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Offline Gustavo

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1st ride of 2020 - Death Valley
« on: Jan 08, 2020, 06:16 PM »
I was busy exploring Mexico over the holidays, but it was a family trip, so I didn't take the bike this time.  So it was more of family visit and hiking type vacation.  Which isn't bad.  Actually, not bad at all.


 :2:

But it isn't a motorcycle trip...   :biker1:

So, I was planning on taking next weekend off to ride to San Diego and visit some friends there.  But, some urgent work stuff got in the way and I can't take that weekend off.  What to do?  It's sunny (a bit chilly in the morning), but generally very nice for riding, so I took a day off to ride around Death Valley.

As I mentioned, it was chilly in the morning, right around freezing, actually.  I was in not rush to get going.  Took my time until the temps go tinto the middle single digits around 10AM....     :43:

The ride to Death Valley goes by the Red Rock canyon:


This is a beautiful loop, just not good as a ride, speed limits in the park ar 25MPH and there si always some traffic, so I tend to skip it on the bike.

Getting colder as the road starts climbing up to Spring Mountain:



Yup, still that beautiful RED Mk1...



My burro is faster than his...



Winter is construction season in the southwest.  Much better than working in the summer heat...



A quick fuel stop in Pahrump and before you know it, I was in Death Valley Junction, home of the famous Amargosa Valley Opera House.  This complex was built in the 1920's, it was a major attraction for miners in the area.  In addition to the opera house, there is a hotel and cafe here as well.  Most of the rest of what used to be this town has long been abandoned.





It was too early to eat, so I just continued on CA-190 into Death Valley:



Gotta take a break, more later.

Gustavo

Always yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again - Ken Morton

Offline Gustavo

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Re: 1st ride of 2020 - Death Valley
« Reply #1 on: Jan 08, 2020, 07:13 PM »
The road climbs slowly but steadily over this pass up to around 2800ft, then starts dropping into Death Valley.  As soon as you are on the other side of the pass, you start seeing all sorts of different formations and colors. 


I made a quick detour to climb up to Dante's View (it's an observation point up on the ridge at about 5500ft), but it turned out the last section of road has snow and ice on it and the gate was closed to all traffic.   :003:

Out of curiosity, I went to the Furnace Creek gas station to see what gas was going for today:


Considering that I had just gotten gas in Pahrump for $2.79/gal, seemed pretty steep.  But, you are in the middle of nowhere, so if you didn't plan, you pay...   :211:

Made a stop next door, at The Ranch:



Looks like they have made quite a few changes since I last stopped here.  The grounds look nicer, they moved the old equipment all to one location, etc..  I've never stayed here, but it's starting to look like an interesting place to spend a night while exploring Death Valley.

I always like the collection of old mining equipment they had here:


















A quick pit stop, and I was back on the road.


Gustavo

Always yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again - Ken Morton

Offline Gustavo

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Re: 1st ride of 2020 - Death Valley
« Reply #2 on: Jan 08, 2020, 07:51 PM »
Took the West Side road, to get a little off the beaten path, but it was very wash-board-like, due to the rains in December. 


After about 3-4 miles I decided the Versys suspension is too stiff for this to be enjoyable the entire loop (there were still another 30 miles or so to go before it connected to Badwater again), so I turned around and headed back to Badwater Rd.



I love how the mountains here have different mineral layers that give them different colors/tones:



At the end of Badwater Rd you go by the Ashford Mills Ruins, another example of the gold rush failures.  This mine was in dispute for the longest time, eventually the Ashfords got their claim and started mining it.  But not long after they leased it, it turned out there wasn't that much ore there...  Makes for a good picnic and bathroom stop now...   :001:

From there, the road finally gets interesting again.  You go over a couple more passes (Jubilee Pass and Salsberry Pass), eventually arriving in Shoshone, CA.  The name of the "town" is a bit misleading.  There is a Native American tribe by that name in this area, but this is unrelated.  But, they do have a gas station, general store and at least one restaurant.

Speaking of gas...


 :5:  And I thought gas in Furnace Creek was steep...   :33:

In typical old style US general store fashion, you can buy just about anything there.  Including rocks and minerals from the area.



This old Chevy has seen better days.  It is said that it was bought new by one of the town residents and has been in this town since then.






The local police uses something a bit more modern...



The sheriff's offices:



On the way back into Las Vegas I spotted these guys on the road.  This si most certainly not a road legal vehicle.  Yet I have been seeing quite a few driving them on the street, while going to/from trails.  Not sure how they get away with it, or whether there is some exception in NV that allows that (I know in AZ they do, but they at least give them plates like are like motorcycle ones):


The sun went down, temps dropped dramatically, but I was almost home by then.  Good start to the riding year...   :biker1: :biker1: :biker1:

Gustavo
Always yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again - Ken Morton

Offline Bart

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Re: 1st ride of 2020 - Death Valley
« Reply #3 on: Jan 08, 2020, 08:24 PM »
Winter riding can be great, less traffic etc as you found. A nice write up Gus, just be thankful you had dry roads though.  :celebrate:

Coming from the UK I always find it strange that dry/arid can also be cold  :027:
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Online TowerMan

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Re: 1st ride of 2020 - Death Valley
« Reply #4 on: Jan 08, 2020, 08:27 PM »
Gustavo  :123A:

So you went somwhere and took pictures   :notsure:

BUT                          :125:

Where is the route map  :211: :211: :211:

 :36:
« Last Edit: Jan 08, 2020, 08:28 PM by TowerMan »
Richard    :001: 


Offline Gustavo

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Re: 1st ride of 2020 - Death Valley
« Reply #5 on: Jan 08, 2020, 08:52 PM »
Where is the what?   :whistle:


Just kidding...   :008:


https://goo.gl/maps/e1ZhviXtHrUMvvKx5


 :biker1: :scooter:

Gustavo
Always yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again - Ken Morton

Offline Gustavo

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Re: 1st ride of 2020 - Death Valley
« Reply #6 on: Jan 08, 2020, 08:58 PM »
*Originally Posted by Bart [+]
Winter riding can be great, less traffic etc as you found. A nice write up Gus, just be thankful you had dry roads though.  :celebrate:

Coming from the UK I always find it strange that dry/arid can also be cold  :027:

Yeah, I'm going home this weekend after over a month in the SW and Mexico.  It's going to be in the mid single digits and raining from Thursday through Sunday when I leave again.  This is one time of the year I am happy to have this job in the desert...

High desert can be really cold (granted, Death Valley is very low desert, which is why it's so nice to ride through in winter).  But before I get to DV, I have to start in Las Vegas, which is despite being in a valley too, is 2500 ft higher in elevation than Death Valley.

Gustavo
Always yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again - Ken Morton

Offline jim ballantyne

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Re: 1st ride of 2020 - Death Valley
« Reply #7 on: Jan 09, 2020, 08:46 AM »
I enjoyed that Gustavo great pics can't wait to have a ride in sunshine
Jim

Offline uralrob

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Re: 1st ride of 2020 - Death Valley
« Reply #8 on: Jan 09, 2020, 12:06 PM »

  Lovely warm pictures and interesting landscapes.
  The bike is looking good too.
 
  Quite a contrast to the 30 cm of snow outside the window here  :008: .

  Rob.

Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Online TowerMan

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Re: 1st ride of 2020 - Death Valley
« Reply #9 on: Jan 09, 2020, 01:10 PM »
*Originally Posted by uralrob [+]
Quite a contrast to the 30 cm of snow outside the window here  :008: .
  Rob.
Rob

Are you sure. Did it really snow :notsure:
Where's the ........ you know what  :211:
Richard    :001: