Mar. 28-31, 2013 Death Valley nOOb's Rally

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by johngil, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. GSequoia

    GSequoia Where are my tools?

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,486
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well I need to keep DSM8 happy (who I completely failed to meet this weekend), so here is my report.

    So as many of you know I had a lot of issues leading up to the event. March was over-booked and stuff kept coming up. I'm a stubborn bastard though and was going to get out there no matter what, sorry to those who lost the bets.

    After two hours sleep Tuesday night I departed at 4:50 AM for PSR. My method of travel didn't notice wind, rock solid all the way.
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    It took me quite some time to get there, I believe I rolled in at around 3:00 pm after many stops to do work via my Verizon MiFi card and about thirty minutes of sleep outside Trona (yes I still had hubcaps after I woke up).

    As mentioned the drive was easy and while I felt a little guilty having a perfectly good dual sport motorcycle in the back I enjoyed it. I stopped in Trona for a little extra fuel and coffee and kept going. If you haven't seen Trona it is a wonderfully quaint little town full of affluent people with beautiful homes. It really is god's country.

    After Trona came the point that I thought "hey, this would be a little fun on a moto."
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    I arrived at PSR, ate a delicious blue cheese burger in the restaurant and enjoyed a couple of Firestone DBAs. Afterward I set up my little home for the weekend, I took up as little space as possible expecting to share site 40 but nobody ever arrived.
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    In the late-afternoon I decided to head out to a cell spot I discovered on Panamint Valley Road. I went to grab my gear and realized in my haste that I grabbed my FirstGear Kathmandu Jacket but not the pants, I grabbed my FirstGear HT Overpants instead; my commuting pants. I was not happy but figured I would deal with it.

    I wandered around camp like a lost puppy for the rest of the day. Having been involved in Jeep clubs for a long time and gone to numerous events where everybody knows me it was odd being the new guy again. In the evening I went over the the PSR restaurant and had dinner and a few beers. I hung out there for the evening sampling a few of the great beers on tap and in bottles, meeting a few ADVers along the way including Felix from Team Adobe. Later that night I brought my laptop over and took care of some work that had to be finished before going to bed.

    Thursday morning I got up and did more wondering around. I was half-assedely looking for a 4x4 to place the repeater box on Hunter Mountain but failed to do so. I had some offers but didn't bring my printed information with me. By the afternoon I abandoned that project in favor of joining up with Joel, Larry, Jim, and a couple others (I'm shit with names, sorry folks!) to take a ride, I suited up in my commuter pants and armor and hit the road (not literally). We ran out toward Lookout Mountain where my KLR got to be the first one to stop for fixing. My GPS mount that had been solid for the past 5,000 miles decided to go loose. I opened my tail box and guess what? No tools! I lament my stupidity and wonder if I had left them in camp or at home. Larry grabs a Torx bit that just might maybe sorta work for the phillips screws on my mount. I thank him and walk around the bike to tighten it, in doing so I see the nice little tool carrier I mounted to my front fender. Yup, forgot all about it, there they were! We stopped to watch a little riding tequnique demo by Larry when I screwed up again, I was parked on a bit of a sidehill and missed my footing, down she went. I found out five miles later that I had broken the drivers side turn signal (earning me a Pelican hat brim light). After that we headed to Ballarat for some cold drinks.
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    After Ballarat it was off to look at the Golersteps; myself, Jim, and guy whose name I forgot ran up the steps. Me and the nameless dude kept going about halfway up the canyon before Joel caught up with us and told us we went too far; I was under the mistaken impression that Larry had gone up ahead, plus I was in the moment having fun and didn't want to stop. Sorry Joel! We turned around and made our way done.

    That was my first real dirt day on the KLR, I had a blast and didn't drop it once while moving! The pants really sucked as they don't breath well, every time we stopped I zipped up the pant leg for ventalation giving Larry a bit of a show. I celebrated with ADVdinner and beer, thanks for the chili Bob, it really made that burger tasty. Much bullshitting happened at camp. I'm not responsible for any of it.

    Friday morning I woke up early. I wondered around camp and saw a Klim dealer setting up. I decided to take a look. I walked away with a set of Klim Mojave pants. Yay for 10% discounts! Yay for not shitty pants! I went on Titus with Mr. G Greg. We stopped first at Beatty for fuel, supplies, and a friendly toilet before heading into Rhyolite and stopping by the museum / open-air gallery.

    Albert Szukalski's Ghost Rider
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    Szukalski's Last Supper
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    Hugo Heyrman clearly liked natural blondes. Here is the pixelated Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada made out of cinder blocks.
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    After that we headed down to Titus. We had a good time and moved at a noob friendly pace, an anonymous member of the group may have said hello the ground a few times (no, it wasn't me)...
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    We had lunch at Leadfield where I took out my nice balance chair then continued on through Titus and ultimately back home in the mid-afternoon. While waiting at the construction site on Towne Pass ParaMud and Natalie pulled up behind us. I complimented Natalie on her pink KLR; she replied that, unlike Para and myself, hers was intentionally pink.

    Friday night we had our dinner and first raffle, I didn't win :(

    Luckily I had only consumed a couple beers at this point as word came out that Diego was stuck at the hot springs with an injured wrist. A good friend of mine keeps his built Cherokee at PSR so I grabbed it for the rescue. Larry took the lead in his F150 with a couple of guys inside and I jumped in David's Jeep along with John and we went down Saline Valley Road. We made it a good distance in before I got the call from Joel on the sat phone that Pablo had gotten Diego out of the hot springs and the bike was coming out in the morning. We turned around and got back to camp at around 1:45 or so. (John, give me those GPS plots!) It was a good night to do a bit of night wheeling and I had a good time. I was glad to hear Saturday afternoon that Diego had no breaks in the wrist.

    Since I was up so late I didn't commit to any rides for Saturday. I woke up and wondered around camp a bit before taking David's Jeep across the street to get some breakfast. Then I filled the Jeep up and put it back where it belongs.

    My *two* borrowed rigs for the weekend!
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    After locking the Jeep away I walked back to camp and started tidying up the camp and the bike's tail box while I decided where to go today. In case anybody is curious what that ugly tail box contains here it is. Two quarts of oil, two tubes, a few tools, a chair you'll see later on, and lunch in an East German surplus bag (yes, it is a requirement for all KLRs to use surplus crap). The black box mounted beneath is a first aid kit.
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    By mid-morning I had decided my final ride for this weekend; I went out toward Wildrose. Along the way I saw a white Jeep Grand Cherokee pulled over on Panamint Valley Road. Her radiator was completely knackered (and my was the coolant dirty inside). I made sure she had everything she needed and that help was on the way before I got back on the mighty KLR and continued my way to the dirt.

    Heading up Wildrose I saw some larger than a rabbit wildlife. As soon as I saw the male on the road I killed the engine and coasted to a stop. This allowed me to take some photos of the whole family, two adults, one adolescent, and one cute little juvenile that you can't quite see here (to the right of the right-most full sized one).
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    Anyway blah blah blah I'm getting tired of typing so am just going to photo bomb a bit.

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    Road block.
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    Uncharted road off of Emigrant Pass Road.
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    Same road.
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    Lunch on Aguereberry Point
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    Previously mentoined chair, yes you balance on those two legs and is quite comfy and light. Don't use it while drunk.
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    My attempts to be a 14 year old goth kid.
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    I love the shadows of the clouds on the terrain.
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    Anyway after lunch I wondered back to camp and started the process of procrastinating packing up the truck. I went off looking for Long to see if he needed a ride home but he, being the hardcore motherfucker he is, had ridden out on the back of somebody's motorcycle. Afterward I grabbed a shower and got into some clean clothes. Then I packed my clothes away and broke down the tent. To celebrate this great accomplishment I had a beer and wondered over to eat dinner and be a big loser at the raffle.

    Directly after the raffle I broke down the awning I had set up over the dinner area and packed it up. Felix helped me load the KLR into the truck then I finally set my stove up for the first time that weekend to make a pot of coffee. While the coffee was brewing I started tossing stuff into the cab and bed of the truck, being very careful not to be in any way organized. After the coffee was finished I let the stove and my lantern cool while I went and said my goodbyes/talk shit to the East and West wings of camp. I attempted to give my regards to Joel but he was probably passed out in his van after those pulls of Karma he had. I climbed into the truck and hit the road at 11:30, stopping about ten miles outside of Trona to grab an hours sleep; I made it to Torrance at 4:45am.

    It was a great event and I am glad I went. Shout outs go to Joel for organizing this herd of cats as well as leading me into my first real dirt and Larry for sweeping. Greg for leading the Titus run and his sweeper Don. Heirhead Dave for letting me pester you on Wednesday afternoon. Jim for also letting me be a pest. And finally Team Adobe for keeping me from getting sun burnt the entire weekend and the half and half for my coffee Saturday night, I hope you got your wounded F800 off Goler and happy again.

    One last note. I had a hell of a fun time on the paved Emigrant Pass road, some nice little corners that were fun with my low trail gearing and 606s.

    All photos above and more are here: http://events.sequoia4x4.com/v/20130328-advdv/
    Until next time, goodbye Panamint Valley.
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    #21
  2. jamin_mathis

    jamin_mathis Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,519
    Location:
    L.A. CA. Echo Park y'all
    I'm guessing this was the cabin ride Hobo Pete invited me on. I was super bummed to not be able to make that ride... I think I was more bummed to miss the ride than the fact I melted the DT250's piston on it's second ride ever:lol3:cry:lol3

    Edit: Just tore down the top end all it did was wear the rings the bore smooth (nothing you can feel with a finger nail) and the piston looks like a very low hours piston so it just a set-o-rings, circlips and some gaskets! So it's $50 to get this "Classic" adver back in action!:happay
    #22
  3. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,601
    Location:
    Orange County, CA


    Great RR's and pix guys, keep 'em coming.


    Yes, the Cerro Gordo and Salt Tram ride was pretty epic. Very fast group. I was glad I was sweep cuz I ride pretty fast and this crew was smokin'! :clap

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    #23
  4. jamin_mathis

    jamin_mathis Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,519
    Location:
    L.A. CA. Echo Park y'all
    Are those Big horn sheep? What luck to come across them on a ride very cool I love the wild life.
    #24
  5. GSequoia

    GSequoia Where are my tools?

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,486
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yup, was glad to catch them.

    One more reason to have quiet pipes!
    #25
  6. jamin_mathis

    jamin_mathis Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,519
    Location:
    L.A. CA. Echo Park y'all
    I drank with these guys both nights, good guys, they said they are just lurkers so they may not even be on the forum. I can't remeber names but I can tell you the work in Valencia. Come on out from the shadows lurkers and join.
    #26
  7. Ben99r1

    Ben99r1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,102
    Location:
    Pomona, Calif.
    Another year I did not make it. I even paid for my spot and everything. But I had a last minute emergency come up. Everything turned out good and the boss got a clean bill of health. :clap So I post all the pictures and story so I can lie and say I went.
    #27
  8. johngil

    johngil Reseda, CA

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,811
    Still going through photos and cleaning up from the weekend.
    I could go back right now...

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    #28
  9. Sasquatch2112

    Sasquatch2112 scatology expert

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,076
    Location:
    Ventura County CA
    I looked but did not see yo this weekend. I has parts! lets talk.
    #29
  10. bigtodd

    bigtodd Hi, wanna ride?

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,632
    Location:
    Surf City, USA
    Aloha from the North Shore of Oahu, quite a contrast from the desolation of Death Valley. Had a great time hanging out with everyone and got in some great riding. Got to meet lots of new peeps.

    Drove in Thursday night. My drive totally sucked, left my office in Carson at 3 and didn't get to PSR until 8:30 .... urggg. Was welcomed to camp with a fresh pour from the keg, thanks to who brought that. Also didn't have a place to crash so Finn, Nancy and Danny were nice enough to let me park in their camp site where I slept in the back of my truck.

    Friday morning came quickly and my ride buddy Bill (conteacher) and I were all set to ride the Lost Tour. Bill, Danny G and I helped where we could and stayed at the back sweeping the ride.

    Finn leading the group up the mountain on the way to Darwin

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    Up and over the mountain, everybody regrouping to start the ride up the sandwash

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    Out of the sandwash and the boys riding hard for Darwin

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    The folks in Darwin have some interesting collections

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    In Darwin, there were a couple of riders pretty worn out from rocky mountain road and sandwash and all were going to slab from Darwin to Olnacha Dunes. Bill and I broke off and rode over the next mountain to meet up with them again at Olancha.

    We had some beautiful scenery, some nice sandy jeep tracks and got buzzed by some boys in their new F35's.

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    Catching up with everyone at the Dunes

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    From the Olancha Dunes the group was slabbing it to Ridgecrest for lunch so Bill and I jumped back on the dirt working our way to Ridgecrest to meet up again.

    We jumped on the Cactus Flats trail and saw some great stuff

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    We found the smallest dry lake I've ever seen

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    #30
  11. bigtodd

    bigtodd Hi, wanna ride?

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,632
    Location:
    Surf City, USA
    Friday Lost Tour Continued

    Bill and I caught up to the group in Ridgecrest who had just finished their lunch. We all bombed off for the Pinnacles and had a nice ride out to the site.

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    Everyone regrouping after some exploring

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    After Bill and I made sure everyone was on their way back out towards Trona, we were riding out and I came across Sean from Rawhyde who was leading a group through DV. He had just done 2,000 miles with the Frenchies riding the new wet GS bikes on the One World Tour. That dude has a great gig.

    Things got a little hectic after that and no more pics. One of the GS800 riders had a yard sale moment going out to the Pinnacles and we had a very technical ride down to Pennamint Valley ahead of us. That had a couple riders bail on that and slabbed it then we had a guy go down a couple of times and got banged up pretty good on his last one. Finn did a great job as ride leader making sure everyone got back to camp. We got to practice a 3 rider, 2 bike shuffle back to the highway to get the injured rider out. Quite a day!
    #31
  12. bigtodd

    bigtodd Hi, wanna ride?

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,632
    Location:
    Surf City, USA
    My Saturday planned ride had me a little nervous as I was going to be riding with some REALLY HEAVY HITTERS that ride really fast. I honestly was just hoping to keep them in sight and not be a liability.

    The first part of our ride had us retracing the first part of my Friday ride and wow did we cover that track fast. Then it was a race up the mountain to Cerro Gordo.

    The A team looking out over Owens Valley; Pat (Pomo), Rob (FZCruizer), Peter (Grinch), Shawn (Dzrtracin), John (Johngil), Jimmy (1224R); not pictured Bill (conteacher) and Chris (browneye).

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    In Cerro Gordo was the first time I realized how young one of the riders was, Pat (Pomo) for sure is going to get carded at the bar.

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    From Cerro Gordo we headed for the Salt Tram, going up and down that trail chasing these guys was a real confidence booster for me ... a long as I didn't look off the side ... yikes.

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    John and Shawn discussing engineering

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    Grinch not so interested in engineering

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    A nice gathering

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    Pretty sure Jimmy is having a moment of premonition of what Sunday morning is going to feel like :1drink

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    #32
  13. Stinez

    Stinez Rhymes with Heinz :D

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Oddometer:
    49,741
    Location:
    Nor Cal
    I partied a bit with the kid on the left Sat night, that is until he went to bed early...~3am...the lightweight. :deal

    That oughta bring him out. :lol3


    PS I also told him that he'd be better off getting a cheaper bike to learn to ride in the dirt because dropping that big bike has to suck in several ways. :evil

    PPS - Jimmy Lewis supplied the Keg and the tap. :clap
    #33
  14. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    14,263
    Location:
    Circumlocution Office of Little Dorrit
    I went all the way to a DV Rally and never even made it into the park! Panamint Valley just had too much to offer for me to make it in there this year.

    Great fun on two Lost tours of duty. Finn and Nancy are great ride leaders.

    Really enjoyed meeting and riding with Dan and Casey.

    My trip started near San Jose, and I didn't want to ride all the way to DV in one day so I stayed the night in the San Joaquin Valley with family. I hate the I-5 and H-99 routes South (101 ain't much better) so I take my time with H25 from Hollister. This goes thru Tres Pinos, so you might as well stop at Flapjacks for grub:

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    Then 198 thru Coalinga and I tried a different route east this time: straight out of Coalinga on Polk St, becomes Jayne Ave, then Nevada Ave after going under I-5 and crossing Avenal Cutoff Rd. This road goes thru, straight thru, what was once the largest lake west of the Mississippi River: Tulare Lake.

    During high runoff years it got up over 700 square miles in size, but most of it was very shallow. I was told there was a sustainable turtle fishery that supplied San Francisco, truck-pulled seine nets would haul in thousands of pounds of fish at a pull, and ducks would blacken the sky, before it was drained and converted to agriculture. You wouldn't recognize it as a lake bed today; this is looking due south from just east of Stratford straight thru the heart of what was once Tulare Lake:

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    I didn't bother with Nevada Ave; it was a busy dusty dirt ag road, but it sure would be something to have a lake in that part of the valley. So off to a great night with family, then the next morning I took my favorite route over the Southern Sierra Nevada: Old Stage Rd to Greenhorn Pass, thru Kernville, and down 178.

    More later after I get some paid work done...
    #34
  15. outlaws

    outlaws Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    369
    Some fellow I have never met returned most if not all the tools I had lost on the trail when the bag it was carried in exploded. I can't believe someone found it let alone found a way to get it back to me. To top it off he didn't want to be reimbursed with shipping cost. What an awesome group of peeps!

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    #35
  16. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,097
    Location:
    Glendora, Ca
    You say that now but if you knew what those pliers and webbing went through before being returned you might think otherwise...

    :lol3


    #36
  17. Dustodust

    Dustodust Long timer

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    Oct 9, 2009
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    Location:
    Hillsboro Oregon
    Looks like it would have been a fun ride just for the entertainment value alone. Seeing the bottom of all those bikes, bike parts and body parts scattered along the trail would have been a hoot !, hope there was a paramedic and tow truck following you guys ! :rofl
    #37
  18. McKay

    McKay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    992
    Location:
    Clovis, Ca.
    We farm all that land at Jayne and I5!
    Beautiful place, aint it! :rofl

    #38
  19. McKay

    McKay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    992
    Location:
    Clovis, Ca.
    Don't forget all the spoons!

    #39
  20. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,097
    Location:
    Glendora, Ca
    Not going there....

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    < walks away from keyboard >
    #40