Friday, January 3, 2014

Tribute to Mom, six days of desert riding; Day two Death Valley, ok or not

One thing I learned about riding the Valley of Fire is my ass was sore, very sore and to make this trip possible I needed something more.
I also found out that my boot of choice for this trip was wrong. I had chosen to wear my Track boots which would offer maximum protection similar to a ski boot but more flexible.
However I found that riding with my feet on my highway pegs (the pegs forward of normal riding pegs) would allow air to channel thru the various screws in the boot, not good. This was interesting as I had ridden often in 20 degree temps on a sportbike and had no problem oh well, nothing some plastic bags over my feet could not solve.

I would spend the evening after Valley Of Fire looking for a seat pad to put on my bike. I was hoping to find something such as those pressure point style made specifically for ATVs, but to no avail.

I would end up buying just a padded seat cover for a car. I cut the back off and it would fit perfectly over my bike seat with the elastic stretching nicely. In the morning I would venture out and see if my aching butt would find relief.

I am a morning person at all, and I got off to a late start after cramming to make some phone calls and do some other important stuff before I left, I would head out late morning by 10:30 AM.

The way out of Vegas was easy and my mind churned with the excitement of what Death Valley would offer, what awaited me?

The Excitement would quickly be tamed to dull boredom as the desert of nothing opened up before me, about my only reprive on this leg of the journey would be a sign to Mercury, which apparently is some sort of Military Instillation.

I would fill up at a junction which apparently is not worthy of a name, at least on the map I have. The Irony of this stop would be the sign before entering the town, a big red one which said "BROTHEL" my thought was merely "God bless Nevada!"

I headed south down to Ambrosa where I would stop at the Casino/hotel and talk to some fellow riders who assured me said hotel always had openings. Some passer bys stopped and mentioned the hotel was full, I would go in to verify and find that yes, it was booked up NOOO!

Its ok, I could ride through the park, I had time, I dont care if it was 2 pm now. I was slowly starting to realize that the park was far more vast than I had previously Imagined, and the last person who told me "going to see the sliding rocks alone is an all day affair" did not bode well with me.

I continued on to the park entrance to a line of people a mile long, oh no, would I even be able to find a camping space? IT was not looking good.

I wanted to spend an entire day in the park exploring, so I opted to turn around, find cell coverage and see if I could find a room open somewhere near the park.

I would pull off at a point I knew was not the best with only a few feet of shoulder that looked soft. Soon as I put my foot down the bank would give way and the bike would fall. Picking it up proved nearly impossible as the bank continued giving way under my feet. It seemed like twenty cars would drive by as I struggled, I could not believe they could be so apathetic, it had to look like a wreck yet nobody seemed to care. In desperation and one last lift I would get the bike back on two wheels, carefully balancing I would manuver the bike to place on the kickstand. Now the KLR is a wonderful bike, but the kickstand is way to long whne it is empty, when its full the bike squates and you have to find a lower point for the kickstand. I did not find one, my foot would slip and I would fall over again, more cars would drive by and after only two attempts I would have it righted again. Seconds later four other adventure motorbikes would come by, gesturing to make sure I was ok DAMN!

I moved up the road and began calling, I found a hotel in the town of Beaty, about an hour and a half away I would arrive in the dark. The town was eerie, something from a horror movie, with boarded up buildings seemingly everywhere I looked.
I found my Hotel, it looked nice on the outside and my non smoking room was suspect as I walked thru the smoke choked hallway to my room. The room was indeed smoke free until I turned on the fan, at which point it blew in the cigarette smoke scented air from the outside, I left it off and opted for comfy room temperatures.

Tomorrow, actually entering the park

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