Basin for instance is the hottest, driest and lowest spot in America. It is located 280ft below sea level and in the summer it gets to 130F (54C) and higher. Not a single spot of shade can be found.

Originally I planned on seeing the Sailing Rocks or as I call them Rolling Stones and because of that I got these lyrics stuck in my head "Let me whisper in your ear: AngieÖ"

These rocks have many nicknames like moving rocks, sliding rocks, sailing rocks etcÖ but the fact remains that no one knows what causes the rocks to move around the desert. There are some theories but they havenít been proven. There was a hypothesis that underground gravitational forces affect them. It was disproven as some rocks moved parallel to each other only to start moving in the opposite direction.

The pic isn't mine:

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:55 PM   #137
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Death Valley National Park, CA

The official site says the following:
Some of the unimproved roads eat tires for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you could lose your spare tire too.

So riding off the beaten path I knew exactly what I was getting into.

The land is bone dry. And only the rainy season leaves some traces of water for short periods of time:



The sign reminds me that I am located 282ft below sea level:



Here is a picture of how precise my GPS is, showing exactly -282ft:



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Old 10-26-2012, 06:39 AM   #138
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Death Valley National Park, CA

The sign shows where the waves would be there was water here:



This is how it looks from a distance, I circled the sign in red:



I expected to see the scenery of Badwater like on this sign, but here you can see what I saw:



And here's a picture of my friend who was here in the middle of January:



And to compare below what I saw there. So during the summer there is nothing to see there.



Next was Zabriskie Point:



The famous Zabriskie Point movie (1970, Antonioni) was set there. I heard it's a good movie but I've never seen it.



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Old 10-26-2012, 06:50 PM   #139
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Death Valley National Park, CA

Another point of interest in Death Valley was the Mesquite Flat Dunes, and I did get to see them. But the thought of stopping and taking the effort to get my camera after being stranded for 48 hours yesterday didnít appeal to me.

Photo isn't mine:


Here are the infamous crawling bastards that look like racing sperm:



Finally Death Valley is behind me.

Along the way I saw an interesting house on a hill, looks like itís made of cardboard:



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Old 10-26-2012, 06:55 PM   #140
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Death Valley National Park, CA

I made it to my friendís house in Las Vegas where I got stuck till the next day. I planned on riding another 300 miles that day but I really needed some company that night. After riding only 250 miles that day I was more than happy to take a break with a friendly face.
What happened before some of you know, I wrote about it earlier.

I had 2,600 miles ahead of me that need to be covered in 3 days. I managed to do this despite the overbearing exhaustion that has build up over the course of the entire trip.

By the way I saw this recently:
http://www.weather.com/news/death-va...ecord-20120913
Listen just first episode which is about 1.5 min. It talks about that the hottest temperature on earth was recorded in Death Valley.

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Old 10-27-2012, 05:57 AM   #141
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Cross Country

During the whole trip, 18 days, and riding over 9,200 miles I had two encounters with police.

1st encounter, Michigan.
I left early in the morning and just started my iron butt challenge. I was in a hurry and didn’t notice the oncoming police car. When I noticed him, it was too late. I see behind me he makes a U-turn, turns on his Christmas lights and starts chasing me. He politely asks me "Can you tell me why you were going 83 in a 55? Your license, registration and insurance”.

After seeing my NJ license plate perhaps curiosity got the best of him and he asked:
- Where you going?
- California
- Alone???
- Yes, I mean no. I’m meeting my son in Calgary and we’ll ride 2 up to Vancouver and then California.
- Together? On one bike?

We started talking for 5 minutes or so. I know the common rumor that the longer you talk to a cop the less likely he is to give you a ticket. After that he said, let me see you license anyway and I will check it. After a few minutes he returned and said "Usually I don’t give any breaks for such speeding" but after a few seconds of silence he handed me back my license and said "Have a nice day, ride carefully".
That was Michigan’s hospitality.

2nd encounter, California.
One day prior to Death Valley. I stopped in Lone Pine, a village of 20 huts, where there’s nothing going on. I left for a restaurant in the evening a half mile down the road. In my mirrors I see the same Christmas lights. A young officer, proud that he pulled over a criminal, stated he pulled me over because I was without a helmet.
- And this is the reason you moved your ass to stop me? What about your unfinished donuts? – this is what went through my head but actually said:
- And you will give me a ticket for this?
- Of course, you broke the law!
Oh man, after such a heinous violation I wanted to hang myself.
- Don’t worry he told me, you have a CDL license and won’t get any points, just the fine.
If it’s only a fine then so be it. I’m blown away by the $200 fine and wonder where they come up with the numbers. Well this broke state does need all the financial help it can get.
This was California’s hospitality.

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Old 10-27-2012, 10:23 PM   #142
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Iron Butt

Today after two months of verification and waiting, I've got the Iron Butt Certificate:



It says above: "Only a handful of riders from around the world have managed to solve the challenge such a grueling ride involves".
Woooo-hoooooo!!! I'm not sure about this but
it's nice to have it.

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Old 11-02-2012, 08:55 PM   #143
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Super storm Sandy left me without power for 5 days. Iím back to normal life.
Only a few words left to say.

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Old 11-02-2012, 09:00 PM   #144
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Epilogue

Besides the planned stops at dozens of parks and beautiful cities, I got to meet people that I have been virtual friends with for many years.

One couple took their small plane and flew out to SF from Santa Barbara just to meet me, he’s a pilot. We had an excellent dinner, drinking great Californian wine and delicious steaks. I didn’t get an opportunity to meet two people in Calgary, they were away. I met a friend who lives in San Jose, everything was lively and interesting. It’s hard to believe that I did so much in less than 3 weeks.


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Old 11-02-2012, 09:05 PM   #145
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And now finally the last post.
Like I said before I have 2,600 miles left for the last 3 days. I planned to pass through the Great Smokey Mountains and Blue Ridge but lost time in Death Valley and now I didnít have the time. Before me was a straight and tedious highway straight home. Some places were rather pretty. I really liked New Mexico, at least from the road. I wanted to stop in Albuquerque and walk around but it started raining heavily. I had to stop under an overpass and put on my rain gear.

I took only 1 picture during the three days:



The last picture sums up the whole trip perfectly - rainbow at the end of the road

Like my first cross country last year, I received tremendous enjoyment from this journey.
America is so beautiful and different in terms of terrain and people. I dream to drive across it without being rushed and taking long stops in interesting places. I want to drive through Alaska and reach the Arctic Circle. I want to ride in Hawaii and by the way Iím already planning a trip on the Big Island. Ahead of me there are many new and exciting roads to ride.

A big thank you to everyone who followed me along this journey!
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:58 PM   #146
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what a great report!
thank you for your time and congrats on your iron butt achievement!
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:55 PM   #147
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Finally I found the time to put all this together in the video clip.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:39 AM   #148
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Enjoyed every bit of it.
Excellent choice of music too! Tanks!
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:06 PM   #149
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Thanks for both of your write ups. I recently returned from a 4 week cross continent trip and used your experiences to plan my route. So much too see- so little time!

This is the map of my trip- http://myroad.info/showtrack.html?id=488&lang=en
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:47 PM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genka View Post
Thanks for both of your write ups. I recently returned from a 4 week cross continent trip and used your experiences to plan my route. So much too see- so little time!

This is the map of my trip- http://myroad.info/showtrack.html?id=488&lang=en
Just saw your reply. I'm glad I was helpful in making your routes.
The program you used is very cool! What is it?
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