Day 1- Leaving Las Vegas Our tour started with a scenic stroll through Red Rock canyon which spit us out on 160. We headed West for a few miles and cut south through Cottonwood canyon to intersect the NVBDR at the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings. Cottonwood canyon was a chunky Jeep two track that wasn’t overly technical, but had some soft-ish stuff that made me glad I was on a 525, and not my normal GS. Over a couple of cold ones at the saloon, we learned of the historical significance of the place. One interesting pieces of history involves the fatal shooting during a game of cards in 1915. The saloon keeps a framed picture of the coroners letter to the victims brother immediately above the three bullet holes in the wall of the joint. After settling up with the bar keep, we saddled our steeds and headed north following the NVBDR towards Pahrump. The roads were wide open graded dirt roads that finally gave way to a little nicer two track that had some fun spots. We came across a shooting range and a little dirt playground full of small hill climbs for us to play around on right before we hit tarmac again. We grabbed a quick bite in Pahrump and again headed north. This section was more of the same long, wide, straight dirt roads that are great for a bigger GS, but left us questioning if a 525 and a 701 were the right choice for this trip... then we hit Big Dune, and knew we made the right choice. We spent the next hour running in, over, around, and through all the pristine soft stuff on the bikes. For a Saturday, I thought we would have more company, but we only saw maybe a half dozen Razors and a few bikes. It felt like we had the place to ourselves! It would be a pretty cool place to camp too. These dunes seem to bubble out of nowhere in the middle of these rocky canyons... really cool. On our way out we collected some trail karma by helping a young couple get their Kia sedan out of the deep sand. Now that we had our fun, we left Amargosa Valley and got back on track and had our sights set on Beaty. The last part north of 95 had some washed out sections, but nothing impassible. Again, I was happy with my choice of a lighter bike as it made the travel time substantially less and reduced effort. We crosse through Secret Pass and climbed up to the top of the radio towers, but didn’t loiter long. We pulled into Beaty with plenty of light to spare, gassed up, checked in, and hit the local VFW on the recommendation from the motel staff. Seriously, if you’re in Beaty, and looking for good food, friendly folks, and a good time... go check it out. Tomorrow we cross into Death Valley.