A couple of months ago, I planned a trip to Death Valley with my good friend JT, who had never been. Getting close to departure day, though, I was seriously suffering from stressed out, pandemic, work related arrggggghhh! Codewife and I are lucky, really, that we're both able to keep working and have been healthy, but damn, it was time to get away and sort myself out. So I told my boss my long weekend was extending into the entire following week. 12 day trip, let's go! I left my home in Morgan Hill, California, after work on Wednesday. Packed up and ready to go, I was meeting Codewife in Paso Robles for a great dinner at our favorite restaurant (Il Cortile). Headed out 25 south of Salinas: Lots of cows on this trip: It's was along 25 that I found the new Anakee Wilds were terrifying on the street. I'm running them at my normal street tire pressure, 38 psi front and 42 front. I've never ridden any tire (knobbie or street) that wants to fall into a corner more than these tires. I found myself counter steering out of each corner just to keep my lines. The first 15 minutes were like me being a noob again and 50 pencing each corner. I eventually got the hang of the tires, but it was a remarkably self conscious ride. Everything is better with a barn photo: Got to Paso after a blast down the freeway to make it on time. Holy speed wobble Batman, I had to keep things below 75 mph or the tires wandered all over, shaking like crazy. Tomorrow is a ride to Death Valley, how are these tires going to perform? I left Paso in the morning, gassed up and headed out the fantastic CA 155 to Lake Isabella. Important point here, this is a twisty, twisty road and I forgot it went as high as it did. Did I mention I have my mesh jacket with me? Froze my nuts off heading up to the 6100 foot pass at Greenhorn Summit. I was not quite prepared for the 31 degree temperature, but I was finally understanding my tires, though Finally headed out of Lake Isabella after a nice Patty Melt at the Dam Korner Cafe, and crested Walker Pass, looking for the proper desert and some warmth: Reminded me of a U2 song Heading up 395, the wind was stupid strong. I think perhaps some of the worst winds I ever rode in was coming off the Sierra, and then suddenly, there was no wind. And then it was back, and gone again! Crazy. Stopped at the Chevron and gassed up, filled up my spare gas cans and got ready to head into Death Valley proper. Hit Olancha, eventually Turn right on 190, now we're heading into DV proper Gaining some altitude, Death Valley being all about extremes of altitude and temperature. There's still snow in the Sierra Made it! Heading in to DV via 190 from the west is one of my favorite routes, although it's the road in to Panamint Valley that really gets my blood boiling. Crowley point, for instance, looking over the Panamint Valley It's at some point on this ride, probably on the bumpy short road to Crowley point, that I apparently lost one of my auxiliary gas cans. I didn't notice this until I got into Furnace Creek, checked in and got into the room. Somewhere out there are two liters of Chevron's finest 89 octane ... JT was running late, so I grabbed some "to go" from the Last Kind Word Saloon and ate on the patio. JT arrived after sunset, and we shared some whiskey and tequila, and got ready for the following morning. JT, being a DV noob, my first ride was to take him along Titus Canyon. We got a bit late of a start, and it was really, really cold going over Daylight Pass. But finally, let's hit the dirt and air down I'm riding with the Marlboro man here Heading up Titus Canyon It was then I noticed something was missing Parked along the road and let's walk up and see what we see That road looks good Heading up to Red Pass, what an fantastically beautiful place Titus Canyon was actually in the worst state I'd seen it. I was happy to have the proper knobbie tires rather than Anakee 3's, which is what I had on last time I did this route. The uphills were quite rutted out, and the narrow descent off of Red Pass required some traction from the big beasts. We eventually got to Leadfield Seriously, why doesn't this guy have a cigarette Heading further down Titus Canyon, I'm beginning to fall in love with the Anakee Wilds. I'm running 20/22 PSI front/rear, and they frickin' rock. I can cross through the thick gravel in the middle of the road with ease, and I feel really great with these tires. The tires with the Enduro ride mode are really confidence inspiring. We got down to the actual canyon, with shallow gravel. Tight and twisty as we approached some petroglyphs The sun was high, but we weren't hot Does this canyon get more narrow? Idiot in the road JT on a bike https://codewheeney.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Trips/2021-Moto-wandering/i-RtD6BCZ/A Riding through Titus https://codewheeney.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Trips/2021-Moto-wandering/i-Vnp97Qh/A Finally popped out into DV and had to air up Airing up, my portable pump couldn't quite get my Wilds up to my previous pressures, so it was 32/36 front/rear. What a transformation on the street. I was on to something here, now the tires performed well, being 50/50 tires. Inyo county, where DV is, was still under quite strict dining restrictions, so we headed back out to Beatty and had a great lunch at Smokin J's BBQ. We then headed back into DV via Daylight Pass Cutoff. It's weird to say DV is my happy place, but it is truly that place. I had the right music, the right view and the right wing man. I love this place We got back to Furnace Creek and had, oddly, a great salad with chicken and hung out on our patio and drank our booze and told lies. Tomorrow was a longer day on the bike, can't wait.