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Death Valley Adventure - 2010

March 2010

The SoCal inmates from the Adventure Rider Forum were once again planning another March ride in Death Valley. I had to join them again after having such a good time the previous March.

My plan was again to head down to Las Vegas for a few days before continuing on to Death Valley so that I could have a short visit with my Mom, and to get some new TKC knobby tires mounted to the bike. After a few logistical issues, such as having a tooth pulled in the morning, I finally left for Las Vegas about 2:00pm Monday afternoon (March 22). This time my route was to take I-84 east towards Twin Falls, Idaho; and then head south on I-97 towards Las Vegas. I was able to reach Mountain Home, ID shortly before 10:00pm before deciding to call it a day.

The next morning (Tuesday), I woke up early, repacked the bike and continued on towards Las Vegas. It was going to be a pretty long day (about 10 hours) in the saddle. Kept on I-84 East, and then just before Twin Falls I took Hwy US-30 which provides a bit of a shortcut and meets up with Hwy US-93, the Great Basin Highway. Then it's pretty much a straight shot south to Vegas. I grabbed a late breakfast in Wells, NV, and ate lunch at some roadside stop between the Upper and Lower Pahranagat Lakes. Pretty much a rather boring pavement ride through the desert, but heck it beats working. Finally hit the I-15 and south into Vegas and probably made it to my Mom's home at about 5:00pm.

Wednesday I took the bike into the Vegas BMW dealer and had them install the TKC's I had shipped earlier to my Mom's house. I had the chance to visit with my brother, a paraplegic who's laid up in a hospital from on-going complications with severe bed-sores and infections. It's always great to be able to spend some time with him. I also sorted through my gear that night, and made sure I had everything for the ride to Death Valley on Thursday.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On a beautiful sunny morning, I headed out west from Las Vegas on Charleston Blvd and pass by the Red Rock Canyon area. It's a very pretty and always scenic sight, so I stop by the rest area for a few pictures.




Soon, I'm on Hwy 160 heading west towards Pahrump before heading south on Tecopa Road and the Old Spanish Trail Highway, which doesn't get a lot of traffic.



Just past the very small village of Tecopa are some dry lakes.



I stopped for gas and a snack at the little general store in Shoshone.


Then it's east on Hwy 178 and into Death Valley National Park.


Instead of taking 178 north towards Badwater (and staying on pavement), I decided to take the West Side Road to get off pavement. Then, I did a little exploring on some of the side roads leading into the canyons.


You can see the Badwater basin in the background looking back east.



After a little exploring, I head on towards the motel at Panamint Springs, meet some of the AdvRiders that are beginning to show up, and start talking about rides for Friday.


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