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Old 12-22-2012, 09:41 AM   #1
flying.moto OP
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Location: South of Gorman
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"Mojave Madness 1.0" or "I finally had a day off"

So, the most recent project i feverishly worked on for the past month and a half did not pay off. Some more senior "partner" pulled a rug from under myself and the boss at the last minute, so i said, the hell with it, lets ride!

What do you do with a day and a half of guaranteed off-time? You could mow the lawn, go on a Starbucks ride, or trot to the desert! In the way, this was the first shakedown ride of a few bits I added to the bike, few learning experiences and a few gotchas..

The idea was to go see The Husky Memorial, and the Giant Rock. Also to see how well my GPS route planning worked out. BTW, SASplanet, the bit of Russian software recommended by Walter Colebatch is amazing! All of the planning was done with it.

Saturday night was spent getting the new soft luggage fitted, fiddling with gps, making a few exhaust heat-shields so the fancy bags don't get roasted etc. Sunday morning was the go-time, even though the weather really wanted to test my resolve.

About right here I wish i took my winter gloves along... lesson number one!


But the wet cold fog, was switched off as soon as I descended into the Mojave area. Hello Mojave! Meet the White Crow!


Just up the road, I saw a bunch of windmills with invitingly accessible dirt tracks going toward them! Time to recon!




These things do make a little bit of noise as they turn! I've heard of that but never heard "it". Until now. I always wanted to sit at one's base and look up at the moving blades even if for a moment. But, all of them were fenced off, with bunch of angry notes on the fence. Next time.. maybe next time


Next up was the Mojave Air and Space Port!


Here is a little info for all you aviation buffs out here! This is a Convair 990, which is a little faster than B707 or DC8. But a little more interesting fact to me was that the engines were in fact "Turbo-Fans" and the fan was not at the front alike all modern airliner engines but in the back! I never seen one like that up front... (in the pic, core in the center, fan is the outer ring)


Here is a view from the front where the core is only thing visible.


My mother always said, how come there are no pictures of me in my ride reports... here I am, mom!


I guess Phantom's engines were still of some use when this one was retired...


Further up the road, per parents' recommendation, i had a little bite to eat and a chat with a MercyAir helicopter crew at The Voyager. Good stuff!!




But that is all for the Space Port! Time to get to the start of the real track! "I brake for sights!"


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Old 12-22-2012, 10:28 AM   #2
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My planned track picked up a dirt trail starting just behind the Mojave Space Port, and continued South-East when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flag flying just above the bushes.



Here I would learn a little history behind Edwards AFB. Namely, that It was named in memory of U.S. Air Force test pilot Glen Edwards, who died, along with the crew of five, 5 June 1948 northwest of the base while testing the YB-49 Flying Wing, when they crashed at this very spot.


The real desert was calling!


And the civilization was slowly disappearing


A short visit to Randsburg was made, to fill up on gas, snacks, and some batteries for various gadgets but shortly out of town, another interesting personal discovery was made. It is actually possible to "flush" gold and silver out of ore with chemicals and the recover it to 99.9% purity in the form that we are all used to seeing! Amazing! These pictures are uploaded with higher rez, so you can probably save them and read the stuff.. not sure if it'll work.



The chemicals would be sprayed over a huge pile of excavated ore, and as they drip down into a giant drip pan, they absorb only gold and silver, which is then extracted and smelted into the "usual" forms.


A thought of Erzberg Rodeo crossed my mind here...


Damper full, check, throttle full, check.




Then, in the middle of nowhere, a tiny bit of fence and a water.. pit? There was no sign or evidence of cattle at all... wwhat gives..


Here is a beauty of SASplaneting/Googleearthing your tracks!


Never know what "discouragements" you might have to get around. Somehow I thought the UAVs will not hesitate to shoot


A few detours later, I stumbled upon The Husky Monument. I have only read about it before. What an interesting place..


It is now a home for many young and old alike..




But, my track ended up being a little too long for a day jaunt, so it was time to go and find some abandoned mines (not the explosive kind!) So, when you are out there, look around, you never know what you will find


This "cave" would end up being around 25-30 yards deep! Here is a look from the end of it looking back to the entrance.


That is what it looks like from the outside in the direction that I planned to go.


Next up was the abandoned airfield, with a few old airplanes parked on it. Someone on Pashnit forums said it was accessible. In reality, it ended up being another gunnery range. But you can see the planes in the distance. Looks like F4's.


It is incredibly surreal, racing across a dry lake bed! The feeling and the sight of the texture flying by is incredible!










There would be two lake beds on my track.. this is the nameless one, that was bigger and more awesome in every way!


It seems the rain was just there a few days ago, but the ground was already solid as a rock. Only the bike would leave a weak track. No boot prints while walking around was left = photo win!


Soon after the lake was gone, the desert kept changing. Vegetation appeared, the soil became rocky and sandy..




And some Joshua Trees appeared. Some were so enormous, that I began to suspect they were only a distant relative to the usual "Josh" but I'm no expert.


This track would lead me out of the desert toward Barstow. Time was now 1530, and I would be out of sunlight to do the second "half" of planned route. This brings me to the thought of making it a 2-day or maybe 3-day trip next time.. more on that in a bit.

The Giant Rock! My boss told me he visited it when he was 17 years old, by a small airplane, and told me it was a mysterious hangout for alien conventions and UFO believers in the 50-60's, and that some guy even lived under it, although ended up blowing himself up with some dynamite when the cops showed up to apprehend him for one thing or another


The real Madness was a desire to take a look at it, so I just pounded the slab to get there before the sunset. Mission (semi)success!




Trophies, you ask? SURE
One 20mm aircraft cannon shell!


That's it for the day!

So, why 1.0? Because the track will be refined, a little more track will be added at the start to make it a sunset sail-in at Barstow, for a camp/hotel. 2nd day will take us to the Big Bear area via the backroads/trails and Giant Rock, to camp/hotel up there (or just freeway it home), where the 3rd day will wind it's way through the backroads and trails of Mt. Baldy, and maybe even Gleason Peak area, and who knows what else..

Even though my schedule is "on-call" 24/7 and real days off are far and in between, it may just change in a next month or two when I train a "relief" part-timer, and if I get really lucky i might even find a companion or two to ride with for the next time! Oh snap, i just jinxed that thought! So much for that thought!!

Stay tuned
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flying.moto screwed with this post 12-22-2012 at 10:32 AM Reason: Picture doubleposted..
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:42 PM   #3
AZ TOM
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EPIC!!! My usetobe home. Still nowhere better. Thanks.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ TOM View Post
EPIC!!! My usetobe home. Still nowhere better. Thanks.
Glad you enjoyed it!

Strangely enough, I used to live in Prescott! Miss it lots as well!
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:41 PM   #5
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Nice Report - Thanks!

Hey, thanks for the report and pics! I've seen a few of those places, but you've pointed me to some future destinations.

That Joshua tree is huge! I've seen them that tall in Northern Arizona, but never that, um, bushy.

Ride on!
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:06 PM   #6
Donkey Hotey
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Great ride and pictures!

You must have frozen your ass off cuz' it's been cold up here recently.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drex View Post
Hey, thanks for the report and pics! I've seen a few of those places, but you've pointed me to some future destinations.

That Joshua tree is huge! I've seen them that tall in Northern Arizona, but never that, um, bushy.

Ride on!
Yeah! That one surprised me a little... had to back up a bit to take the pic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey View Post
Great ride and pictures!

You must have frozen your ass off cuz' it's been cold up here recently.


It was rather... cold...indeed... but only in the early morning and once the sun set. One of the two saddlebags had nothing but extra layers in it! I ended up coming back at night, and Tejon Pass was so fogged in I could hardly see the road markings... all in all, good fun! I'm gonna go back for more once i get a few days in a row off..
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:38 AM   #8
Starbuck21
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Fantastic pictures looks like an amazing ride! Glad you got to do it and had fun! One nice thing about that part of the country, is even if cold you can still RIDE!!! No snow drifts to worry about. I LOVE the desert!
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