Windblown - Chasing the sun

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by windblown101, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,017
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    Looks like I left things off at making my way to Panamint Springs to meet up with some fellow 790 riders. I'll pick things up from there. Got to Panamint Springs after dark with the rerouting so didn't get a chance to check things out much. Met the other 5 riders that had come out for the ride and we settled on an early morning stands up to get the day started.

    Day 1 - Panamint Springs - Day 18 of my ride: Panamint Springs Resort consists of a few cabins, a gas station, a small restaurant, and a campground with RV & Tent spots and is completely isolated and in the middle of nowhere. It has been operating on and off since it was first established by Buffalo Bill Codys cousin in 1937. A simple remote stop for travelers in tough country.

    Nowwhat & EvilSteve, and myself headed out for the "long loop" which was about 225 miles of mostly off pavement. The other three riders here for the meet would be doing a different loop today. The goal was to keep group size manageable since we would need to spread out to avoid eating each others dust all day.

    I mostly just let the go-pro run and we only stopped a few times for photo ops. We stayed spread out to avoid eating
    each others dust and Nowwhat and Evil Steve were running a good pace.

    I took a few quick snapshots and we were on our way.
    panamint.jpg

    death valley sign.jpg


    Around mid-day and I was running along at about 60mph on an open smooth straight stretch of remote dirt road. Up ahead in the distance I could see the the dust cloud kicked up from my fellow riders. Then my bike died... I coasted to a stop with no power to anything. Cycled the ignition and had nothing, n lights, no dash, no fuel pump, nothing.
    breakdown.jpg
    I knew the guys ahead would discover me missing in action at the next intersection they came to but I had no idea how many miles ahead that might be. Unlike here on the east coast remote roads can go a LONG way before one hits an intersection out here.

    After taking a moment took look around at the shear nothingness surrounding me with the desert sun beating down I set to work. Pulled the seat - Battery terminals were tight, main fuse not blown. Then I recalled the hit earlier in the day the bike took when I had dumped it and I found the left side fairing cracked. Under that fairing is the battery regulator and the wiring harness had become unplugged from the regulator and the battery was drained. I plugged the harness back into the regulator. Now it was time to see if that fancy Anti-Gravity Re-start battery would live up to it's name, otherwise life was going to get very complicated.

    After making sure any accessories were turned off I hit the reset button on the battery with hopes that it indeed had shut itself off with just enough charge left for one more shot of juice left for the starter. I can't recall a sweeter sound than that motor turning over and firing right up. As I was re-assembling the bike I saw a dust cloud approaching. It was Evil Steve backtracking to see what had happened to me. Does the heart good to know the folks you just met have your back! Steve and I road up the road a ways and ran into Nowwhat who had also turned back when we didn't show up. Told the tale and we got back to it.

    sat03 preclimb.jpg
    sat01.jpg sat07 trail.jpg


    An odd sight to behold in the desert. Are those trees?
    sat02 oasis.jpg

    An oasis in the desert. Cool!
    oasis.jpg
    20201023_110628.jpg


    After a brief look around were got back to it again. Lots of miles to go yet.
    sat04 preclimb.jpg

    Desert folks like to decorate in the oddest places with the oddest items. Why hang a bunch of tea kettles at a corner in the middle of nowhere? Why not is the question I reckon.
    teapots.jpg

    sat07 trail.jpg

    Ancient Volcanic Crater crator.jpg


    I did discover that the wild donkeys which are descendants of donkeys left behind from miners many years ago are approachable with the right tone of voice. It was good to know if I could find one I could try too ride it out of the desert if the bike broke again. :)
    donkey.jpg


    Which was bound to have better odds of success than waiting on the SAR plane to show up looking for me.
    Plane.jpg


    We got back in one piece. Fueled up, and got ready tomorrows run. That will have to wait though. It's late.
  2. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the ideas!

    I'm holed up in Phoenix for the next couple of days now to get some work done. Will head out on Thursday it looks like. I'll finish up the chronical to where I am now this evening and be caught up!
    HiJincs and ilten like this.
  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,662
    PM me if you want more border route description from Arizona to Big Bend.
    windblown101 likes this.
  4. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Panamint Springs Day 2:

    Todays ride would be about 190 miles and have a bit more pavement so should make for a bit shorter day.

    We all pulled out together. Ran up a nice track to a peak overlooking the valley. I opted to walk up the last short section of the climb. Was still feeling as bit rough and wasn't feeling the need to tempt fate. ;)

    day2 hill.jpg
    day2 hill group.jpg

    Swung by later and checked out an old mine.
    day2 mine .jpg

    We then headed off to a large set of sand dunes. Ran into heavy silt beds along the way and spilt up for a bit to take different routes to the dunes. It was a lot fun navigating our way across the desert for a bit. Our part of the group never did make the dunes but we caught back up with those who did and then headed out on another trail to make our way to Beatty for lunch.

    Following a highspeed section of graded dirt road we got into a nice section of trail with a a few embedded rocks. I was cruising along in 3rd and enjoying the flow. Caught one rock a bit harder than expected and heard a faint "Pfffft..." from the front of the bike. I worried that I had blown a tube but the bike still felt fine so I did not immediately stop. 50 yards later as I swept to the left to follow the trail I hit another series of imbedded rocks that I thought I would just sail over. Instead the bike came unglued the moment I hit the rocks and I found myself and the bike flying off the trail sideways.

    I must have been a bit out of sorts because I rarely fail to capture a fail moment but I took no photos. @EvilSteve may be able to assist in that department.

    As I picked myself off the ground I immediately noticed both wrists were sore but not broken and a couple of fingers were jammed up pretty good. I looked over at the bike and it was seriously hung up in the rocks it had landed in. I decided to sit down instead of attend to it right a way and let the mental cobwebs clear a bit. The guys behind me on the trail showed up moments later and helped me get the bike out of the rocks and noted my blown front tire. I got out my tools and got the tire off and old tube out. Had a bit of trouble getting my fingers working to get the valve stem from the new tube thru the rim and got some assistance on that. After getting everything back together I opted to go back the way we had come since I knew what lay there and meet the guys for lunch.

    All caught up and regrouped at the lunch spot.
    day2 lunch.jpg



    Before leaving for the afternoon section I took another look at my tire just to be sure I was good to go and found the split at the bead with innertube visible thru the spilt. That was enough for me. I opted to head back to Panamint via pavement and not risk getting jammed upon the trail.

    tireblown.jpg

    Got back to camp and put on a fresh new front and rear tire that Nowwhat had brought out with him for me. With the bike taken care of it was time to relax and unwind a bit.
  5. EvilSteve

    EvilSteve Not so evil, not so Steve. Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    SoCal
    Geeks at the top of the hill climb in @windblown101's last post:
    BC334BDC-07D7-4A7C-97BD-AB21245C3BFD.jpeg

    From the trip to the dune, didn't go any further in than this but, the giggle-bush expedition to get there was pretty fun.
    2BF4CD7B-D798-4F0E-B795-5BD265A1F9CB.jpeg

    From the tyre mishap:
    4064FD91-C603-4B45-B680-3F5CE645326C.jpeg
    8CB73DFC-9479-413F-81C4-6004A142DA12.jpeg
  6. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Dang. A friend just reminded me that I'm not far from the Davis-MonthhanAFB aircraft boneyard. That would be so cool to see in person! Sadly they require visitors to reserve a spot on the tour bus 10 business days in advance so they can run a security check and I won't be in the area that long.

    Anyone reading this know someone who knows someone that could get a guy in for a visit on short notice? If so shoot me a PM. I'm not carrying any WMD on the bike, promise. Hell, I haven't even had any chili for at least 5 days.
  7. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    So to get up to date. Left Panamint Springs on Sunday and made a couple of stops on my way out.
    dv landscape 2.jpg

    Rhyolite (Abandoned town)
    DV rhyolite1.jpg

    Hoover Dam
    dv hoover.jpg

    Area51 (I mean the bike does look like an Alien, right?)
    dv area51.jpg


    More desert type artwork. Who doesn't like Snoppy?
    dv wiki.jpg

    I swear this place has the meanest plants I've ever seen. Would have never learned to climb trees in this place as a kid.
    dv cacti.jpg
    And stopped in Kingman AZ for the night.
    dv kingman.jpg

    Woke up the next morning in Kingman to 37 degrees and 30-40 mph winds with gust running 45+. I decided i had time for a second slow cup of coffee...

    Made my way down to Phoenix yesterday and took up a fellow inamtes offer to use their garage to do a much needed oil change.

    Now I'm holed up in a hotel for a couple of days while I put in some work hours and come up with a rough plan for the next 5-10 days. I'll take a look at the forecast tomorrow and roll the dice on something.
  8. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    As luck would have it looks like that crazy cold front is dissipating and rain to the east looks like it will be moved out before I get there. I'm leaning towards not making the dive as far south as Big Bend this trip. I might save that for another time when I'm not a bit beat up and road weary. I'll know for certain once I actually get moving again. I'll be looking at route options a bit today and this evening.
  9. Toddv

    Toddv Long timer

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    I remember someone else ended up knocking that connector off the rectifier or whatever that is under there. Definitely something to keep in the back of the mind!

    Awesome photos, looks like a great trip. I'm jealous for sure!! I will be up in the Smokies probably next Wed through Saturday or so, not sure when or if you'll be passing through there?
    windblown101 likes this.
  10. CoastieBiker

    CoastieBiker ATGATT makes me look like a giant Minion

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Chapin, South Carolina
    You can still ride past some of the Boneyard and see it from the street, but the Pima Air Museum right across the street is well worth the visit. You won't be disappointed if you're a fan of historic military aircraft.
    ClutchDumpinDan and windblown101 like this.
  11. Aces&8s

    Aces&8s Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    North Carolina
    Perfect blend of story and pictures. Thanks for taking us along.
    windblown101 likes this.
  12. DanOGrande

    DanOGrande vorn and confused

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    Bigfork, Mt
    That DV stuff is hard on people and gear. But to do it after riding all the way from the East Coast then home again after.....
    You need this wallet.
    1EF50A69-220F-4244-B1A4-ADF604185B79.png
  13. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Lol, thanks. In truth I'm just a bit bull headed once I commit to something. Which is probably why I am slow to commit to things these days. I've learned it doesnt always end well....

    :bluduh
  14. DanOGrande

    DanOGrande vorn and confused

    Joined:
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    Ha! Safe travels the rest of the way home. You’ve earned it. 492C8778-BE12-4103-A167-36B4E877BC3C.jpeg For giggles, watch the movie: Six String Samuari. Much was filmed in Ryolyte, Trona and DV. Pretty horrible but at least soundtrack by The Red Elvis’
    windblown101 likes this.
  15. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Took the last couple of days to self reflect a bit and take stock of things. Always useful if not a bit painful...

    I'm a bit beat up and so is the bike. I considered punching "Home" in the GPS when I take off today but have decided for the moment to not turn the last part of an epic trip into a boring death march.

    Neither the bike nor I am in shape for hard core action off road at this point but I can still take a slow roll along the southern border as I head east. Havent ever rolled thru southern lousiana and such so that's where I'm pointing the bike.

    The stress fractures on the right hand side of the tank says it's time to do some easy going flower sniffing. Not leaking yet and will shoot to keep it that way.

    More to come though! The show ain't over until the fat lady sings. :)

    20201029_081216.jpg
    CoopsDL, TrailTrauma, Toddv and 8 others like this.
  16. klogger

    klogger John Sawyer

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    R.I. coast
    Love this thread, keep it rollin.
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  17. Comrade Arturo

    Comrade Arturo Veterinario

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    Sep 26, 2006
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    Oregon
    Agree :thumb
    windblown101 likes this.
  18. breeno

    breeno Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
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    Location:
    Heath, TX
    If you need anything while rolling through the Dallas area (garage, shower, whatever) I'm right off I30 so feel free to ping me!
    windblown101 likes this.
  19. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    5 hurricanes ashore in the gulf this season, with all the displaced folks and damage to the housing stock from east Texas to the Panhandle, better have a reservation if you plan on using a hotel/motel along the southern route.
  20. kubcat

    kubcat Riding is Eudaemonic Supporter

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    Upstate NY
    Remind us again of what kind of skid plate/tank lobe protection you are running please. Did those cracks appear after the front tire blowout? That appears to be an issue I want to avoid if at all possible, and I would appreciate the opportunity to learn from your experiences. Thanks.