DV in December Ride Planning thread

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by KillerPriller, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. KillerPriller

    KillerPriller Long timer

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    Its been a rough plan of mine for almost a year now to ride and explore some of the back roads of Death Valley. In the summer months, I have explored some of the mining towns up by Lee Vining and Mono Lake, but I hear the real fun is in Death Valley!

    The first weekend in December is the tentative date (3rd, 4th, and 5th). This would imply cutting work early on Friday and riding out that evening. Saturday would be spent exploring and Sunday would be the ride out and home.

    What I need to do now is firm up some stuff.

    1) Who’s with me on this adventure? Anyone game enough to tackle some Cadillac dirt and remote desert camping?

    2) What route?



    This is the rough plan. I need to ask some of the more experienced DV riders. Is my plan for Saturday over ambitious? Is it perhaps too sedate? Are the roads do-able with evening’s rations and camping gear?

    - Rough Plan –

    Friday Night
    1) Depart LA area at 3pm for Trona. Overnight in Trona motel.

    Saturday
    1) Visit Ballerat (ghost town)
    2) Ride out Goler RD (is this do-able on GS’s?)
    3) Connect with “West Side Road” and head North to Furnace Creek for Lunch
    4) After lunch, head North to Rhyolite for a few snaps.
    5) After Rhyolite, head south west via Titus Canyon. (is this do-able with GS’s?)
    6) North on 190 to Ubehebe crater
    7) South to Tea Kettle Junction
    8) South to Race Track (need advice here, can you continue through to Hidden Valley Rd?)
    9) Camp somewhere just outside the park

    Sunday
    1) Visit Darwin
    2) Panamint Springs for breakfast?
    3) Mosey on home via Owens valley or backtrack to Trona


    Well, this is the rough plan as it is. Im sure it will deviate based on the inputs of those that have been before. Your input is welcome!!!
    #1
  2. pierce

    pierce Ex Tourer

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    bunches of closed roads in DV right now, including West Side, I think 190, and I dunno what else more.
    #2
  3. billy bee

    billy bee AAdventurer

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    Of course, Killer, I am in. I have some e-mails that I saved from guys familiar with the area. I will send them on. I will also post your ride plan in the GS List. Many guys from SF Area who'll be able to help.

    BillB
    #3
  4. papavero

    papavero Just good enough.

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    For now, I'm out. Too many things going on in Dec. I'll watch the posts, and if things change I'll jump in.
    #4
  5. Rad

    Rad Done riding

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    How good are you on that GS? I'm pretty good and Mully is far far better and we both got stopped at Mengel Pass head'n west.

    A loaded GS over Mengal pass, you better be almost a Jimmy Lewis :nod

    Also keep in mind, as was stated, West Side road is closed right now
    #5
  6. traveltoad

    traveltoad Aaron S

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    I heard that Lippencott has been graded and is very smooth/easy right now. :cry
    #6
  7. Mr Head

    Mr Head Adventure Hippie Supporter

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    I'm up for easy, since I'll have shiny new Tourances mounted next week.

    Once I win the lotto, I'll hook up that extra set of "dirt" wheels...

    Sounds like a good plan though.

    Isn't this the weekend of the motorcycle Show? No new Adventures so I can't see any reason to go...
    #7
  8. MrMike

    MrMike No self control

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    We were in DV in april and went over some of the stuff that your talking about. We were in my truck but were thinking how it would be on a bike.
    Titus canyon: no problem, followed a guy in honda car through there.
    Ubehebe crater to race track: easy road but they had graded it with a tractor and left track marks through the whole route. Rattled or brains out. One caution, soft sand over hard base, pay attension.
    Teakettle throught hidden valley over hunter mtn to 190: Same as road to racetrack. Same cautions.
    In one day we went from Furnace creek to racetrack, across hunter MTN down 190, across to the carcoal kilns and back to furnace creek. It was sun up to sun down. Way to much to see in one day, we had to haul ass.
    Remember Titus is one way East to West.
    I'd love to go but Bike show Fri, going to VEGAS Monday, and the only camping I've done is in a motorhome. Pathetic excuses I know but there you go. :rofl
    #8
  9. billy bee

    billy bee AAdventurer

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    Yes, it is the same weekend. I am convinced that the show will be dog doo (b/c Nick told me), so we won't be missing anything. Actually, the reports from SF are pretty bleak.

    BillB
    #9
  10. Bill on bike

    Bill on bike Adventurer

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    I went over Mengel Pass in Feb. '04 along with three other 1150's and one 650 Dakar. We went from West Side Rd. over the pass through Goler Wash and out to Ballarat and back in by 190 to Furnace Creek campground. We left at 8AM and got back at 6PM. It kicked my ass. The riding and views were great BUT there are three or four waterfall type climbs that we all helped each other up and over. I was riding an 1150 with Tourances and in some places I was spinning the tires and smoking them while trying to climb over rocks. Let me say this was my first time out in the dirt with my GS and I was a LITTLE over my head but I did make it. :D Of the other four guys I found out half way up they had all attended a dirt riding school TWICE, the secong time with their GS's. Only one guy didn't drop it at all. Most were just drops in deep sand. But the steep downhills over rocks about 12 to 18inches tall did claim some of us.
    Going up to Mengel Pass from the Valley was the sandy part. Going down Goler Wash had the rocks, and coming into the park that way would be a REAL bitch. I did it once, don't know if I'd do it again, but knobbys are the way to go.
    #10
  11. Bill on bike

    Bill on bike Adventurer

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    #11
  12. CraigTransalp

    CraigTransalp Been here awhile

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    I did a '04 spring ride on the DV blacktop so I'm interested in your general plan for dirt roads. I'll be riding my '90 Honda Transalp. I have recently upgraded the front suspension with XR650L parts which is a night and day difference in capability on advanced trail sections. I've only ridden one test-ride so far and I'm anxious for a real challenge!
    I live in Huntington Beach too, but I'll be driving my van up to Trona with the MC inside. I could possibly bring some of your extra gear along with me.
    Craig L
    #12
  13. KillerPriller

    KillerPriller Long timer

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    Hey thanks everyone for the responses. Sounds like Goler wash is probably out if we take the GS's. I would love to spend some time exploring everything on XR's, but even then i think i would have gas limitations.

    So, given the new information, it looks like we might want to enter in via the race track route.
    #13
  14. KillerPriller

    KillerPriller Long timer

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    Bill on Bike, thanks for the DV link. Good stuff!

    nk
    #14
  15. Bill on bike

    Bill on bike Adventurer

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    Your welcome on the websites. Wish I could go along but I will be working the BMW MOA booth on Fri nite, oh well, maybe next time.
    Have you ever been up to Cerro Gordo? There was a write-up about it in Free 2 Wheel some time ago. Sounded interesting but I would like some company.
    #15
  16. Popey

    Popey Nutter

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    I was in DV last month and posted a ride report. Snow and Sand, or something, was the title, if you're interested.

    Anyway, heard things have changed and that West Side Road is now open, tho' Titus Canyon is closed and there's been rain in the Racetrack area as well. Obviously worth checking the DV website pretty frequently.

    Conditions aside, and with no experience of Mengel Pass, I'd say the rest of your Saturday plan is doable...assuming you take Wildrose or 190 all the way into the park from Trona and then head to the Badwater area en route to Ryolite and on. Pretty long but awesome day and should be time to check things out along the way too.

    Keep us posted of your plans. Probably a bit soon for me to go again...was probably planning on waiting 'til January. Have fun.
    #16
  17. KillerPriller

    KillerPriller Long timer

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    update:

    Tony, you are my hero!!!

    I spent some quality time with Tony (GermanTrick) over lunch and a map. With his expert experience, we quickly sketched out a few potential fun routes.

    So, we have choices.

    1) if our fearless crew decides to trailer up some DS bikes, we can make a fantastic weekend by exploring mines, ghost towns, and remote areas of the park.

    2) Our other option (and just as much fun) is a traditional GS ride via cadilac dirt through the Northern parts of the park.

    Bill, Mr. Head, i have a plan. will have to get together over coffee and share it.

    nk
    #17
  18. Mr Head

    Mr Head Adventure Hippie Supporter

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    Sounds good.

    This weekend I'm catching up on home chores. But, coffee is always a part of my plans.
    #18
  19. CraigTransalp

    CraigTransalp Been here awhile

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    I'm in on plan Dualsport too.
    CraigTransalp
    #19
  20. Mr Head

    Mr Head Adventure Hippie Supporter

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    Must remember I suck on dirt. And I'm riding a pig. I mean Adventure, of the BMW type. This thing is huge! I scared a guy in a Humvee the other day!

    With the Jesse cago containers I can carry quite a bit more than I can lift. And more than enough to crush the frame over time. My plastic cases are somewhere out there in the shipping ether...
    #20