Christmas in Death Valley

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by tedder, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. tedder

    tedder irregular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,800
    Location:
    Portland
    Three riders, two bikes, one missing axle, two tire punctures, 168 photos, a dozen videos, one good time.

    <iframe width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=http://perljam.net/motorcycle/death-valley-christmas2010/trip.kmz&amp;sll=35.47964,-117.660616&amp;sspn=4.427742,10.601807&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=35.487511,-117.630615&amp;spn=4.29336,7.03125&amp;z=7&amp;output=embed"></iframe>
    #1
  2. Steelybeast

    Steelybeast Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    551
    Location:
    Ellijay & Suwanee, Georgia
    Oh yeah, this sounds good :evil

    Subscribed.
    #2
  3. tedder

    tedder irregular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,800
    Location:
    Portland
    Christmas 2010 in Death Valley: Day 1

    Ken got into Los Angeles on the 24th, Tamara got in late on the 24th, so we left fairly late- about 9:30am on Christmas Day. Traffic was light and weather was certainly on the cold side.

    <iframe width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http://perljam.net/motorcycle/death-valley-christmas2010/day1.kmz&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hl=en&amp;ll=35.478565,-117.663574&amp;spn=4.293838,7.03125&amp;z=7&amp;output=embed"></iframe>

    [​IMG]
    MacArthur Park (see also: Jimmy Webb, Richard Harris, Donna Summer)

    [​IMG]
    Tamara clowning for the camera on the side of the road in Antelope Valley. Ted showing his best side.

    Our first stop was in the Mojave Desert for a late lunch. We were glad that a local diner was open on Christmas Day. The food was entirely decent- not fantastic, but better than fast food. We were amazed by the scale of the wind farms. We've seen plenty in the Gorge and Montana, but the scale in the desert was still stunning.

    [​IMG]
    Terrain and wind farm in Mojave Desert

    [​IMG]
    Wind farm in Mojave Desert

    [​IMG]
    Wind turbine bases on rail cars, Mojave Desert

    [​IMG]
    Wind farm in Mojave Desert

    [​IMG]
    Stopping to eat in Mojave

    [​IMG]
    Chamber of Commerce boxcar in Mojave
    #3
  4. DreadPirateKermit

    DreadPirateKermit Ribit.

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Oddometer:
    371
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    I like how he condenses my epic ride from Vancouver, WA to LA in DECEMBER to this simple line: "Ken got into Los Angeles on the 24th..." :huh

    Interestingly, Tamara and I were drinking together the night of the 22nd, along with my wife and another female friend. :freaky I got up too damn early on the 23rd, took a quick shower and was on the road before the girls got out of bed.

    [​IMG]

    I hit the weather window right, and other than cold it was not a bad ride. About 5:30 PM I stopped to get gas, and realized I was dead tired. The drinking the night before and the lack of sleep combined with the cold to kick my pansy a**. :rofl With only about 620 miles on the trip-o-meter I pulled into the Motel 6 next to the gas station and called it a night.

    The next morning was cold, foggy and cold. Did I mention it was cold? The first 100 miles or so was on-and-off foggy. Coming over the Grapevine, the sky's cleared and I needed to stop and put on my smoke helmet shield.

    [​IMG]
    Pyramid Lake, CA

    [​IMG]
    Hills around Pyramid Lake and my Biggie Strom.

    [​IMG]
    :eek1 Old, Cold, and kind of scruffy.

    I made it to Ted's place pretty early, and after I helped him send off yet another V-Strom to Mexico he and I played tourists in LA.

    [​IMG]
    This is why I ride 1000 miles to LA in the cold; sunshine and palm trees!

    We rode the subway to Union Station (I did not even know LA had a subway!) and then downtown.

    [​IMG]
    Union Station and Ted in tourist mode. Ask Ted why he doesn't have any pictures from that awesome camera around his neck... :wink:

    [​IMG]
    More sunshine and palm trees. I really, really like palm trees.

    [​IMG]
    What is wrong with this picture?

    After wandering around LA for a couple hours, we headed back to Chez T&T where Ted whipped up a nice bachelor type dinner, since Mrs. Tamara wouldn't be home until almost midnight.
    #4
  5. tedder

    tedder irregular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,800
    Location:
    Portland
    Yeah, Tamara, your wife, and a 22 year old blonde. Being outnumbered sucks, doesn't it? :D
    #5
  6. tedder

    tedder irregular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,800
    Location:
    Portland
    Kermit, you've had your moment in the sun. Shall we carry on now?


    Mojave Airport

    We explored the <a href="http://perljam.net/r/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojave_Air_and_Space_Port">Mojave Airport</a> including the <a href="http://perljam.net/r/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_Rocket">design-fail Rotary Rocket</a> and <a href="http://perljam.net/r/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaled_Composites">Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites</a>, home of the <a href="http://perljam.net/r/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaled_Composites_SpaceShipOne">SpaceShipOne</a>.

    [​IMG]
    Mojave Airport

    [​IMG]
    Rotary Rocket (helicopter/rocket combination)

    [​IMG]
    Unknown jet at Mojave Airport

    Ken immediately recognized the <a href="http://perljam.net/r/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_C-130_Hercules">C-130</a>, since he rode one of these from Biloxi, MS to Tacoma, WA once on a <a href="http://perljam.net/r/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Airlift_Command">MAC</a> flight. Not quite <a href="http://perljam.net/r/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Atlantic">Virgin Atlantic</a> style!

    [​IMG]
    Ken and Ted with unknown jet at Mojave Airport

    [​IMG]
    C-130 transport plane

    We stumbled upon a bunch of very small fighter jets. Some of them had English writing, some had .. something else. I think it's Dutch, though Macchi is an Italian company. Any ideas?

    [​IMG]
    Row of small old fighter jets. Some with US writing, some Dutch.

    [​IMG]
    Ken and Ted with fighter jets

    [​IMG]
    One of the figher jets

    [​IMG]
    Radar pod removed

    [​IMG]
    Writing, apparently Dutch

    [​IMG]
    More Dutch writing. What jet?

    [​IMG]
    ID plate. Dutch?

    [​IMG]
    Ted and Ken in front of Scaled Composites sign

    [​IMG]
    Large biplane, unknown jet, planes in storage
    #6
  7. rob feature

    rob feature pull my finger

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,169
    Location:
    Colorado
    :lurk
    #7
  8. tedder

    tedder irregular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,800
    Location:
    Portland
    Trona Pinnacles

    Our next stop was <a href="http://perljam.net/r/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trona_Pinnacles">Trona Pinnacles</a>. Okay, we planned on making it to Trona. Two dirt roads were washed out after the <a href="http://perljam.net/r/articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/28/local/la-me-storm-damage-20101228">heavy December rain in Southern California</a>. We rode to the washouts, took some pictures, and then hunted for gas in Trona.

    [​IMG]
    Trona factory smoke and mountains near Death Valley

    [​IMG]
    Ken's bike on the road to Trona Pinnacles

    [​IMG]
    Trains and gravel along Trona road

    Ken was on the Trona Pinnacles Road in 2007 during the Iron Butt Rally. That time ended in partial failure too, but Ken said it was much easier to ride on a V-Strom than on a Goldwing!

    [​IMG]
    Tamara looking into the bright sun on Trona road

    [​IMG]
    Flats and mountains on Trona road

    [​IMG]
    Trona Pinnacles, seen from a distance

    [​IMG]
    Trona Pinnacles, seen from a distance

    [​IMG]
    Searles Valley Minerals factory in Trona
    #8
  9. huzar

    huzar Pastor of Muppets

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,318
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    I think those are Aermacchi MB326 Impalas. The language on them is Afrikaans, so good guess on the Dutch. South Africa manufactured them under license for its own military use.

    Not sure yet what the green one is yet...
    #9
  10. Jon_PDX

    Jon_PDX Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Clackamas, OR - USA
    Looking forward to the next installment :D

    Jon...
    #10
  11. aldntn

    aldntn Vgo

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    297
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    The hottest I've ever been except when I worked in a aluminum casting factory.

    Looking forward to more!
    #11
  12. tedder

    tedder irregular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,800
    Location:
    Portland
    Thanks! A friend told me the green one is a Saab J35F Draken. Does that make sense?
    #12
  13. tedder

    tedder irregular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,800
    Location:
    Portland

    summer sucks. I saw 112-113 degrees in September. Ugh. But winter is very nice- it was 32-70 the whole time.

    But hey, let's carry on. The videos don't start until "tomorrow".

    Trona-Wildrose, entering Death Valley

    We were finally ready to enter Death Valley. We went <a href="http://perljam.net/r/maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=trona&daddr=death+valley+kilns&geocode=FSyyIQIdXQgB-SmnFmiSpznBgDERJ6NqM6PzGg%3BFaQdKQIdP3oE-SmHw5S7mTLHgDEJrqHEx2cf5Q&hl=en&mra=ls&sll=36.314554,-117.314816&sspn=2.208567,5.300903&ie=UTF8&ll=36.252303,-117.219315&spn=0.138154,0.331306&t=h&z=12">through the Trona-Wildrose Road</a>. This wouldn't be the best choice in a rental car or minivan, but was a lot of fun on the bikes.

    [​IMG]
    Trona-Wildrose Road into Death Valley

    [​IMG]
    Looking back at Ken on Trona-Wildrose Road

    [​IMG]
    Trona-Wildrose Road

    [​IMG]
    Trona-Wildrose Road

    [​IMG]
    Trona-Wildrose Road

    [​IMG]
    Ted and Tamara on Trona-Wildrose Road

    [​IMG]
    Trona-Wildrose Road
    #13
  14. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Oddometer:
    821
    Location:
    Morgan Territory, CA

    I'm disappointed you didn't find the Searles Valley Yacht Club. Its been the cultural center & favored watering hole in Trona for decades. :freaky

    On the wall at the 2nd or 3rd booth from the front door, you can find a hand-written note from "Turbo Mike" from the late '80s. Its exactly 100 miles of fast pavement from the yacht club to the Furnace Creek Ranch in DV. That note should also state the record (in minutes) it took to cover that distance that year. :evil

    When do you get to the good part? :wink: Oh, and more photos of Tamara please!

    Catfish ...
    #14
  15. HMarc

    HMarc Hoseur

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    Spokane, WA, USA
    Nope, Italian. Makes sense if the planes were built by Aermacchi.
    #15
  16. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,755
    Location:
    Sometimes in Hillsburrito
    :loco

    There is nothing on this road that a rental car couldn't handle... :augie

    Good start. Get that Kermit guy to keep up with the story's pace. :lol3


    Gustavo
    #16
  17. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,722
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    Ahhhhh Death Valley :raabia

    Good job Tedder you even pulled HMarc out of the shadows.

    Waiting for more. :lurk
    #17
  18. tedder

    tedder irregular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,800
    Location:
    Portland
    We were on VStroms, the ADV equivalent of a rental car :evil

    Carrying on!



    Mahogany Flat and Charcoal Kiln snow

    Ken really wanted to go to the <a href="http://perljam.net/r/www.nps.gov/deva/historyculture/charcoalkilns.htm">Wildrose Charcoal Kilns</a> (aka <a href="http://perljam.net/r/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Places_of_interest_in_the_Death_Valley_area#Charcoal_Kilns">Panamint Charcoal Kilns</a>). These were down a road that was paved and then gravel. From the turnoff, the road went from 4000 feet to over 6600 feet and kept climbing! That would be fine except for the snow. Motorcycles don't handle snow well. We went as far as we were comfortable riding, went a little further, then turned around.

    Times like this are when pillions are helpful- three motorcyclists on two bikes makes it a lot easier to lift bikes and turn them around in the snow. It would be very difficult to turn around in the snow as a single rider, but with three people pushing, it was fairly easy.

    [​IMG]
    Mahogany Flat

    [​IMG]
    Snow on the way to Mahogany Flat Charcoal Kilns

    [​IMG]
    Coming to our limits in the snow

    [​IMG]
    Ken in the snow with his V-Strom 1000

    [​IMG]
    Ken's bike in the snow
    #18
  19. tedder

    tedder irregular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,800
    Location:
    Portland
    Death Valley park

    After getting the bikes turned around and coming back down the mountain, we headed north into Death Valley proper.

    [​IMG]
    Harrisburg Flats(?)

    [​IMG]
    Ted and Tamara near Emigrant Pass

    It was getting dark, so we just rode through the park to our Beatty motel, <a href="http://perljam.net/r/www.atomic-inn.com/">The Atomic Inn</a>.
    #19
  20. huzar

    huzar Pastor of Muppets

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,318
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    Yep, that's a Draken all right. Not sure how I could have missed that the first time I looked at it... I kept thinking it was a Gripen or a Viggen, but the wings didn't look right for either.
    #20