2015 Death Valley nOOb's Rally - March 26-29

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by isaac004, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios...

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,375
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    By Thursday morning I decided to scrap my planned Goler / Mengal run and go back out there to mess with the repeater, this time on the motorcycle. Once again Henry joined me and this time Tony/tonyj joined us on his new 640. While Henry rode down to the springs for testing with a known-good radio Tony and I rode over to Hunter Cabin. Tony had never stopped there so I figured I could show him something new.

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    After that we rode to the repeater's home and hiked up the 200' ridge in our MX boots. Weee!

    We messed around with the repeater for some time until I came to the conclusion that it was borked. I believe the radio powering it failed. I wouldn't have been so annoyed if I hadn't had it set up at my house for two weeks where it worked wonderfully. I decided to head down into Saline Valley for some testing while Tony rode back to PSR via the Darwin Toll Road. I rode down about 16.5 miles from South Pass when I saw Henry riding up toward PSR. We decided to head back to PSR so I turned around and set the pace (slow!).

    After about a mile I hear him over the radio asking to stop, he just might have a flat. He pulls up next to me and his rear tire is clearly flat. He digs his compressor out and adds air, since it seems to hold we decide to carry on, stopping to add air a few times when needed. When we got to 190 Henry told me to head out while he fills the tire, he'd hit me on the radio if he needed help. I got back on the road and made tracks for Father Crowley point. Now this is more than just a cell phone spot, if you aren't aware that fancy paved rest area is in the wrong spot. As you're pulling in look for the dirt road on your right. Turn down on it and continue until the end to find a great view of Panamint Valley. I ran into Isaac/Isaac004 and another there and we chatted for about twenty minutes.

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    I took my photos, jumped on the bike, and made my way back to PSR. I pulled directly into the gas station, filled up, and jumped on the bike to start it. As I was kicking it I heard a pop and the next thing I knew I was on the ground, I had sheared my kick stand bolt. I grumbled a bit, picked up the bike, started it, and rode off to camp to nurse my wounded pride and have a drink. I'd fix it in the morning.


    I'll get Friday through Sunday up later on, maybe tonight.. Maybe tomorrow.. We'll see...
    #61
  2. RAZR

    RAZR u may run the risks my friend but I do the cutting

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,783
    Location:
    L.A.
    great seeing old friends in Death Valley
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    #62
  3. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    983
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Alright, I'll start my RR here with the Jimmy Lewis one day class. Mike (michael.brat) and I were supposed to leave Tuesday afternoon so we would arrive in Pahrump in time for dinner, but due to some issues beyond our control we did not roll out of LA until almost 11pm, and hence did not arrive until 4am. That makes for the shortest stay ever in a hotel! :eek1
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    Here Jimmy was going over the basic element of the class and what to expect. Pretty nice 1190 he has there, though he says it is his wife’s.
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    One of the balance exercises was this board. Seems like a good thing to keep in front of the TV to be productive when you want to be unproductive. Mike gives it a go.
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    Next were some stationary balance drills in the front yard. This is a great one you can do just by rolling your bike out to some grass behind your house. Stand up on both pegs, balance, and then dab back down with whichever foot. Try to do it with no hands, standing up. It’s a pretty good work out too.

    We then rode out to the dry lake bed, and did some slower then first gear exercises as well as some turning initiation exercises. The keys here are how to balance at slower then first gear speeds with just blips of throttle and tiny fractional bits of acceleration/wheel spin, and also to understand how weighting the pegs for turn initiation feels. Here Jimmy explains some of our up coming braking and turning drills.
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    The turning will be so effortless you can ride one handed…that is assuming you use proper form though!
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    Next up was some sand practice.
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    I was fortunate enough to make a good mistake for everyone to see, and Jimmy capitalized on that to make a demonstration out of my bike.
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    After lunch at K7, which by the way has AMAZING pizza, we went out to the gravel pit for the remainder of the day. Here Jimmy covered some more gravel/loose surface topics as well as hill climbs. Once again, balance is the key.
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    The entire group looks on with interest….and food coma.
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    On the way back, Jimmy did some high speed cornering demos, once again showing us that with proper form and balance, one handed riding is a piece of cake!
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    Overall it was a great class. Mike and I wish we had a second day of learning. While it is not a lot of riding distance wise, it is very tiring as you are doing many drills and forcing yourself to try out/refine techniques. There is a lot for anyone to learn, whether you are a true and bonafide n00b or an intermediate…perhaps even an expert. Jimmy does a lot to explain the dynamics and how/why the proper techniques are better.
    #63
  4. pcvance

    pcvance Walk Verplank

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,993
    Location:
    Sequoia Country
    Thanks Joel, it was a blast and the riding was good too!
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    Fatty tank was installed for this adventure.:wink:
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    Thursday morning on the way...
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    I have never seen this little snow this time of the year here in Olancha.:cry
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    DV at last!
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    Panamint Springs, home for the next three days.
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    Friday I rode up to Cerro gordo with RAZR.
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    From there we went on to the Salt tram.
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    Awesome views in all directions!
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    The Sequoia/Kings Canyon high country's lacking snow.
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    The Salt Tram.
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    more later...Jimmy's Friday night demo.
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    #64
  5. michael.brat

    michael.brat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    510
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    DVR 2015 was a great success. The weather was perfect and there were few incidents.

    Some pics from this years noob rally.

    Mike B

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    #65
  6. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    After a year absence while I was out doing a bit of riding (see where) I returned to the Noob Rally.

    Getting my Xchallenge ready for another adventure was quite the task as I hadn't done much riding since returning from South America.

    One thing I wanted to have done before I got up to DV was to have my Scotts Stabilizer fixed. The tower pin broke off in Argentina so I had a welder come over Wednesday night to weld on the new pin. He first had to grind off the old one and while doing so, grinded through some of my wiring. I didn't think I would make it after seeing that. But I spliced the wires and was ready to go!
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    Broken Scotts tower pin for the stabilizer
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    He grinded right through the purple cable to the left.

    What my bike looked like about 12 hours before I left...
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    Back and it feels so good
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    Thursday night I did a presentation at Shunka's shack about my 8 month trip to South America. Thanks to Joel, Bob, and Shunka for making it happen!
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    Friday morning I joined Chu's ride to Ballarat, up Wildrose to the Charcoal Kilns, to Augeberry Point down to Stovepipe Wells and back.
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    [​IMG] Riding back from the Charcoal Kilns. A gorgeous view and great slab.

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    Aguereberry Point

    Bill waiting for us slow ones to get going..
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    After icecream at Stovepipe Wells we rode back. I passed camp and rode up to Father Crawley Point to try and get signal. (fyi nothing from Sprint up there)
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    It was so great to hear about Jammin's RTW trip and to spend time talking with him. If you don't know about Jay or the awesome trips he guides check out what he's up to here.

    Saturday I couldn't decide what ride to do and by the time I decided to join Diego's crew I was left in the dust. I tried catching up but couldn't make it.

    So I rode to Beatty then onto Rhyolite and down into Titus Canyon.
    There were a few other jeeps and two rental GS's riding down.
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    Entering Titus Canyon
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    Did anyone else come across the group of 4-5 people running down Titus?

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    Afterward I met up with Rich on the blue DR650 and we rode up to the Charcoal Kilns then down Wild Rose and back to camp.

    Thanks to everyone who made it a great rally. Looking forward to seeing many of you at other events soon.

    Lastly, this morning when I grabbed my helmet I had this creature staring at me. Anyone else bring home unwanted friends? Seriously I've never seen a spider this large in Costa Mesa.
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    #66
  7. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Sorry for the sizing. I'll try to go back through and fix that. :norton
    #67
  8. slugdad

    slugdad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    372
    Location:
    better you don't know
    blond Asian cmu? :puke1


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    #68
  9. GalacticGS

    GalacticGS Motorcyclist Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,028
    Location:
    Lake Havasu, AZ
    After Chloride Cliffs, the plan was to get to Beatty for lunch. Just had one problem along the way, when York's (Nubs) bike had electrical issues. Luckily, one of our group had jumper cables and we were able to get York's 650 Dakar started back up and into Beatty for some gas and food.

    We made a brief stop at Rhyolite, and then it was on to Titus Canyon - always a beautiful and fun ride!

    Here's pics heading towards Beatty after Chloride Cliffs...

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    Julie was a little slow on the pavement, but made up for it in the dirt!
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    Greg and I would end up riding Goler and Mengel on Saturday...
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    On to Titus Canyon...
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    The view looking into Titus Canyon...
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    At the end...
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    What a great day of riding! And a great group of riders!!

    :ricky
    #69
  10. TheQuietOne

    TheQuietOne Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Newarre...the middle of Newarre
    I was supposed to be at the 2014 n00b rally, but Tiny Human happened and I was on strict bed rest when it finally rolled around. Suffice to say, I've been looking forward to this for a while. We found out just a couple weeks ago that we're moving to Pennsylvania mid-April, so I felt a little guilty heading out to the desert when there is soooo much to do here. But I wasn't going to miss what may very well be my last chance to ride Death Valley.

    We rented a truck for the weekend and loaded up Wednesday afternoon. Ken was tying down the motorcycles and summoned me with "we might have a problem." Just what I wanted to hear. The line for my rear shock's preload adjustment had been chewed up, and we couldn't tell at the time whether it was leaking or if the oil on it had come from somewhere else. But the bikes were already loaded, so on we went - I could always ride his motorcycle if I had to. We spent Wednesday night in Ridgecrest and drove the rest of the way Thursday morning.

    We check in, unload, borrow some supplies, and patch my definitely leaking line. I missed the ride headed for Titus Canyon, but thought maybe they'd stop at Stovepipe Wells for park passes and I could catch up. No luck there, but at least it gave me a chance to feel the bike out a bit. All seemed well there. Back at PSR, we find out there's an empty room in the hotel and soon we've broken camp and moved in.

    Friday morning Ken was off for a ride of his own, and I was headed for Furnace Creek to do some laundry (babies - they're a mess). Since I was headed that direction, I figured I might as well go through Titus Canyon in the truck. In Death Valley terms, they're practically right next to each other anyway, right?
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    Coming out of the canyon I have to stop for a minivan blocking the road. They get the thing turned around and out of the way, and as soon as I start moving I feel that the truck's handling has gone completely to shit. Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease don't be what I think that is...I get out and sure enough, there's a 4 inch gash in the sidewall of the front left tire. Fuck. Luckily I'm only a few minutes in front of some friendly motorcyclists (err...Uralists?), and Shunka and Mr G are kind enough to swap the spare on for me. Laundry is pushed off to another day, and Tiny Human and I make our way back to camp.

    Saturday was my turn to ride again. Left the gas station about 9AM, headed west.
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    Our goal was the Reward Mine, an "easy ride, noob and big bike friendly". This sounded like a perfect ride for someone with no idea what they're doing and a bike that isn't exactly meant for this kind of foolishness.
    This isn't exactly what I picture when I hear "noob ride".
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    We had a beautiful view
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    And look! I can ride!
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    Or not
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    I swear I had more pictures of bikes taking naps. In my head the ride plays kind of like a blooper reel, drop here, drop there, drop again, oops - drop on both sides without making any progress at all. I'm sure the footage is somewhere. I've got video of my falls, but I don't know anything about video editing, so it may never see the light of day. But imagine this: five hours, twelve miles (Am I remembering that correctly? Or did the sun bake my brain?)
    I think we broke him
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    We never did make it to the mine, but none of us seriously damaged ourselves or our bikes, so I'm putting it in the "good ride" column. I definitely learned some things, mostly boiling down to my needing to think less and trust my bike more. I'll even call it fun, now that I'm out of the heat and the sweat's washed off.
    Afterwards we had lunch and liquids in Lone Pine, fueled up some bikes and headed back towards the park. Some of the group stopped at Father Crowley overlook, but I was feeling the pressure to get back to Tiny Human so I rode on to PSR.

    Ken and I did well at the raffle Saturday night, including a 1/2 price Jimmy Lewis class for me - which we passed along to another noob, since Pahrump is a looooong way from PA (damn, I could definitely use the training). I didn't make it through the whole raffle, going back up to the room with Cranky Human to pack up what I could. Ken brought me a shiny new machete, which I promptly christened Mama Bear before falling into what may very well have been the best night's sleep I've had since motherhood.

    Sunday morning we woke up to a beautiful sunrise (that my camera didn't do justice to), loaded up and made our way home.
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    Gratuitous cute, because I can't help myself.
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    Hopefully I'll make it back this way for another n00bs...
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    #70
  11. garfey

    garfey Scruffy Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,075
    Location:
    Deep East Texas
    Nicely put TQO - amazing that in three of your pics I was vertical! :oscar

    #71
  12. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    983
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Awesome stories and photos so far.

    Larry, glad to see you were able to successfully take over the noobs. The Berg is still looking great.

    QuietOne, that is great you and your husband are able to balance the TinyOne to get out and ride.
    #72
  13. michael.brat

    michael.brat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    510
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Some slowmotion videos of me, isacc004, afry, bigtodd, klrrob, and others. (I don't recall everyone's sn's)

    Mike B

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    #73
  14. kumatae

    kumatae Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    518
    Location:
    Orange County
    Had a blast this past weekend and I didn't see a point to write a report thats identical to Molonlabemike (Mike) so I decided to provide some lessons learned as a newbie who is new to the sport.

    1. FOOD. Get dinner option! I decided at the last minute to get the dinner option and I'm soooo glad that I did. I realized after a hard day worth of riding, last thing you want to do is cook yourself dinner. Plus, the food was awesome!

    2. SLEEP. If you are in the tent cabins, bring a pad! I threw mine in because I had the space and I'm glad that I did. The cot + pad + sleeping bag combo was most excellent. I'll probably do the same option next year since I found the tent cabins to be very comfortable with ample space for storage and a large picnic table to route plan/eat/throw stuff to dry.

    3. PREP. I know that no amount of prep can get you ready for the riding you'll be doing but expect the unexpected. For me, lost a bolt on my rack. Luckily Chris (socially_stunted) had a spare. I had one too - at home. Bike wouldn't start after a fall. Never had any issues with the bike not starting. Was riding with 3 other riders with exact same bikes (DR650) so putting all of our brains together, we were able to troubleshoot even though we're not 100% sure what the exact cause was.

    4. WATER. Depending on the route, what ever size your camelpak might be, it's probably not enough water. I thought my 1.5L camelpak would be good enough and the routes we took did not have water to refill and my tailbag was maxed out with stuff. If I were to go ride again, I would at minimum have 3L water at the start of the ride. And let's face it, people die out here!

    That's pretty much it and will definitely be better prepared next year, not to mention fabricating a mount to show off the machete!
    #74
  15. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios...

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,375
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I got up at 7 and stumbled over to PSR for their breakfast buffet. It is nice not to mess with making breakfast nor having to clean up the dishes. After breakfast I tended camp a little bit and planned my kickstand repair operation (i.e. I procrastinated).

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    Good place to procrastinate.

    After rummaging around in my friend David's spare Jeep parts bin I found the perfect bolt to get the stand working. Time to get productive.

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    The mounting tab bent out a bit during the break.

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    The stand ears splayed out, Lior helped me pound the back into shape Thursday night but this crack remained. I didn't have a welder on me so I left it there, I'll fix it at home.

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    When the stand popped off it overextended both springs.

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    I started out by pounding the tab roughly back into shape. This is 1/4" steel so it takes a good hit to move.

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    I then did my best to straighten the springs.

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    Then back together and all set. This repair would last me through the weekend. I'll come back and do a better repair after the dust from the event settles.

    Now that the bike could hold itself up it was time to go for a ride. I got my gear together, refilled my water bladders, and suited up. I decided on a simple solo run up the old Darwin toll road to have lunch at the headframe. I tucked a note under Joel's windshield wiper letting him know I was out alone, where I was going, and when I left, and cleared PSR at 11:45 and opened the throttle. Not many pictures since I was busy riding, I've got some boring video I may post later, though.

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    My goal for lunch up on top of the ridge.

    I made it up there without much trouble. Since I was alone I dropped my already slow speed down a notch so it took me about 40 minutes to get there. Once I arrived I unpacked lunch and ate in the shade of the cabin.

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    I find that these tuna salad packs make a good moto lunch. The provide a good kick to get you back online and survive washboard well. I always pack one full meal and one small snack, the two are usually a good size for lunch.

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    The cookie, however, never survives the vibration of a thumper.

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    Lunch with a view.

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    One nice thing about riding by yourself is you can kick back and relax a bit in the shade.

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    The headframe.

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    That cabin is in slightly better shape than my garage.

    After lunch I mounted up, kicked the bike over, and took off into Darwin for the slab home. I wanted to get in on the showers before all you FFs got back in camp so opted not to take dirt back.

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    Quick photo op at the old post office.

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    Obligatory DVNP sign shot.

    I had an uneventful ride back, grabbed the shower, then had a beer with Bill/slugdad.
    #75
  16. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    983
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    After rolling into PSR the night before at midnight :*sip* after the Jimmy Lewis class, Mike and I were pretty beat and slept in until 8ish. We had talked about running the Darwin loop out to the west end at 190, then the Salt Tram loop starting at Swansea Grade.

    The two track going west out of Darwin as it parallels 190 is a blast. Good medium speed riding, fun surface, and lots of Joshua Trees. :ricky
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    After we hit 190, we decided to switch our plan up to Hunter Mountain and Hidden Valley, as we thought we were a little tired from the class. But as we were heading east on 190 and turned onto Saline Valley Road (the west option, not the east one that used to be signed closed), we made a last minute call to run the Cerro Gordo/Salt Tram loop backwards. We would run up White Mountain Talc Road first and then head up the east half of Cerro Gordo Road. Some of you will recall that this east half is pretty loose and mostly washed out/damaged due to flash floods from the previous 1-2 years, and we rode through this mess downhill at last year’s rally. For some reason we thought it would not be too bad riding uphill in this mess. Here is the start of Cerro Gordo, just after turning off White Mountain Talc Road. :augie
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    It’s not any better than we thought. Loose, semi deep gravel, with baby heads and bigger rocks thrown in the mix. Plus route finding is hard at a few spots due to the washout. Mike taking a breather. :eek1
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    It doesn’t begin to improve until about half way. For those going downhill, this is the sign that things will get a little worse. Uphill from there though, is MUCH better.
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    Mike having a little fun near the top. :ricky
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    At the top we saw a few familiar faces. Mikey113 was up there, who we had met back at the 2012 DNVR rally. He was up there along with another rider (sorry, I forgot your name), and they both had nice new scoots.

    Mike and I then started working our way over to the Salt Tram next. The views of the Sierra’s are just amazing here.
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    So is the view of Owen’s Valley below.
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    This view never gets old.
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    We made it up to the high point just above the Salt Tram.
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    Here you can see Owen’s Valley on the left, the Salt Tram in the middle (small and hard to see), and Saline Valley in the valley below. To think that 100 years ago, they used wooden towers and steel cables to move buckets of salt from Saline Valley, up to this ridge, and down the other side to Owens Valley/395 is pretty cool.
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    We then skipped the Salt Tram because we had been inside before, and wanted to get out to the far west edge of the road to a lunch spot I had in mind. We did see a Forestry truck at the cabin, something we had not seen before. He was asking people the usual questions about camping, guns, hunting, etc.

    Here was our epic lunch spot view. You can see all sorts of things here, Mt. Whitney, Whitney Portal Road, Alabama Hills, Lone Pine. Click the photo for a larger view. :D
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    It was VERY difficult to get up and keep moving with a view like this, and a comfortable rock pile to boot. :bueller
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    We then headed down Swansea Grade Road. It’s probably a good thing we decided to run this route in reverse, even if we did have to deal with climbing up the loose side of Cerro Gordo Road, because Swansea Grade looked looser and rockier then ever. It looked harder then running it uphill last year, and far harder then when I first ran it uphill 2 years ago. Some parts are still pretty fun and in good shape though.
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    On the way down Swansea Grade Road, I noticed a view of some Salt Tram towers that I had never seen before.
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    All in all, a great 146 mile day. :beer
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    #76
  17. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    983
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    For Friday, we had a big Saline Valley loop that would have us run the entire length of the valley, up to the best restaurant in USA (according to the internets) in Big Pine. :dg

    A group of us 9 deep rolled out towards Saline Valley Road. On the way out we passed a few groups, including Danny's (outlaws) Hunter Mtn/Racetrack group, and Joel's (NSFW) Hot Springs group.

    On the valley floor, I spotted one of the old Salt Tram towers and stopped for a quick photo.
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    Mike and I catching some air on the way into the springs.
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    At the hot springs, a few of us opted to take a soak, while the others relaxed on the grass. A few older lady’s were pretty persistent on local codes, if you will. Pablo (epsi) also greeted us with cold beers! Thanks Pablo! :freaky

    One of the few permanent residents of the hot springs.
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    Mike and BigTodd suiting back up.
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    On the way out, Pablo also offered us some water for the road but we were good to go. High five.
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    Climbing out of the north end of Saline Valley.
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    The long dust cloud approaching.
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    John (catalina38).
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    Todd (BigTodd).
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    Ben (BenTravelin).
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    Todd (twwhitey).
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    Arnie (afry).
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    Ben (BenTravelin), wagging the tail end. Those LC8’s are always so happy.
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    The group coming up the switchbacks.
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    A rare shot of the author, taken by Mike.
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    Arie blasting off into one of the coolest views as you crest the hill.
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    Looking back at the start of the north end of Saline Valley Road.
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    Most of the gang here. From the left...twwhitey, catalina38, BigTodd, BenTravelin, michael.brat, KLRRob.
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    BigTodd, showing just how big these mountains are.
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    Mike, enjoying the view.
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    Most of the entire group here. The cook insisted on joining our group shot. From the left, Todd, Mike, Arnie, Isaac, John, the grill master, Ben, Rob, and Todd. Danny is off to the side. Photo from Mike’s camera. The meat here was GOOD, very high quality BBQ.
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    From here we were going to follow some tracks that went through the Sierra foothills and down to 190, all dirt. Mike and I got ahead of ourselves with views like this.
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    Since we were out front and did not have the tracks, we kept riding and riding until we found the road did not go any further and we would have to double back due to gates. The rest of the group decided we knew enough for them to not wait for us, which was a good call as we would not spoil the rest of their ride. Plus, we got to explore around and take more photos.

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    While taking some video footage, a low flying chopper buzzed over the hill not even 60 ft off the ground. It was a simple four seater bubble body chopper. They were flying VERY low, in orange jump suits, waved to us, and looked like forestry employees scouting for something. Pretty wild and unexpected.

    We found a rocky two track to get us back to the highway, which took Mike down in a minor incident.
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    We then had to boogie back via one hour on the slab, not too cool but we wanted to be back in time for dinner and at this point opted not to try and find the dirt route through our GPS. All in all, 238 miles.
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    #77
  18. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios...

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,375
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Saturday. Today I'm going to lead a nice simple ride up to Reward Mine. Noobs welcome! Big Bike friendly!

    We started out with 60 miles of slab. Given that I'm on a DR350 that wasn't such a quick ride. I only feel comfortable up to about 60 with its current gearing, that runs me at 6000 rpm and gives me a little headroom in case I need to escape.

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    Group shot at the sign on 190.

    On this run we had me on my DR350, Marty/Motopsychoman on his G650GS, Janeane/TheQuietOne on her NC700X, Rahul/Indio on his F700GS, Sarath/sarathmenon on his F800GS, Sachin/skvirdi on his R1200GSA, and Dave/garfey as my sweep on his KTM500EX. I was the slow little bike of the group for sure.

    We had no issues on the road nor on the dirt Manzanar/Reward Road. As we started to climb I noticed Dave and Rahul hanging back. I asked the group to stand by and rode down to see what was up. It ended up being a simple nature call so I turned around to go back up. Of course I hit some sand and the front end washed out on me, down the DR went. I was a bit embarrassed to take a nap so soon but laughed it off. Little did I know I'd be picking up a lot of bikes today. We got up to the base of the mountain and started climbing the short trail to the mine. Hmmm... This is different then I remember...

    What in November was a well-graded fire road accessible even to a two wheel drive S10 in March was a completely blown out, rocky, steep mess. Clearly there was at least one flash flood between my last trip and now. It was a hell of a lot of fun on my DR350. I made the run up to the mine and back three times with no issues. It wasn't so much fun on the big bikes.

    After the second rocky climb Marty and Rahul decided to bow out. Rahul was having a hard time on his F700 and didn't want to slow the group down, Marty elected to go with him to make sure he got back safely. The rest of us continued on. After a few naps Sarath was very tempted to trade me his F800GS for my DR350, I should have taken him up on that offer and laughed all the way to the bank! By the end of the day all of the bikes had seen the ground and we were beat. I'm pretty sure the entire group was eying my 300 pound DR with envy on those rocks. We fought a section of the trail that was a little over a mile. The group never did make it up to or into the mine.

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    We may have been fighting but we had a nice backdrop of the Sierras with a meager amount of snow on them.

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    Janeane riding up the trial like a boss.

    At to the second to last waterfall we decided to call it. The group was having a harder time due to their exhaustion. On my scouting rides I saw that the worst one was still ahead of us, we decided to quit while were were ahead and go get lunch.

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    Group shot of hot, tired riders who are about to head back.

    We picked up the fallen F800, turned the other big bikes around (that was a lot of work!), and stopped to catch our breath. Then I told everybody to head out while I take sweep. We made it down with little trouble, only a couple of naps, and hit the road. I believe I heard the entire group sing a praise when we hit asphalt. It sure felt good to get some speed on and sit down!

    We booked it to the Mount Whitney Restaurant in Lone Pine for cold water and what, in that scenario, ended up being amazing burgers. After a full meal and a lot of water we were all feeling significantly more human and ready to head back to PSR. Dave picked up lunch, much to our surprise, he's really a stand up guy and now has to attend the 2016DVNR so I can return the favor! Sarath, Sachin, and I stopped at Father Crowley point to get a look at the Panamint Valley, they had never gone all the way to the dirt overlook. After that we went back to camp where the beer was cold and very well deserved!

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    Sarath and Sachin take in the view.

    You know, sometimes partway through a ride you come up with a name for it. You tell the rest of the folks and they immediately agree, that's how you know the name will stick. I chose "Out of the Comfort Zone" for this ride. We were expecting a nice simple fire road and I gave them this completely torn up mess. They did great and were smiling when they weren't too busy panting.

    I'd like to thank all of you for coming out on the trail and being great sports. You all did well and I hope learned something, even if it's never to follow that jerk Sequoia. I'd especially like to thank Janeane for not coming back and cutting me with the machete she won in the evening's raffle.

    The ride wasn't at all what I expected. What I thought would be an easy day turned out to be hot, grueling, and long. But I still had a great time and am glad we did it. No injuries or ride stopping/delaying mechanicals so I'd say it was a good day. I didn't even have to use my AK.
    #78
  19. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios...

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,375
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Saturday night I got changed out of my riding gear and headed over to the dinner and raffle. As usual the dinner was good and the raffle entertaining. I managed to win an ADVMoto subscription and dual sporting DVD and procured a machete for my KLR. That night I had a couple beers and went to bed a bit early, I was too wiped out for the sort of debauchery I was expecting to be up to.

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    Chris Horgan of Stewards of the Sequoias talks about Land Access. This man has done a lot of good keeping trails open in the Sequoia National Forest and deserves our full support.

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    Off hand iPhone shot of the main campfire as I walked back from brushing my teeth.

    Sunday was a lazy day. I got breakfast then slowly broke camp and stored all my stuff on the little trailer. After I was done I parked the trailer and went to get the repeater. My campsite mate Berndt/PukaWai joined me on his Dakar and Dave jumped in the Jeep to take the air conditioned ride out.

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    Berndt gives the salute on top of the ridge.

    We retrieved the repeater without issue and headed back to PSR where we went our separate ways. I went and had lunch with Cindy/Cowgirl where once again I was treated (owe here too in 2016, I know she'll be there!). Then I wandered over to where I left my trailer and started packing up for the long drive home.

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    Here is what that dry bag (Firstgear Torrent 25) the back of the DR held.

    • Two quarts oil (full fill)
    • Tool kit with tools for all common tasks plus duct tape and bailing wire
    • Tubes, rim strips, patches
    • 12VDC air pump
    • Spare levers
    • Zip ties
    • Spare levers
    • High-energy food/snacks in case of unplanned overnight
    • Lunch
    • Cleaning rag
    • 6 1 gallon ziplock bags for catching fluids and trash
    • Spare water bladder inside semi-waterproof bag (full when leaving)
    • Sena SR10 radio adapter
    • Baofeng UV5R radio
    • First aid kit

    Luckily I never had to open the tool kit and only needed to get into the first aid kit to give Sarath one Advil on Saturday. That's the sign of a good weekend.

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    One last photo at my home in Inyo county then off I went. Back to the real world of jobs, kids, and laundry.


    See you next year.
    #79
  20. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    983
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Saturday I was leading a noob ride to Chloride Cliffs and Titus Canyon, the same as Tim and Larry’s (tbarstow and GalacticGS) route from Friday. A few familiar faces joined along to sweep for the ride as well. I would have liked to get more photos of the noobs and new faces on this ride but it was tricky being up front as the lead. Nonetheless, I still managed to some photos. We rolled out running 12 deep.

    Once on the dirt, we did have a few issues before the next turn off. At this time I did not know of the issues and sent the rest of the group up one side of the Chloride Cliff loop (the west point of the loop), which was a tad bit more challenging. I then snapped a few photos while waiting.

    The start of the climb up to the cliffs.
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    Some of the wild flowers around the area.
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    After waiting quite a while, I turned around and backtracked the loop to see what was going on, and caught up with Ben and Arnie who updated me. One of the riders was a bit tired from the previous day and opted to turn around. Another was having bike issues and also opted to head back to the pavement. Down to 10. Thanks again to Arnie for sweeping, and to Ben for providing muscle!
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    Back to the group.
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    I did not realize that there was actually a huge overlook at the top, but thanks to Rob and Bill, they insisted the view was worth it. I agree!
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    Not everyone wanted to ride up the short steep climb to the cliff lookout, so some opted to walk. Mike referred to this as the walk of shame. :rofl
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    Thanks for the great shot Arnie! You can even see the snow capped Sierra’s in the background.
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    One of the group shots at the top, from the left with Mike/michael.brat, Dave/adventuredave82, Ben/bentravelin, Arnie/afry, Ben/panadamanprod, and Powell/gofasterpb.
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    Another group shot, with me this time, taken by Dave.
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    We then blasted down the east side into NV, a nice high speed two track run. Upon reaching the wash near the end, I stopped to warn any high speed riders of the sometimes hard to see wash and also snap a few photos.

    Jeff/jalapoj, a fellow 690 Enduro connoisseur.
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    Dave/Adventuredave82 and Ben/panadamanprod. Dave has come a long way since his first n00b’s rally last year…new 1190, improved skills, and no leather jacket! :rofl
    Ben was in the JL class with a few of us as well.
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    Powell/gofasterpb.
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    Ben/bentravelin
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    Bill/conteacher, another one of our sweeps on his acid washed Transalp. :super
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    Arnie/afry, proving old guys can still ride LC8’s. :gerg
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    We had lunch at a newish Mexican joint in Beatty, called Mama Sara. It’s located less than one block south of the 3 way intersection in town. Everyone was pretty happy with their food, but since 11 of us flooded the place at once and practically woke up the staff (just one server and one cook), it did take a while to churn all of our dishes out. But they saved the best for last, right Powell? :rofl

    We then geared back up and headed to Titus Canyon. The group took a vote to skip Rhyolite in order save more time for Titus and get back in time to clean up and relax before the dinner and raffle…my apologies to those who have not seen Rhyolite before.

    We initially saw and passed A LOT of cars as we rode up to the pass.

    On the pass, dropping down into Titus.
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    Mike heading down.
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    Mike had slowed down at what seemed to be a great regroup point before getting into the narrows of the canyon. I saw two other bikes stopped 50 feet away but no people. After walking around, we saw waving and heard voices from the shade, and happened upon Nicole/nicomama and Jay/jammiin (also shown is Arnie, Mike, and Rob in the background). Jay did a rather nice RTW ride and gave a good talk on Friday night about this trip. It was very cool to meet him and chat for a bit.
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    We then entered the narrows of Titus Canyon, and stopped at this great feature which also provided for good shape. From the left:
    Dave/adventuredave82, Jeff/jalapoj, Mike/michael.brat, Rob/KLRRob, Arnie/afry, Powell/gofasterpb, Ben/panadamanprod, Ben/BenTravelin, Isaac/isaac004
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    Dave and Jeff.
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    178 miles for the day, which was a pretty toasty day. It was overall a great loop, and was awesome to ride with old friends (thanks for sweeping!) and new friends as well.
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    Back at camp after an awesome taco dinner, Joel kicked off the raffle. Thanks again to all those vendors who donated back to the sport. They know exactly how to get their product into the eyes of young fresh ADV addicts early on. :lol3
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    Sunday, like most, Mike and I packed up and drove back. We stopped north of Trona and were amazed to see TONS of these guys crossing the road everywhere. These are White-Lined Sphinx Moth larvae/caterpillar. In some areas they are in such high numbers that they can cause road accidents and will shut the road down. If you had stopped on Trona Wildrose Road, just north of Trona but south of the pass, you would see dead caterpillar splotches every 1-2 feet, EVERYWHERE. Learn more about it:
    http://digitalinsectcollection.wikispaces.com/White-Lined+Sphinx+Moth
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    Some of the flowers which the caterpillars eat, but ironically also pollinate as an adult moth.
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    Another stop to view the desert bloom, on Redrock-Randsburg Road.
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    #80