Greg's Death Valley Ride

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Dread Pendragon, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    Ever since we started doing dual sport trips a few years ago, Greg has been wanting to ride Death Valley. The only reasonable thing to do was to not ride it until he lost hope we ever would, THEN go. Last weekend we finally made it there.

    Greg WR450
    Mark XR650R
    David XR650R
    Mike XR650R
    Joe KLX 450
    Josh KLX 300
    Clint KLR 650
    John KLR 650

    A week ago Thursday David drove down from Rexburg, ID to pick up Greg and me in Logan, UT. We switched David's trailer to my truck (a bit bigger to carry so many guys) Next to north Ogden County to pick up Mark and Josh.

    It took us the rest of the day to get to Beatty, NV where we would be staying. Joe, Clint and John came over from Arizona and got there in time to do a little exploring.

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    #1
  2. LeDakaR!

    LeDakaR! Banned

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    :freaky DV time! its that time of the year!
    #2
  3. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    Clint and Joe are brothers-in-law in a very close family:

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    Meanwhile the rest of us were still on the way. We stopped in Vegas to fuel up and found one of the trailer tires had blown up.

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    I figured there was enough tread left on the sidewalls to get us into Beatty, but David got all weird about his trailer so he put on the spare.

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    I told McFly I couldn't believe he would lend me his car without telling me it had a blind spot. It was an old tire and I think the trailer brakes were set too high and . . . ka pow! The spare he put on had snow studs, but worked well enough for the moment.

    We found a Sam's Club nearby. The tire shop was closed, but David bought the right size tire while he had the chance. In the parking lot was a BBQ restaurant we ate at. After that we started heading north to Beatty. Greg looked online and noticed there was a 24 hr tire shop there.

    We pulled in sometime before midnight.
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  4. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    Of course we wanted to leave early that morning but there were lots of little things slowing some of us down. I'll admit that I got a little reactive that morning, telling everyone that they need to just accept that we weren't going to get out of there as soon as they'd like. I suggest they accept that or that we could break up into more than one group so they wouldn't have to wait.

    I plan most of the trips we do, and the worst part is always dealing with the chaos and stress of trying to get going. And having people complain doesn't speed anything up. There was no complaining that morning that was a big deal, but apparently those experiences had built up in me enough that I found myself immediately at my limit. I surprised myself. Some of the guys hadn't met me before and it must have struck them as a bit odd, but they all accommodated me.

    We spent the day in this general area:
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    We started west toward Death Valley, then took the dirt road to Titus Canyon.
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    Josh
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    David Josh and Mark
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    David
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    Joe
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    Clint
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    John
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    Me
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    #4
  5. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    John's KLR hit that deep washed out area and flipped. He said he would have been crushed by the bike if he hadn't fallen down into the hole. If ever a crash deserved to be documented by taking a picture, it would be that scene. By the time I came around the corner it was already pulled out and to the side.

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    They twisted the fairing back into position and nothing else seemed to be terribly damaged.
    #5
  6. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    A few more Titus Canyon pictures

    Joe

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    Clint
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    #6
  7. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    Taking a break in Titus Canyon

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    #7
  8. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    Josh put together this video from GoPro footage he took:

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    #8
  9. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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  10. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    I can't remember where/when these were at, but I think it's on the first day:


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    #10
  11. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    We came out of Titus Canyon and rode over to Stovepipe Wells.

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    #11
  12. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    A few more pictures of indeterminate location

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    #12
  13. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    We worked our way down past Furnace Creek and started riding up Echo Canyon.

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    #13
  14. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    As we made our way up Echo Canyon we passed a few people walking down. It turned out some of them were making their way down from this cluster of fun.

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    Once we found the turnoff to Armagosa Valley the road got more interesting, eventually leading us to the fun stuff.

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    #14
  15. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    We had a little gps trouble finding the right roads down into Armagosa Valley. It was dark by the time we hit highway 95 to head back to Beatty.

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    #15
  16. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    Oooh, purdy:

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    #16
  17. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    About 20 miles from Beatty Joe got a flat tire. Clint and John on their mighty KLRs were well on their way back. Joe decided to have some of us go ahead and send back Clint and John with a truck to pick up his bike so he could change the tube the next morning in the daylight.

    The next morning he threw his bike up on a rock to pull off his back tire.

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    Greg fixed his back brakes, David took his trailer tire to get fixed, and eventually we got our bikes loaded up into the trailer. We had decided to haul them down to Furnace Creek, then strike out into the Badwater Basin from there.

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    There was a big gravel parking area by a gas station, so we parked the truck and trailer there and unloaded.
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    #17
  18. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    We spent this day in this general area:
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    Clint suggested we first drive through Artists' Drive before heading over to the west side of Badwater Basin.

    Artists Drive

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    #18
  19. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    I was going too fast and missed the turnoff to Artists Palette, but it was still an interesting and pleasant ride.

    We emptied back out on Backwater road, then soon turned off onto the unpaved West Side Road. It was a flat, dirt road that was very, very fun to go fast on.

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    Along the side of the road was Satan's Mosh Pit, or the Devil's Septic System, or something like that. Everything in Death Valley is named "The Devil's something-or-other."

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    #19
  20. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    I didn't want to have this day be too much pavement, so I had the group take a side trip up a canyon on the west side of Badwater Basin. Before the trip I had considered a few, looking at youtube videos and google earth. Hanaupah Canyon seemed like a good option. :huh

    I sent most of the group up ahead. Only Mark and Joe were behind me, and once I got going Joe soon passed me, stopped to take pictures, then caught up again.

    The road started with deep shale, but I figured it would get better as we made our way up the alluvial fan. Nope.

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    It varied, but didn't get substantially easier. Clint and John on their KLRs were first up the canyon. Once I got an XR650R I got lazy and quit taking my KLR in the really tough spots, but I remembered how much work it could be. I was getting exhausted on my XRR and wondered how they were doing.

    I couldn't see how far ahead the rest of the group had gone, but I kept hoping they would stop. The plan already was to ride back down the canyon, and right then I was feeling like less is more. But it was hard to keep whining when I knew the KLR guys had already ridden where I was.

    The road in those pictures doesn't look too bad, and some sections were better than others, but it was exhausting for everyone, even the good riders in our group.
    #20