Death Valley Solo 5 day ride, the hottest place on earth is also the coldest Started the year on January 1st 2012 with a ride down the coast with my good friend Ben “Benjava”, one of the original DV noobs when the noob rally was 20 people full! Accomplished rider, been to Alaska and Baja and DV many times, I learned a lot from him, he turned me to advrider. I was too much of a noob to do this alone before, but he taught me the skills to be self sufficient, and whenever he taught me to change tires, he would say:”think about DV man, and the hot sun banging on your head, fix that flat man, fast so we can keep riding!” I wish he was riding along with me still. RIP thread by Larryboy! http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=791411 Roll out of San Francisco kinda late around 9 am, nothing to report, just a nice morning ride to DV! Hit HWY5 south and before I know it stories start… This rider was pulled on the side of the hwy head down trying to talk on his phone. It’s windy its cold, I hit the brakes and pull over, see if I can help. He’s out of gas, I got plenty thanks to my rotopax and 2 msr, so we empty down one msr , and we ride out, he pulls over again, like 6 miles later, right before the off ramp to the next gas station, he’s out again…good I followed, empty second msr and get him to the pump. He buys me lunch! Good things happened when you do good! Time to make time now. Onto Ridgecrest, where its dark and cold, too late to keep going. Find the budget in, the bike won’t fit through the door thanks to this midget ass door frame, and the wide bars I just installed, bike usually sleeps inside with me but here, outside it sleeps. IN THE COLD, its 21 degrees here and were at 2000 feet. BRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. All good because the Thai restaurant next door is real good! relax time Next day onto the park through Trona pinnacles where the hills have eyes Gas is a worry for this new to me bike, its got a peanut tank, and its been cutting off at 60-80 miles/tanks when I ride hard And … that’s not gonna help for gas….just the old chevron, But this will! not far down is the Valero station and its got everything you need! Getting closer to the real good stuff... parked on the side of the road to look at the valley and these gals came out of nowhere To Ballarat ghostown and stop at the store. the dog and miner welcome me Press on to camp at panamint springs, $7/night not bad! Gas station/ a full bar with 100s beers and a restaurant, good for now! Or so I thought..... Good thing about PSR is the free wifi , it's satellite, but its good enough to log into adv and ask questions like this: Deathvalley dr 650 range http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=851610 or check the weather and temps I dont think these temps are accurate at all...it was wayyyyyyy Leave camp after breakfast left over from good Thai place in Ridgecrest. I get to use my new jetboil and coffee press, thanks to wifey, birthday present..... I get xmas and bday at the same time im a baby jesus boy almost, born on the 26th in Europe so thats like the 25th here! hmmmm good morning, its 7 am...I dont wake up that early at home! , off to saline valley road, closed road sign, but who reads those anyways….I’m sure it’s for hunter pass anyways…yes will find out later… The boxcar cabin at Saline Valley… would have stayed there if I didn't unpack the bike already, its got everything you need, wood burning stove , a weber, not the nicest one but so close… and even food! I could have made it…and sleep here last night and every other night, its only about 25 minutes from PNSR, do it, right Larryboy...is there a better cabin close by? Press on into the flats and trees, and up in the mountains into the junction with hunter, which I thought was Lipencott.Boy was I wrong.... The plan was to get to the racetrack, and the AAA map which is pretty good doesn't show hunter as closed during winter.Get the park Map it does tell you its impassable or the 4x4 trail map at the ranger station in stovepipe. Another inmate pretty much layed it all out for me the night before, but with the spotty internet, the map I had and the few beers I had I didn't really get all the info correct DanOGrande vorn and confused Joined: Aug 2004 Location: Santa Cruz Oddometer: 160 check if you can get out South Pass....It might have too much snow, but if it doesn't, you are set up for a great loop. Stove Pipe to Ubehebe, Racetrack, Lippencott, Saline Valley Rd, 190 back to Panamint for gas. Another option would be Hunter Mt, but it's probably impassible now. It’s a nice ride, and I hit the first snow thinking, hey pretty cool, snow in Death Valley, whats that? then it just turned into full on powder day! Its actually snowing on me! Bad luck, or just bad mistake on my part,yeah bad navigation!I'm on Hunter pass up to 8,000 feet! Its fine riding down, and riding flat, but going up the rear tire gets 0 traction, and after a few rough miles,a few spills I turn around....but I have to push the bike at every uphill because it just spins in the snow and ice. I ride the clutch and push for 2-3 miles, thinking oh boy, what if the clutch cable breaks, or I fry the clutch.... the bike is still to heavy for me to push on the steeper uphills even with throttle, it doesn't go anywhere. So I unpack, push walk back to pack do again. until I make it back to lower elevation. Boy that sucked! I lost so much time, and didn't make it to where I wanted to go, the racetrack, now I'm exhausted, and still have to ride out to stovepipe wells for the daily phone call to wifey, that gonna be 85 miles for that call.... Let's ride! west of stovepipe there is a phone....you can get daily blessings after earlier I need one, oh and look there is change, for that free blessing! Phone doesn't work!!! onto Stovepipe The phones don’t work too good here too. It keeps getting me my coins back. I found the trick. Keep feeding it until it thinks you paid up, even though the coins returns to you. Wifey, I’m fine, I got gods blessing on the other call... there is another phone by the pool across the street at the motel, and one by the gift shops. To the dunes and a bit of washboard and sand riding. Come back still pretty down from not making it over the north side to the racetrack, and seat at the bar at panamint springs, and who walks in? made a bad day better to see people I knew....scroll down to next page.