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Old 04-28-2014, 02:06 PM   #46
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Cheating on me!

Well, my bike decided she wasn't waiting around to get dirty so, she did it all by herself!

image


I had parked at work and was going to be there for a couple days. Rain was forecasted for the night so, I thought I would be clever and park under a military GP tent. Sometime around midnight the wind really picked up. It picked up the tent and moved it six feet over and my bike had to give. She spent nine hours on her side getting a face full of mud before a coworker saw it and stood her back up. It looked worse in person. Luckily I had just put on the engine guards and they worked. At least it was Mother Nature that tested them first and not me.

Death Valley is coming up this weekend!
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:13 PM   #47
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Death Valley rocked!

Just got back last night from a fabulous trip to Death Valley. It was AWESOME!!! I'm gathering the photos and raw footage today and will be posting the report maybe starting tonight or tomorrow. It was a great trip that I seriously needed and the timing was perfect!
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:58 PM   #48
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Really enjoying your pictures and writing!



I think most of us always search for a little solitude, if only for a few fleeting moments. Your post about being happy on your bike or in the middle of nowhere reminded me of a trip to Montana and some mountain sojourns.... It was so quiet it almost hurt.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:16 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonedude View Post
Really enjoying your pictures and writing!



I think most of us always search for a little solitude, if only for a few fleeting moments. Your post about being happy on your bike or in the middle of nowhere reminded me of a trip to Montana and some mountain sojourns.... It was so quiet it almost hurt.
I am glad and appreciate that you're enjoying my RR. Montana is on my list of places to ride. I've been there before, just not on a bike. There is nothing on Earth like shutting down your engine and hearing nothing but the elements enticing your senses.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:17 PM   #50
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Coming very soon!

Coming up I have 109 F, spectacular views, life in the valley, death in the valley, missed opportunity, exploded gear, and the Search for Sanity turning into insanity through spontaneous opportunity!
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:18 PM   #51
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May 2, 2014

I've been planning and looking forward to this trip for a few months now. Researching attractions, distances between, terrain, routes, camping, alternate camp sites, water points, stores, gas stations, weather, prices, hours of daylight, and on, and on. I am truly happy it all worked out. I needed a break! My last multi day trip was last August. Optimally I would aim for once a month.

Death Valley, California

image

This trip is the first of its kind for me. I will be traveling with a full functioning support crew! From left to right we have "Rider/everything not listed", "Treasurer/ Caterer/ Support Driver/ Photographer", "Cuddler", "Assistant Driver/ Go For", "Navigator", "Navigator/ Security/Ghost Hunter". Some have limited experience but, they work for food and who can argue with that price!


image
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:20 PM   #52
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Getting out the door.

The plan was to wake up early and head out at 5:00am. It did not work out that way! Now that a few of you have stopped laughing we left at 10:30 am. All in all not bad. There was a choice to hit snooze, food to pack into the cooler, and a three year old out exploring the neighborhood that needed help getting home, and then we were off. There were a few more stops than I'm used to on the way to the Park, although I did eat better than if by myself.

Here we stopped in Hesperia to feed the crew.

Lunch in Hesperia

A little further down the road there was a road rage incident with two cars zipping around traffic. They ended up behind my support vehicle driving like A holes. You just don't do that when the driver's husband is right behind you watching. Being on a bike didn't stop me from solving the situation and he stayed away after that. I wish I would have turned on my camera for that one.

We topped off fuel in Baker, CA where it was 100.4 F. Then headed up the Death Valley Highway. I had forgotten my iPad at the house, which had all my maps and notes on it. So, now we were winging it from my memory until I could get my hands on a map.

image
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:39 PM   #53
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We had 40 miles until Saratoga Springs.

image

Heading to Furnace Creek

The first stop was at the Southern end of the park at Saratoga Springs. This was a street legal only dirt road for about 10 miles, which was washboard/ corrugated most of the way and not marked coming off the highway. I switched into enduro pro, turned off the ABS/ ESA dropped the pressure and headed off.

Airing down, Saratoga Springs

Marker at entrance to Saratoga Springs

Mirror shot

The next turn did have a sign.

image

image
Then we were into the park!

Death Valley, Saratoga Springs Entrance

Approaching Saratoga Springs

Pulling up to the parking area it was 105 F late in the afternoon. The average temperature in May is about 95 F. This was a tad bit higher than I was expecting. I was hoping to stay below 100 F with not knowing how some of my inexperienced support team might handle warmer weather.

image

Temperature at Saratoga Springs

We unloaded and headed out to the springs. About ten feet out the "Cuddler" turned around headed for the air conditioning. It took an elevated two arm carry to convince her she could do it. It was a short walk to see a green oasis with birds and grass against the surrounding desert. This was pretty much the first trip to any desert that I was planing on enjoying. I read another thread where an inmate said the desert had bloomed. That was in early April, I was hoping I hadn't missed it.

Saratoga Springs 2

At some point someone had constructed a rock building overlooking the springs.

Rock Structure, Saratoga Springs

This green rock was just laying in the trail. There was so much color in the park from different minerals that contrasted with the tan you would expect to find.

Green rock, Saratoga Springs

We headed back out to the parking area and loaded up heading back out. When we hit the road I had to air back up. When I opened up my top box there was a surprise!

Poor packing job

I was so proud of myself too! I gathered all the tools I thought I might need, even some I didn't. Rubber cement from the plug kit and JB weld plus bouncing tools thrown in the box taught me a good lesson.

We got back on the pavement to get to Furnace Creek and set up camp for the night. We had 84 miles to roll.

image

We were nine hours behind schedule so, everything was going to be fluid for the next three days.
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:06 AM   #54
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The end of day 1

We got back on the CA 127 North heading through Shoshone towards the Death Valley Junction.

CA 127 heading into Shoshone


CA 127 heading to Shoshone

Here we turn West heading back into the park after a quick break at the intersection.

Death Valley Junction CA 127/ CA 190

Heading towards Furnace Creek.

CA 190 West towards Furnace Creek


CA 190 West towards Furnace Creek


CA 190 West heading to Furnace Creek

We pulled into Furnace Creek just after 7:00pm and it was still 99 F! My temperature estimates/ hopes were completely dashed.

image

My wife got started on her priorities (after 9 hrs driving with the crew I can't blame her!) but, she didn't slack off on her photography duties.

Priorities of Wife

Getting camp set up.

image

Furnace Creek Friday night

Sunset at Furnace Creek

It was a long driving day and tomorrow was going to be a glorious day of adventuring checking out the South end of the park!
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:58 AM   #55
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Day 2 would route us around the Southern section of the park and the most touristy. We would head South to Natural Bridge, Badwater Basin, the back North to Devil's Golf Course, Artist's Palette, refuel, head East to Zobriskie Point, 20 Mule Team Canyon, Dante's View, back to Furnace Creek, up to Beatty, NV, then down the Titus Canyon road, ending up back in Furnace Creek. I highlighted the route in different colors for the different sections.

image


Morning time at AKMotorbiker and crew base camp. I had to clean out the mess in my top box, charge some electronics and go over the plan for the day. Since we got a late start Friday we had to start where we left off and see where we could get to today.

Saturday Morning at Furnace Creek

First stop was the Furnace Creek Visitor Center where they had parking for me! The staff there was really friendly and helpful, maybe because the busy season was over.

Furnace Creek Sign

Fuel efficient parking at Furnace Creek Visitor Center

Visitor Center

After a couple of souvenirs we head off. First stop, Natural Bridge! It was beautiful out, only 90F, sunny, I was loving every second and it was only the beginning!

Heading to Natural Bridge

Here's a close up...

Heading to Natural Bridge

The benefits of having another person taking pictures.

The Natural Bridge Trail

Natural Bridge road

Parked at Natural Bridge

Info at Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge 2

Natural Bridge from far side

Here's a water chute in the canyon.

Water chute on Natural Bridge Trail

Perfect time for a shower but, always interrupted by the kids!

Catching a shower

Here is the turn off to Natural Bridge with Badwater Basin to the South behind us.

Entrance to Natural Bridge Trailhead

Approaching Badwater Basin parking area

Approaching Badwater Basin parking area

Badwater Basin

Badwater Basin 2

Badwater Basin sign

Luckily there was a hole to get water! You have to stay hydrated out here.

Hydrating at Badwater Basin

Salt crusted water hole at Badwater Basin

Here is a few shots of the terrain at Badwater.

Badwater Basin

Badwater Basin

It's had to understand what people went through crossing this area much less living and working here. Next stop the Devil's Golf Course and Artist's Palette.
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:04 PM   #56
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This may be fun for you, but I can tell you your kids will remember this little trip for life

Great job
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:05 PM   #57
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Great shots and report!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:06 PM   #58
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Stone dude and bhb, I hope this plants the seeds for part of who they grow up to be and thanks, I sifted through over 1,000 pictures and pulled about a third to tell this story. So many incredible shots but, they don't replace the memories, they only help to recall. I just hope at least one person chooses to go here after reading this report and I'll feel good, aside from being able to relive this trip for me and family.
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:09 PM   #59
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Here is the turn off for Devil's Golf Course. It is basically a road isthmus out into the formation.

Devil's Golf Course turn off

Devil's Golf Course

It says on a warm day you can hear sounds. It was warm but, we didn't hear anything out in the course but, who can hear anything with four kids, and I'm half deaf. What'd ya say?

Devil's Golf Course

Devil's Golf Course

A little farther North is Artist Drive which is a single lane, paved loop that goes past Artist's Palette. The colors were amazing, even if our pictures don't show it exactly how it was. It was also late morning, which wasn't the optimum time. Impressive none the less!

Artist Drive turn off

Artist Drive

Artist Drive

Artist Drive

Artist Drive

Artist Drive

Artist Drive

Here is Artist's Palette

Artist's Palette

Artist Palette

My wife and I were discussing the colors and decided that the Palette was missing a few key primary colors so, here is the improved Artist's Palette with a "pop"(as my wife would say) of red and yellow!








Artist Palette

Continuing on Artist Drive.

Artist Drive

We headed back to Furnace Creek the get fuel and eat lunch at the day use area next to the gas station. The temperature had just surpassed yesterday!

Temperature Saturday 3 May 2014

Here is the gas prices at Furnace Creek. Stovepipe Wells was a dollar cheaper but, they only had 87 octane and it was a generic brand ie, no name.

Gas prices at Furnace Creek 3 May 2014

Here was an impromptu museum outside the gas station featuring two antique pay phones. I remember using these as a kid to call my parents when I needed a ride home. If they didn't answer the phone anchored to the wall I would wait and try again. Good thing we didn't have answering machines then, it would have swallowed up my .15 cents!

Antique pay phone display at Furnace Creek


Don't forget to hydrate!

Hydrating at Furnace Creek
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:12 AM   #60
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We headed East now to see Zabriskie Point, ride/ drive the 20 mule team canyon, and visit Dante's View.

CA 190 East heading from Furnace Creek to Zobriskie Point

Here is the turn off for Zabriskie Point

Zobriskie Point turn off

And the parking area. Most of the parking lots have a toilet of some sort (mainly pit toilets) but, no trash cans! Pack out your trash. That's the view point on top of the hill. A short hike. This was the busiest venue in the park with the exception of Scotty's castle which had everyone spread out so it seemed less.

Zobriskie Point parking area

Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point

This sign warns you not to chase your balls over the edge! So, keep your hands on your balls and under control.

Warning at Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point


20 Mule Team Canyon

Twenty Mule Team Canyon turn off

Twenty Mule Team Canyon

Twenty mule team canyon

Twenty mule team canyon

Twenty mule team canyon

I was expecting a little more of a challenge in 20 Mule Team Canyon. It was a dirt road and the last picture showed what could have been a more substantial road previously. It was still a nice little ride.

Now on to Dante's View. The ride up was nice and the temperature started dropping rapidly! Not like an Alaskan winter but, dropped to a comfortable mid 80F. Sooooo refreshing! That is Badwater Basin directly below (the parking area and viewing platform).

Dante's View

On the way up I had started to see flowers and I was glad to see theses little specks of life in the desert. Color blasting back the tan desert shades!

Coming down Dante's View


On the way back to Furnace Creek I noticed this.

Furnace Creek?

Could this be "Furnace Creek"? It flowed to it and it was the only creek I've seen. I'll just say yes.

We were now in the mid afternoon and at the point we should have been last night. We put in enough gas at Furnace Creek to make it to Beatty, NV. So, off we went to fuel up in Beatty then hit Rhyolite Ghost Town and into Titus Canyon if we had time.

It was a very good thing we got gas in Beatty!

Gas Prices at Beatty, Nevada 3 May 2014


And it was cooler. I was hoping Titus Canyon would be cooler as well. Next stop Rhyolite.
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