Pahrump Nevada, Death Valley & Moab

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by furndog, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. furndog

    furndog at least it's orange Supporter

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    Pahrump <st1:state><st1:place>Nevada</st1:place></st1:state>, <st1:place>Death Valley</st1:place> and Moab Utah could we do it all in three weeks? Would we have good weather? Would we get in enough riding? Could we do the tourist thing and keep the wives happy? Do we have enough time to visit relatives and friends? With those questions in mind we set off on our journey Saturday morning March 4<sup>th</sup> from <st1:place><st1:city>Bellingham</st1:city> <st1:state>Washington</st1:state></st1:place>. Three weeks seems like a long way away so we decide to not push the daily travel and try to average 300 miles per day. We have checked the Washington and Oregon DOT cameras and make route changes even before we leave home. We will have to bounce down I-5 in the RV’s rather than highway 97.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The first night, <st1:place><st1:city>Salem</st1:city> <st1:state>Oregon</st1:state></st1:place> and everything is going good. That’s Sam’s rig hauling the bikes he gets the extra half ton of cargo to help slow down that big Dodge. Mrs. Furndog and I are in the fifth wheel so no bike hauling for me.

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    <st1:city><st1:place>Redding</st1:place></st1:city> or Red Bluff will be today’s destination and we make good time and our only worry is getting over the Siskiyou’s or so we thought. It’s snowing as we clear the summit with an inch on the ground but not yet sticking to the road. On the down hill run we are advised to tune the radio to Caltrans and here this message, “I-5 is closed southbound 25 miles from Yreka due to blizzard conditions and numerous accidents.” We now start passing literally hundreds of semi trucks and trailers parked on I-5 and all the pull outs and off ramps. We take this as somewhat serious and elect to spent the night in the Walmart parking lot in Yreka along with every other south bound traveler. This shot from the roof of our rig as the lot begins to fill up.

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    We hear the semis start to roll out early in the morning so we figure the road is now open. Caltrans tells us chains are required 15 miles north and 4 miles south of Dunsmuir. No problem I have chains for the pick-up but worry about trailer brakes so we wait for Walmart to open and I buy a set for the fifth wheel. CHAINS REQUIRED oh shit there is no place to pull over the chain up area is jammed packed. The road is still bare and none of the semis have chains on as they fly by me. Screw it I’m not putting any on until there is some enforcement. It’s bare and wet all the way down to <st1:city><st1:place>Redding</st1:place></st1:city> what’s up with the requirement anyway.


    The farther south the better the weather and we spend the night in <st1:place><st1:city>Patterson</st1:city> <st1:state>CA</st1:state></st1:place> while Sam and Mrs. Sam soldier on to his brother’s place in <st1:place><st1:placename>Pine</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Mountain</st1:placetype> <st1:placetype>Park</st1:placetype></st1:place> so we can check that off the list.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I don’t know much about <st1:state><st1:place>California</st1:place></st1:state> but <st1:place><st1:placename>Pine</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Mountain</st1:placetype></st1:place> looks to be pretty close to <st1:city><st1:place>L.A.</st1:place></st1:city> so what the heck is this stuff?
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    [FONT=&quot]Twenty four degrees and clear morning skies we are ready to get out of there and head to Parhump and unleash the bikes. But first we will have to wait for it to warm up and melt off. As it is we don't leave 11:30.[/FONT]
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    We are booked in Terrible’s Lakeside RV and get in late so we call our friend Paul. Paul snowbirds down there and has a ride planned for us the next day. After all the travel we are ready to reduce the travel stress.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Here’s Paul and his trusty Serow. It’s one fourth the size of our bikes and twice as fast on the trails as we would soon come to realize.
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    He takes us out of town on <st1:street><st1:address>Wheeler Pass Road</st1:address></st1:street> then down into a canyon dry wash.

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    Sam and Paul take a break.
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    That dry wash takes a little getting used to as Sam soon finds out as his bike quickly takes a nap. When in doubt “gas it” seems to work here too. Maintaining that kind of speed is getting these old farts a little tired out. Thankfully the trail gets better as we gain elevation and the fun meter moves well into the green.
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    We ride up to the 6700 foot level and reach snow. No sense in going up any more so we take another trail back down and come across this old corral out here in the middle of the desert.
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    [FONT=&quot]Back down the trail we jump back in the canyon and go downhill this time and find that the front end has become even more independent, gas it is the word of the day.
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    [/FONT] Paul tells us he often sees wild mustangs around here and we have seen signs today and this the largest sign of all.
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    In spite of going where my bike wants to go that fun meter is nearly pegged as the canyon begins to narrow, Paul’s favorite place on the trail.

    The canyon walls begin to close in on us. That’s Paul watching me bang my bars on the way through the narrow cut.
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    Now close to lunch time we exit the canyon to find these party animals still celebrating New Year 2002.
    [​IMG] Well not quite that’s Mrs. Sambo, Mrs. Paul and Mrs. Furndog all smiles from a morning at the casino. Actually we called ahead and thought they might like to experience the desert first hand. We told them they would really like it and “be sure to bring us something to drink.” We had plenty of water still but you know what I mean.
    [​IMG] They are actually pretty good sports, driving out to meet us has taken them from their quest to pay for our vacation. Now refreshed we want hit the trail again and the girls are eager to get back to town and rack up some more credits on their player’s card.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Paul says something about some charcoal kilns nearby. OK let’s check it out. Nearby turns out to be 13 miles and five miles up road #601 which is really another wash even harder to negotiate that that first trail. But it’s a piece of history and a must see.
    [​IMG][​IMG][FONT=&quot]Now getting late it’s time to head back to camp. We are not looking forward to those five miles again but do stop for this rock.
    [​IMG][/FONT][FONT=&quot]In no particular order here are some random shots of the day’s ride.
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    [/FONT] That’s it for the day’s ride and we get back to camp for some adult beverages. What do Art Bell, The Chicken Ranch and a dry lake have in common? The answer on tomorrow’s ride.
    #1
  2. winterhk

    winterhk *Disminuya Su Velocidad*

    Joined:
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    :lurk


    SFSG!
    #2
  3. Renazco

    Renazco Formerly AKA Boejangles

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    Great job!! love the wild Mustangs!!
    #3
  4. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    Dunno the answer... but you guys rock. Great ride, great terrain, great fun, eh? It is more than worth the cash the ladies lost in the casino, right?

    Later,
    Lion BR
    #4
  5. furndog

    furndog at least it's orange Supporter

    Joined:
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    Paul says he usually sees small herds but just the one on this day. We did see many burros north of town on 160 on the way back from a cage trip to Rhyolite with the gals.
    #5
  6. furndog

    furndog at least it's orange Supporter

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    The short answer is Homestead Road. We are staying at Terrible's Lakeside RV which is on Homestead.
    Paul says to us on the trail "you know Art Bell is from Pahrump"
    "oh yeah where's his place"
    "out on Homestead"
    "you know there are a couple of brothels in town?"
    "really.......where are they at"
    "out on Homestead"
    "you know there's a dry lake around here too?"
    "how do we get there?"
    "it's out on the end of Homestead past Art Bell"s, The Chicken Ranch and Shari's"
    We're there let's go. We could kill three birds with one stone.
    #6
  7. RECON

    RECON Guit Sum

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    Great photos!
    #7
  8. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

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    Great stuff! :clap

    How does one find those narrows? Are they on upper Wheeler Pass Road or a side canyon?

    Google maps shows Wheeler Pass Rd ending early. Looks like it goes on in the satellite photo, but high resolution zoom isn't available.

    we're waiting for more.....:lurk
    #8
  9. furndog

    furndog at least it's orange Supporter

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    The dry wash (canyon with the narrow rock walls) basically parallels the Wheeler Pass Road. About five or six miles out of town jump off any likely spot on your right and dive in the canyon. Perhaps the easiest way to find it would be to take the South Branch Wheeler Pass Road. The wash actually crosses that road about three or four miles up. The rock cut is up about a mile from there. The South Branch is a good road it's the one the gals drove up on to meet us.
    #9
  10. furndog

    furndog at least it's orange Supporter

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    What do you say Sambo should we go check out that dry lake, sounds like it’s just down the road a couple miles? No arm twisting here he has his bike running before I can find my key. Down <st1:street><st1:address>Homestead Road</st1:address></st1:street> we quickly pass Art Bell’s place, the one circled by all the tall radio towers. I elect not to get any closer you know that alien abduction thing and area 51 is somewhere in this state too. Another couple miles I can see the dry lake in the distance but my bike sputters to a halt right in the <st1:place>Shari</st1:place>’s parking lot. This is good, if I have to call Mrs. Furndog to bring the pick-up for rescue she’ll think I’m at a restaurant. The Chicken Ranch wouldn’t do, she saw the movie with Burt and Dolly. There are quite a few cars out front, surely someone inside can help. Where is everyone just a bunch of young girls swarming all over the place. OK I’ll take a shot “any one in here know anything about motorcycles?”
    “Hi I’m Bambi I rode on the back of a Harley once.”
    That narrows it down she even had the tattoos to prove it. To make a long story shot she assured me my bike would now run. Thanks Bambi, it stared right up just like you said, must have been some of that Art Bell para-normal stuff going on. Feeling like I just finished an I.S.D.E. qualifier we look for the trail to the lake.

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    We feel out the lake bed a bit then start grabbing gears. What is the land speed record for a motorcycle? Here’s Sambo a personal best he assures me.
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    [FONT=&quot]Are those mountains to the west in [/FONT]<st1:state><st1:place>[FONT=&quot]California[/FONT]</st1:place></st1:state>[FONT=&quot]? Let’s see how far we can go in that direction. It’s pretty easy going just pick your way through the sage and cactus.
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    [/FONT] Not too far from the lake bed my cursor picks up a trail. I wonder where this goes. It’s not identified and I don’t have a map with me.
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    [FONT=&quot]You can kind of see it here if you use your imagination.
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    [/FONT] We take this for a while and find the going really quite easy for a big trailie. That need for speed is still knawing so it’s back to the lake. We explore the perimeter, make some more speed runs and check out the dust clouds to see who else is on the lake. No one it seems, we have it to ourselves, must have been dust devils I guess. We do make one interesting discovery however. We decide this is actually not a dry lake, just a small lake with a very large beach.
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    Time to get going and get back to camp. We take the off road route this time and head north through the desert. We will be doing this again when Greg another Bellinghamster comes down to ride with Paul.
    #10
  11. furndog

    furndog at least it's orange Supporter

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    We are joined by another riding buddy, Greg. He is also from Bellingham and takes the opportunity for this side trip to ride with us. He is down this way to pich up his new CZ, well it was new the first year they came out with a side pipe. He and Paul are co-promoters for an AHRMA event to be held in Bellingham this June.
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    We ride the same Wheeler Pass route we did the other day since it will be new to Greg and we are eager to see it again. Greg is like a kid on Christmas morning he is literally tearing up the desert on his 400EXC. He takes off in front of us then turns around and runs back behind us and climbs every hill he can find. Where did he get all that energy.
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    We ride the same trails as the day before but pass on the charcoal kilns even Mrs. Greg makes the trip out to the desert.
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    We can't slow this guy down and he has ridden three times the mileage as the rest of us. Here displying good form he cleans the canyon section.
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    Time for a closer look.
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    More random trail side shots.
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    We have a little extra time today so we run out to the dry lake.
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    We finally get Greg to stop long enough for a break and set up for a little drag race. I just sold my 520 and eager to see how his 400 would do against my 950. What the heck, Greg 1 furndog 0 I launched in fourth gear by mistake let's try that again. That's better, I banged third at 65 and was gone. That shoul show him up for picking on me in the trails. I had offered to trade bikes earlier in the day but Greg declined but now on the lake he asked if that offer still stood. Of course it does and I watched as he took off in his quest to see triple digits on the speedo.
    #11
  12. jbrownmxr

    jbrownmxr Gas Passer

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    Funny to see these pics of Wheeler Pass. I grew up in Pahrump, lived there from 1969 to 1981. Spent many a weekend camping various places along wheeler pass with my family. We were finally run out of town by the Mormons that were a mojority at the time. Seems they were'nt to keen on my dad grading the road, and laying the concrete slab for the first house of prostitution in Pahrump. The chichen ranch, then just a trailor house was burned to the ground just a few months after it opened. It really is a beautiful area to ride, and hunt, and :freaky
    #12
  13. dirtyboy

    dirtyboy Adrenaline junkie

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    "this is actually not a dry lake, just a small lake with a very large beach."

    GOOD STUFF, dOG!
    #13