Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Death Valley - Tecopa - Day 2

Our first night out was a pleasant one with warm temperatures and zero wind. Camp "pack up" is about an hour task, so by the time we were ready to go the temps were in the 60's. We wandered into 29 Palms Ca. for a fuel fill and a quick McDonald's breakfast. Darian needed to stop at a pharmacy but after 20 - 30 minutes of searching we never could find anything resembling one. So...off we went towards Amboy.

[Click on images to enlarge]
We knew a few other rider friends were in the same area.....as we went over "Sheep Hole Pass" I looked to the right and saw a large rock formation and parking area....I told Darian, "I bet that is where our buddies camped last night", as they are "stealth" campers quite a bit of the time.
Approaching Amboy, the highway crosses through a mining area. I went to some satellite images to see the full extent of the mining in the area.

Wide open desert and part of the "29 Palms Marine Combat Training Area".

"Roys" at Amboy....Amboy is mainly a railroad town with a few sparse residences.  Gas is sometimes available....sometimes not.....

Our route took us East...then North up Kelbaker Rd. towards "Kelso"...another old railroad junction. We crossed under Interstate 40 and headed into Kelso.

A quick stop right before we crossed under I-40.The "wide open" country offers some fantastic views.
"Kelso" was quite a populated area during WW2. Now....not so much. The Historic Railroad
Depot had a functioning store and cafe last Winter...now closed. We took a break and visited 
with some other riders from Las Vegas.
We hit Baker Ca. about 2:00 pm and ran into our biker friends at a gas station... and sure enough...they had camped the night before right where I thought they had....then off to Tecopa Hot Springs....
The Hot Springs water table has suffered from the droughts.....one set of pools at a higher elevation was closed, but others were still in operation. Tecopa is a pretty desolate place but the view from our campsite was excellent.

Our Tecopa "no frills" campsite:

The view was worth a thousand bucks...as was the camaraderie with our friends.....
Our new large tent is great. Only 4 poles for the main tent and 2 for the rain fly. Assembly of the tent only takes a few minutes. We never did use the rain fly over the week's use. The tent has a large gear storage loft overhead which was capable of holding coats, towels, clothes or whatever. Also has wall mounted storage pockets and water bottle holders. It has two different collapsable "shelving" units which hang in the corners...one with three shelves and a fabric "mirror". My Wife loves the tent. Also room for chairs if wanted.
The tent was not exposed to any high winds over the course of our use so far. The tent has a very high profile so high winds would be an issue. The rainfly has a "kite" appearance and could be a problem if not securely tied down. I read some reviews of the tent in high winds and it faired well.....as long as it was tied down properly / securely.
The tent is quite large when stowed and likely too big to haul on the bike without the trailer. It is pretty heavy as the material used is quite thick. The poles are a very large diameter fiberglass...and long.

We were treated to a long air show with a couple of A-10 "Wart Hogs" in training going round and round over our heads for an hour or so......

Awesome aircraft....
The Hot Springs were great and we enjoyed our overnight stay...."Thanks Dave". (Buddy Dave picked up the tab for the night)


Charlie6 said...

So hows that small trailer working out?

Richard M said...

That really is a large tent. When you mentioned it earlier, I didn't pick up on how roomy it was.

Houston said...

Cheers Brother and Sister! Hard to guess we'd be sleeping at the trash pit? Haha.

Keep up the travels and till net time, H

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.