Jump to content
Goofy Footer

Death Valley ~ Jan 9-12, 2015

Recommended Posts

This is the start of the RR for this Goofy Informal Ride. Thank you TrophyHunter and BlakeNY9 for making it out! We had a few other riders interested and hopefully next time they'll get to make it up as well.

Trophy drove up Thursday morning and settled into the PSR scene early. I think Blake drove up mid-afternoon and they enjoyed a quiet lunch at the 'Resort'. In typical Goofy fashion, I arrived late to the party... 1:59am on Friday morning and was a bit tired for breakfast at 7am ha. Hey, I made Last Call so whatever.. PSR has some tasty food and it's proximal to more dirt riding that any other campground in Death Valley. Gas was noticeably cheaper at Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek but both Trophy and Blake trucked up extra fuel - smart! Turns out there was more hot water in the campground than the motel. Blake slept in the tent cabin and I slept in the bed of my truck with the shell open for a pseudo 'under the stars' experience. The weather Thursday night was great but was colder Friday morning and night. Thursday night Trophy had a burger, I had a chicken patty burger and Blake had a pizza while we split some tasty mozzarella sticks and fried zucchinis over cold beers. PSR had some San Diego favorites on tap and has a very extensive bottled beer selection!

Day One took us from PSR up some twisties to Saline Valley, over South Pass and up Lippencott to the Racetrack. Around Teakettle Junction we went and looped back to South Pass / Saline via Hunter Mountain. It is a great loop and I clocked 118 miles without hitting reserve on my WR250f. I just had new tires installed and was noticing severe jarring of the handlebars through rocks and that my rear tire was drifting on me through turns. I thought it might have been the tires breaking in.. until Trophy pulled out a gauge and I checked my tires - 29psi front and 30psi rear! After dropping the pressure to 18psi front and rear I noticed an immediate difference in handling. I'm sure I could have gone lower psi on the small bore but DV has lots of rocks and I haate flats.

Trophy on Saline Valley Road atop South Pass and overlooking Panamint Valley

post-14322-0-61820800-1421183130_thumb.j

Trophy and Blake at the turn off for Lippencott. As the remoteness of DV fell upon them we began discussing Medic gear and what is most important to carry. All three of us have formal emergency medical training but they were the smart ones who brought equipment (I guess I'm the dumb/fortunate one ha). Hard to tell but I'm using a Giant Loop Mojavi bag to carry my tools and water bottles. When I did Medic Sweep for the Baja Rally 2.0 I used a yellow GL Medic Bag which is a cool bag and can be helpful for other riders in trouble IF you are carrying appropriate gear and are prepared for the legal repercussions of helping a stranger (I'll post a separate thread on medic equipment).

post-14322-0-52451700-1421183134_thumb.j

Blake up Lippencott

post-14322-0-36315700-1421183139_thumb.j

ADVrider front page esque pic of Blake overlooking Saline Valley

post-14322-0-47902500-1421183142_thumb.j

Trophy motoring up Lippencott

post-14322-0-16332100-1421183147_thumb.j

A little regrouping. Say, want to trade my DR650 for that Husky 310?

post-14322-0-91957700-1421183150_thumb.j

Trophy cresting the summit of Lippencott

post-14322-0-15887500-1421183155_thumb.j

Hey stand right there and smile for the camera!

post-14322-0-68791000-1421183159_thumb.j

The Racetrack and its moving rocks

post-14322-0-38690700-1421183162_thumb.j

Like a dumba** I totally forgot I had some cheapo MSR boots stored at my mom's house. I thought I had given these away but they were fresh and better than my torn apart pair. These absolutely sucked for walking and I was in pain while Blake and I hiked a bit on Day 2 but they protected me from injury so I'll take them for this ride. Thanks again Chad for offering up his extra set of boots too!

post-14322-0-62303500-1421183682_thumb.j

Quick hillclimb to an abandoned mine offered me this pic opportunity overlooking the Racetrack.

post-14322-0-13845600-1421183690_thumb.j

Trophy and Blake at Teakettle Junction probably wondering what took me so long to catch up

post-14322-0-64234900-1421183699_thumb.j

Peace Out DV

post-14322-0-63195000-1421183694_thumb.j

After noticing minimal to zero evidence of snow on South Pass, I was pretty confident that we wouldn't find any snow / issues on Hunter Mountain. Well, we found some ice..

post-14322-0-03388500-1421183705_thumb.j

And some iced over snow..

post-14322-0-48403300-1421183707_thumb.j

Trophy powering up the hill. Notice Blake and my wonky tracks up the hill haha

post-14322-0-04087900-1421183712_thumb.j

This picture just reminded me that I need to go wash my bike!

post-14322-0-78797200-1421185255_thumb.j

Trophy using the DR torque to push up the icy snow and soupy mud-clay combo that was on the trail. My rear tire kept sliding in and out of ruts and had me fishtailing repeatedly. The mud wasn't very sticky, more soupy and slippery as if it had been soaked for a long time. It was harder to ride in than regular tacky mud for sure. The snow had melted and frozen repeatedly so it was slippery too. It was a good challenge.

post-14322-0-86032200-1421183721_thumb.j

Nature calls!

post-14322-0-11834400-1421183717_thumb.j

I'll edit some of the Day 2 pics and upload them soon. Blake and Trophy - if you want any full-size versions of these pics shoot me a PM of what you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim and Blake made for good and prepared riding partners. The mud and snow/ice was challenging on a 400lb bike and I slept well after a good burger and beer. I opted out for the remainder and did a leisurely pack up and drive on Sat.

Panamint Springs "Resort"

DSCN1641_zpsf6965fb1.jpg

Luxurious accommodations with in room heater and sporadic hot water. You could also hear every bodily function from the rooms next door.

DSCN1640_zpsf789bb59.jpg

As mentioned, good food and beer selection.

DSCN1649_zpsef66c759.jpg

Goofy and Blake at the overlook

DSCN1653_zps17819005.jpg

Most of the riding looked liked this....which wasn't bad on a 400 lb bike.

DSCN1658_zps35ce7cc7.jpg

DSCN1660_zpse9ad261a.jpg

Looking up into Lippencott Pass. This is where I should've flipped my screen over to avoid being whacked in the face.

DSCN1661_zps2ccbdcd9.jpg

Steep and rocky - taking a break from being center punched in the face shield by the wind shield.

DSCN1663_zpsd9be6438.jpg

DSCN1664_zps13625be7.jpg

Goofy going up Lippencott

DSCN1665_zpsf1c31991.jpg

DSCN1680_zps4bfc0ff2.jpg

Hunter Mtn - about 7000 ft elev.

DSCN1684_zps113865c7.jpg

Mud

DSCN1687_zps57977a94.jpg

DSCN1689_zps99b50408.jpg

Thanks for the ride planning and lead, Tim.

DSCN1659_zps34207f53.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice!

I'll get my mechanicals sorted out and get back out there.

Looks like another successful DV trip...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I missed this one gents. Still plan on getting out there this year before it gets too hot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, now that I have looked at this thread and these pictures so many times.... I am going to say I went too! haha. Wish I had been there to tag along. Very cool. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Saturday Blake and I launched after a good buffet breakfast with Trophy. We quickly hit dirt just outside camp and started south on Nadeau which is a fun rocky twisty trail that snakes back and forth over a wash. Knowing that it could potentially be a very long day if we did the optional Titus loop, we made good time.

Blake on a smooth section of the trail after taking a break to open some vents - we both got toasty quickly

post-14322-0-71377800-1421286816_thumb.j

The turnoff towards the hwy and Indian Ranch Rd. I'm really curious to continue south on Nadeau and hunt for the "Trona Escape Route" which I've read about - I'm pretty certain I can ride dirt from PSR to Trona and then Ridgecrest but I'll have to study some satellite imagery first.

post-14322-0-30544300-1421286821_thumb.j

Ballarat Ghost Town - Charlie Manson's old truck (allegedly)

post-14322-0-63280900-1421286825_thumb.j

Local hotel / jail

post-14322-0-23514600-1421286829_thumb.j

Goler wash is a tight canyon and a very fun ride. The "steps" are the only obstacle on the trail and last year it was so smooth that I didn't know if we had crossed it. I was in the lead and of course, there was a solo jeep guy parked at the bottom surveying the scene and killed our momentum. After a short run up and fishtailing in the sand while searching for traction, I hit the obstacle sideways and launched the nose in the air. Momentum carried me over and we moved on. Unfortunately here is where I noticed that my license plate had snapped off - apparently too much rock abuse did it. I consider it a gift to the desert / death valley gods. If you find it near Goler Wash let me know!

post-14322-0-55497700-1421286834_thumb.j

Blake returning from exploring some mines

post-14322-0-97120000-1421286840_thumb.j

Barker Ranch - Charlie Manson's hideout

post-14322-0-26010900-1421286846_thumb.j

The only pic of both of us from the ride

post-14322-0-33306100-1421286849.jpg

The majority of Barker Ranch burnt down in 2009 but some still remains

post-14322-0-59457900-1421287402_thumb.j

Overlooking Striped Butte after the quick hillclimb at Mengel Pass. I'm pretty stoked how this picture turned out.

post-14322-0-57520100-1421287406_thumb.j

Geologist Cabin is definitely a cool spot to check out. You can camp here too - first come first serve

post-14322-0-91312600-1421287410_thumb.j

Down Warm Springs Rd we stopped at well, Warm Springs. This is an old mining oasis. Free to camp and comes with a pool!

post-14322-0-19452300-1421287415_thumb.j

We hiked up the hill to the source of said "warm springs" and found it. Might be a fun place to take a shallow bath or soak your feet. My cheapo boots were killing me on the hike back down and I was marching like a robot.

post-14322-0-92443000-1421287420_thumb.j

Long fast gravel section along West Side Rd. Below Sea Level! Keep your headlight on high beam as it's easy to drone to sleep or day dream and forget that there is oncoming traffic. Blake and I switched bikes for a bit to feel the RPMs at "cruising speed" and get a feel for the motos. On an aside note - what RPM do you guys feel safe running for extended periods on your moto? I like to cruise slow on blacktop or long sections as not to stress the motor.

post-14322-0-11735800-1421287423_thumb.j

Our sight seeing put us behind some and we decided to slab home. Good thing as Blake's LED headlight insert snapped in half but he used a trusty backbacking helmet light to help him on the pavement. We cruised into camp as it was getting officially dark and sat down to enjoy some of these. We talked bikes and adventure moto philosophy while I had a pizza and the soup of the day. Blake had a burger and we shared a full serving of mozzarella sticks. We briefly discussed splitting some apple pie but figured one plate, two forks and two lonely guys wasn't what we were trying to broadcast at the restaurant haha.

post-14322-0-50620800-1421287426_thumb.j

Since it was just the two of us, we decided to scrap Sunday's ride and Blake headed home to spend time with family while I went to visit a good friend in Santa Monica. Thanks again for the ride guys!

I'm stoked at the positive replies to this thread. If schedules align, I would consider organizing another March trip up there or definitely help out any other SDAR group with tracks/input. Post up if you're interested and maybe somebody will take the lead!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A March SDAR DV trip at Panamint Springs (my highly recommended camp) cannot happen March 26-28 as that is the big weekend for the ADV n00b rally and it's sold out per this post.

CableJockey who is one of our resident SDAR DV aficionados cannot make Mar 20-22 so that leaves the weekends of Mar 6-8 and 13-15. It might be a good thing to narrow down the possible dates. Again, I cannot confirm that I'll be able to go as I'm starting a new job soon but at the least, I'm very much willing to help out anybody who is interested in going.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't add much to that report. Day 2 was a great ride. Really. cool seeing the old mines and abandoned places out there. Crazy to think what it must have been like back then. Here's a few pics that I thought really puts DV in perspective for how small we really are. Big miles up there. Some of those roads seem to go on forever.

post-15195-0-78371300-1421423987_thumb.j

post-15195-0-39748800-1421424123_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great ride and report Gents! Goofy, glad you got your "footer" worked out! Would love to join one of these rides one day... Need to work on a plated bike. Don't think my Sportster has quite enough ground clearance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim,

The group site at Panamint is not available on Friday the 13th so I submitted a request for the nights of the 5th thru 7th, leaving on the 8th. Figured I better grab something before some other group gets it. Plenty of time to get a refund if you pick a different weekend.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has been confirmed that SDAR members have registered the Group Campsite at PSR Thursday, March 5th - midday Sunday, March 8th.

If you've been thinking of visiting and riding Death Valley - this would be a great time to do so. I cannot commit to making those dates but I'd be happy to start a thread to stir the pot and help with ride planning / tracks. pot.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 years, 6 bikes, countless rides and Goofy still wears a jacket that doesn't fit.

Wish i were there. Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calnub, you wouldve appreciated our big bear adventure. What i mean by that is you can appreciate when goofy says hell be there at 8 it really means call me at 10 because I slept it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×