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Author Topic: Epic Ride thru Death Valley National Park  (Read 528 times)

Jack Leis

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Epic Ride thru Death Valley National Park
« on: April 25, 2013, 03:01:51 AM »
 We left last Wednesday for a much anticipated ride to Death Valley. I say we because I was originally going to ride in a group with the SoCal Norton Club until my girlfriend Siobhan overheard a phone conversation about the trip and decided she needed to get away too . Only thing is, she had to follow me in the truck because of no provision for riding double on the bike and lets face it, We would have probably broken the bike in half. It was kind of nice having having my own CHASE TRUCK if anything were to happen . Nothing did. It was along ride to Beatty, Nevada where we were setting up our week long headquarters in a Hotel/Casino. The trek from home went without a hitch, the bike ran like a champ. I had a few white nuckle moments with the desert crosswinds and had to go thru a few mountain passes with nasty headwinds where I had to go between 3rd and 4th gear but the trusty Enfield kept on thumping away. The Panamint Pass was the worse but when I got to the top you could see The Badwater Basin and Death Valley. The view was breathtaking. We stopped for awhile, had a soda and took it all in . I was alittle more than halfway to Beatty and anxious to get there. I started to get tired and would ask myself why do I ride a small single cylinder, underpowered bike with no frills or comforts to such a faraway destination? Because I'd have it no other way ! The guy's on there 2 wheeled Sofa's passing me once in awhile were probably thinking of the same thing. It was a challenge that I had to overcome. I NEVER doughted that the bike wouldn't make it. 20k on the odometer had proven that. I was hoping I could make it to Beatty and remember the ride ! After we got there, Siobhan did the check in at the Hotel and I sat there having only my second smoke for the day and checked the mileage. I was disappointed ! It was only 249 miles ! Hell, Bare and I had done more than that on several occasions ! It just felt like I was riding to the END of the WORLD ! We explored Death Valley for a couple of day's then on Saturday we went to Scotties Castle and met Bikesnob, one of the original 3 bulleteers and his girlfriend Victoria. What a great couple they make. They had ridden there on his Beemer, all the way from Lone Pine up in the Sierra's where they were staying . It was great to see them. Steve and I will be riding together in a couple of weeks. We parted ways and the exploration continued. Sunday came and we got a wild hair to go to Rachel, Nevada and see what all the fuss is about at AREA 51. Well, we found the gate of the base and they certainly didn't welcome us. Siobhan tried to take a picture of the deadly force signs and her camera mysteriously quit working. About 50 to 100 yards away it strangely came back to life ! A super gamma death ray maybe ? We will never know. We stopped off the road to take in the desert and what does Siobhan do ? climbs a knoll and takes telephoto pictures of the gate . Oh sh^t do you know what you've done ? Sure enough, the men in black motored out in a white Jeep Cherokee type thing and sat there looking at use about 100 yards away. We sat in our folding chairs as defiant as ever because we weren't ON THE BASE , we were actually on Dept of Interior land least to a cattle farmer. I did find a seismic intrusion devise , wireless with a small antenna on it not far from where we were sitting. They even have the area bugged OFF the BASE. Actually made me angry. Is this BIG BROTHER SHIT OR WHAT ? We eventually went back to Rachel to look around oh my god, they've got some really strange ones out there ! You could line all the women in town up and still not be able to make a full set of teeth ! Our curiosity just had gotten the best of us and we had to go there. Monday morning came and it was time to head West and HOME ! The ride back was great, no wind to speak of and the fantastic ride went without a hitch. I averaged 63 miles per gallon and the bike didn't even use a drop of oil. I cant wait to take it out again !
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 03:42:12 AM by Jack Leis »
I would much rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow    Jack

High On Octane

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Re: Epic Ride thru Death Valley National Park
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 01:56:14 PM »
Sounds like you had a really good time Jack!  Congrats on another safe, Epic trip.   :D  That doesn't surprise me about Area 51, I've heard crazy stories from other people who have visited as well.  It's really strange with the camera thing too.  AND they probably figured out exactly who you were while you were watching them from the hill.  It's kind of scary what our government is capable of these days.  It makes ME want to take a trip out there just to see what's up myself.

What were the temps like out there?  Sounds like the bike held up just fine.

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Jack Leis

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Re: Epic Ride thru Death Valley National Park
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 03:38:02 PM »
 The temps really weren't too bad, although I did get cold at the higher elevations going thru the passes. I expected the ride to be alot more warmer actually. I didn't wear anything under my riding jacket but a long sleeve t-shirt which wasn't enough in the passes, temps were probably 50 to 60 up there but on the desert floor it got up to about 85. Very doable !
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 03:41:01 PM by Jack Leis »
I would much rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow    Jack

bikesnob

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Re: Epic Ride thru Death Valley National Park
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 06:31:32 PM »
Thanks for your kind words about Victoria and me, it was great meeting you and Siobhan at Scotty's castle,Victoria really liked you guys.  Next time I go there I'm going to make sure I have more time and perhaps try to find a place closer to stay, the distance from Lone Pine to all the places we wanted to see was just to great, after going through the mountain passes and the valleys we had to ride, one day was not enough to catch it all.  Looking forward to the BSA ride with you on May 5th, hope to see Bare on the saddle real soon too.
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barenekd

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Re: Epic Ride thru Death Valley National Park
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 12:21:06 AM »
1984 is here, folk! You can't go anywhere without being on camera! Ask the Boston Bombers! (Weren't those Douglas A-20s?)
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jartist

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Re: Epic Ride thru Death Valley National Park
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2013, 06:32:41 PM »
Thanks for the ride report!  Sounds like a great trip!  I've been wanting to go that way for a while now and I have been anticipating you're pics and report since you mentioned going.  Maybe next year I'll make it happen.