4 Days-2up NorCal to Death Valley

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by PinkPillion, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    With the kids packed safely away with the grandparents, we took the opportunity to ride 2up on the 1150 GS all the way down to Death Valley. With the weatherman predicting rain, we packed up quickly and left about 12:30 on Sunday. We had a map printed off of the computer with hand written notes and a new GPS. A duffel bag full of camping supplies and minimal food. No concrete plans just looking for some sun and a little off-road 2up-ing.

    A few teaser pics--to start off.
    [​IMG]


    Off we go.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Day 1- Sunday 4/17/11:

    HWY 395 from Susanville to Bishop, CA.

    Honey Lake Motocross Park is about 30 minutes from our house. They have been holding races for the last two days. Looks like the team race is about to start.
    [​IMG]

    Continuing down HWY 395 we ride into Reno, Nevada. They are doing their part.
    [​IMG]

    Just past Topaz Lake, the West Walker River is flowing quite nicely.
    [​IMG]

    Snowy foothills right before Mono Lake.
    [​IMG]

    Mono Lake up ahead.
    [​IMG]

    We stopped at the Owens Valley lookout before rolling into Bishop, CA.
    [​IMG]
    Found a decent hotel for $88. Ended the night with a few bottles of Pacifico.
    [​IMG]

    Day 2 coming up in next post.
    #1
  2. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Day 2- Monday 4/18/11:
    Bishop, CA to camp spot about 100 yards from the Death Valley park boundary entrance to Titus Canyon trail.

    We woke up after a night of the hotel room neighbors going in and out of their squeaky door all night and a 5 am trash truck dumpster emptying alarm clock. On the bright side, breakfast in the lobby was really good. Muffins and bagels and orange juice. Yum. After about 13 tiny cups of coffee, we are ready to head out of town.

    Took a quick break at the War Memorial near Big Pine.
    [​IMG]

    Mountains between Big Pine and the Death Valley Visitor's Center.
    [​IMG]

    After a slight bout of vapor lock, we pulled into the Visitor's Center.
    :hmmmmm
    I admired this pretty painted fish.
    [​IMG]

    An informative raised relief map of the whole Death Valley Park.
    [​IMG]

    On into the park expecting to find an entrance gate with a real park map at some point.
    [​IMG]

    Do not find an entrance, but I see my first Joshua Tree. Had to get a closer look.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These teeny tiny flowers were near the tree.
    [​IMG]

    After fueling up at Panamint Springs, these cacti began to show up along the road.
    [​IMG]

    We kept cruising along toward Stove Pipe Wells--and it is getting pretty hot! Probably near 99 degrees.
    [​IMG]

    We stop at Stove Pipe Wells just long enough to fill up a few bottles with crappy tasting water (to be used for cooking later).
    The 2 1/2 foot tall black ravens are to be expected I imagine.
    [​IMG]

    Onward toward our destination of Titus Canyon. It gets super hot along this stretch, we are at 9 ft below sea level when I snap the picture.
    [​IMG]

    Day 2 continued in next post.
    #2
  3. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,904
    Location:
    seal beach, ca.
    :thumb Looks great so far...

    Thanks for posting.
    #3
  4. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Day 2- 4/18/11 continued.

    On our way to Beatty, NV to get gas, we stopped at Rhyolite Ghost Town.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is what the bank looked like long ago.
    [​IMG]

    The same bank building today.

    [​IMG]

    The General Store.
    [​IMG]

    The same store in 1906.
    [​IMG]

    Amazing how 100 years can change things. There we a few modern sculptures in the same area.

    "The Last Supper" 1984 by Albert Szukalski
    [​IMG]

    "Icara" 1992 by Dre Peeters
    [​IMG]

    The rest of day 2 coming up.
    #4
  5. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Day 2- 4/18/11 continued

    We cruise into Beatty, NV and stop to get gas. Not a bad price at $3.85. The highest we have seen is $5.99. We buy a 12 pack of Coors and a bag of ice. We need to find a camp spot now.
    Back toward the Titus Canyon road we go. The National Park is bordered by BLM land. Awesome we will camp there. Per the GPS, we picked a spot about 100 feet from the boundary.

    All set up. Smack dab between what should be a beautiful sunset and a beautiful sunrise.
    [​IMG]

    Day 3- Tuesday 4/19/11
    Leadfield Ghost Town, Titus Canyon to Hawthorne, NV


    The moon the previous night was full and I vowed to stay awake until it came up over the mountain. When it did, I failed to get a picture. But I captured the sunrise.
    [​IMG]

    At least the moon was still up in the western sky.
    [​IMG]

    Camp in the morning.
    [​IMG]

    Afraid that some desert creature may crawl into our boots, we strapped them to the rack. Still shook them out just in case.
    [​IMG]

    Found a few flowers nearby.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Riding out of camp spot back to the Titus Canyon road.
    [​IMG]

    Day 3 to be continued.
    #5
  6. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Thanks for the thumbs up! :D
    #6
  7. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,172
    Location:
    Blount Springs, AL
    Great pics.

    Love the history shots too.

    :clap:clap:clap





    :thumb
    #7
  8. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Thanks DeBandi. Stay tuned--there is more. The mining history in Death Valley, all of Nevada really, is quite overwhelming. It would take years to visit 1/4 of the abandoned mines in our close vicinity---and we plan to. :D
    #8
  9. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,172
    Location:
    Blount Springs, AL
    :lurk
    #9
  10. roadchick

    roadchick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    197
    Nice ride report pinkpillion! Lookin' forward to more pics....
    #10
  11. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Day 3- 4/19/11 continued.

    The road to Leadfield and Titus Canyon.
    [​IMG]

    It is getting pretty steep on the left side. Quite a few switch backs along here. We were wishing for a lower gear.
    [​IMG]

    The first mine we came across near Leadfield. They are all barred up. No going inside.
    [​IMG]

    Hiked up to this old dwelling. Thought it was another mine until we got closer.
    [​IMG]

    The bike is looking quite dirty by now.
    [​IMG]

    Day 3 to be continued.
    #11
  12. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Day 3- 4/19/11 continued.

    The ghost town of Leadfield is up ahead.

    [​IMG]

    ORE was being exploited in Titus Canyon as early as 1905, but the townsite of Leadfield at the head of the canyon dates to the years 1925 and 1926. The product of extensive and fraudulent advertising by the Western Lead Mine Company and C.C. Julian, the town boomed in 1925. His advertising posters showed steamboats navigating the Armagosa River to Leadfield, ignoring the fact at the Amargosa River is dry much of the time and does not run within 20 miles of Leadfield.


    The sign marking Leadfield.

    [​IMG]

    What the town used to look like.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some of the buildings today.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mineshaft within the town.
    [​IMG]

    Through the bars.

    [​IMG]

    So I really hate snakes. Really hate them. Almost stepped on this 10 foot long (okay-3 foot long) rattler. Glad to be wearing my motocross boots. There were people walking around in flip flops. No thanks.
    [​IMG]

    Coming through the canyon.

    [​IMG]

    Another mineshaft. Almost missed this one.
    [​IMG]

    Reached the entrance of Titus Canyon.

    [​IMG]

    Day 3 to be continued.
    #12
  13. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Day 3- 4/19/11 continued.

    Started seeing these cactus plants in the canyon. They were on the ground and way up on the rock walls. The spikes are similar to porcupine quills.
    [​IMG]

    Found a little bit of shade and had a lunch break. It is about 97 degrees.
    [​IMG]

    Onward through the canyon.
    [​IMG]

    The traffic along the road was beginning to increase. We pulled over to let a car pass and I see something as big as a squirrel running across the rocks.
    It is a Desert Iguana. This guy was pretty big, and a little afraid of us.
    [​IMG]

    This one was less shy.
    [​IMG]

    The rock walls along here are straight up. You would not get the same feeling in a cage.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some of the turns are tight.
    [​IMG]

    And we are through the Canyon. The desert floor is in view again.
    [​IMG]

    Day 3 to be continued.
    #13
  14. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    16,513
    Location:
    Über Alles,California
    Nice iguana pictures!!! Hard to see them.

    Enjoying your report!! :clap
    #14
  15. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Thanks so much!! I took about 600 pictures in 4 days. My poor little camera was on overload. :D
    #15
  16. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Thanks for checking out the report. I have a feeling you really enjoy that desert... One of the iguanas had yellow stripes on it's tail. The big guy had the tail of a rat. I was so stoked to see them out there. :D
    #16
  17. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,997
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Nice trip and pics.
    #17
  18. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Thanks Bob. It was a great trip for sure. :D
    #18
  19. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Day 3- 4/19/11 continued.

    Onward to Scotty's Castle. I think we will park here--right in the shade.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Death Valley Scotty told everyone that he built this castle in northern Death Valley with money from his "secret" gold mine. That was not quite the truth. A Chicago millionaire and his wife built their "Death Valley Ranch" in the cool of Grapevine Canyon and they let their friend Scotty live there as a guest.


    A gate to the stables.
    [​IMG]

    Old Wagon.
    [​IMG]

    Crazy staircase to a tower in the main house.

    [​IMG]

    We were about to shell out the $22.00 for us both to take the underground tour of the house. Decided against it when they said it was a two hour wait. Ended up just looking around for a while.

    Carved metal plate on door jam.
    [​IMG]

    Neat wooden carving on top the gatepost leading into the court yard.
    [​IMG]

    The stairs to the main house.

    [​IMG]

    We bought a couple of Starbucks bottled coffees, filled up a few water bottles (good drinking water here), and enjoyed our last bit of shade before heading west on HWY 267 toward Bonnie Claire Flat.


    Day 3 to be continued.
    #19
  20. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Day 3- 4/19/11 continued.

    Along HWY 267, we saw mill ruins on a hill to the left of us. After walking around for a bit and trying to figure out what was going on there, the GPS told us it was called Lippencott Lead Mill.

    Formerly called Bonnie Claire(Clare). A small camp began to form in the Bonnie Clare District in the 1800s when a stamp mill was built then known as Thorps Wells. The mill handled ore from 3 nearby mines. In 1904 the railroad reached the settlement. A bigger railroad was built to the west of the town and soon after the life quickly ebbed out of Bonnie Clare. From 1942 to 1953, George Lippencott used the mill to produce bulk lead concentrate that was further refined for use in car batteries.



    Bonnie Clare 1906.
    [​IMG]

    The site today.
    [​IMG]

    Stone residences.
    [​IMG]

    Bigger stone building up ahead.
    [​IMG]

    We continue until the road comes to a T at HWY 95 and turn right. There are those Joshua Trees again.
    [​IMG]

    Soon we came to the town of Goldfield.

    Gold was discovered at Goldfield in 1902, its year of inception. By 1904 the Goldfield district produced about 800 tons of ore, valued at $2,300,000, 30% of the state's production that year. This remarkable production caused Goldfield to grow rapidly, and it soon became the largest town in the state with over 20,000 people
    .

    Too bad we did not have a whole day to explore the area. I am sure there is much more to see. Stopped for a break near some old mining equipment.
    [​IMG]

    Then continued through town. Big stone buildings are well preserved here.
    [​IMG]


    The town long ago.
    [​IMG]

    The Goldfield Hotel now.
    [​IMG]

    In the early 1900s.
    [​IMG]

    Goldfield High School. 1908.
    [​IMG]

    The Old School House now.
    [​IMG]

    On to Tonapah, NV. Between Goldfield and Tonapah I see pronghorn antelope and mustangs grazing in the desert. Pics were blurry, maybe next time.

    Day 3 to be continued.




    #20