Snow and Sand...Sierras and Death Valley

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Popey, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Popey

    Popey Nutter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,756
    Location:
    SF, CA
    First ride report...

    Well, the plan was to time the ride from SF to Death Valley for a long weekend to coincide with perfect late summer weather in the Sierras and 'cooler' weather in DV...we were off by a week as a huge storm hit NorCal the weekend before.

    We cursed and bitched about the prospect of having to I-5 it via Bakersfield in both directions (a huge detour for those not familiar), but things improved just enough by the day we left to allow us to sneek over the mountains, leaving SF Thursday afternoon.

    The posse consisted of yours truly, Grounded (who did not disappoint in that arena, but more of that later) and Craig (shame on you, lurker). :nod

    Lots of snow on the roadside as we climbed the Sierras, cold temperatures, but dry roads. We reached South Lake Tahoe just before dusk and dropped down to camp near Lake Topaz, on SR-395. By 9pm it was in the high 30s, so we were in for a cold one.

    The following morning
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    And this was after we'd thawed out sufficiently to venture outside...
    [​IMG]

    We let the sun do its thang and hit the road south towards Bodie and eventually Lone Pine. God freekin' bless Mr. Widder and Mrs. Heated Grips!!!


    Near Devils's Gate

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    We headed up the road to Bodie, but only as far as the end of the slab, as the dirt road was well snowed in and we didn't like our chances on what looked like a skating link.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Looking south towards Mono Lake and the Sierras just east of Yosemite...where we had originally planned to spend the first night before the closure of Tioga Pass forced us further north.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Just north of Independence, looking towards the almost 15k ft Mount Whitney.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    My beatch.
    [​IMG]


    Best jerky in the state...pepper steak, habenero, honey turkey, elk and more. No moose jerky, tho' the 3-toothed babe who served us fair resembled one!!!

    If you're on the SR395, this is in Independence. Well worth the stop. Our diet for the next couple of days!
    [​IMG]


    We gased up in Lone Pine, bought a few provisions and headed into DV. The plan was to take Saline Valley Road to the infamous Lippincott Mine Road and camp at the Racetrack.

    [​IMG]


    Looking down from Saline Valley Road to the Panamint Dunes and Panamint Mountains beyond in the north of DV National Park.
    [​IMG]


    Some quick running repairs to a loose mudguard, right before the turn onto Lippincott Mine Road.
    [​IMG]


    Half way up
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    2/3rds done, looking back towards Inyo Mountains
    [​IMG]


    The final few turns. Road was steep (which pictures don't show at all) and knarly in sections with big drop offs, but generally not as hardcore as we'd thought it would be. Grounded did just that a couple of times (sorry no pics) but otherwise we made it without incident.
    [​IMG]


    The following morning, camped on the edge of the Racetrack.
    [​IMG]


    Ubehebe Peak in the background
    [​IMG]


    Racetrack and Grandstand
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Floor of the dry lake bed
    [​IMG]


    And the famous 'moving' rocks
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    ADV Rider salute! This noob is learning fast!!
    [​IMG]


    All ready to move on and my rear tire is totally flat. I hand pump the tire and we move on, checking every few miles and hoping to make it to Beatty, NV before looking at repairing it.
    [​IMG]


    Ubehebe Crater and back on the slab. Just started to hand pump my tire again when fellow ADV Rider shows up on his Dakar 650 and lends me his 12v air compressor. Forgot his name, but huge thank you. Air compressor is now top of my 'Please Santa' list!
    [​IMG]


    We made it to Beatty, where we run into another ADVer, Johnny. What are the odds of meeting a NYC ADVer in one horse town Beatty?! He's on a 3 month US jaunt. You better sign on Johnny and post your awesome sounding ride here. In the meantime, safe journey back to NYC.

    I bust open the tool kit without a lot of confidence that the shit it contains will plug the hole in my tire wall that 40 psi soon exposed. Fuck me but it worked a treat, I reinflate it and we hightail it to Titus Canyon.


    [​IMG]


    Grounded
    [​IMG]


    Johnny
    [​IMG]


    Craig
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Mine shaft at Leadfield
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    The Charcoal Kilns, close to Wildrose. It's now totally clouded over and we're wondering what's happening over the Sierras, which we'll have to cross again tomorrow.
    [​IMG]


    Final camp
    [​IMG]


    They're looking dejected as you know who won the Texas hold 'em...not that 75 stones buys more than a bag of rocks!!
    [​IMG]


    The night was clear and mild but we're now in the SW corner of the park and ain't gonna chance headed north back up SR395 only to meet foul weather and a then massive detour.

    Instead we play it safe and head south to the Trona Pinnacles, scene of many movies, for obvious reason.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    From here it was the long ride home, via Lake Isabella, Central Valley and Coalinga to the 25, to Hollister and the 101 to SF. Just over 8 hours total...not bad considering we were on freeway for about 25 miles only, until the 101. Anything to avoid freekin' I-5!!

    Grounded added some adventure to the ride home when he argued with some gravel on the twisties above Lake Isabella, but I'll let him tell that story.

    All in all an awesome weekend. Too short, but that's a weekly problem, right!?!

    Hope to maybe see some of you back there in DV in January.
    #1
  2. Slaniac

    Slaniac Martini elbow

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,142
    Location:
    Auburn, CA.
    Nice. Keep it coming. BTW, there is a get together in DV each January.
    #2
  3. Sod Buster

    Sod Buster Llano Estacado

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    18,342
    Location:
    Escanjaque
    Desert and snow gotta love it, nice pictures.:thumb
    #3
  4. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    29,621
    Location:
    portland, or
    Simply fantastic. So many sights I've seen with my own eyes, but never captured as well. :thumb

    it almost makes me want to move south...
    #4
  5. osii

    osii Disgruntled Time Traveler

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,513
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ
    No stop at the springs???? no nekked hippie chicks???
    #5
  6. mitch

    mitch Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,347
    Location:
    Townsville ,Queensland, Australia
    Well it looks like the beer getting hot was not one of the problems :beer a well written report, thank you
    #6
  7. Meathead

    Meathead tin man

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,667
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    Great report! Looks like it was a blast. :thumb

    I think this pic really illustrates the ADVrider "thing." :nod How many bar-hopping weekend bikers would you see out in those conditions? :evil
    #7
  8. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,776
    Location:
    Munich, Bavaria
    Great pictures!! Nice ride.
    #8
  9. weave

    weave Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    709
    Location:
    In the Bush. LA.
    Shouldn't that be over in ghost stories, Nice report
    #9
  10. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    24,835
    Location:
    Where the stupidest people on earth run things
    Nice pics. Death Valley's great. Incredibly peaceful.

    Thanks for your very good, 1st report.

    Looking forward to January.
    #10
  11. HarveyMushman

    HarveyMushman Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Oddometer:
    19,489
    Location:
    LoCo, Virginia, USA
    Beautiful! :clap
    #11
  12. Grounded

    Grounded Wannabe

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    San Anselmo, CA
    Hey Popey,

    That was a great Ride Report, and I'm glad the pictures turned out so well! :thumb The trip was absolutely amazing, and I can't wait to get down there again.

    Yeah, the get off in Sequioa was kind of a bummer, but learning to deal with these kinds of situations is just part of the game, I guess. I didn't post in Face Plant, but in the Flea Market instead...seeing as my bike needs a new set of handlebars...maybe I should have posted in FP?

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57566

    As Popey said, we made it back just fine on Sunday. I'm a little afraid of letting you know the exact details of how I got back and how far it was in case there are some CA troopers or BMW warranty folks snooping around. :wink:

    Overall, it was an amazing trip, and I'd do it again with these guys right now if my bike was working. I took some photos, but with film, so I'll have to post the photos much later.

    Again, great ride report, and I hope all y'all can see the Sierra and Death Valley the way we did someday.

    Grounded (Living up to his handle, of course...)
    #12
  13. Tiras

    Tiras Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    670
    Location:
    Medford, Oregon
    Awesome pics guys! :thumb Thanks for taking us along for the ride! :nod
    #13
  14. Doubletrackmind

    Doubletrackmind Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    276
    Location:
    Littleton, Co.
    What he said. :thumb
    #14
  15. Tiny

    Tiny Wonky Eyed Bastard

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    779
    Location:
    Santa F'ing Rosa, CA
    Can't go wrong with a little Death Valley trip. Although, the plod down I-5 is about as dull as it gets. We went in Feb and couldn't get in due to the ice chute Saline turned into. I like to think of Death Valley as a living being. She gives a little and she'll take a little. She'll never let you forget who is in charge. She'll supply you with the best riding there is and if you cross her she'll drop the hammer on you. They didn't name her "Happy Valley" for a reason.
    Great report Popey.
    Hope to ride again with you soon.
    Brad/Tiny
    #15
  16. Stomp

    Stomp Imprisoned Wanderlust

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    San Jo
    Kick ass pics! I'm headed there for Thanksgiving week. Can't wait... :thumb
    #16
  17. Popey

    Popey Nutter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,756
    Location:
    SF, CA
    Thanks Tiny. You're right, that whole Sierra/DV area deserves a lot of respect but can yield huge upside.

    BTW, how you doing? Run into into Brits in Caddies lately?! On that subject, I'm diggin' your new handle subscript.

    So are you and some of the BARR crew headed down there for DVD in January?
    #17
  18. JED

    JED Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    East Mo
    These ride reports just keep getting better and better. Pictures, posts,and ride, first class! thanks.
    #18
  19. Vance

    Vance On my meds...

    Joined:
    May 25, 1986
    Oddometer:
    18,774
    Location:
    Mulegé, Baja Sur
    Very beautiful report. I love it in DV. No. Freaking. People.
    #19
  20. richard cabesa

    richard cabesa The Mayor Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    9,575
    Location:
    Santa Cabesa
    Good stuff :thumb I may get through there at Thanksgiving also, if not I'm planning for DVD

    David
    #20