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Old 12-26-2012, 11:14 AM   #1141
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Los ANgeles, CA
Oddometer: 20
Hey AH, I am still following this blog since the beginning and your latest post was much appreciated as you, once again, bared your soul. By being so authentic you are making many of us better people. Which is ironic as you were turning strangers into better people while you were jaded about most of them. Funny how that works. I happen to believe that most people are trying to do their Best. That may not always shine through and it may often be considered sub par by others. Which is understandable since we all have different standards and often judge the world and others by those standards. But ultimately, we are all only running against ourselves. Have a peaceful holiday season and definitely hit me up when you're in Los Angeles.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:22 PM   #1142
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Location: Tampa Fl
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Congratz on the new Apple! Awesome computers!
Merry Festivus! LOL
"Beware of the lollipop of mediocrity. One lick and you'll suck forever!"Brian Wilson
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:43 AM   #1143
Col rides to france
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: London UK, and Toronto Canada
Oddometer: 8
Anti Sir,

Many thanks for sharing, your journey. It has inspired me to get off my bum, and buy a new BMW G650GS.

I am planning 2 trips to Europe next year. Your item about 'Limbic Reset' really hit the spot.

All the very best from London UK.

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Old 12-27-2012, 02:34 PM   #1144
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Joined: May 2011
Location: Rancho Cucamonger, CA
Oddometer: 1,752
curious.......the only people i meet on my DR are either homeless and/or dirty.........interesting.....
530EXCR and a bunch of 2 strokes that you dont want to read about. :)

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Old 12-28-2012, 11:08 AM   #1145
strom thingie
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Sumter, SC
Oddometer: 434
I'm just stumbling onto this R&R today. Wow. I know a lot of seriously hard core people in my line of work and you would rate up there in the top 10%. Great style of writing and attitude. If you do make it over to Europe, I have a room waiting for you. No super models in the garage but all my ladies know how to ride (except for that Russian bitch that keeps trying to kill me!).
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:12 AM   #1146
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Location: Above ground
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Death Valley

Such tremendously motivating feedback, everyone. Keep the encouragement up and I may just quit my job and do something really stupid! :)

If there was a National Park of Hell, Death Valley would be it. In addition to a string of record temps (highest reliably reported temperature in the world, 134 °F (56.7 °C); highest mean 24 hour-period high, highest number of consecutive days/nights over 100 deg F (38 C), highest overnight low (107 F--at NIGHT!), it's the lowest and driest place in North America. But though it can get mercilessly hot, there are times of year where it's not--and there are some really high mountains you can escape to that, provided you are ok with some oxygen deprivation, are much cooler.

My love affair with Death Valley began in 2006. I was coming off of 6 years of being a workaholic. Our VP joked once that "our rep of the year is so pale because he arrives in the morning when it's dark and at night leaves when it's dark." (Wasn't an exaggeration.) I really enjoyed a good 4 years there. But the 5th and 6th wore on me. I was passionate about what I did....maybe you'd call it obsessed (or possessed). It was stressful, though. I'd often have dreams at the end of every quarter/year that typically required insanely frightening activities, like getting into company cars that were wired to blow up if we left in them and did not come back with a Purchase Order. (Instead of quitting I still got in the car). Ha! One dream the aforementioned VP (Barry Mainz) brought me into his office on Dec. 31st because I couldn't get a deal in in time. I explained what had happened, but it wasn't good enough. Instead of being terminated I was going to be executed. It was in the contract I had signed on the first day of work, so I was bound to it. Talk about a loyal employee....

But six years of suspended goals (auto racing notwithstanding) and six years of built-up adrenaline took a toll. I needed growth and exploration. I needed to see the exact opposite of a cubicle. I wanted struggle and excitement and fear. I began daydreaming about wandering through The Sahara—and then it hit me: DEATH VALLEY. One of the cruelest environments on earth was exactly the elixir I needed.

It was a very sad time in my life and I suppose a trip to hell and back was proof I was still capable of sustaining myself. And hell I got!

What have we here?

Sandblasting (VIDEO)!
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:35 PM   #1147
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I would love to go on and on about my experiences at this incredible place, but I don't want to threadjack my own thread, so I'll just drop a few more pics from previous trips as part of my public service announcement promoting the park. Just keep it to yourselves....don't want too many people showing up and ruining it all!

My best impression of Michelle Kwan at the Racetrack (the rocks move on their 'own'):

My second time at DV (and my first marathon):

Ubehebe Crater (actually an ancient volcano). You can actually 'walk' down to the bottom, but getting back up is hard work in the soft, volcanic gravel/sand:

On your own:

Yes, it does snow in Death Valley:

Good times:

As you can see, the place is not merely an expansive desert of nothingness. (Crampons and Ice axes in DV? Yup.) And if you're lucky you might see Top Gun-style fighter-jet dogfights while up on Telescope Peak, as you gasp for oxygen at 11,000 feet.

AntiHero screwed with this post 12-29-2012 at 03:46 PM
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:48 PM   #1148
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Almost forgot--couple shots on the way to Death Valley:

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Old 12-30-2012, 05:48 PM   #1149
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Unexpected (unfortunately they were going the opposite direction I was)....

Thought this was pretty funny (I'm neither a Romney nor an Obama fan):

So sexy:

I most definitely didn't break any speed limits here:

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Old 12-30-2012, 05:49 PM   #1150
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And finally!

Though I'd been to the park 5 or 6 times, I'd never made it to the Amargosa Opera House, so I booked a room at the attached motel and checked in.

And what a room it was!

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Old 12-30-2012, 06:33 PM   #1151
Joined: Sep 2012
Oddometer: 13

oh man what is that bug?
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:39 PM   #1152
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Tampa
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just wow
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:43 PM   #1153
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Joined: May 2005
Location: San Diego, not Mex, but I can smell it from here.
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Sweet. at first glance, it looked like an Elk rack sticking out of that red pickup! I think it's just sticks.

Is the Grande Dame of the Amargosa Opera still alive? She had quite a life.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:52 PM   #1154
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 86
Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post
Hey guys--I'm happy my adventure is resounding so well with the riding community. I've been working the past few days, so rather than bore anyone with mundane trips I've made to the grocery store, I'll address some of the questions and PMs I've had about the 1199 as a long-distance bike.

Choosing a bike for a trip isn’t unlike choosing what bike to purchase. Too many struggle with what they want vs. what they 'think' they should get. My advice has always been: "Get the f'ing bike you lust after. Write the check, max the card--you won't regret it." Not everyone follows that advice, but anyone who's ever owned a bike understands that sentiment the moment they are out cruising around and feel a pang of regret when someone goes by on the bike they really wanted. And so the same logic went into my decision on what bike I wanted to do this trip on: the bike had to get my rocks off.

Oh I was apprehensive--new model bike: strike one. New model ITALIAN bike—strike two! Cross country trip on a ‘torture rack’? Strike three! Errr....not a good idea. Actually, probably a really stupid idea. But it's the ‘stupid’ things we do that we remember the most. All too often the 'good' decisions we make we forget or regret. But the stupid ones? Ahh, those are the memory builders and the building blocks for great stories and adventures that make you smile and laugh years later.

Additionally, the logic with the 1199 was to not compromise my choice of bike and instead overcome the compromises that the Panigale would require of me. Too often people don’t factor into a decision is our outstanding abilities as humans to adapt to difficulty. The result of overcoming adversity and mastering one's ability to triumph over environmental challenges through persistence, determination and imagination produce self-efficiency and feelings of personal power luxury and security can never hope to provide. The harder the journey, the greater the cultivation of the will—and mastering one thing leads to greater proficiency on how to overcome challenges in other parts of our lives as well.
In short, adaptation is the precursor to growth and seeking out difficult, uncomfortable and challenging situations accelerates development, enriches our lives and provides us with the kind of awesome fucking memories that will sustain us until a final sleep rounds our little lives.

Amen brother. That is the best string of words I’ve ever seen put together for motorcycle buying advice. If it was just for transportation we’d be looking at scooters. Thanks for the thought, the wisdom and the effort put into this report.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:32 AM   #1155
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Stephens City, VA
Oddometer: 135
Originally Posted by lucati View Post
oh man what is that bug?

Can't wait for more Death Valley!
"Peaceful people are the stories of buildings that didn't burn." -SV, One More Day Everywhere
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