Don't ride through Death Valley solo

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by DesertSurfer, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

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    Hey DesertSurfer, nice report. Love the desert anytime of the year, especially after the rains, but she can be unmerciful. I'm sure you have logged a few hints for next time, maybe a SPOT, for example.

    Now tell the truth. While you were on the trail didn't you think to yourself, 'This is gonna make a great RR' ?:D At the end of the day, better that your report be in the first person than in the third.
    #21
  2. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    #22
  3. Repsol950

    Repsol950 Adventurer

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    Hi
    I see great photos, and your bike looks good, but very difficult path,much more sun than in Norway
    but the principle is the same, enjoy in life.Greetings from Norway :clap
    #23
  4. bajaburro

    bajaburro Ancient Adventurer

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    no spare tubes or tire irons?two cans of flat fix?:rofl
    #24
  5. canridertj

    canridertj CANRIDER

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    WOW!...WOW...and more WOW!...this is what my bike is meant for..this is going to be my trip for 2015....excuse my ignorance...death valley.. Arizona right?......what type of specialty gear did you need to bring?......cactus, poisonous snakes, no water....so cool.....
    #25
  6. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    It's in SE California, roughly 110 mile NE of Bakersfield. From Las Vegas, NV, it's about 80 miles to the west.

    Mike
    #26
  7. canridertj

    canridertj CANRIDER

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    Bakersfield.....Fear and Loathing......waves of paranoia.....yup...I'll have to start looking into this area......thanks..:thumb
    #27
  8. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Hey Terryjj1,

    I've evolved my adventure riding alot since I did this trip. I use soft luggage, bring way more tools, proper tire repair and more stuff that I never need. One great suggestion I've read about is to always carry confortable running shoes in the event of an irrepairable breakdown. And a portable solar blanket. Always over prep the bike before hand. Pack strategically... but the lighter the better.

    Plan for less fuel economy then normal.

    And drag along a friend if you can. You get more photos that way.
    #28
  9. canridertj

    canridertj CANRIDER

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    Thanks for the info.....the running shoes make a lot of sense..would never have thought about that..I'm planning on a 2.5 day training session with RAWHYDE and a 2 day trip with them as well ino the mojave desert in September this year....this will help with seeing what the desert is really like....and of course what the riding is like too...:evil...I have extra gas can to carry but Death Valley looks extrememly remote...what did you do about fuel?

    Terry
    #29
  10. totomoto

    totomoto Been here awhile

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    This is the area where four German tourists died including 2 kids. They attempted to cross Mengel Pass in a Minivan (yes, Minivan) going west, realized it wouldn't be feasible, decided to turn around via Anvil Canyon, which used to be a connection to Warm Springs Road. They got stuck in Anvil Canyon and tried to walk out towards the south in the hope of getting to the China Lake Naval Weapon Station. Their remains were found 13 years later. A lengthy report about the circumstances and search can be found here:
    http://www.otherhand.org/home-page/search-and-rescue/the-hunt-for-the-death-valley-germans/
    It also includes detailed and fascinating descriptions of the landscape, topography, and the remoteness of this area. It clearly is a stark reminder about how unforgiving the desert can be and how a small mishap or a bad decision can quickly turn into the worst. So yes, don't go solo, bring appropriate equipment and experience, be prepared for being able to survive for a few days, and hope for the best.
    #30
  11. canridertj

    canridertj CANRIDER

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    I'll have a read of the article this weekend.....

    thanks

    Terry
    #31
  12. outlaws

    outlaws Been here awhile

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    Great report! Thanks for sharing!
    #32
  13. G Goat

    G Goat Been here awhile

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    There is a gas station right next to the furnace creek lodge. Good restaurant, pool, nice rooms at the lodge as well. Stayed for 5 day of ridding on my 640A a few years ago.
    Plenty to see.

    Thanks for bringing this report back up to the top.

    Desertsurfer, good read, I thought you were getting into big trouble.
    #33
  14. hanksmybuddy

    hanksmybuddy Been here awhile

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    What is wrong with your camera?
    #34
  15. outlaws

    outlaws Been here awhile

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    I just spent the last couple of hours reading this. I know I am a fairly slow reader but it was very detailed and like some sort of detective work. Great read! It really is unfortunate how what started as a great vacation can lead to such a tragic ending.
    #35
  16. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

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    I just sucked into that as well. The author is a great writer and fascinating story. Well worth the time to read.
    #36
  17. FakeName

    FakeName Wile E Coyote SuperGenius

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    Me, too.

    Great example of scientific methodology. Sorta creepy to want to read it, too. Felt bad for those folks, and I'm far less likely to ride solo.
    #37
  18. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    I've been going to Death Valley about once a year since '07. I'd heard about the German tourists but didn't know much about it. Like the rest of you guys, I read the piece and, MAN, what a chilling account.

    Mike
    #38
  19. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    I studied this route over the course of many years prior to actually riding it. I had calculated the mileage between all the fuel stops and figured I always had no less then half a tank.

    I was planning on entering DV at Goler wash and filled up at Trona. On this trip my KTM 950 had stock fuel tank with a range of about 120-125 miles. I think I had gone 80 miles. I brought several maps including a very detailed one "Southern California Backcountry Trails" which has mileage at each fork. I found this extremely helpful as there are strange turns up in Goler and into Mengal.

    I preran this route in a 4x4 and would prerun it again in a 4x4 before riding my bike as I've heard this section is washed out much worse.

    I've heard of people asking for the large propaline coffee bags at Starbucks to use as temporary fuel containers and fill them up last minute to strap up in a drybag.

    There is gas at Furnace Creek in the center of DV, also at Stovepipe Wells. There is no gas at Scotty's Castle.
    #39
  20. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    I loaded the photos in a few software programs to reduce the size... and it definitely crunched them. One was from the scanning process of the prints as they were 35mm, not digital.

    Live and learn.
    #40