Solo Christmas Ride to the Desert

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by TrashBird, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. TrashBird

    TrashBird Rippin' Pigeon

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2019
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    December 23rd 2019 - San Francisco
    Finally getting to my ride report from over Christmas! Sooooooo Late. But the holidays are crazy, and hangovers are a clear and present danger. I'm sure you all get it. Anyways, sorry i'm late!

    My freaking boss had us go to work for 1 day on the 23rd of December and the rest of the week off. My only question is WHHHYYYYYY? Anyways, I rode to work with all my gear and ready to leave. I told him I was leaving at 1 p.m. Sorry not sorry.
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    I needed to get the heck out of the Bay Area and on my way to the desert for better less rainy weather. Since I was leaving so late in the day and light disappears at like 5 p.m. I decided to take HWY 101 to the I-5. It was mostly uneventful except for the few Mercedes-Benz's that I almost drove into going 90mph in the rain. Gotta love the I-5.

    Stopped at McDonald's. Ate a gross amount of food. I did not take photos of that.

    Going up into the Grapevine I watched the outside temp gauge on my bike start dropping to the point there is a snowflake, which is only semi nerve-racking. Jumped off at Gorman, and rode Hwy 138 to Lancaster. I planned to stay at a campground in Saddleback Butte State Park, only about 20 miles outside Lancaster.
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    Finally made it to camp at about 9! Twas a long and rainy day, nothing some bedtime tea and a dirty little cigarette can't help. No campfire that night. Forgot to get wood and I was tired.

    December 24th 2019 - Lancaster
    Woke up to Joshua Trees. WEEEEEEE i'm in the desert. Sometime it can be really fun setting up camp in the dark, as the environment when you wake up is a total surprise. The clouds began to clear and reveal that it was going to be a great day of riding.
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    My agenda for the day was to get to Joshua Tree national Park as I have never seen it. So I packed up and left before the ranger even got to the campground. The roads out of Lancaster are straight and boring. However, there was a huge layer of fog, so I had to go slow cause I could only see about 20' feet ahead of me. drove through Apple Valley and say another gorgeous vista.
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    Continued onto Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley, hoping I could camp there but didn't make a reservation cause I didn't want to deny myself a change of heart....
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    Made it Joshua Tree... Thought it be really empty because the holiday... Boy was I wrong. I guess everyone had the same agenda. It was sooooo busy. So I didn't stop a whole lot. Definitely wanna plan a trip back there in the fall or off season. There were people literally everywhere.
    I took photos very strategically where no one was in them.
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    This Cholla "garden" was seriously cool.
    Continued on, since all the campsites inside the park were full I decided I would camp on some BLM outside of the park and have a relaxing day by the campsite getting some sun and cooking food and drinking whiskey.
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    And then the sunsets started happening. Could not stop taking photos. It just kept changing. Soo gorgeous. Oops made this thread too long. Will post the rest tomorrow. Happy riding everyone.

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. Jackalay23

    Jackalay23 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Great ride! Bring on the pics.
    #2
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  3. TrashBird

    TrashBird Rippin' Pigeon

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2019
    Oddometer:
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    San Francisco, CA
    Couldn't add this too last post, but had to circle back an add it. Just too good!
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    #3
  4. TrashBird

    TrashBird Rippin' Pigeon

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2019
    Oddometer:
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    San Francisco, CA
    December 25th 2019 - Outside Joshua Tree (near the I-10)

    Woke up to a phenomenal sunrise, made some instant coffee and packed up camp. Turned on a playlist and a Christmas song came on and I chuckled to myself because nothing about this experience felt like a normal Christmas day. But as I thought about it more, this was the best place I could be on Christmas. The open road ahead and no clear destination. :ricky
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    Drove along the Salton Sea on Hwy 111 and was just quite taken by the desolate desert landscape with this massive and odd body of water out there. Drove into Bombay Beach and just took it in for a bit longer before continuing on. There was only one person I saw that whole time and they were hanging in their car. I decided to check out Slab City because I had heard such intriguing stories about it. It was incredible. Very unusual and soooo striking. This odd desert camp with art brimming at its surface. If you end up in the area. Just go!
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    Stayed for a while. This outdoor art gallery is the only gallery in Imperial County and is called East Jesus. The men that runs it, actually owns the property it is on, so it is technically not part of Slab City. It was interesting to hear that even somewhere seemingly lawless and without authority still has a huge amount of bureaucracy. Contunied onto the Glamis Dunes Area. Was pretty jealous of the awesome dune buggy's with their cool sand tires. My street tires were no match. I learned this later when on Sidewinder Rd. near Ogilby where I dumped my bike in a wash 3 times in 20 minutes due to thick gravelly sand. It was hot, I was tired and hungry and forgot to take a photo!! :muutt:doh
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    Finally made it out of the gravelly sand and got to a gas station to have a smoke and refill my water. Was still hungry and Yuma wasn't too far so headed there for some coffee and food. Woohoo! made it to another state!! Once out of Yuma I headed up Hwy 95 past the Yuma Proving Grounds. The cannons they had out front were wild.
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    #4
  5. TrashBird

    TrashBird Rippin' Pigeon

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2019
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    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    December 25th 2019 continued... Kofa Wildlife Refuge, AZ

    Hwy 95 really struck me. I couldn't stop getting off the bike and taking photos. Its a super straight highway too. But ended up being a huge highlight of my trip. I continued until I saw a dirt road going up to the base of a big rocky mountain and had to go check it out. It ended up being a dispersed camping area so I knew I had to stay. With the firewood still on the back of my bike I stopped at a previously used spot and set up. There was plently of light to see everything turn from day to night. I was in awe the whole time. More whiskey was had. :beer:bmwrider:kumbaya
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    This sunrise was stupid pretty. Anyways, December 25th was a big day. So i'll leave it there. See you all tomorrow!
    #5
  6. TrashBird

    TrashBird Rippin' Pigeon

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    December 26th 2019 - Lake Havasu

    Left the beauty of Kofa behind and headed towards Havasu. Hadn't ever been and was curious to see it. The whole day was overcast and filled with rain.
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    Had hoped to camp in the Valley of Fire, however, there were major storms everywhere in a 150 mi radius. So I broke down and decided to stay at a hotel in Vegas. I stayed in a smoking room, took a bath while smoking drank some more whiskey and watched a Harry Potter marathon. All and all it was actually kinda nice.

    The next day was interesting... I had planned to go meet @NSFW , @rider914 , @Spank , and @scarysharkface for the Post X-mas ride near Barstow. I was in Vegas so I had to find a way to get around the I-15 closure in Mountain Pass. Google heard everyones cry for help and redirected them through Sandy Valley from Jean. Well Sandy Valley ends and becomes dirt at Kingston Rd. Well I wasn't all that worried, but I was curious about the number of semi-trucks and box trucks will to traverse the dirt mountain pass. Well as luck would have it, there is only one big switchback and a track had jackknifed in the mud and create 2 miles of traffic behind it. I swooped through. But what the hell are semi drivers thinking?!
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    Finally made it out of that mess and cruised to Barstow on the I-15. Grab the necessary supplies and headed to camp. Google told me I had to go through Hinkley in order to get to the campground because a small road to the campground was closed. So I followed it without question and ended up on some serious whoops and sandy bits thinking the rest of the group had taken the same way. I learned around the campfire that night, that that was not the case and I was the only one that took the wild way. I had a balst though since ignorance is bliss. I just figured everyone went that way.
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    Stopped taking a lot of photos for the rest of the day, as I was ready to relax. Ok, tired of typing. More tomorrow!
    #6
  7. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Faking it/Making it

    Joined:
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    Great adventure!
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  8. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    Good start.
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  9. WRC51

    WRC51 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
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    Location:
    Santa Rosa, Calif.
    Fire wood and Budweiser what could possibly go wrong?? Nice ride report you put some miles on that bike, nice photos too.
    #9
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  10. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Spotsylvania, VA
    What a great ride report! Carry on.

    Eric
    #10
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  11. TrashBird

    TrashBird Rippin' Pigeon

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2019
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    San Francisco, CA
    Haha well actually, the whoops were so distracting, and I lost a bundle of wood. But the Buds were not harmed in the making of this story.
    #11
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  12. TrashBird

    TrashBird Rippin' Pigeon

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2019
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    December 27th 2019 - Owl Creek Canyon Campground

    Woke up to gorgeous blue skies, ready to tackle the dirt roads with the guys. There was still some snow on some of the roads, which led to very muddy areas. I being on street tires and not much dirt experience on dirt. Took the bike down for the fourth time, and was of course full of adrenaline and forgot to take a damn photo! We continued on past Calico Ghost Town to some more dirt roads.
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    This was the only photo I took of all of us on our outing. Next we headed to some more dirt. Got into some very loose gravelly sand, and took the bike down for a fifth and final time and realized it was time to call it. Those street tires and my lack of skill just weren't gunna cut it. And of course....no photo!!!!!! Ugh. I suppose I can always take a spill again, knowing me I probably will. Decided to head back, I was hungry and could use some hiking time after the long and amazing days of riding. My legs were craving some blood flow. Rode back bast Calico and decided to check it out. If Disneyland were a Ghost Town this is it. It was kinda cool, but not a legit Ghost Town in my opinion. But interesting none the less. Way too many souvenir shops too.
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    Headed to Barstow to grab some food and coffee. Ate way too much Popeye's... Don't judge me. :hide

    Went on a hike out of the campground when I got back and was stoked to just be wandering through a ravine alone looking at all the geology. It was a needed break from the engine noise.
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    Went back to the campsite and hung out with @scarysharkface while we waited for the rest of the crew to come back. Shared stories. Relaxed, drank beers. Had one more campfire night with everyone before we would depart the next day. :kumbaya:super

    Woke up, didn't want to get out of my tent. Too cozy. I think it was like 28F too but my sleeping bag was warm. @scarysharkface felt bad for me, and brought me a pop tart and coffee. I felt truly blessed!:bow:*sip* Love this community.

    I still had a long drive ahead of me. So I wanted to scoot out of there around 10, but before that @NSFW wanted to treat @scarysharkface and myself to some of the Jimmy Lewis Knowledge and we worked on some slow speed control around the campground. It was very helpful! I have been thinking about it since, small things like clutch control and keeping only one foot on the ground are wildly helpful. Thanks Joel!!
    Never got to say bye to @rider914 and @Spank. Great meeting you Matt and John! See you at n00bs!

    Headed to Hwy 58 and was in awe at how much snow was in the Mojave. I have been in that area at many times in my life and never seen that much snow on the mountains. Headed into Tehachapi, where It was snow on both sides of me, but pretty warm. Stopped for breakfast and talked to mom for like an hour.
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    Headed for the Central Valley, figured I would camp somewhere near the 101.
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    Was cruising some boring roads and decided you know what. I think I wanna camp in the Carrizo Plain. So stopped in Maricopa and grabbed wood and beer. All the must haves. :dutch
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    Cruised a very hard packed dirt road and found KCL Campground. Super cool horse camping campground that was free.
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    #12
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  13. TrashBird

    TrashBird Rippin' Pigeon

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2019
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
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    Had a nice small fire and heard coyotes all night which was really the first major wildlife I heard pretty much the whole trip.

    December 30th - KCL Campground Carrizo Plain

    Woke up to dreary skies and realized this was the last day of my trip.:2cry
    But stayed for a while and watched the world awaken.
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    Cruised back on more Hwy 58. and then did some freeway. Not much to report from that. Wish I had more to add, but that's that. Is it time for the next journey yet?! Thanks for watching!
    #13
  14. keithg

    keithg Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    PRESCOTT VALLEY AZ
    GREAT!
    #14