Author Topic: "short" Death Calley ride report (lots of pics)  (Read 3887 times)

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April 18, 2004, 10:55:17 PM on

Offline tgrrdr (OP)

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Went for a short ride acouple weeks ago - was supposed to be a long ride but it ended unexpectedly just north of Baker, CA (click here   to see how it ended).



Packed up my bike and was ready to leave just before 9:00 Tuesday morning. Gear on, thumb the starter and ... nothing. The battery's been weak lately but I figured it wasn't a big deal so, riding gear off, unstrap the dry bag, seat off, run the extension cord from the apt. and hook up the charger. Bike fires up and I repack and hit the road, headed for Death Valley.



Stopped for a couple quick pics along I-580 as I headed out of the Bay Area - not what people usually picture when they think of California landscape (at least not me).











Cut over to CA-99 south to 190 towards Porterville. As I'm heading through Porterville, my GPS turns off, I power it back on and it immediately turns off again. Curious, but I can live with out GPS for a while. Right before the turnoff to Fountain Springs, Glennville and hwy 155 the bike dies. I pull the clutch in, downshift and pop the clutch back out. Bike backfires but doesn't start - drift over to the side of the road to figure out what to do. I'm only 250 miles from home and I'm not ready to head back yet. Seems like the battery is dead again which doesn't make sense until I realize my 910's are on. Must have accidently hit the switch when I stopped for gas and in it's weakened state that was too much for the battery. I'm able to push start the bike and head for an auto parts store to get some jumper cables in case the battery dies again. 30 minutes and $8 later I'm headed south again.



This is where the fun stuff starts (#4 on the map). The road (Old Stage Road) is a lot twistier than it looks on the map and there's almost no traffic.







There're lots of roads that look like they'd be fun to explore when I have more time, but I'm trying to get to Death Valley before dark so I press on.







Not sure if they show the "happy cows" commercials outside of Calif. but these looked like they were enjoying the perfect weather and the decent scenery.







Any cow experts out there that can tell me what type these are? They don't look like the typical cows I usually see (note the horns).



Bill Bornman 98BRG 05
N37-57.7 W122-05.0

April 18, 2004, 10:58:57 PMReply #1 on

Offline tgrrdr (OP)

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for anyone who read this report at advrider.com, sorry for the cross-post.



continued on my merry way, mostly ignoring the crappy landscape I'm riding through.







looks like yellow grass, but it's actually thousands of small yellow flowers (sorry, no close ups for you :ymca types).







One curve after another for miles and miles and miles ....  :D  







more shitty scenery (I think these are on hwy 155 at about 4,500 - 5,000 feet).











not sure where these were taken except probably somewhere  on hwy 178 east of Lake Isabella.











Made it to Wild Rose campground in Death Valley NP at about 8:15 pm (a little after dark), set up camp, ate a sandwhich and tried to figure out my destination for the next day. Totals for the day: 460 miles, 8 hours of riding over 11 hours total elapsed time.
Bill Bornman 98BRG 05
N37-57.7 W122-05.0

April 18, 2004, 11:02:33 PMReply #2 on

Offline tgrrdr (OP)

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Woke up kind of early (for me), beautiful clear day, promised to be great riding weather.



the campsite.





the view to the west from the campsite.





some of the local wildlife.





click here for a closeup.



I headed east and up towards the charcoal kilns.



Pavement? who needs pavement?



(actually took this picture on the way back down)



By now it was too hot, so I stoped to take off some layers and take a few pics.











F_ck snowed in roads, even if it is at 8,000 feet.





The charcoal kilns are pretty amazing - built in 1879, 25 feet high, 30 feet in diameter and hold 4 cords of wood.









headed back down the way I came the scenery sucked...

















some pics of Emigrant Canyon Road.

















some cars that took a wrong turn and got lost a few weeks ago.









a guy and his wife had driven down from Oregon with a KLX400 and a Super Sherpa 250 - looks like a good way to transport smaller bikes.





This picture was at Stovepipe Wells - the cheapest gas in the park - $2.33 per gallon for regular (87) unleaded - no premium available. I think it was about $2.70 at Furnace Creek.
Bill Bornman 98BRG 05
N37-57.7 W122-05.0

April 18, 2004, 11:05:49 PMReply #3 on

Offline tgrrdr (OP)

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anyone know what those tan hills are in the distance?













I was having a hard time figuring out what they were. Lucky for me the park service put up a sign to tell me.





Which gets better gas mileage?



not sure, but my money is on the RV.











looking at the picture I'd have to guess that this is as far "off-road" as this Hummer has ever been.



I'm also sure there's a good reason for having the hitch on the H2 "upside down".

Bill Bornman 98BRG 05
N37-57.7 W122-05.0

April 18, 2004, 11:08:06 PMReply #4 on

Offline tgrrdr (OP)

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Don't know how people take pictures while they're riding - mine are usually out of focus or the exposure is screwed up or the composition sucks or...













every now and then though a couple come out OK.







(seems my speedo and GPS are both off - I strictly obey all posted speed limits on roads that are open to public traffic)



Bill Bornman 98BRG 05
N37-57.7 W122-05.0

April 18, 2004, 11:10:05 PMReply #5 on

Offline tgrrdr (OP)

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The west side Road - 40 miles, no cars.











my campground the previous night was 15 miles away - on the other side of those hills.





did I mention that I didn't see any other vehicles the entire time I was on the WSR? (1+ hour)







little did I know I wasn't just leaving the park, but my trip was almost over...





hwy 127 headed towards Baker. There weren't any signs so I'm not sure what those piles of tan material are.



















even heavily loaded the Tiger was rock solid at slightly "extra-legal" speeds.

Bill Bornman 98BRG 05
N37-57.7 W122-05.0

April 18, 2004, 11:11:50 PMReply #6 on

Offline tgrrdr (OP)

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unfortunately, shortly after that last picture was taken my ride (but not my trip) came to an unexpected end.





North of Baker and I-15 my bike died and wouldn't start again.



Luckily, since I was 475 miles from home, there was a U-Haul place in Baker and they had a truck available.





tow truck - $125

U-Haul - $260

Gas - $120 (I've never driven a vehicle that's gotten as shitty mileage as that U-Haul)



Quote from: some smart ass named "fixer"
"550" AKA parachute cord: priceless!



Thursday I took the bike to the local dealer while it was still loaded in the U-Haul. By Sat. afternoon they had the problem figured out (I hope). A $68 part called - I think - a pulse coil went bad. They needed to order a new one from North Carolina or whereever the fuck the Triumph parts distribution center is. I might have my bike back by the end of this week (est. total repair cost incl. the new part is ~$250). I don't think I can afford many more of these $375/day vacations!



Arizona and New Mexico will just have to wait until October for my visit.
Bill Bornman 98BRG 05
N37-57.7 W122-05.0

April 18, 2004, 11:13:55 PMReply #7 on

Offline tgrrdr (OP)

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Quote from: tgrrdr
By Sat. afternoon they had the problem figured out (I hope). A $68 part called - I think - a pulse coil went bad. They needed to order a new one from North Carolina or whereever the fuck the Triumph parts distribution center is. I might have my bike back by the end of this week (est. total repair cost incl. the new part is ~$250). I don't think I can afford many more of these $375/day vacations!



got the bike back Sat. - thought it was going to be another week, so I guess that's pretty quick. The part that went bad was an ignition sensor. This is the second time I've had this part replaced, the first time was sometime in Spring 2000 with around 20-25,000 miles on the bike.



This one is very similar to mine (linked because it's a much better picture).



I guess I'll have to keep the Tiger a while longer.  (finally thought I had a good excuse to get a new bike)
Bill Bornman 98BRG 05
N37-57.7 W122-05.0

May 08, 2004, 02:55:47 PMReply #8 on

Offline BigDave

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Damn that was so great till I saw your bike on the truck!

I love that part of Cali.  I have reletives in Corcoran and Visalia.  I come out every year...usually in the fall.  Lets hook up for a ride!



So, you keeping the tiger?