Craig and Lisa's
US-395, US-50, US-6,  and US-95 Adventure

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Day 6 & 7 Map

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SR-88/89 Tahoe | US-50 and SR-722 | US-6 and Lunar Crater

06/09/05 thru 6/12/05 - Friday thru Sunday - Death Valley and Homeward

We started Friday morning in Tonopah and got a travel tip from some RV folks about dropping by Goldpoint, a living ghost town, just a few miles off our route to Beatty. Goldpoint was a fun diversion. It's essentially an artifact being cared for by its residents, some part-time, some fulltime. Did you know that Log Cabin Syrup used to come in tins that were shaped like little houses? They've got dozens and dozens of 'em. Miners must've lived for the stuff!

We dropped our bags at the Motel 6 in Beatty and enjoyed a nice Mexican lunch with a couple of Harley riders heading east through Bryce and Zion. They were doing "motel touring" like us.  We agreed foregoing camping is a tad less adventurous, but it sure saves on the gear (and weight).

We rode over to Rhyolite and spotted a vintage car group out for the day. We got a lot of friendly waves everywhere we went, but vintage car couples are especially good at it. From there we drove down to Hells Gate, stopped to pay our Death Valley fee ($5 for seven days on a motorcycle), and put on Lisa's JR Sahara Vest. We had soaked the vest with water at the hotel and carried it out in a plastic freezer bag. Good thing because there was no water here and the temp was climbing fast. The vest worked superbly. She could tell it was hot from her arms, but the vest kept her abdomen cool and she flew through the valley floor's 108 temperature with no problems (it works fine in the pillion position).

We stopped at the Grapevine Ranger Station to recharge her vest and wet down my t-shirt a bit at the water fountain. I was fine in the front with my mesh jacket, but wetting down a t-shirt really cooled me down for a while (it may seem obvious, but don't wear a quick dry t-shirt in the desert, one that holds moisture is better). We checked the status of each other and decided we could tough it out to check out Ubehebe Crater. From there we doubled back a few miles and finished a loop back to Beatty via Scotty's Castle (Soda and ice cream opportunity) and NV-267.

270.3 miles for Friday (Tonopah, Goldpoint, Rhyolite, Ubehebe Crater, Scotty's Castle, Beatty)

On Saturday we stopped again at Hells Gate to put on Lisa's JR Sahara Vest. This was really getting to be a habit! We drove by Stovepipe Wells and continued on CA-190 to find a route south towards home through Panamint Valley. CA-190 climbing west out of Death Valley was washed out in a 500 year storm a year or so ago and has been replaced with a fresh asphalt ribbon of rolling, dipping, gently twisting ascending two lane highway. If you are leaving Death Valley, this is a fun way to go. 

We gave the bike a well deserved bath in Ridgecrest and ended our day with a 14 mile detour off Cajon Pass using CA-138 and CA-2 to Wrightwood

253.5 miles for Saturday

Sunday morning: Wrightwood to San Diego!

158.1 miles for Sunday

Total Trip 2100 Miles!! 46.9 MPG /  942lbs. Total Weight
(49.3 MPG is my solo average, Typically 711lbs. Total Weight Solo)

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Goldpoint, NV
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Lisa at Rhyolite, NV
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Two classic rides on 
the scene in Rhyolite
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Rhyolite Bank
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Hells Gate
and the point where Lisa puts on her JR Sahara Vest
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Always drive carefully. 
It can be a long walk or 
wait for help in the off season.
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Death Valley is green but 
don't let the scene fool you. 
It's 108 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Ubehebe Crater
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Ubehebe on a Topographic Map
Compare with Lunar Crater Topo
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Natures "Twisties" formed 
at the rim of Ubehebe Crater
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Lisa at Ubehebe Crater
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Always sound advice...
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Lisa views Ubehebe Crater
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With a good many miles 
to go, we decided to give 
the Strom a gentle bath 
in Ridgecrest, CA
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A relatively clean

We took a little detour off Cajon Pass (I-15) onto SR-138. You can see some very cool rock formations along the way to SR-2 where we figured on searching out a place to eat and possibly stay. We decided on a final overnight break in Wrightwood to save the last of I-15 for Sunday morning. We stayed in these little cabins from the 50's and watched the old black & white version of "House on Haunted Hill" starring Vincent Price

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We had a an awesome ride and have to include it as one of the greatest adventure vacations we have taken!

The total trip was a whopping 2100 Miles in 8 days of saddle time!! We averaged 46.9 MPG at a total loaded vehicle weight of 942lbs. In comparison my solo MPG average is 49.3 MPG at a typical total weight of 711lbs. Increasing the weight by 32% only decreased the MPG average by 5%. In all I would say we were at the maximum weight you would want to tour with on this bike with the combination of roads we drove. There was plenty of power to spare, albeit no where near the reserve you might have on a DL1000... but I would not hesitate to tour 2-up with this bike again.

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