A couple of weeks ago my boss had let me know that work was going to be slowing down and we'd likely have a bit of down-time. As an apprentice stone mason working for a small business, that's just the way it goes, and as it had coincided with the perfect time for a roadtrip up highway 395, I really wasn't bothered at all. Brian (@Warebear) and I had been wanting to make this trip for a while, and the short window for desert-riding was quickly closing, so we made some plans to make our way up from the Ventura/Santa Barbara area. On a calm Wednesday morning Brian met me at my apartment in Ventura and we headed inland on highway 126. From there we took San Francisquito Canyon, avoiding the chaos and busy freeways of the Santa Clarita area. Those roads are miserable enough in a car, let alone my old DR350. The canyon was pretty, with little traffic, and we cruised on through until we got to the edge of Palmdale, where we took backroads until we got onto highway 14 at Rosamond, safely out of the traffic of the Palmdale/Lancaster area. Brian was comfortable enough on his KTM Super Adventure 1290 to even take photos of me struggling on the 350 through the desert winds. We had planned to stop at the Jawbone Station for lunch, but when we got there it was closed. It was lucky we stopped. The screw for the side plastic on the exhaust side of my bike had fallen out and the plastic was melting against the muffler, which was melting the side of my saddle bags. I quickly shoved an old beer can between the plastic and the muffler to prevent any more damage. It turned out to be my lucky day, because somehow the 1 spare bolt I had in my tool kit was the right size for the side plastic mount. Alas, I still needed a washer. At this point I'd like to both thank and apologize to the owners of Jawbone Station, who very kindly let me 'borrow' a washer from a sign that was the perfect size for my side plastic. Without it I would have just burnt my saddle bags until there was nothing left of them. We continued along the 395, pushing to get to Lone Pine where we'd stop for lunch and some parts to make sure my saddlebags would be safe to keep riding. Luckily we got there with no further dramas. After stopping for lunch and a beer in town, we rode on into Alabama Hills, where we were planning to spend the night. The area was crowded for a Wednesday night, and it was hard to find a good spot to camp without being right next to someone. We did end up finding a spot, just as the wood we had bought in town almost fell off my bike. Brian clearly found it funny how the 350 was carrying all the wood, instead of his lightly packed 1290. We set up our tents and unloaded our bikes so we could spend the rest of the afternoon exploring. Once unloaded, we rode on down Movie Road, before turning off onto a side road to climb a small yet rocky mountain. The top had a great view of the Owens Valley before us, looking north towards Bishop. The next stop was this old mine, close to the hill we had just climbed. On the opposite side of the canyon there was another mine. We rode down to check it out, but it was gated off about 15 feet from the entrance. After we were done checking out this area we rode across the valley towards the base of Mt. Whitney. The foothills of the mountains would make for great camping, and there was no one there, but it was dark and much colder than the camping spots along Movie road.