Wild Wild West 2

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by freefallen, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I've been there, done that. Don't do that.
    #41
  2. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    New Jersey
    The next day

    It got a little cooler at night but not by a lot, 100F, more importantly the sun went down. My water was like tea, not boiled but hot. I couldn't get any food down and in these situations it's best not to eat anyway. I knew that no one will be searching for me until morning.


    I instructed my son, who stayed with his friends in SF, to call the local rangers if I don't check in with him at the designated time. I later found out my son contacted a few different sheriff departments and filed a missing person's case.


    The night went by uneventful. I laid there quietly looking at the sky and listening to any noises in the night. I didn't really sleep, I may fallen asleep a few times only to wake up a few minutes later.


    [​IMG]

    This is how the road started, doesn't look too bad:

    [​IMG]

    Further down the road it become a lot more rocky and larger boulders started appearing which I had to maneuver around:

    [​IMG]

    Yet another drowning:

    [​IMG]

    The first rays of sunlight started to shine through the clouds. Here comes my death I thought, 117F is no joke. This kind of temperature is good for a sauna. I didn't want to make any extra movements because the hot air burned my skin. In a sauna you sit for 10-15 minutes, leave and even splash yourself with cold water. Here there is no exit and only hot water.

    The first morning rays of sun:


    [​IMG]

    At night I remembered I had a case of beer that I bought in preparation for meeting my friend in Las Vegas. I drank one bottle then and one in the morning. It's pretty disgusting drinking hot beer but it is liquid after all and it contains some vitamins.

    I drank a hot red bull, it gave me a little boost of energy. Next came the monotonous process of waiting. I hung my bright orange cooling vest on a bush and laid out my bright cloths to increase my odds of being spotted.


    [​IMG]

    A sudden gust of wind knocked down my tripod and jacket. I got up on my knees to fix the tripod and saw a jeep slowly approaching on the horizon. There are no words to explain what I felt seeing the ranger. I relaxed and experienced a rush of emotions at the same time. For some time I couldn't say a single word. He asked for my name and license then took a picture of it and me. He radioed back to base "yep this is the guy we're looking for" and then added "he's alive and well but on the wrong type of bike".

    The ranger told me that I made the right choice that I stayed put, the last 8 miles were even worse.

    He offered me black coffee w/o sugar, an orange and sweets. I can assure you that at the moment it was the most delicious coffee I ever had. I will never forget the taste of the coffee.


    Coffee is served, my stuff is loaded in the jeep:

    [​IMG]

    We loaded my gear into the jeep, pushed the bike off the road together and made our way back. He said he should have given me a fine for creating this emergency situation. But because I was so well prepared and gave my son detailed instructions who to call and where to look for me, he didn't fine me.
    On the way back we talked non-stop for almost 3 hours. We talked from survival skills to politics to America, Russia and our families. He's a remarkable person.

    He dropped me off at a towing company. If the ranger didn't fine me, the towing company sure did. To get my bike I was quoted an astronomical price. The ranger heard the cost and quietly whispered to me "ouch".


    We said our heartfelt goodbyes, he gave me his business card and I will definitely keep in touch. He said next time I should bring my wife and he will give me tips when and where to ride.


    Dave - my heroic rescuer:

    [​IMG]

    I had to ride up and down this dismal road 2 more times to get my bike, this took another 7 hours.

    When I was a passenger in the towing truck, looking at the road, I was in astonishment as to how I could have traveled 27 miles on such a road. These photos don't give any justice to how difficult the roads really were.


    [​IMG]

    We returned late and I slept in the same place I was 2 days ago, Lone Pine, CA. The next day I continued my journey through Death Valley, more about this later, but this time steering clear of the "crawling rocks":

    [​IMG]

    Loading my bike:


    [​IMG]

    Then I called my friend in Las Vegas and we ended up meeting, 2 days later. We happily sat around and talked. He made the most delicious rice with lamb I ever had. He fired up a hookah, we drank beer and had a very relaxing night. I really needed to spend some time around good company as my mind was still in the desert.
    #42
  3. slide

    slide A nation in despair

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    21,308
    Location:
    NM, USA
    I learned my lesson years ago: when in doubt and alone, the number 180 is your friend.

    Tough to imagine a heavily laden Strom on those roads. Good you are uninjured.
    #43
  4. 1955BIKER

    1955BIKER Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Virginia
    Sounded like a great trip until the desert. Sure glad it all worked out OK. We all need to let someone know where we will be traveling.
    #44
  5. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    New Jersey
    Agree. Everybody has its learning curve.
    #45
  6. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    New Jersey
    It is great trip: amazing parks, amazing people. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
    #46
  7. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    New Jersey
    To answer the inevitable questions as to why I didn't turn back.
    There isn't a single answer. At first the road was fine, at time it was even paved.
    While ago this area was run by the military for the silver and other mines. Sometime in the 60s the mines and roads were abandoned and no one has maintained them since. They have been deteriorating for the past 50+ years. Some of the road was gravel but it was graded and it was a pleasure to ride on.

    After that I hit the first puddle where you saw my bike lying in. I crossed the puddle on foot, it was lower than my knees and very passable. I got a running start but in the middle of the puddle I was catapulted out of my seat. Turns out there was a large rock slightly off center that I didn't notice on foot. This was the first time I had to unload my bike.

    After that the road started to gradually get worse. I had to unload my bike a few more times to move on. With each fall I wasn't gaining any strength. I left at 5 am to avoid this heat hoping I would reach my destination before the full heat sets in. But once it got past afternoon and the sun was like an oven, it didn't make any sense to go back. Also I knew the road after the Sailing Rocks would be better than what I just passed. Plus I already passed 3/4 of the way.

    On the map below this part was from B to C, which should have taken me 2 1/2 hours. This is the exact spot I told my son to look for me.

    http://goo.gl/maps/aZWGw

    The part after C, as the ranger confirmed, was better and I could have gotten past it without problem. But I couldn't get through the last 8 miles.

    #47
  8. houndawgg

    houndawgg Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Great response.
    My favorite cliche is the one that says "we regret what we didn't do".
    You came out of it alright and a lot of us on the forum, learned.
    Safe trip home, Bro'
    #48
  9. slide

    slide A nation in despair

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    21,308
    Location:
    NM, USA
    Well, what doesn't kill us should make us wiser. I never bought into that stronger business.

    I don't know what lured you in, FF, but for me that one time which taught me that 180 is my friend, I kept being intimidated by what I'd been through so hoped that the worst was behind me and that things would get better.

    By that logic, I'd be a fool to 180 because it'd mean losing my hard gained progress made toward the better trail and also having to ride through, again, that which had beaten me when I was fresh and would do so in spades were I to try it again.
    #49
  10. SteveO

    SteveO Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,315
    Location:
    Land of ambivalence
    freefallen, glad you are doing better.

    I do a lot of solo trips myself, and to keep my wife's sanity, I have employed the use of the SPOT tracker. There are several versions, but I've found that the "SPOT Connect" is the most useful by far.

    [​IMG]

    With this bad boy, I can text my wife what is happening when I've stopped for a while. Every 10 minutes your position is tracked and updated on the FindmeSpot page. When I stop for an extended period of time, I'll send a text to my wife letting her know all is good, just taking a rest or fixing something on the bike. She gets the text message on her phone and she receives an email detailing my location.


    For pocket change a year, this is the best tool that has come along for riders.
    #50
  11. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    New Jersey
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="&#45;-"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> I like your cliche too.
    Thank you, Bro!
    #51
  12. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    New Jersey
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="&#45;-"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> So you're saying you understand why I didn't go back? In any way lesson learned.
    #52
  13. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    New Jersey
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="&#45;-"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> I was thinking about SPOT and will definitely get one when I go to South America. This time I knew exactly where I'm going to be at any given time. Only one place was troubling me and I took all the precautions to be found.
    Btw, I didn’t know I can text from SPOT. How much is this service? I know that full SAR support and the route tracking for 1 year can cost about $119.00.
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    #53
  14. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Today I started from Las Vegas and drove through Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and stopped in Texas. I had 2 days left on my trip and I have almost 2,000 miles ahead of me. Now it’s the most tedious part of the trip, the drive home. My god, I just shudder thinking about it.:eek1
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    #54
  15. alcanrider

    alcanrider alcanrider

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    Back in Superior, Colorado!
    I still think I would have turned around and gone back with the first light, while it was still somewhat cool. It is a good thing you told your family where you were going to be. I plan on getting one of those Spot deals also, and the one shown is the most economical one I saw. It seemed like there was 3 or 4 different versions of the spot trackers. If I had more money than I know what to do with, I would buy one, but I don't. Also, that is why I ride a KLR instead of a KTM or GS:rofl

    Thanks for all the awesome pics and the story too, and once again, glad you are ok.
    #55
  16. slide

    slide A nation in despair

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    21,308
    Location:
    NM, USA
    Yeah, I think so. I'm guessing our minds worked the same logic which turned out to sink us both.
    #56
  17. Bluecomet

    Bluecomet What, me worry?

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Georgia
    Freefallen........it's easy to look back and see what we should have done in hindsight. It's also easy to "Monday morning quarterback" from the comfort of our homes.

    I'm thankful that everything worked out for you with no real damage other than to your pride and pocketbook. We all learn from sharing experiences and I appreciate your willingness to let us "ride along".
    #57
  18. SteveO

    SteveO Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,315
    Location:
    Land of ambivalence

    So, to actually buy the device is anywhere between $120 - $170. However, just like protective gear, how much is your head worth, and in this case, how much is your life worth?

    The basic Tracking is $50 a year.
    For "Type and Send" options, texting, the price varies:
    Bundled 500 msgs, $50.00/yr
    Bundled 100 msgs $30.00/yr
    or
    .50 cents a message


    In my humble opinion, for my safety, safety of others I may be traveling with, I think this little gadget is worth it's weight in gold. Being able to text my wife and let her know I'm A-OK is a big relief to her.

    As well, if I get into a situation where I need help, I can text her to get ahold of the right people, and the text message has my GPS location attached to the text as well.

    There are other options as well...
    http://findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=110
    #58
  19. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    New Jersey
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="&#45;-"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> Ideally I would have 2 or even 3 bikes. But because I live in NJ, pretty much flatland, I don’t see much use of a dirt bike. Even if I would buy a street legal dirt bike, I wouldn’t ride cross the country on it. So my bike is kind of compromise, it’s 50/50 and very often I do go semi off-road.
    #59
  20. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    New Jersey
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="&#45;-"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> Thank you for your input. Yes, we had the same logic behind that.
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    #60