Friday, February 21, 2014

Death Valley Airhead Rally 2014 - Day 1

Fantastic weather prevailed for this years Airhead Beemers Club 21st. Annual Death Valley Rendezvous.
This Rally is the "Oldest & Lowest".
We traveled a circuitous route heading first West then North.
["Right "click" on photos to enlarge]
I made a few stops on the first section of the ride to check things over. All was well.
We headed North on CA. S34 to CA. 78 through the Glamis dunes area. This is our typical route to the Salton Sea area. For a change, and better roads we decided to take CA. 86 North, which routes up the West side of the Salton Sea.


Unfortunately I failed to think about the Border Patrol Check Station on that route. The traffic back up was over a mile long and barely moving. The bike got pretty hot inching ahead for 30 minutes or so to cover the
mile.

We were at 131 feet below sea level at this point.
Finally getting through the Station we headed North and then took "Box Canyon Road" which cuts across to I-10 and into Joshua Tree Nat. Park.

The road follows the west shore of the Salton Sea for most of the distance of 60 miles.
We turned East at Mecca CA. after a fuel stop. The sidecar / trailer combination was getting around 26 MPG. The same as the sidecar got without the trailer. The machine seems to like pulling the weight, rather than carrying it all. 

 The Box Canyon Road follows through a series of washes to the I-10. Pretty cool formations along the way. During a rain event the road often floods and is closed.

The above photo was taken through the side cars windshield.

 The road goes over I-10 and leads directly into Joshua Tree National Park.

Fuel availability is nil.  We've ridden these routes in the past so always have fuel stops planned in advance. I also carried an extra 1.25 gallons on the sidecars step....never did need it. Some sections are over 120 miles of remote areas along the trip.

 Joshua Tree is fairly cheap for motorcycle entry....only $5.00.

The desert is diverse and lots of different fauna to be seen.


The roads are in pretty good shape on the route we took. We only covered a small area of the Park The Western most section is supposed to be very scenic also. We have never ridden to the Western side.

The "Cholla Gardens". These cacti are not something you want to get too close to. The needles almost seem to "jump out" at you. I've brushed against some in the past. The needles are miserable to remove.


We decided to camp at "White Tank" Campground. $10.00 per night.


The rock formations are interesting in this area.


Darian & I took a little hike after setting up our campsite.






Great spot!


 The Western section of the Park has a campground called "Jumbo Rocks".....I think the area is similar to this but with much larger rock formations...climbers like to camp there and climb some of the formations. We'll have to make a point of visiting the Western side next time....


There are numerous trails throughout this area.





We had a very pretty sunset.......


 Just enough clouds for an interesting shot.


As the sun set...the full moon appeared.

3 comments:

Richard M said...

I think that I remember camping at the Jumbo Rocks campground when I took a rock climbing class. It's a great place to learn as the rocks have a lot of friction, not flaking off and you can usually walk up or down on the opposite side. Nice photos but 30 minutes of stop and go, you have a lot of patience...

What was the temperatures like during the day?

BMW HACKER said...

Temperatures were great for the week.....80's during the day....low 50's during the night. Last year I camped at the same campground with some riding buddies.....temperatures were in the low 20's last year.

Richard M said...

Sounds wonderful, especially from the land of -27°F…

Really nice cloud photos.

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.