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

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

  1. Hypnosavant

    Hypnosavant Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    Got some bad news when my buddy, Goodcat8, had to back out of the rally. Decided to head out anyway. Arrived LATE Wednesday night. This was my dinner...
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    ...and this was my breakfast.
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    You better believe that's a $6 Bismuth.
    Here's the digs. The cots weren't exactly cozy but it beat sleeping on the ground.
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    Missed the morning ride with the Urals so I decided to jump on Browneye's Osborne Cabin ride. I believe the description was "Take the easy way to the cabin. Grab a beer."
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    I have no actual photos of the ride to the cabin because I spent most of it on my side. But, thanks to the seemingly endless patience of Rider914, I eventually made it.
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    I killed it on the way out with a little coaching from KLRrob and made it back just in time for grub and some beer that was NOT Pabst Blue Ribbon.
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    #61
  2. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9,468
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Yep, that was the easy way. The hard way is through a wash with tight turns in soft sand and gravel, steps, and boulders to dodge.

    The ride was intended to be a casual 20 mile putt to a scenic spot for cocktail hour. We brought 6 beers.

    I hesitate to tell people what they should ride and/or what rides they should or shouldn't participate in, but I had to do that for Saturday's ride to Cerro Gordo. I guess 'till you've actually done it, or something similar, it's hard to describe how difficult it can be for a new rider or the wrong kind of bike.

    My first visit to DV was the 2011 event, rode there on my Kawasaki Versys. We started out from Ubehebe towards Race Track and I could immediately tell it was a bad idea on that bike. I knew I needed something setup for that kind of riding.

    I'll bet next year you'll have a dualsport setup for dez, right??? :freaky
    #62
  3. Hypnosavant

    Hypnosavant Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    Don't get me wrong, your description was accurate I was just inexperienced. I wouldn't have changed a thing.

    Your the first person I've met that's owned a Versys. What did you think of it compared to your tiger? I'm already shopping for a sexy thumper to bring next year. Right now the Husky Terra's at the top of my list. :wink:
    #63
  4. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9,468
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Don't wish to 'jack the thread, but the Tiger is 25lbs heavier with 50% more power and suspension travel. With the 21" front there's really no comparison. I put about 8K on my Versys, was a neat little bike, but the Tiger is substantially more bike. It's still my road bike though, wouldn't think of riding it to Osborne. :rofl


    The Terra is 40lbs heavier than myTE630, with 2" less suspension travel on each end. It's a nice bike, but not nearly a real offroader. Ken (blaisew) from Houston had both at the rally. As capable as the TE is, it's still no comparison to a 450/525 size KTM/Husky, etc. If you're keeping the 'strom, consider a plated dirtbike - a real one. :wink:
    #64
  5. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,324
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    :clap

    Can hardly wait for next year!!

    I put out a call for anybody who wanted to ride out Wednesday - Ratchadaddy (Paul) volunteered to ride with me and my little xt250 (warned him that top speed would be 65 mph, but he's a great guy and sacrified himself to slow land). Rode to 29 Palms Tuesday night and met Paul for breakfast Wednesday morning.

    Onto the road! We rode the scenic route to Amboy, through the Mojave Preserve up to Baker and then Death Valley. Up and over the pass to Panamint Springs. Yay! Geez, my butt hurt.....

    Had a few gas issues on the way, that is to say, I had some gas issues. I usually get about 120 miles before going to reserve. 105 miles came along and noooo!!!! Went to reserve. Really thought I could make it to Baker, could see it down the hill and...... nooooo!!!! Paul gave me some go juice (I had a gallon, but it was buried under ten tons of junk) then I filled the rest of the way up in Baker.

    I had a motel room for that night so I told Paul I would see him tomorrow for the Charcoal Kilns ride, had some food, hauled all of my crap off the bike and took a nap. Whoever was in room 102 - you snore...:rofl

    The next morning I crawled my way down to Mr. G's trailer to let him know I was wimping out - woke up with a headache and just pooped out from the day before. Greg invited me in for some coffee - we were sitting yacking when he realized that there were probably people outside waiting for him. Ooops.
    Saw off the group and then a couple of hours later moved my stuff over to a tent cabin (if you saw a little bike with 4 feet of crap bungied on with Sidi boots on top - that was me, and no, I didn't ride in that way!)

    Next morning met up with Blaisew (Ken) for the Hunter Mountain - Racetrack - Ubehebe ride. I didn't realize that we were going over Hunter Mountain first so when the group made a right and headed up the hill I kept wondering if I was on the ride! We made it to the top of the hill, almost to the start of the Hunter Mountain road when Ken pulled over....Front brake caliper hanging off - lost the bolts :eek1

    Staring at the bike. Male bonding time. I took a pic and then looked for the bolts.

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    Ken, say it ain't so! We walked both side of the road - no bolts. After much pondering and repetitive asking for directions :lol3 the group decided to continue on.

    Off we went. I've been to the Racetrack, Teakettle Junction and Ubehebe Crater, but I wanted to see new parts of the park. After getting off the crumbling asphalt road part of the road, I made a classic noob mistake. There was a rut going down the middle of the road that I was trying to avoid. So I looked at it.....yep, went right in. After some serious wobbling and thanking Yamaha for making a short bike I got my wheels back under me. Paul was positive I was going over and he should have been right.

    We stopped a few times for pics (I had my hand-me-down camera; the views are so vast that I knew I couldn't do them justice). Hit an intersection and out came the maps, GPS units and a lot of confusion. Where we were headed the road looked like a piece of spaghetti, splatted on the wall, that had looped over itself - multiple times. If you decoded the loops the directions came down to just keep going left :lol3

    Suddenly, there was Ken! Our leader was back!

    We headed down hill when those of us in front (pretty much the only time for me all day) realized that we were short a few bikes. Waited down the hill and here comes the rest of the group with a coasting bike and a yelp for wd-40.

    Lots of standing around staring at the bike while TekurRides (a very nice guy who turned out to have a pretty bad day, but gets the reward for having the best attitude of the rally) gets it started. Lots more male bonding time. I took another picture....

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    Rode into a beautiful valley full of Joshua Trees and then headed into the flats for the "Silt Bed of Hell". It was a 100 years of baby powder and bottomless. Part of the group headed through - I had Tek in front of me so I had a perfect view of him low siding. I honked my horn about 10 times - like I thought the people in front could actually hear me - parked my bike and ran to our downed rider. He was pinned and made it very clear that he wanted that bike off his foot - NOW. It was pretty ugly - the foot peg had pinned his foot into the silt, ouch (wearing street boots)...I tried to lift the bike just enough for him to pull his foot out, but couldn't do it. Luckily, Paul, John and unknown to me, a medic (sorry, don't remember the name!) were right there and pulled up the bike. We spent a little time getting Tek settled, checked him over and then he rode through the rest of the silt.

    No pics - was too worried about his foot.

    Me through the silt - paddle, paddle, paddle......

    Met up with the rest of the group and rode through a gap (Burro Canyon?)

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    down to Tea Kettle Junction (Ken has the group pic - Ken can you post so I can get a copy? - I'll pm). Most of us decided to ride out - a few rode the 6 miles up to the Racetrack. Rode down the washboard to Ubehebe (not too bad).

    An aside: I don't stand on my pegs because my knees are crap. The guys tried to get me to stand and couldn't figure out how I was comfortable sitting the whole ride. It was fine, plus, women pay a lot of money for a similar cellulite reducing procedure....:lol3

    Checked out Ubehebe for a bit - remembered the time I hiked down with some camping friends. Easy going down, coming up - not so much.

    Pavement back - Paul gave me my license plate when we got back. Paul also rescued my shoe in Amboy....License plate is now zip tied.

    Next day I missed my group going to Calcite Cliffs, Rhyolite and Titus Canyon - still not sure how. Met up with Nubs (York) and took off for Rhyolite and Titus. Great day and great company.

    York getting his meditation on....

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    Woman Warrior

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    Apparently, a natural blonde.....

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    Does anyone NOT have this pic?

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    York taking in the view

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    Down the canyon on the Little Donkey

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    Stovepipe Wells for lunch and then back to camp, without losing anything off my bike.

    I was going to stay until Monday, but when the wind came up Sunday morning I decided to head to Lone Pine (I have this week off - teacher....yay!). Had some lunch with Macadamia (Andy) and let the wind blow me up the hill. Still got sucky gas mileage - xt250s do not like going higher speeds with a heavy load (my stuff and me - not sure which was worse....)

    Beautiful ride past Keeler along the east side of Owens Lake.

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    Lowest spot in the US to the highest in the lower 48. The white line to Whitney

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    Alabama Hills and Mount Whitney

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    As soon as I hit Keeler I heard my phone coming back to life with the chime for voice messages. When I checked into my motel I listened to 3, increasingly hysterical, messages from my Mom wondering where I was. I know I told her I wouldn't have cell service until Monday at the earliest.....argh. I don't know what came over me, but when I returned her call I told her that some of us had ridden to Mexico after the rally and were in a Tijuana jail on pot smuggling charges. She was not amused....

    She called the next morning to tell me that school districts were recalling all teachers for the remainder of spring break. Sorry Mom, not even close, but I am watching my back.....

    Goofing around the Alabama Hills

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    I'm going to bring my good camera next time..........or maybe I should have won Photoshop at the raffle?

    Loaded up - don't want to go home!
    Did I mention that I am a bungie-ninja?

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    Iron butted it back to Temecula (I know its only about 250 miles - but I was on a freakin' xt250). If you were on a KTM with an orange helmet, just north of Lake Elsinore on Tuesday afternoon, you passed me. Wondered if you were at the rally..

    Back to reality.

    Cleaning aquariums, putting stuff away, washing clothes, washing bikes, procrastinating on grading papers. And looking forward to next year! :clap
    #65
  6. ParaMud

    ParaMud Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    639
    Location:
    Orange, CA
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    #66
  7. McKay

    McKay Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,037
    Location:
    Clovis, Ca.
    I'm the medic and sweeper that day but we also had assistance from Rob from Canada (RED05) at teakettle, I don't know where the 'Chad' came from that's not his name (I cant pronounce it :D) But he is known as TekurRides .
    I had a great time with you folks, even though we rode first gear out helping tek get back to safety. His foot is a mess.

    Still think you need to STANDUP! Paul and I had many 'oh shit' moments thinking you were going down, you proved us all wrong! :clap
    Cant wait until next year...
    #67
  8. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,324
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    Hey :clap

    The only place I think I got Chad was when he and his friend were introducing themselves to someone else and I thought he was the one who said "just call me Chad". Better change that to TekurRides!

    I'll have to check out knee braces...I'm going to try to hit Jimmy Lewis' class before the weather gets hot in Pahrump (and he closes down for the summer!)

    Short bike - long legs....:lol3 and I really hate picking up my bike!
    I thought I only had 2 Oh Shite moments once we got off the broken up road, must have looked worse than I felt from the back :evil
    #68
  9. macadamia

    macadamia XK Red 27 Technique

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,390
    Location:
    Idaho Falls, ID
    Dude, I highly recommend it... This was my third year - first year on a street bike, 2002 BMW R1100S, and its final drive seal blew out on the way there, but no bike naps... second year on a medium enduro bike, 2007 BMW G650X Challenge, had some electrical difficulty the first ride into the dirt that had me stranded in the desert for about 9 hours waiting for a ride back, and lots of bike naps... third year (this year) on a huge enduro bike, 2012 R1200 GS Adventure, had some difficulty on the first day of off roading, but it was an awesome trip, and only one bike nap...
    #69
  10. McKay

    McKay Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,037
    Location:
    Clovis, Ca.
    Jimmy WONT let you sit!!! :evil


    #70
  11. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,324
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    awww, crap....:eek1 Maybe I can rig something with duct tape and a couple of broom handles....:lol3
    #71
  12. rider914

    rider914 Agnostic Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,968
    Location:
    Alta Loma, CA
    Arrived PSR wednesday afternoon after 5 days and ~1100 miles of wandering the NV and CA deserts.
    (I'll get to that later :deal)

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    Secured one of the last two tent spaces from Mrs. Roboto, got setup, showered, then off to :dg and :beer
    Nice to see some familiar faces already in camp, met some new ones as well :wave

    Off to a slow start thursday morning, waiting for the common folk to roll out as more inmates gradually rolled in.

    After relocating camp for the rest of the weekend, I offered to run sweep for Browneye's ride to Osborne Cabin.

    Let's Ride! :ricky
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    We hit the dirt at Minietta Road and the small bikes quickly disappeared.
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    I waited a bit for the dust to clear, then trailed Hypnosavant (Chad?) up into the foothills.
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    Regroup near the turnoff to Lookout City.
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    Graded road turns to gravel wash soon after... Progress slowed, but Chad was not detered.
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    Another regroup at the turnoff to Osborne Canyon.
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    The last 3 miles up to the cabin was a grind for the Wee, but Chad wouldn't give up :pynd
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    I think there were ~5 naps, but I didn't get a picture of any. Chad either had his bike up before I could get my sidestand down, or he was partly pinned so pictures were not a priority.

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    Finally made it :clap
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    The job of sweeper is a thankless one and I arrived to find that all the frosty beverages were gone :bluduh

    Whateva... Osborne is a cool spot.
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    Cabin was very clean and looked to have some improvements since last time.
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    Time to start heading back...
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    Chad said downhill was easier... no naps on the way back :clap
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    Somehow we got mixed in with LostRider's group...
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    In proper fashion, none of them seemed sure of where they were trying to go.
    Some said Lookout City, some said Minietta Cabin, some said Osborne Cabin :dunno

    The GS looked to be about done for the day :knary
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    I did what I could to at least get everyone heading in the same direction...
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    ... then hustled on to catch up with my group :ricky

    Caught up with Chad chasing KLRRob down to the highway.
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    M1Jeep also makin' tracks :wave
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    Once all were back on pavement, I zoomed up to PSR for some unfinished business...
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    About freekin' time! :beer
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    Buddy Stinez was enjoying the JL torpedo keg as well :freaky
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    Things were lookin' a little fuzzy by the time the moon was up.
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    MC Joel and Grinchy :wave
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    :kumbaya
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    More later...

    -M
    #72
  13. Shunka

    Shunka Supervision Required

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,610
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA
    I know, I know...:D

    Spring is swamped for me. I only get one or two weekends off this time of year with track meets, Easter (wife has objections), and I take the week of spring break off and we do our last family desert trip then. Seems like every year there is a conflict for me. :cry

    I do still plan on brewing up some home brew for this next year though for the Stewards dinner though even if I can't make it. We just couldn't make enough in time for this years event.
    #73
  14. macadamia

    macadamia XK Red 27 Technique

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,390
    Location:
    Idaho Falls, ID
    At lunch, the food was good but the conversation was awesome... I'm glad I got to meet you and spend some time with you. I look forward to riding around with you in San Diego County. :D
    #74
  15. macadamia

    macadamia XK Red 27 Technique

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Idaho Falls, ID
    They do make knee braces, ya know...
    #75
  16. macadamia

    macadamia XK Red 27 Technique

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,390
    Location:
    Idaho Falls, ID
    Yeah, I understand... Easter was a deal breaker for lots of FFs... I look forward to sampling your beer... don't you live near me?... :evil
    #76
  17. macadamia

    macadamia XK Red 27 Technique

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,390
    Location:
    Idaho Falls, ID
    Well, I wanted to make it to the hottie springs this year. Everything started out well, riding along with Cowgirl and Rider914... After stopping at the fork to Hunter Mountain and airing down, we proceeded to head down south pass.

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    A couple of miles down south pass, after the second stream wash, I got into trouble with the large rocks while heading down hill. I was going too slow and when I applied my front brake, it acted like a panic stop and stopped me cold. The front tire turned and caught a space between a couple of large rocks and with my momentum gone, I went down. A couple of other riders stopped and assisted Rider914 and me to get the GS Adventure back on it's feet. At this point, Rider914 and I had a frank discussion about how much farther it was to the hot springs (far), how much easier it was going to get (not any), and whether or not we'd be back in time for dinner (unlikely). I was given the choice to continue but I decided it was in my best interest to turn around at this point so the others in my group could continue on and finish their ride and I could return to the camp and take a break. I did not want to ruin Rider914 or Cowgirl's ride.

    Unfortunately, I do not remember the names of the other 2 riders that stopped and helped me get going. One of them rode my bike up the hill past the first stream wash like it was nothing. I walked up the hill back to my bike. At first, I was embarrassed that I could not complete the ride - I'm not usually one to quit. After accepting a cold water bottle from a nice Jeeper coming down the pass, I knew I made the right choice and got over it... I made it back to camp with no other issues. I actually had a blast riding Saline Valley Rode twice.

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    As for the GS Adventure, it got a couple of scrapes and scratches, and the only carnage was one of the 2 spring bosses on the kickstand broke off and caused my kickstand to bounce in the up position the rest of the weekend while riding off road.

    Rider914 said he took a photo of my bike while it was napping, but I have not seen it yet. Do you have it, Matt? edit: photo found of my nap...

    Photo by Rider914
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    BTW, I'm very impressed by the progress Cowgirl has made since last year. This year, she led this ride the whole way and I did not see her again after the Hunter Mountain fork until she returned to camp that evening. Great job, Cindy!!!
    #77
  18. Lost Roadie

    Lost Roadie Rider

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,595
    Location:
    On The Road


    Fixed that for you. :wink: :rofl
    #78
  19. superhobie

    superhobie Soil Sampler

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl
    #79
  20. Shunka

    Shunka Supervision Required

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,610
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA
    PM sent.
    #80