Saturday, February 25, 2012

Death Valley and Beyond - BMW Airhead Sidecar Tour

Day 1 thru 5

Wow, what a week....Completed the timing chain project on Wednesday and left for Death Valley Thursday AM. After weeks and weeks of cloudless skies we awoke on Thursday AM to clouds and rain showers. We drug our feet a little and the rain stopped before we left home. Took 2 hours to get 20 miles as the bike developed a serious "miss" on one cylinder. I messed with the points, checked the valve clearances, and pulled the diaphragms out of the carbs, finding nothing amiss. Finally turned and headed back for Yuma and the bike was running fine...? What the hell, another u-turn and off to Death Valley we go!
The winds all the way up were ferocious and the ride was a "white knuckle" ride all the way. Tons of semi trucks and RV's all the way north. The bike never missed a beat all the way up. We made it to Las Vegas by 5:00 PM and checked into a Hotel there.We had a nice dinner and made a small donation to the gambling gods before turning in for the night.
The following morning dawned sunny and windless. We ran over the mountain pass to Parumph NV. encountering snow along the top of the pass. Parumph was warm and after a quick stop we headed down into Death Valley.

Death Valley Junction

Dropping into the Valley, near "20 Mule Team Trail"

We weren't "pre-registered" this year so opted to get there early. Lucky we did as decent camping spots were at a premium and the place ended up very crowded. The normal Rally site, "Furnace Creek" is under refurbishment so the rally was moved to "Texas Springs Campground" which is in the wide open and quite small.
By Saturday afternoon the place was wall to wall tents and motorcycles.

Saturday AM photo of the rally site.
Saturday ended up partially cloudy but still very warm. Eventually the clouds moved on. Ran into a lot of old acquaintances and made a few new ones too...

Our little camp site & table was occupied all weekend with folks coming and going....
The four days at Texas Springs was as typical as any Rally.....a lot of BS'ing and stories. The Park has a swimming pool / showers, a store, bar and restaurant.
Also the golf course has a burger cafe so we tried it too.
Some friends from San Diego cooked for a couple of meals.
Another San Diego friend, and a couple from L.A. planned on another night of camping at Panamint Springs so we opted to join them for another night of camping there.....continued.....

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Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.