Make Booty Your Favorite! A Death Valley Treasure Hunt with BigWan and LittleWan

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LittleWan, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

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    Hi sion!
    yeah, I thought maybe "roly poly" like the bugs.

    oh- here in California, I was told that babyheads are rocks that are partially embedded in the ground.
    The tops stick up and get polished and smooth from being run over.
    Babyheads also cause flats if you hit them going too fast. :D

    sion likes this.
  2. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

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    1/27/20: ballarat - goler- mengel - stella's cabin - mengel - goler - south park canyon- rogers pass- pleasant canyon
    continued



    I tried not to be too redundant here.
    We've done these rides before but I don't think I've had pics or screen shots from this part.

    From mengel towards ballarat (can't remember for sure but I think it was before goler?)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Instead of going all the way back to camp, we decided to go directly to South Park Canyon.

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    South Park Canyon was pretty torn up, compared to how it had been in December.
    Right from the beginning, I noticed the rocks were looser and it was harder to get traction.
    At first I thought it was the change we made in the XT gearing (went up a tooth/back to stock),
    or maybe it was the heat zapping my energy (mid-high 70s)...
    Perhaps doing Goler/Mengel/Mengel/Goler wore me out...
    whatever it was, I struggled more than I had in December.


    A couple pics in the canyon. This steep section is quite a climb.
    I needed to take a break.
    looking up the hill
    [​IMG]


    looking back the way we came
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    By the time we got to the cabins, I was spent.
    I went inside and rummaged around for some salt.
    I was sweating like crazy and needed electrolytes.
    (found some! yay for friends of briggs :D)


    [​IMG]


    It didn't help that I knew what was coming next...
    Chicken Corner! :robin


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  3. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

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    1/27/20: ballarat - goler- mengel - stella's cabin - mengel - goler - south park canyon- rogers pass- pleasant canyon
    continued



    Seeing as how I was already smoked, I was more than a little nervous about the rest of the canyon.



    Matt wanted me to stop pretty far from chicken corner so I would have room for a nice approach.
    Looking back at the bikes didn't make me feel any more relaxed!
    I do not like heights. At all.

    [​IMG]


    He still thought the outside line was the best - Um. hell. no. :nah

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    But I was willing to try the inside (chicken?) line.

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    side view
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    There was still a scary drop off the side, but at least there was a wider strip of road to work with

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    Matt was confident that I could do it.

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    But I was still freaking out inside.

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    [​IMG]



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    Woo! I can't believe I didn't die! :knary


    There's video of that, but neither one of us was in the mood to edit tonight.
    Maybe BigWan will put one together later.



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  4. PilbaraGoat

    PilbaraGoat Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Just quickly
    Long time reader of your reports
    So thrilled with what you two are up to these days!
    just wanted to thank you so much on behalf of the many lurkers for the Oso series of rr, what a gift you have given to so many.

    keep up the good work

    my wife and I are off for an overnightervthrough northern Victoria (australia) along the Murray river tomorrow.
    Not two up !

    thanks for the inspiration and the laughs
    Trust Matt - you can do it!!!!,
  5. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

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    Thank you, PilbaraGoat!
    It was so kind of you to take the time to sign in and post those nice things. :shog
    We appreciate your readership!
    I hope you and your wife have a fantastic ride!
    How are the fires in Victoria and NSW? Have you been getting any rain?


    The news stories have been heartbreaking; it's so awful how Australia is suffering.
    I wanted to make joey pouches and send them to the animal rescue centers,
    but I understand they've been inundated with knit/crochet donations.
    I've been doing paypal instead, and the updates I'm getting have staggering numbers.

    Up to 1 Billion animals died in the fires? It's hard to comprehend. :cry

    So, sending lots of love to Australia. :raabia
    thanks again,
    kelly

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  6. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

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    1/27/20: ballarat - goler- mengel - stella's cabin - mengel - goler - south park canyon- rogers pass- pleasant canyon
    continued





    Haha, I asked Matt if he would upload a clip of chicken corner for me.
    He outdid himself.

    :lol3






    There's some Mengel pass in there, too.
    So silly. :rofl




    Back to South Park Canyon...

    This next part is always hard for me - it's loose and the climb is deceiving.
    It just goes up and up and up.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


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    I wish the sun hadn't been so bright here - it washes the details out.
    This is a gnarly rock section, with some steps, but it looks so flat here.

    [​IMG]


    other direction. better? No. Oh well.

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    Here's Matt trying to show me the line he likes.

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    uh huh.
    Ummm... can you do me a faaaavor?


    [​IMG]


    I was too tired to take a photo of him riding it. Thanks, Mr. Honey! :nomystery
    Whew. I needed to save my energy for the rest of the climb out of the canyon.
    It's still steep and loose.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    Some ice to avoid

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    [​IMG]


    And then we were out. :knary I was so happy to see Middle Park!

    [​IMG]
  7. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Fantastic video. Can't wait to see the full length feature.
  8. sion

    sion sigh-own

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    I don't know which is better, Kelly doing Chicken Corner or the video of same...:clap:clap
  9. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

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    Aw, thanks you guys!
    I'm happy you watched it :D




    1/27/20: ballarat - goler- mengel - stella's cabin - mengel - goler - south park canyon- rogers pass- pleasant canyon
    continued




    We headed over to check out the view.

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    [​IMG]


    There's Striped Butte on the right!
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    This is that big ass hill that @larryboy likes.
    Matt did a quick up and down on the 350. He's a tiny little speck somewhere up there...

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    Matt realized he had a flat here.

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    He was able to just plug the hole instead of having to change a tube (tubliss system).
    it was pretty fast!


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    The XT, looking more dirt worthy all the time! :raabia
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    [​IMG]



    In December, the snow was pretty deep, but had been rideable.
    Now, it was ice. Hooray.


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    [​IMG]


    It was sketchy.

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    The flat parts weren't too bad...(although I think I'm hung up on a big rock right here)

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    But the steep parts were scary.

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    Short legs, don't fail me now!

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    Whew. Made it!

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    :vardy

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    It had all been icy, but this section was super slick. Like a skating rink.

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    I was holding my breath here...don't crash, don't crash, don't crash...

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    So happy to get out of the ice and into Pleasant Canyon!

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    Pleasant Canyon was pleasant as always.
    It's a long, steep, rocky ride but it was dreamy after all that ice.
    BigWan likes to coast down the whole thing with the engine off...

    We rode it again later in the week, I'll save pics of Pleasant canyon for next time.




    Back at Ballarat - it was only 86 miles but felt like a lot more. :lol3

    [​IMG]


    Another beautiful DV evening sky :0-0
    (I called it a sunset but it's not)

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  10. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    I loved the video. You did great with the riding and Matt outdid himself showing how well you are doing. I think you have a proud hubby. :clap
  11. joefromsf

    joefromsf Dark Happens Supporter

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    Hey @LittleWan , glad to you and Matt riding and posting. Your ride reports are the best. Loved the video.

    See you at the Noobs Rally.
  12. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Great stuff Wan’s, thanks for all the work.
  13. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

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    Thanks, Ladybug! I'm tickled that you enjoyed the video. :D
    Hee hee, I think he's also happy that all his hours of patience are starting to pay off!


    Hey Joe,
    We were just thinking of you - we went to the U2 shrine this last trip.
    I'm sure you've been there by now (8 yrs have passed!)
    Thanks for the support and see you at Noobs!


    Hi Bob!
    Glad you like the updates!
    Good to see you around :wave
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  14. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

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    1/28/20 tuesday
    75 miles for BigWan


    When I woke up, I could barely move my right thumb it was so swollen.
    I injured it last May, eating shit on Sovereign singletrack in Moab,** and it's been delicate ever since.
    Didn't have any crashes yesterday, but I did have to wrestle with the XT a bunch and probably wrenched it then.
    Dumb thumb. :(: :thumbup


    It was an easy move from Ballarat to Panamint Springs Resort.
    Got checked into dry RV spot 51.
    I should have taken a photo of the RV spot we're going to have for DVNR but I totally forgot. :dizave


    I only have this pic of tent cabin 14 for @Capt.saveaho :D

    [​IMG]


    and a pic of the XT

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    With my thumb still hurting, it was a good time for BigWan to go do some scouting on his own.
    I am slow, so by going solo he was able to rip and cover the miles quickly.
    I tried to get caught up on emails and bullshit that we missed while off the grid at Ballarat.
    Obviously, matt had more fun than I did. :fitz


    He did freeze his butt off, though. It was windy and getting dark when he got back.
    I checked the forecast with the painfully slow wifi and saw that we would be looking at temps in the low 60s and wind gusts to 38mph for tomorrow.




    ** gratuitous pic from Sovereign ST since I don't have any other photos for today's entry.
    [​IMG]






    1/29/20 PSR - Darwin - Lower Centennial Flat - S 5 - Saline Valley Rd - Lippincott - Racetrack - Teakettle Jct - Hunter Mountain - PSR


    The wind was really honking last night - it came up early and just kept cranking.
    As Matt was fueling up the bikes, our neighbor came over and asked if it was always this windy in DV.
    Poor guy, he had been getting smooshed by his tent collapsing in the wind.
    Matt told him it was pretty common here and that today's forecast was looking windy.
    (later that evening we saw that he had moved to a cabin. good choice!)


    It was blowing pretty hard as we left PSR.
    I was nervous about getting pushed around on the Hwy but it was only 1 mile. Yay!




    We were scouting for some good Noob rides for DVNR and Darwin is a logical choice from PSR.
    @larryboy had mentioned something about a hill and that sounded vaguely familiar. :hmmmmm
    Oh crap.
    It was a pretty good climb! Steeper than I remembered, and rough. And loose.


    BigWan took a couple pics - pretty steep here and then continues around the corner...
    [​IMG]


    I think he missed the roughest part (and the hole), but I'll have screen shots later.
    [​IMG]

    Hmmm.
    Maybe not great for Noobie N:eyesbs.
    (A lot of today's ride wasn’t meant for Noobie Noobs, either - especially lippincott!)
    (we were just refreshing our memories of DV)




    The reason we thought Darwin was nice for noobs was the goldfish pond (China Garden Spring).
    It's pretty overgrown, but we saw a bunch of fish.
    There were some big daddies in there, but I don't think I got pics of them.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    I didn't remember going into the "town" of Darwin before.
    I'm sure we did, but it didn't leave much of an impression. There isn't much to it.

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    These sculptures are kind of neat

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    But this is waaaay more interesting :clap

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    I've been trying to Make Sand My Favorite...and it's working!

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    Look who we found! Thanks, @rider914 :D
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    We were super cold from the wind, but it made for nice clear skies.

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    The scouting had paid off, we were riding some really good stuff!

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    BigWan had remembered one of our favorite trails from 2012 and we rode it again.

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    There was a little ice to go around, but it wasn't bad.

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    Wooo!
    That wash is so much fun!


    This next part wasn't quite as fun - we had to go down some sketchy ice. It was a theme of this trip.
    Saline Valley Road.

    [​IMG]



    The main attraction for today was Lippincott Mine Rd.
    I was looking forward to riding it on my own bike!

    Hoping that I could handle going the UP direction...



    [​IMG]
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  15. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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  16. joefromsf

    joefromsf Dark Happens Supporter

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    S5, aka Santa Rosa Wash, is one of my favorite tracks too. Even did it in the van last February.

    Waiting to hear how you did going up Lippencott.
  17. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    :lurk

    lw, don't make me ran out of popcorns

    :D
  18. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Since everyone else is on a popcorn diet :lurk
  19. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

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    :wave

    hey, you were right about lower centennial flat :D

    Wow, did you take your van through those rocks on S5?
    I thought they looked sharp.

    [​IMG]
    (video from a different day on S5, not 1/29/20)


    I'll try not to, Joel!
    Mmmm. popcorn...

    [​IMG]

    You guys are killing me!
    I miss that stuff! (too many carbs :(:)

    :lol3





    1/29/20 PSR - Darwin - Lower Centennial Flat - S 5 - Saline Valley Rd - Lippincott - Racetrack - Teakettle Jct - Hunter Mountain - PSR
    continued


    [​IMG]



    Oh, you guys.
    Part of why BigWan did such a great job on the Chicken Corner video is that he felt bad about not having a Lippincott video.
    We left PSR that morning without the helmet cam :cry
    It was a bummer.
    I didn't take any photos on Lippincott, either!


    We rode it trials-style - standing up on the pegs and choosing good lines.
    I had thought I would stop and take pics at the rough parts, but then I couldn't...
    I was on a clean!
    In the trials world, a clean is everything - riding through a section without putting a foot down.



    My mantra was "pick good lines, don't let off..."
    and by some miracle, it worked.
    Made it from the very bottom, to the very top, without a single dab!
    Woo!

    :wings



    Exciting for me, but not great for the report.
    - looking at these time stamped photos, it took us 28 minutes to do the 7 miles.
    Bottom of Lippincott
    [​IMG]

    Top of Lippincott
    [​IMG]

    Last time we did Lippincott (april 2012), we were riding down on the 990 and it took us 17 minutes.




    I feel so bad I don't have photos of current conditions!
    It sucks.
    I will say that BigWan and I both thought it was way rougher than we had remembered.
    There was one section in the middle that was very technical.
    Some big exposed rocks, and then lots of loose rolly rocks.



    I was looking back at our 2012 report of Lippincott (page 18) and I had some screen shots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It didn't look too bad back then.



    Okay - being the insane, obsessive compulsive person that I am,
    I actually dug out our old footage from 2012 and Matt and I looked at the whole thing.
    It wasn't just our imaginations - the rough section wasn't nearly as bad in 2012 as it is now.



    Here are the screen shots from 2012:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Those spots are currently more washed out and you can see way more exposed rock in 2020.



    Here's a photo I stole from this 2018 article (https://crankshaftculture.com/2018/...cetrack-valley-lippincott-pass-saline-valley/)
    and it shows the technical section that surprised us
    [​IMG]



    Here's a clip of the 2012 footage so you guys can watch it. Only 35 seconds.
    I tried to match up the rocks to our video and I think it's about 21 seconds in.




    (Man. I kind of miss the 990. It sure was awesome)



    What I want to know is, why didn't I use any of that rough section in the ride report?
    That seemed weird.
    I asked Matt and we decided that I was probably busy having a nervous breakdown after being so obsessive about the RR. :loco
    Too busy to do any more screen shots.

    [​IMG]
    :imaposer



    Haha, I don't even know where i was going with this...
    Oh, yeah. Lippincott is much rougher right now. :deal
    Enjoy!
    look for the planted rocks for more traction!



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    [​IMG]



    We rode over to the Racetrack, but didn't bother walking out to the rocks this time.
    Just had some water. And took 2 photos.

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    I wasn't looking forward to the next bit of washboard....


    [​IMG]
  20. advrockrider

    advrockrider Long timer

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    Good to see you two back at it! What tire system is Matt running and how does he like it? I'm between tubeless and bibs on the 500, already went tubeless on the 990 with a little silicone on the rear rim. Love DV, such an amazing place to ride. When the weather warms I might be able to show you some close Nevada stuff you haven't ridden?