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Thread: Death Valley - April 2011

  1. #1
    Super Member Tyler's Avatar
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    Death Valley - April 2011

    This is gonna take awhile to get all the pics organized so this will be a work in progress...

    DAY 1 - Bay Area to Bakersfield, CA - the long way!

    Yes, one more ride report to Death Valley. I know there have been several reports with the standard sights (i.e. Artist's Pallette, Badwater, etc.) so I decided I wanted to take my new camera out and get some shots of the lesser known sights to give a different flavor of the area. We left on Thursday for Bakersfield. I had waffled about just slabbing it down and am glad that I went with the others - it was a brilliant day, great roads, and wonderful riding companions.

    Meeting up in Tres Pinos - the Red Brigade!!


    Just one view of the fun of Hwy 25


    Lupine in bloom


    It's spring time for sure!


    Peachtree Canyon




    Indian Valley


    Lunch in San Miguel - and it was great food!


    Scott has a pair of dykes and he knows how to use them
    So to speak...

    Dangerous Curves

  2. #2
    Super Member Tyler's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley - April 2011

    Went for the self portrait in the window shot... didn't think about that sign to the right...


    Zipped along Estrella to Bitterwater Rd. that runs between 46 and 58. Be forewarned - there are cows. Lots of them. Free range cows. Everywhere. All stopping their grazing to stare you down as you slowly approach, like some sort of "I dare ya" game... it was eerie, I tell ya!




    Nice fixer upper that I'm sure could be had real cheap...




    Lookin' for some free take offs? Here ya go!


    We successfully eluded the evil cows and continued along 58... it was an amazingly beautiful day... not too hot, lots of blue skies, some wildflowers, and an almost full moon coming up in the east...


    Yeah, it really looks like that...


    So to speak...

    Dangerous Curves

  3. #3
    Super Member Tyler's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley - April 2011

    Since our route just happened to coincide with two veterans memorials that are on the Tour of Honor, we stopped by the first one in Bakersfield to pay our respects




    We stayed at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace Best Western (now there's a mouthful!) that evening. Tried to eat at the Buck Owens restaurant but they were having a ticketed event and the kitchen was closed. Not many other choices so we opted for the Mexican place across the street. We can definitely vouch for one thing... the beer was good (that was about it)!


    To be continued...
    So to speak...

    Dangerous Curves

  4. #4
    Super Member Tyler's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley - April 2011

    DAY 2 - Bakersfield to Beatty, NV

    Thursday evening we were joined by a special guest direct from Australia (or Singapore depending on which week it is)... AusieRob was in Las Vegas for some mega-tradeshow so he rented a car and drove on over to share a bit of the weekend with us and he shadowed me along 178.


    Hard to get a good shot of 178 shooting into the sun... gotta look into a filter or something. But it was gorgeous that morning... the river was running high, not much traffic, and roads fairly clean. I just sat there for a bit soaking it all in... the simplicity of just existing was almost overwhelming. Hard to explain... sometimes I just get all verklempted.


    Lake Isabella - where some folks went to get away from it all... along with a whole gaggle of other folks getting away from it all!


    I've ridden 178 several times and each time I see something new... off to the right was the Cottage Grove Cemetery, circa 1862. There were a curious array of headstones from long ago to current day. Rob and I walked around and paid our respects before continuing on our way.


    I remember this vista view and every time I went by it, I thought damn! I gotta get a pic of that... but for one reason or another, I wasn't able to stop. This time I did... wondered where that dirt road went off to... Rob said wherever it was, it looked like fun... I had to agree... maybe another day I'll go back and find out.


    Joshua trees... they are pointy and sharp and will draw blood!
    So to speak...

    Dangerous Curves

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    Super Member Tyler's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley - April 2011

    We came the top of Walker Pass and found some sort of wise sage waiting to impart wisdoms with us... nah, it was just Scott.


    At this point, I offered Rob my helmet, jacket, gloves, and key to the Spyder. He argued vehemently with me (NOT!) and took to the beastie like a duck to water... or something like that.

    How's this thing work?!?


    Buh-bye!


    Got to the bottom of 178 and it was obvious that Rob was not ready to relinquish the reins (as he spun up the rear wheel, fish tailed the back end, and looked at me with a big sh*t-eating grin!! lol) so I continued in his rented convertible and let him commandeer it for the rest of the day. On 14, someone had a sense of humor for one of the many abandoned shacks along the way...


    We lunched in Lone Pine at the Merry-Go-Round restaurant which served a Chinese buffet style lunch... wasn't what I expected from the signage but the food was decent and the price was right and we were hungry so it was all good.


    We continued north on 395 toward Big Pine to visit the 2nd memorial on my list and made a detour here... a fairly sobering visit.




    So to speak...

    Dangerous Curves

  6. #6
    Super Member Tyler's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley - April 2011

    And then on to the Big Pine Veterans Memorial...






    And then we took 168 toward Beatty... this, folks, is a helluva road... twisty, turning, off camber, roller coaster, giggle inducing, bad ass mother of a road. It was even fun in the car... Rob was nowhere to be seen as he had passed all the other 2-wheel cycles fairly early on... he reminds me of just a few others around here... like a kid in a candy store... lol

    Looking back toward 395...


    Yeah... it really looked like this...






    Then some straight before another set of twists and turns over another ridge...
    So to speak...

    Dangerous Curves

  7. #7
    Super Member Tyler's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley - April 2011

    Looking back from where we came...






    Getting close to Beatty...


    We stayed at the Atomic Inn... clean, inexpensive, and nice folks running the place... and to my great glee, I found this rig sitting in the parking lot... look familiar??


    Two trailers were parked across the street with these monstrous loads... windmill propellers... guess I never knew they were THAT big!!


    Keystone cops moment trying to figure out which way to dinner...


    Our chosen eatery for the night... run by two gals, DeeDee and (I think) her sister... nice gals so if you're in the area, stop in and say hi!


    Back to the Inn to enjoy a little tequila, tall tales, and bigger laughs...


    I loves me my Erin...


    Stay tuned...
    So to speak...

    Dangerous Curves

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tree Doc's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley - April 2011

    Wow! You met Spirit?!!

    Tell me....what's he like?

    I'd love to meet that pup....Ara, too....but I think I communicate better with my dog friends.

  9. #9
    Super Member Tyler's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley - April 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Tree Doc View Post
    Wow! You met Spirit?!!

    Tell me....what's he like?

    I'd love to meet that pup....Ara, too....but I think I communicate better with my dog friends.
    I actually met Spirit and Ara several years ago at the Pashnit gathering... I had communicated with Ara and knew they were headed for DV at the same time I was so we arranged for a path crossing... Spirit has come a long way since I first met him... he was a bit reserved but has really opened up to those that he trusts...

    Wait... we were talking about Spirit, right??
    So to speak...

    Dangerous Curves

  10. #10
    Senior Member notarian's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley - April 2011

    Great trip Tyler and outstanding photos = so much so that its impossible to pick a favourite.

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