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Old 09-24-2012, 03:41 PM   #823
Kevan Garrett
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2009
Oddometer: 361
Yosemite and Death Valley

Hi Doug.

Great seeing you at Dudley Perkins. Congrat's on another epic ride.

I just returned from Las Vegas/Death Valley and Yosemite so here's my $.02 worth.

I would recommend riding across on Highway 4, then south on 49, and up 120 thru Yosemite. I also recommend getting a reservation at one of the Yosemite campgrounds before you head in. I paid $20 for a night at Upper Pines which is right around the corner from Curry Village. I recommend Curry Village Pizza and whichever beer you like.

The ride over Tioga pass is beautiful, and peaks out just under 10,000 feet up. Don't know what changes you will need to make to your bike (if any), but definitely take the altitude into consideration.

As for Death Valley, I had never crossed it before and I must say I was blown away by the heat. I spent 3 days in Las Vegas and had ridden through Nevada from top to bottom and over to Death Valley, but D.V. just kicked my ass. It is not just hot, the sun reflects from all around and it will bake you. And your bike.

Also fill up with gas before you enter. There's a Chevron station but it ain't cheap. I am not saying you should skip D.V. but definitely prepare yourself and your bike. You do not want to stop/break down in the valley.

Also because you will be over 100' below sea level once you are in the valley, the ride out is long and all up hill. Again, prepare your bike. My V-Strom 1000, with water cooling, was not amused by the heat. I know, your 90 year old Indian is tougher, and you are definitely tougher than I am, but seriously, plan ahead.

The ride from Yosemite to Death Valley is going to take you a good 8+ hours. I would recommend that you find a nice, cool camping place before death valley, say Bishop or Lone Pine, and camp there. Leave at 0-dark-30 and try to get across D.V. before it really heats up. It may save you a ton of pain.

Best of luck on your trip. Be safe and tell us all about the ride home.


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