Dead Dinosaurs Death Valley Expedition

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Daz the Aussie, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Livin' life above two wheels

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    My buddy from Australia and I have been taking small overnight trips once a month for the past few months. He's a long haul pilot on the L.A. run from Oz and has a R1150GS the same as me that he keeps at his crew hotel here in L.A.
    We only usually get two days/one night per trip but the opportunity came up for him to be here for a week so we discussed doing Baja, then due to a shortened schedule it eventually came down to 3 days/two nights so we would be limited in how far we could go. Death Valley it is then! The bonus for me was that Eivind was also going to pick up the tab for the dead dinosaurs my bike was gonna drink. Noice! :wink:

    DAY 1.

    The first day didn't quite get off to our planned start due to Eivind having a leaking tire valve on his GS. He had made arrangements for his local Cycle World store to replace it and somehow things got messed up and their early opening time of 7am proved to be total B.S.
    We got to work in their car park and did it ourselves.

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    Had to unpack first.

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    We got the wheel off then discovered a busted spoke!

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    Nothing we could do about it so we got on with breaking the bead (used the side stand on my bike), cut the old rubber valve out and replaced it with a metal screw in type. It then took over 30 minutes of faffing around to get the stinkin' bead to finally seal! Mucho swear words were involved as well as several layers of clothing removed due to getting rather aggravated but finally it started to go up.

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    Then after a quick refit and repack, we layered back up (it was cold out on the road) and off we went. First stop was Mojave for an early lunch and fuel top up. We ate at the Spaceport Cafe where the food was great and the scenery proved interesting.

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    SAAB Draken.
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    After lunch we rode a few hundred feet to check out the SpaceShip One mock model on display although it's not easy to get a good shot through the glass.

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    Stupidly during all my packing, I forgot to put any music on my phone so all I had to listen to all the way to Mojave was the sound of roaring headwinds while Eivind was rocking out to all his music. We scouted out a hardware store and I purchased what turned out to be several of the most prehistoric foam ear plugs known to man. Seriously, I think trying to shove a horse suppository into my ear canal would have been the closest thing to fitting these things, they were so stiff! Chompin' on 'em like chewing 'baccy was the easiest way to soften them for human use.

    Next up was Red Rock State Park for a quick photo session.

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    From there we slogged it out along 395 to get to our next gas stop at Olancha.

    <iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/86172697" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>


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    At the next major turn we had this great view of Mt Whitney.

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    Starting to see some spectacular vistas!

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    Gratuitous ADV'er shot!

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    <iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/86202057" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>​


    To be continued...
    #1
  2. txplants

    txplants Pastafarian

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    Enjoying it so far, Daz! Got more?
    #2
  3. Northstar Beemer

    Northstar Beemer Been here awhile

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    This desert and Joshua Tree are on my (winter riding) bucket list. :clap
    #3
  4. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Livin' life above two wheels

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    Thanks!:D
    Yep more to come, but I have to go through all the other photos as well as edit a heap more video which take ages to get right.
    #4
  5. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Livin' life above two wheels

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    Thank you! Yep, Joshua Tree is coming up for me too although it may be a car camping trip as my lady and I have been talking about it for 3 years now so I can't go without her. :D
    #5
  6. AKMotorbiker

    AKMotorbiker Searching for sanity

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    Subscribed and waiting for more!
    #6
  7. Brookester

    Brookester n00b

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    Found this from the Tassie ADV link.....some great country out there...did it in 2012 with RawHyde-OffRoad......Titus Canyon coming in from the Nevada side is a brilliant ride...also a track along the base of the mountains, Bathurst from memory. Now living in Somerset and about to pick up a new KLR650 for local fun after 2 years on a Super Tenere.
    Heading back to USA in August to do Continental Divide from Helena, MT to Albuqurque, NM.
    Have fun....Zion NP and Bryce Canyon just out of St George, UT is also a great ride.

    Cheers, Brooke
    #7
  8. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    :lurk

    Beautifully done. All very familiar area for me, thus, it's always nice to someone else's take on it. Very nice displays at the Mojave Airport and well worth taking an hour or so to look around. ...and nice move getting those bikes back by the SpaceShip One display(cause I know how far that is from the parking lot:huh).

    Looking forward to the rest of this trip!
    #8
  9. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Hey Thanks!

    I'm new to the L.A. area and have been looking for stuff to do.
    I love checking out things like Titan Missiles and Submarines, so this is right up my alley.

    I'll head out the the Mojave Airport next Saturday and check it out.
    Apparently they are having a "Crazy Plane Saturday" on the 15th.
    I want to check that out as well as tour the airplane graveyard.

    Thanks for the idea!
    Q~
    #9
  10. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

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    Wonderful!!!! Thanks :thumb
    #10
  11. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Livin' life above two wheels

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    In planning our trip, Eivind and I had settled on Furnace Creek as a base camp, this being central to what we hoped to achieve. The run down from the mountains was fantastic, all the roads out here having been resurfaced and they are like billiard tables, perfectly smooth with no potholes and fun little dips made all the more exciting by being tackled at 8....umm...."above average" road speeds. :evil
    We took up residence at the Texas Springs Campground and while being nothing too flash, it has restrooms, a fire pit and a metal table with seat benches so really, what more do we guys need than that? With the temperature dropping fast, we got the tents up and got stuck into a hot meal and a couple of bottles of vino which was very satisfying after a long day dealing with the cold and strong winds out on the road. Our campground neighbor, John, was a young guy from Vegas who invited us to come and sit around his nice big campfire which was very much appreciated. We did the usual "guys around the camp fire" thing, told stories, drank and even had fire roasted hotdogs on sticks. Perfect!
    The next morning after gassing up, we headed back out the way we had come in from the day before, but this time we turned off to head towards Beatty NV.
    First stop of the day was the old ghost town of Rhyolite.

    WIKI Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhyolite,_Nevada

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    Former Train Station

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    Barely used at 45,458 miles!

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    The only preserved building here is the Bottle House.

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    We took the dirt road at the top of Rhyolite, heading towards Beatty. This road is pretty bad in a few places, lots of wash outs and plenty of gravel but we got through unscathed and once we finally rejoined the blacktop we headed up to Beatty where Eivind made some adjustments to his handlebars and we both aired down the tires for the next part of the day's adventures. Then it was back the way we had come and just past the Rhyolite turn off we turned right to start on our main goal for day 2, which was to ride through the legendary Titus Canyon which must surely rate in the top 5 places here in the USA for us adventure riders. Shylo and I had ridden through it back in 2008 as our honeymoon trip after getting married in Vegas so I was definitely keen to tackle it again, and to see what had changed and what bits were still familiar.
    I had fitted a new knobby tire to the front of my bike but Eivind was running on the remnants of a street tire that was almost done so I went in front and would stop every few miles and wait for him.

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    The first half of the journey through Titus has some steep and at times technical sections, especially some of the tighter corners on the downhill parts and although we both had a few "pucker" moments , all went well and the bikes and riders stayed upright.
    While we didn't stop very often to take photos, I had the GoPro mounted on the front taking photos every few seconds.

    <iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/86243503" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>​

    One of the couple of places we did stop at was here.

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    When Shylo and I came through here back in 2008, we set up camp here on the patch of red soil and that night a huge wind storm blew up and threatened to rip our tent up and carry us away. The noise was like a freight train and you could hear the wind building up in the canyons and then it would slam down on us. We had a green Hilleberg tent and even though it got washed several times before we eventually sold it, we never got the red soil stains out of the fabric from that night! :eek1


    Lunch was at the abandoned mining town of Leadfield.

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    The old mine entrances.

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    What'dya reckon? Beans?

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    Reminds me of...

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    The remains of the Post Office.

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    #11
  12. GalacticGS

    GalacticGS 1200 GS Rider

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    Déjà vu...

    Nice report!
    #12
  13. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Livin' life above two wheels

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    Thanks! I just saw that. Fixed!
    #13
  14. Backcountryboy

    Backcountryboy Been here awhile

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    Great Report. Looks like an amazing place to ride and so different from up here in Canada
    #14
  15. Ozav8r

    Ozav8r Been here awhile

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    Great report you're putting together here Bud! Haven't got my photo-upload thingy sorted at ADV rider yet, so I've put some piccies in my Dropbox and sent you a link, so perhaps you can take'em from there? Was a magic few days. Great company - sensational riding and beautiful scenery. Trult the stuff legends are made from!!!
    #15
  16. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Livin' life above two wheels

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    Wow! Describing me in such glowing terms there mate, I dunno what to say. :rofl
    #16
  17. davyboy

    davyboy Adventurer

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    nice pictures mate.:clap
    #17
  18. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    Very nice shots. I need to get my butt back out there. Always something else to do.

    I was at the liquidation auction for Rotary Rocket. I bought the lathe that built many of the parts on that thing. I'm glad they donated that landing test vehicle and put it on display.

    Here it was on one of it's three test flights.

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    #18
  19. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Livin' life above two wheels

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    Hey all. Sorry for the absence, it's been a fun week here at casa Daz'n'Shy, lots of big auditions, a commercial agency showcase as well as dealing with a hundred and one other things. Eivind sent me some of his files during the week so here's a couple more photos to add to the collection and I will hopefully get on with the rest of the trip later today. Eivind loves his HDR stuff!

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    #19