Originally Posted by NSFW
Chris, I heard you and jim went to dv, howasit?
We left camp near Fremont Peak (12 miles east of 'Haski') and rode 198 miles out to DV National Park and back, getting in well past dark. There were about a dozen riders at camp but couldn't get anyone else to make the trek, so it was just Spafxer and I. Weather was perfect, park was beautiful.
Johngil sent me his tracks for returning from LAB2V. Riding them in reverse, we followed it from Red Mountain/Johannesburg, to Trona Road, then out the edge of Spangler to Trona Pinnacles, on to Trona for gas, then over the 'escape route' and into Panamint Valley. From there we rode up Goler, over Mengel Pass, and into Butte Valley. We were looking for LONER (Paul) who was supposedly at the Geologist Cabin for the weekend. No sign of Paul out there.
Now I gotta tell you, if Johngil was going to ride LAB2V on Friday and Saturday to Vegas, then ride all the way back including this segment, he has his work cut out for him. The route through Spangler is SAND SAND SAND!!! Miles of deep soft sand. I stopped here to catch my breath:
Stopped for a break at the Pinnacles:
Our 'Darth-Peach' pic
Being able to fuel up in Trona allowed to make this loop with stock fuel tanks. Then on to Trona Airport and over the pass to Panamint. The section at the end of this road down in Panamint Valley is a field of volcanic baby-head rocks. Quite strenuous to ride but no trouble on the big dualsports. Spa said he took this route on loaded big-bikes a couple of weeks before....CRAZY!!
Panamint Valley from atop the 'escape route' from Trona:
Johngil had this route coming from Shoshone through Butte Valley and over Mengel Pass. It's a long strenuous route. There are a couple of really hairy rock gardens on the eastern slope of Mengel Pass. He certainly had his work cut out for him after riding all the way to Vegas.
TBarstow posted some pix of these sections over on the noob rally thread, here's one of them. I was too busy trying to get my bike through to stop and take any pix.
We stopped at Newman's Mine cabin. Would be a neat place to camp out there, although I doubt I would stay inside the cabin...LOTS of rat and mice droppings, too much risk of hentavirus or whatever that crap is.
The 'Browneye' on his trusty Husky.
Once we got over Mengel Pass we were looking for Loner (paul) at the geologist cabin. We weren't even sure if we found the right cabin over there. But no sign of Paul. Anyway, scenery was pleasant, nice to get the vistas from Butte Valley. The famous Striped Butte here:
So, we left about 9:30 in the morning and now we were at our furthest point from base camp and it was now 2:30 in the afternoon. At this point I knew we would be finishing this trip in the dark. We headed back over the pass, sun getting low in the sky.
Going down Goler Wash is a now a cakewalk:
It took us just a little over an hour to get to Ballerat. Stopped for an ice cold Bud, from here we could make good time on the hiway.
About 4:30 we rolled into the fuel stop in Trona and the sun was already over the hill. It was starting to cool off. I was so glad I brought a gortex shell as I had worn vented gear for the day. I litterally would have froze my butt off. It only took as an hour to get back to Red Mountain, going out Trona Road.
Right about Teagle Wash the road was closed with all kinds of flashing lights, turned out to be ambulance cars and a life-flight chopper landed right on Trona Road. Surely someone had wadded up playing in the sand out there. We made our way around the road block via dirt trails and kept going.
By the time we got down the 395 to head up to Fremont Peak it was pitch black. Were it not for GPS we would probably still be out there. 198 miles and I was really feeling it.
Our group camp had the bonfire of the year and lots of good times.
Thanks for reading along. Join us on the next one.