Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by RedRockRider, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Superhawk

    Superhawk Been here awhile

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    Flatlands of NJ
    Merry Christmas to you all from rainy NJ - an unusually warm 60 and rainy :)
  2. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS

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    Lansing, MI
    Be Well. May the New Year bring you and yours Peace and Prosperity.
    Simba

    P.S. no snow doughnuts, but I did go down at slow speed on some ice. The fat rear tire just gave out. Nothing I could do. Gear shifter bent a little but otherwise no harm.
  3. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for all the holiday greetings. :wave

    Just finished a Christmas party at my house with a few riding and canyoneering friends and a bunch of docs my wife works with. Good times. A few lurker buddies. StG was the only local inmate. Thought about trying to get him to dress up like an elf for the party . . . no luck. Maybe next year. :lol3

    Mrs. StG is darling . . . StG married up. Just like me. Seems to be a common theme within the ADV brotherhood. :D
  4. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Brian Head. New owner has tuned up the inside of the lodge a bit. Still . . . it's no Deer Valley. :lol3

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    We've been out on the skis, but haven't taken the snow machines out yet. Not quite enough snow coverage yet. Too many "thin" spots on the "trails" around town. Looking forward to more snow!

    Best wishes to everyone for 2014! Healthy, happy, and lots of motorcycle time! :D
  5. G19Tony

    G19Tony Been here awhile

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    KLAS
    Nice V. I'm getting my V ready for the summer. New PR3's. I'm going to use my time off and take a bike trip or two. At least thats the plan. I'll be up your way again on some tune up rides. Have fun on the snow. :D
  6. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Wife and son are now back in Philadelphia visiting her dad. Since I was there at Thanksgiving . . . I got the "moto" pass. :clap In lovely Pahrump, NV tonight. I'll try to post of few pics if the hotel internet will cooperate. :D

    First . . . here's my dad on a hike in Snow Canyon (adjacent to St. George) on New Year's Eve (yesterday). Dad's B-day is Jan 1st. 76 years old and going strong. We have a tradition of going for a hike on his B-day. Since we are both out of town again, we went a day early. Snow Canyon is beautiful. Our favorite area is by the petrified sand dunes.

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    Dad will reappear on his moto shortly. He's been out of the country the last few weeks (in India with Mom). For the most part he just missed some very cold St. George weather. Moto times returning shortly.


    So . . . the plan is to seek out warmer weather by riding the Versys towards Death Valley. Here are a few pics from late this afternoon.

    In Inyo County, CA on the Old Spanish Trail Highway just before Emigrant Pass. Heading from Calvada Springs to Tecopa.

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    Major intersection in Tecopa, CA.

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    And the post office. All closed up on New Years Day after the Christmas rush. :lol3

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    Didn't take long for the Death Valley-like scenery to appear. Saw one reference to "Lake Tecopa."

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    Nice contrast with the green V posing next to the salt flats. :D

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    Beautiful late afternoon light. North on CA 127 to Shoshone, then east/north on 178/372 to Pahrump.

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    2014 is off to a good start. Moto time! Thanks for checking in. Best wishes to everyone. Ride safely. :wave
  7. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    seal beach, ca.
    Looks like the Kawi is in it's element.

    Enjoy the "me" time and openness of our great deserts.

    Happy & safe '14 RRR. :thumb
  8. idahoscout

    idahoscout Adventurer

    Joined:
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    RRR - My wife and I spent a great week down in St. George. Enjoyed the warmth, great riding, scenery, and food! We rode the Joshua Tree Backway and looped on Old 91. The Sand Hollow Wash part was pretty muddy in spots, so it was slow going until we climbed higher. The Backway both north and south was fun and scenic. Next day we did Eardly Road to Lytle Ranch, then through to Bunker Pass and onto Motoqua and out. Incredible change in the environment going northward - from very "desert" in the south to pinyon-juniper in the North. Lots of ups and downs, rocks, and turns. Loved it all! Also rode down to the Little Black Mountain Petroglyphs, then cut across to Warner Valley and Ft. Pierce , and the dinosaur track site. Looped up to Hurricane and back to St George. The deep sand in Warner Valley was a challenge for a 2-up KLR but it was not too long. Got to enjoy some great food at the Painted Pony and Georges on the Corner. So, thanks so much for the advice and for sharing your knowledge of great rides.
  9. Hoot Gibson

    Hoot Gibson Banned

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    Your photos and story line has me torn between my beloved Kawasaki Bikes and my equally beloved Yamaha....great stuff, and your Pop ain't that much older than me...{turn 65 in March} you just gotta keep on truckin until your truck runs out of gas...:lol3

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  10. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Thanks, guys, for the comments. :nod

    Started the day out in Pahrump. Best Western was nice enough. All of the hotel breakfasts are near identical, and completely average. But, hey, it's enough to get you started. :D

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    Quickly back into California, just west of Pahrump.

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    Stopped for the classic "long, lonely highway" pic on CA 178. This stretch is at least five miles without a curve. Liked the pic with the truck, so this is the one to post. :thumb

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    Down at the other end of the straight-away. Light is better in this direction anyway. :D

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    Amargosa Valley mural on side of building in Shoshone, CA. Very pleasing artwork.

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    The general store in Shoshone. Not like the Walmart in Pahrump.

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    This guy was inside. Not sure why he is wearing sunglasses. Perhaps his eyes aren't the same quality as the rest of him. :huh

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    Death Valley towns take pride in preserving details from the past. A few pans on old stovetops.

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    Into the National Park. No entrance booth here.

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    Low angle highway pic. Very little traffic in this part of the park. Easy to do.

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    Salsberry Pass (on Benchmark Maps). Excellent motorcycle roads and almost no traffic at the southern end of Death Valley NP.

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    More excellent roads and scenery just below Jubilee Pass, dropping into Death Valley proper.

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    Lots of ruins in Death Valley, mostly related to mining operations.

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    Part of the old structure. Almost like the ruins from the Greeks and Romans. :rofl

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    The Versys waiting patiently for the next stretch of asphalt. Ashford Peak in background.

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    Another long straight stretch of road heading north towards Badwater. Classic "tourist" shot. :D Too good to pass up.

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    After the jumping was done . . . just the road. Complete with all the dips. Very fun on the moto!

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    Salt flats and Mormon Point.

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    Badwater. National Park Service as done a good job designing the viewing areas. Everyone can get close to the water without making tracks or interfering with photography. Lots of people. Parking lot almost full.

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    I think this sign has been here for 20 years. Or at least one very similar.

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    Looking out across the mud and salt flats.

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    One more with the water. Perhaps my favorite pic of the day.

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    Looking way up at the "Sea Level" sign. About 282 ft to be precise. :wink:

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    Artist Palette Drive. Scenic one-way loop. Highly recommended.

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    Forces of nature at work.

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    Artist's Palette.

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    The sign.

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    Afternoon hike up Golden Canyon. Did this hike many years ago and wanted to do it again.

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    Typical scenery in Golden Canyon.

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    Near the Red Cathedral at the top end of Golden Canyon.

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    Attempt at artistic pattern.

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    Final pic in late afternoon light.

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    Sleeping tonight in Lone Pine, CA. After the Golden Canyon hike it was time to get on the V and make some time. More to follow tomorrow. Thanks for checking in. :wave
  11. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

    Joined:
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    Morning RRR,

    The Eastern Sierra Visitors Center just south of town(Lone Pine)at the 136, is well worth a stop. They'll have some info on the Alabama Hills, just west of you. If time permits, take a quick ride through the hills! Whitney Portal Rd, to Tuttle Creek Rd, to Horshoe Meadow Rd is all paved and a photography bonanza.

    Hey if you want to jumble up the trip, i've got plenty of room here in Seal. Two empty beds, garage and plenty of food & spirits on Main Street! :ear

    Sam
  12. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    Sand Hollow, Idaho
    The photo with the kids jumping was kinda cool. This one made me start thinking... Very thought provoking!
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  13. UpST8

    UpST8 turnin gas to noise

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    Location:
    californication
    Alabama Hills :nod well worth a ride through
  14. Byork

    Byork Novice

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    N. IN
    Very cool pictures! Wish I was closer to all the action :cry
  15. stickman1432

    stickman1432 Crusty Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
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    767
    Location:
    So.Cal.& St George UT-Baja-riding anywhere
    RRR you are making a lot of us very envious with all the riding. I need to finish my house in St George and get back to having fun and riding. Keep the fun level high............! :wink::nod
  16. StG

    StG Been here awhile

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    SW Utah
    Excellent way to kick off the new year:D! Have a safe trip home.
  17. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    St. George, UT
    Thanks, inmates, especially Samthg. Too cold this morning to venture into the Alabama Hills. Didn't really have that as part of the agenda. I probably missed out. Good reason to go back. And thanks for the invite to Seal . . . sooner or later . . . :D

    So here is the morning view from the parking lot of the Best Western Hotel in Lone Pine, CA.

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    Zooming in on Mount Whitney.

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    Morning temp of 23 degrees. If I wanted to be cold, I could have stayed in St. George. :lol3 Part of the idea of going to "Death Valley" was to find some warm temps. :D

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    That famous "hotel" breakfast. You've all been there. Eat some calories, get warm, and get going.

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    I did stop at the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center. Pic taken from their parking lot. The visitor center is well set-up and definitely worth the time. Samthg . . . perhaps we'll have to plan a rendezvous in Lone Pine at some point.

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    Long distances out here. Took every opportunity to stop and fill up on gas. This station is in Keeler, CA.

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    Also stopped by the market to get some snacks for lunch. Didn't want to get stuck paying Death Valley prices for everything.

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    Either the local school house or church. Not sure which. Poked around Keeler a bit to give things a chance to warm up before gaining elevation back towards Death Valley.

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    Looking back across the Owens Lake Bed toward the Sierra Nevada.

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    CA 190, looking backwards. Prior to gaining significant elevation.

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    Glamour shot on the paved road to Darwin, CA. Recommend this side trip.

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    Welcome to Darwin. Interesting place. Go check it out.

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    The old post office.

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    Just across the street is a boarded up Dance Hall. The coolest thing . . . there is dance music being played inside the old building . . . loud enough to hear from in front of the building. Some one in Darwin has a good sense of humor. :lol3

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    Lots of abandoned buildings and vehicles although people still live here. There is some movement. Very strange combination.

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    One of the main streets.

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    Further up the hill.

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    Fairly talented local artist.

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    Community garden.

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    Current sign.

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    Inside the garden.

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    And the well-dressed caretaker, complete with cigarette.

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    Old cars . . . Death Valley style.

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    More street scenes.

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    More artwork. Darwin appears to have quite a few artistic types, just waiting to be discovered.

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    And the plaque from the artist.

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    Wouldn't be CA without a crazy igloo house. Very environmentally correct according to a sign on the door. Had to be a bit careful about what I did with the camera. Had the distinct feeling that I wasn't alone. :deal

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    Another old car . . . and what appears to be company-sponsored housing. Lots of local mining.

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    Final pic of Darwin . . . a living ghost town.

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    Back to the main road and back into Death Valley National Park.

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    Heading east on beautiful, new, smooth asphalt. Near the dirt cut-off to Saline Valley.

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    Father Crowley Point.

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    Close-up. For the really good views ride out the short dirt road to the overlook.

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    View down Rainbow Canyon from standing next to the monument.

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    View down into Panamint Valley from the dirt road overlook.

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    View without the bike. The short dirt road to the overlook might be new. Might not be good for a Goldwing but any other bike should be able to make it.

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    Same viewpoint, looking slightly further south down Panamint Valley.

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    Down all the beautiful turns to Panamint Springs.

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    Old equipment . . . and some super rip-off gas prices.

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    Seemed like quite a bit more that all the other Death Valley locations. Generally I topped off the Versys at most stations and never hit reserve.

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    More old equipment out front. Very familiar area to lots of inmates.

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    Since I was dressed for cold weather riding . . . up to the charcoal kilns.

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    Last two miles is hard pan with only a few bumps or loose rocks. The pavement up Emigrant Canyon is smooth with very little traffic. There is loose gravel in many of the turns because cars are always pulling on an off the road to take pics. Very fun moto riding, but watch for rocks (big and small) on the road surface.

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    Info on the Charcoal Kilns.

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    On the way back down.

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    Didn't go into the townsite of Skidoo or venture off the pavement. Will have to bring a dual sport bike back to Death Valley for a different type of riding. That said . . . the Versys was very well suited for the distance, speed, curves, and straightaways!

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    Mirror shot.

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    The view out the front.

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    Coming down from the Charcoal Kiln area, almost back to Wildrose.

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    Frequent short stops to take in all the views.

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    Back at Emigrant Pass and heading down.

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    At the Mesquite Sand Dunes by mid/late afternoon. This place is crawling with people . . . not like Darwin.

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    Trying to find a few spots on the dunes with no people.

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    Everyone gravitates towards the tallest dunes.

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    A few figures for scale.

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    Some great dead wood, relatively close to the parking area.

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    Another long straight stretch of road.

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    The Devil's Cornfield in late afternoon light.

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    Fading light by the time I got to Ubehebe Crater. Still impressive. Good reason to go back.

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    The sign. Excellent info from the National Park Service.

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    In Beatty, NV tonight. Living large in the Motel 6, with superfast internet (not). Will be in Las Vegas with family on Saturday night, slight upgrade in accommodations to MGM Grande. May not have time to mess with SmugMug, etc. Other things on the agenda since I haven't seen my wife and son for a few days. Will post up as time permits. Back in St. George late on Sunday.

    Thanks for all the comments. Just fyi . . . haven't seen any speed traps . . . and very few LEOs . . . mostly helping stranded motorists. It's a big world out there inmates . . . go exploring!!! :thumb
  18. Superhawk

    Superhawk Been here awhile

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    Flatlands of NJ
    Darwin reminds me of the movie - the hills have eyes :)
  19. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Now serving just Snohomish County
    Darwin sure does have a creepy vibe. There is a cool dirt route to get there from Panamint Springs. It is rough, rocky, and sandy tho so not really suiltable for the equipment you had. There is sure lots to explore in DV on a dual sport! :D

    One of the truly impressive things to me about Death Valley was the elevation changes and the changes in temperature. Did you notice a big change in temp as you dropped down into Stovepipe Wells from Panamint Springs?

    Thanks for sharing your adventures. It has been a while since I made a comment but I always enjoy catching up. :clap
  20. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    St. George, UT