6 Days of Living Death...Valley :)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by liv2day, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    Thanks @-E-!

    We staged that shot at the American in Cerro Gordo, couldn't resist the opportunity to raise a toast (albeit empty...lol) given the location. Would have been something to see that place in its prime :beer
    #21
  2. -E-

    -E- Klaatu barada nikto Supporter

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    Thanks. Didn't recognize the bar it in the pic.
    #22
  3. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    Damn man, that reminds me of the solo trip I attempted last summer to SE Oregon. Had 4 flats (all rear) in less than 24 hours and ended up needing "rescue" as I couldn't get back to my truck. I couldn't find anything in the tire either, but believe my culprit was self-induced - too much weight for the stock shock combined with not enough pressure - roasted the tire such that the sidewalls were shot. Glad you were able to get it sorted and it didn't completely fubar the trip, I effing hate flats :baldy :lol3

    Those are coming up, we hit Steel pass on our loop out of Saline Valley and the Lippincott when we left Saline the following day. Here's a teaser - Lippincott is a rocky nightmare :lol3 :lol3 :lol3
    #23
  4. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    Needed a break from the asylum that is work and decided looking at footage from day 1 was the perfect cure. This is our ride from PSR past Ballarat, through Goler Wash and over Mengel Pass, with a stop by the geologist cabin and a rip down Westside road.

    Recommend doing full screen and 1080p, only way to take in all the killer scenery :-) :-)

    #24
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  5. PBRider

    PBRider Adventurer

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    Very nice! One of these days... I don't think I know anyone with as much bad luck with tires. LOL
    #25
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  6. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    @PBRider - I'm just glad it wasn't a frickin' pinch flat...lol. Not that picking up a nail is fun, but at least I knew it was a fluke and there wasn't an issue with the tire.

    Onto day 4 of the trip. Today's ride would be a loop of ~135 miles where we'd ride out through Steel Pass, Dedeckera canyon, past Eureka dunes and make our way to Big Pine for fuel and a bite to eat. We'd take north pass back to the hot springs and camp another night.

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    As usual, I was up before the sun and had a great soak whilst enjoying some instant coffee.

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    We buttoned up the tents and headed NE through the wash.

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    We rode over to where we could see the marble bath, but didn't take time to hike to it. Appears to be plenty of floaties among all the marbles, good to know they're there for the next person taking a bath...lol.

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    Always fascinated by the amazing colors in the rocks here, so many different colors in so many strata - the geologic forces must have been incredible.

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    JP's 5-hunny was running hot again, so we took a break before going down the last steps in Dedeckera and out into the sand. Had a solo guy in a Jeep stop, walk up to us asking about the rest of the steps, then tell us he couldn't make it in his Jeep and thus turned around. Didn't see him again, hope he made it back to wherever without issue.

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    Riding out of the canyon and seeing the giant sand dune that is Eureka is something else. I mean, how the heck did all that sand get piled up into a massive dune? It's slightly more than impressive, and the rip around it takes far longer than one would think when viewing it from a distance.

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    Again, such great colors in the rocks.

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    We were bombing along the road that eventually turns to asphalt when JP starts slowing, then slowing more, then finally coming to a stop. I pull up next to him thinking his bike was puking coolant or something. Nope. He looks over at me, then looks at his tank.

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    Umm - isn't there supposed to be liquid in there? You know, the flammable stuff that ignites in a cylinder and makes noise come out of the exhaust?

    Yeah, he seemed to be missing that stuff.

    I really wish I would've had the GoPro running for what ensued next. Talked about heading back to Eureka to see if anyone had a gallon of fuel they'd sell us. Rather than do that, I drained a small Gatorade bottle and this would become the critical component of our fuel delivery system :lol3 :lol3.

    Hey JP - what are you doing with those tools rolled out on the road next to my bike?

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    Fortunately (for JP), my super tanker has a drain bolt on the front wing. Although it proved to be one hell of a messy job and there was likely more gas spilled than made it into the little Gatorade bottle, enough was transferred to get JP going again. Though not enough to make it all the way to Big Pine, which I gave him no end of $hit about when we stopped to do it again :rofl :rofl

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    NOTE: please extinguish all smoking materials prior to doing this yourself.

    Back at it and on asphalt for the rip into Big Pine. It was cold going over the pass before dropping into Big Pine. Look...snow!

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    Great views though.

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    We wanted to go to the Copper Top BBQ joint, but it was closed (dammit - was closed the last time I was there too). We hit the Country Kitchen Diner and had a good Reuben. Chowed that down and made our way back to the hot springs.

    The ride back was really nice and going via north pass was much smoother than coming in from the south. We stopped by an abandoned mine and buildings along the way, still cool to see this stuff hanging about.

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    Got back to camp and noticed our tents had been flattened. Hmmm. Guess the winds had picked up badly and our good neighbors put rocks on our stuff so it wouldn't fly away. Good thing as losing our tents would have sucked. Unfortunately, this was an omen of what was coming...about 30 minutes after we returned.

    This is what the inside of my tent looked like before the sandstorm hit.

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    This is what was coming at us packing 65 mph gusts. Note JP calmly getting out his gear so we could go hit the springs.

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    What ensued was one of the worst nights camping I've ever had - and that's saying something as I've been camping 40+ years. We hunkered down in one of the pools as there was nowhere to hide from the sand blast; and this $hit actually hurt when it hit you. We got back to camp around 3:30 in the afternoon and stayed in the hot spring (which was more of a warm spring given how hard the wind was blowing) until it was dark. The wind never let up, crawled into my sand/grit filled sleeping bag and listened to it howl all night long. Oh well, it's all part of the adventure...lol.

    No more pics from the day as sealed the camera up. I learned a valuable lesson about the need to seal everything up the next day. Igniter wouldn't fire on the Jetboil, had sand/grit in the USB ports of my portable charger, pretty much had sand and grit in everything that wasn't in a dry bag. Lesson learned, won't leave anything out that doesn't agree with sand & grit.
    #26
  7. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    Your drone photography really helped to make a nice video and the stills sure added to your story.

    Sand sucks.
    #27
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  8. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    Reading along I wanted to tell you to lay your tents flat and pile rocks on them...oh well, at least someone helped you out. I've spent two days in my tent there waiting out the W there, we never say the whole word at Saline.

    :webers
    #28
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  9. JP Rider

    JP Rider Let's Just Ride!

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    20190409_064854.jpg Yes, day 4 was a challenge for me regarding fuel management, coolant management, and electrical management with blown fuses on a couple of circuits ... dang Katooms anyway, and as my mascot Homer would say ... :doh

    But that was still an awesome day of riding, although the ensuing sand storm that night was not so
    much fun?!?!? I think I'll still be shaking sand out of my gear for months after that one! :hmmmmm
    #29
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  10. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

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    Excellent RR
    #30
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  11. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    :lol3 :lol3

    To be fair, JP gave me a bunch of his good, ethanol free fuel before we left PSR. We both thought we had plenty of fuel to get to Big Pine - he just likes the happy handle and that big single sucks gas...unlike my weak little 2-fiddy...lol.

    Great capture JP - keep adding stuff to the report man, makes it much more enjoyable with multiple perspectives :thumb:thumb
    #31
  12. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    Thanks @Ol Man! Appreciate the comments, JP was very patient as it took a good chunk of time to get that goofy drone out and set for the video. It's definitely worth it in the end, but can be a real PIA when it's frickin' hot.
    #32
  13. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    Thanks @tundradirtbiker! You been out lately? Have anything planned for Plush, Fields, Denio, etc? Hope life has been treating you well :nod :nod
    #33
  14. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

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    The end of May at the play area corner of Oregon this year to start. Lots of work at home for the moment. I like the trip setup for base and camping locations. You would be the perfect guide for the dirt bike camp crews in our travels.
    #34
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  15. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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    Nice RR!

    I think you are the guys me and Highfive visited with on our first morning at PSR.
    You gave us some good info, Thanks.

    We rode about 30 miles or so in the windstorm. Vision was down to a couple of hundred yards , maybe,... It felt like we were being sandblasted (because we were) The wind rocked the van and hampered our sleep for a while that night. But that was nothing compared to you guys sleeping out in it.
    .Adventure riding ain't always comfortable, but it is always fun.............Happy Trails!!
    #35
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  16. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    Was hoping you or high five would see the report and chime in, thanks for the comments @rufus! You guys packed up and left before we could find out how your rides from PSR went, you'll have to join us at the fire if there's ever a next time :beer :beer

    Have a feeling we missed seeing you in Saline because my flat gave us a much later start than planned. Did you enjoy coming down Lippincott? Next time, I want to check out Hunter Mountain and go that route like you guys did.

    Safe travels :thumb :thumb
    #36
  17. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    Time to get to day 5. I was really looking forward to this ride as I hadn't done any of the planned track before. We opted to skip going up Lippincott in '16 as fuel might have been an issue - a couple of guys likely wouldn't have made it to Stovepipe Wells.

    Our track would take us up Lippincott, by the Racetrack to Tea Kettle Junction, then down to Ubehebe with a long slab back to PSR (and a stop at Stovepipe Wells).

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    It took a fair amount of time to try and shake the sand/grit out of all our stuff, had this amount left in my tent after taking everything out...nuts.

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    Made it to the junction and looked up into the hills...was stoked to hit this section.

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    From this perspective, it doesn't look too bad at all. That definitely changed after we started ascending one of the first switchbacks. Lots of big rocks to pick your way through and definitely important to keep momentum going. Though the little WR lacks grunt and torque, she was easy to maneuver up the rock filled minefield. JP had one minor tip over, but that's because the goofy Katooms are so tall.

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    Made it to the pass and had to stop by the sign for a couple shots.

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    Found JP at the intersection letting the 5-hunny cool down after the rock climbing adventure. We bombed to the Racetrack to check it out, pretty damn cool. I found one rock that had decent tracks behind it - crazy.

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    Next up was a bone-jarring washboard rip that lasted past Tea Kettle junction and essentially all the way down to Ubehebe. It was great to see the junction and the next time I head down there, I want to ride Hunter mountain and go that route - supposed to be sweet.

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    I haven't checked yet, but I like these trees. Anyone with local knowledge want to save me the time and tell me what they are?

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    We made it to Ubehebe and the wind was blowing hard enough that you had to lean into it. Guess the wind from Saline Valley decided to make its way to this side :lol3:lol3. Really cool crater and the size of it is something else. For reference, check the people hiking up in the bottom of the picture - they look like ants.

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    Made it back to base at PSR and found out that the wind decided to pay a visit here too. Thankfully, someone rocked my base camp tent so it wouldn't be a sacrifice to the wind gods.

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    Time for some cold Pacificos and grub - great end to the day's rip.

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    #37
  18. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    It's a Joshua Tree.
    #38
  19. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    Thank you (though I feel a bit the dunce...probably should have known that) :-) :-)
    #39
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  20. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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    Hunter mountain was a fun and easy ride. it was neat to see teakettle and the racetrack. Lippencott was gnarly and fun. Too much throttle and not paying attention and we missed the turn to the springs.
    BUT......Past the snow in the mountains headed to Big Pine I had a flat coming up some switchbacks. While I was changing the tube , 2 fighter jets flew down the canyon, they were eye level and probably less than 200 feet from us as they turned and went out of sight. They were only 5 or 6 seconds apart. we had no time to grab a camera. We were grinnin ear to ear. It was worth missing the turn and having a flat to see those jets.

    The loop behind Ballarat to Rogers pass and down wingate(?) was also a lot of fun. The wind at the top (above striped butte)nearly blew us off our bikes. I put my bike on the kickstand and as I stepped off, it was all i could do to stay on my feet. The wind lifted both wheels off the ground! That was the hardest wind I have ever felt.
    Scott (highfive) is an excellent photographer and he took over 900 pictures. I think once he gets his pictures sorted he will start a RR. That will be a few weeks (at least). We went through the Albama Hills on the way home ,just driving, no riding. Lone Pine is cool. I want to spend more time there.

    We missed the springs and a few other things......that just gives us a reason to some back some day!!

    We had a great trip! Looks like you guys did too!!!!
    #40
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