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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Black Cat CO, Feb 7, 2019.
Continuing from Death Valley 2019 trip planning.
Ride Report: Death Valley week between 2/1/19-2/8/19
It’s been an adventure for sure. Mostly highs but definitely some challenges.
Friday 2/1/19- leave Alma, CO, drive all night , arrive in Death Valley around 10:00am. Challenge # 1, trailer lights don’t work, buy parts at Murdoch’s, stop in Eagle, CO. Rewire my 7 way receiver, tabs corroded, only thing I didn’t remember to check on truck. Everything works accept tail lights, crap. Stop in Grand Junction at truck stop, buy battery powered tail lights, sweet lights on just in time for Utah, thank goodness. They don’t take kindly to us pot smoking Colorado hippies to well. No more issues, arrived in Death Valley excited, despite a light rain.
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Sat. 2/2/19. Light rain, breezy, cool. We try a little ride, Matt snaps his clutch cable 6 miles from camp. Sh!t, ah I have a spare dr650 cable, copy that. We fix BMW 650 gs broken clutch cable with dr650 spare. After that, we decided to just chill for the rest of Saturday. Sat. into Sun. Rain At night, some signs of flooding, snow at higher elevations, WIND!!! Sunday morning partly cloudy, Windy, cool.
Headed out to Ashford Meadows/Devils Hole, hit up Artist Drive on Way, run Furnace Creek Wash RD. To Deadman’s Pass, fun ride, some washouts from flooding but all passable not to bad. We stop at the Amaragosa Opera house cafe for some coffee prior to Ashford Meadows.So far so good, sun is out but holy Moses it’s windy, like a head wind trying to rip my helmet off my head windy. I do like how trip planning eventually becomes the trip though, intention into reality thing. Camp spot is at Emigrant, not terrible but it’s open, exposed and rocky, not good for tent stakes.
Furnace Creek Visitors Center
Coffee at the Opera House/ Death Valley Junction
So as things tend to get interesting out on the roads. We had fought a real nast head wind, the type that creates the StarWars dust storms there in the Badwater Basin. So as we’re leaving Ashford Meadows, Tim hits reserve, keeping in mind that Furnace Creek was still about 40 miles away, then I hit reserve. So we get about 7 miles from Furnace Creek right about the 3000 Ft. crest (all down hill from here), Tim runs out of fuel. Well he’s coasting in nutral but definitely on his way to stopping. Matt comes up to Timmy’s KLR and gets his foot on his panniers and starts the motorized push back to gas. Matt and I push Tim all the way back to Furnace Creek gas station off his panniers at like 40mph. We had a great laugh about that.
Monday 2/4/19: Emigrant to Beatty, Titus Canyon to Ubehebe Crater and back. Totally awesome ride, except for Matty getting harassed by the cop in Beatty for his helmet (Matty sports the M5 Kevlar helmet)(it’s his thing).
Titus was freshly flooded but totally passable, nothing for concern. Ubehebe was really cool too.
Titus & Ubehebe
A few more
Love the Camo set up. A fun trip for sure
Tuesday 2/5/19: headed from base camp (Emigrant Campground) to Saline Hotsprings. Still windy at camp, and pretty cool. We totally lost our ez-up to the wind the day before. Should have removed the cover that night, a little too much whiskey may have played a role in our decision making.
We rode from camp to Panamint Springs out to Saline Valley Rd. Over South Pass to the springs. This was a good ride, still cold in the Panamint Valley though. Crossing the Panamint Valley we saw a good sized, fast moving sand storm headed into our direction, We twisted the throttles on our speeders and with fists raised ripped through the torrent from Tattooen, yet another StarWars time warp moment. South Pass was in good shape no snow at this time. Once into the Saline Valley we were treated to a High octane jet fighter flyby at like 200 ft. off the deck. A wing dip and full engagement of the afterburners was awesome. The springs was great, totally worth the ride. No signage to the springs, but once past the salt lake, then like a mile north past the dunes, look for some old equipment tires on your right,that’s the road in. The sun shone down on the palm trees like a distant beacon, beckoning us to a well earned place of rest. It was a relief to know we had found them and the road in was super cool hard packed sand, really deceptive at first but fun as hell. As the weather man was predicting the wind shut down that evening and we got to soak in the upper (warmest) pool for a good while. A nice passing of some fine bourbon from a fellow soaker was well received, Thanks Elliot.
In the Saline Valley
Wednesday 2/6/19: leaving Saline Valley over North Pass to Big Pine.
Leaving the Saline Valley was a nice ride on a warmish morning. We were again treated to a military flyover but this time we were hauling fast up the saline valley rd just as it narrows to north pass and all of a sudden there’s two helicopter gun ships flying directly overhead (so low) man that was cool, we were all stoked.
This is where things got interesting. SNOW! To make a long day a short story. We spent 5 hours getting our bikes like 5-6 miles, total 8-10 hours and like 30 miles.It was extremely challenging, wicked hard work and a total adventure. I’ll just say “smarter men would have turned back and lesser men may have died.”
We made it into Big Pine after dark, we were cold, exhausted and starving. We treated ourselves to a motel and some awesome BBQ and beers from the Copper Top (amazing ribs). It was a great relief to be done for the day. The stress of the day melting away with each sip of beer and bite of we’ll earn food.
Thursday 2/7/19: easy day, just rolled back from Big Pine to Camp. Pretty Cold in the higher elevations, hands pretty frozen. Grip heaters are on the list for sure after this ride. Stopped in Panamint Springs for a beer, then back to Emigrant.
Ahhh...I love Death Valley. Nice set of pictures and it looks like you guys experienced a bunch of the fun stuff. There's nothing like soaking in Saline Valley HS after a day in the saddle...especially when you get to enjoy good whisky.
Question about one of your last pics, what the hell is on top of that crazy looking rig? Or is it parked under something? That beast looks to be a serious off-road camping rig, though I'd expect more in the way of suspension travel. Cool looking regardless.
I need to get back down to DV and enjoy all the riding it has to offer, such a neat place to explore.
Nice job on the RR, post more pics if you have 'em
It’s parked under the awning at the Panamint Springs gas station. It was a cool rig for sure, some German guy and his family traveling around.
Friday 2/8/19: last day☹️. We take a quick run up to the charcoal kilns, pack up camp and slug it back 15 hours to Colorado.
Death Valley was fun, March would likely have been better weather but that was the gamble we chose, got to ride the bikes in February and that as we all know was worth it. Tim, Matt and myself get along great even when the going gets tough. We work through the problems with a positive mental attitude, come up with the solutions and keep it going, and that’s a great part of the adventure too. Thanks Death Valley
Road Conditions: heavy rains and some snow during last week. Watch gravel on corners on paved roads and some gravel on cross washes. Off-road conditions mostly good in DV some washes had flowed look out for rain ruts on cross washes. North Pass had snow not recommended for bikes ❄️. Looked like some of the outer most campgrounds were closed as we rode by. Check your latest updates for sure.
Thanks for the report :)