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Old 01-21-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
Xskydiver OP
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Devil's Highway Revisit

OK, I have been really lazy about getting this report done. The ride was actually back in the middle of November. The plan this year was to ride as much of the area we haven't been on yet as we could. I already covered my impressions of the area in my previous report so the plan for this one is just to bombard with all the pics. I will highlight any significant differences from last year but otherwise just enjoy the pics.

The team was the same as last year. This is me...


I tried to find a picture of Alan but it appears that he took all the pictures and isn't actually IN any of them. Either that, or he is some kind of secret agent and can't appear in photos. Or maybe vampire...Anyway, here is Alan's bike...


And so it begins...

Picking up a pass for the Organ Pipe. I thinks it's $4.


The road out to the first rescue beacon was pretty fast going. We were flying by last year's standard. I couldn't figure out if the road was better, my bike was better, or my riding was better. Whatever it was I was happy to take it.

Time to put on the flags...


Then came the Playas...

Remember last year...


This year was COMPLETELY different...



Despite my smile this one hurt. I was actually going in the opposite direction from the way the bike is facing. As I lay there face down breathing in silt and waiting to decide if my ankle was broken or not I had one thought.. "This is totally 'Dust to Glory's fault" I remember thinking about the part where they are describing how "silt sucks" and all you could do is pin it. So guess what? I pinned it. For those that have never ridden in silt, it's a lot like water. It even moves like water. When you hit a small patch of it, it feels just like a puddle splashing onto your legs. The result is that silt can look relatively smooth on the surface and there can be horrific stuff just under the surface. In this case the horrific stuff was truck wheel ruts that were like cement. I was doing ok until my front wheel caught a cross rut and I got body slammed and about 45mph.

A few miles down the road the other side got to taste the Diablo..



After a minor adjustment we were back on the road.

This one was me figuring out that the panniers are just a little wider than the bars so when your front clears a wash wall, your back may not.


I was pretty happy I brought those extra straps.

We camped near the Tinajas again.

Remember this guy..?


This year he had some company...


Our chosen site had a pretty cool cave like feeling.




The next morning we took the Diablo East into Wellton instead of the Diablo West into Foothills. We came across some awesome military vehicles and some fake missile sites...












These "bullets" were about four feet long. You can just make out our tire marks next to them for scale.




That's it for now. More to follow...
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
AviatorTroy
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Really cool! Are you guys standing right in the middle of the targets for the bombing range by chance?
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:35 AM   #3
motocentaur
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Originally Posted by AviatorTroy View Post
Really cool! Are you guys standing right in the middle of the targets for the bombing range by chance?
And they were never heard from again...
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:26 AM   #4
Xskydiver OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AviatorTroy View Post
Really cool! Are you guys standing right in the middle of the targets for the bombing range by chance?
It sort of looked like a fake base setup. I really doubt anything actually gets dropped there. The range is huge and we were right at the very edge of it closest to town. There was some stuff on the hill right here that looked
like actual radio equipment.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:44 PM   #5
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Found a cool area just south of Wellton...



This thing was built by boy scouts if I remember right.

Now, what could be in here...


Didn't see that coming.

We checked out a rock water tank...



Here's me...defying death as usual...

Southward on... to the Betty Lee Mine area...

First we looked for the Betty Lee tank for a while until we realized we had passed it...It was more like a small cave that happens to fill with water. It looks like there have been some "enhancements" added to help it gather more water.



There was a medallion in the rock that said this is a bighorn sheep area. This was supposed to be a picture of a swarm of bees that were using the water too.

Now this was cool...



It looked like a Fred Flintsone house. I couldn't find any tool marks. I think it was natural but I've never seen anything like it.

These are all in the Betty Lee mine area...


foot for scale..





Alan, for scale... I guess he's not a vampire after all...













That's a lot of cans..






This shaft looked interesting...






We were curious how deep the was so we dropped a rock down it and counted. We got to seven Mississippi. After some rather complex math we finally calculated it to REALLY FREAKING DEEP!

This sign doesn't look like much but let me explain...


After leaving the Betty Lee area we crossed Mowhawk drag. It was just being dragged so it was pretty amazing riding. Fast and smooth. Then we turned south onto Christmas Pass rd. And so began about two hours of wrestling the bike down one of the worst roads ever. It was about six feet wide and sunk about two feet below the surrounding desert floor. The surface was soft deep sand. REALLY soft. REALLY deep. There were two truck ruts each about a foot deep and a few inches wide. The center of the road was dome shaped so you have to stay in the ruts. Now, the ruts are each about a foot from the wall and the brush hangs out about two feet from the wall. So, you try to maintain the intense focus required to stay in the narrow rut while riding fast enough to stay on top of the sand at the same time getting continuously whacked by passing brush.

Oh yeah the sign.. It was a sign of victory after conquering the road. North of this sign was a nightmare. South of it was nice riding. At least until we got back onto the Diablo...Once again I finished the ride thinking I'll never come back. Will I be back? You bet. This place is like a different planet. For me, I ride right up to my breaking point and just when I want to throw in the towel and go home I round a corner and see something amazing.
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