Death Valley Ride

Mark and I took off at 8 AM from his house in Victorville and then headed out to Adelanto to get fuel before the ride. From Adelanto we headed out 395 to Trona. There where lots of wild flowers off of highway 395 out around Kramers Junction. We also saw a herd of sheep of of Trona Road, which was pretty interesting. We arrived in Trona only to find out that the one open gas station in Trona was out of gas and wouldn’t be getting their delivery for sometime. It was rather funny too because the first employee we ran into in the store was like, “Oh, we are out of gas?” She didn’t even know!

After talking with another employee we thought it best to head into Ridgecrest to fill up and then head off to Furnace Creek via Wildrose Road to get fuel again. Not far out of Trona we started seeing signs warning us to watch out for wild burros. Not long after we started seeing these signs we actually came upon a herd of wild burros, half in the road! It was quite the sight!

Wildrose Road was absolutely the highlight of the trip. It is a very neat road that goes through a pretty tight canyon bringing you into Death Valley. Parts of the road were pretty rough and rutted with some parts completely void of any pavement. There where springs of water here and there throughout the canyon with stands of trees clumped all around the spring. It was really something to see in the middle of the desert in Death Valley, a place known for its harshness.

After riding Wildrose Road to where it dumps out just south of Stove Pipe Wells we headed on to Furnace Creek, observing the dunes and devils corn. It was hot down below sea level, over 100 degrees but it was still a very nice ride. We stopped at the old Borax works in Furnace Creek before fueling up and eating lunch, taking the small walk around the works and studying the ruins and historical markers.

Up to this point in the ride we had seen very few cars and bikes; however, once we arrived at the Furnace Creek Ranch we found everyone else. It was packed! We tried three different eateries before we finally found a place with out a long wait. We ended up at a buffet that had a very poor selection of foods and charged a whooping 16 bucks to partake.

After lunch we headed out to Badwater and then on to Shoshone. Just after lunch my bike’s check engine light came on and my bike was running really rough for about 1 to 2 minutes. It was enough of a concern that I missed the Badwater turn off. As soon as it started acting up it started running fine, but the check engine light was one. Mark and I pulled off the road and I shut my bike off and started it backup, this time no engine light. From there on home it ran fine. I still have no clue why it did that.

Half way between Badwater and Shoshone things go interesting. First off we came upon a coyote just standing in the middle of the road. Mark was actually able to stop and take a picture. Then after that we seen a guy on a bicycle! Now this road was dead, no one around for miles, we had only passed a few cars and maybe two motorcycles passed us going the other way. We where over 55 miles from Furnace Creek. I thought, hmm that is odd, but we kept going. After that we stopped at the “entering Death Valley” monument to get a picture. Mark and I where joking around about this dude on the bicycle when he rides up and starts talking to us. Asking us how far is Death Valley proper and how he had never been to Death Valley before. It was a little odd. Mark and I tried to be polite and the got on our bikes and rode off.

After that we fueled up in Shoshone and then headed to Baker with out any issues. Once in Baker we fueled up for the final time and headed on home via the 15 freeway. We kept a good pace on the 15 and where able to be home by 5 pm.

Over all the trip for me was 485 miles in 9.5 hours. I had a great time was happy to finally get a ride in through the desert before it gets to hot. Below are a map, a video Mark took on Wildrose Road and some photos I took along the way. I can’t wait for the next motorcycle ride!

Map of ride:

View Larger Map

Video from Wildrose Road:

And the photos I took:

You can also read Mark’s ride report on his site.

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