Monday, January 24, 2011

Agua Caliente / Palm Springs Via BMW sidehack

Time for another sidecar trip...we decided to do a "Hot Springs" Tour beginning with Agua Caliente in the Anza Borrego State Park. We returned from a business trip Thursday night so packed up early Friday morning and hit the road. I had received a "Heel Shifter" for the R100S transmission so I installed that prior to leaving. The heel shifter simplifies shifting a lot and I had been looking for one for a couple of years. Finally found one on EBay.
Loaded and ready....

We decided to run the interstate all the way to the Park so made pretty good time. Stopped in El Centro CA. for lunch. Upon leaving the restaurant I see a small oil pool on the parking lot. Damned shifter seal is now leaking after installing the "new" shifter. We found an auto parts store and picked up a quart of gear lube in case the transmission gets too low.

Got to Agua Caliente county Park and set up our new "condo" tent. After New Years I decided I wanted a little more room. Our new sleeping pads are pretty large and our Eureka Tent just is too crowded for both of us plus all our gear. The new tent is great and we can stand up in the center section. Plenty of room for both of us, our gear and chairs too!
The tent is a cheapo Chinese tent but for the price, we like it. Don't think it would fair too well in a downpour but we try to avoid camping in the rain anyway. We had a few drinks and took a nice long soak in the Hot Springs.
At about 9:00 PM a group of Boy Scouts came into the campground, right across from us and made a hell of a racket until all hours. The Park Ranger finally shut them up by 11:00 PM.
We really like the new tent!
We arose by 7:00 AM for coffee. Tore the site down and were on the road by 9:00 AM. Decided to head over the mountains to the Palm Springs area. About 30 minutes out we met a pair of Jeeps going the opposite direction. One of the Jeeps kicked up a small rock and it hit me in the face, breaking my glasses. The rock somehow missed my windshield, my partially closed face shield and got me.

The old stage route passes through the valley.
Perfectly beautiful day for a sidecar trip!

Historical Marker for the old stage route:

My broken glasses....I looked them over and decided to continue wearing them...did not see any loose glass. A big mistake as about 1/2 hour later something went into my left eye. A small particle of glass? I don't know but it make the rest of the trip a bit miserable for me with something in my eye.

The Shelter Valley Area was nice and green.

Stopped for a minute...couldn't find any gas as the power company was doing some sort of maintenance and all the small towns were without power...therefore no gas available...Tank was running a little low but we were just fine. The bike gets around 25 mpg with the sidecar so range is limited to around 175-200 miles.

Fantastic views and roads. Quite a bit of weekend traffic though.

Stopped for a lunch break and this Ferrari pulled in...pretty nice!

up over the mountains to Desert Hot Springs. Windy road and a lot of traffic.

Desert is always beautiful. Neat rock formations.

Stopped at a vista point on top of the mountain...a little snow in the back ground. Darian tried to call a friend of ours in Palm Springs but had no luck hooking up.

Bike was still oozing some gear lube from the transmission but not enough to be concerned.

With the condition of something in my eye my excitement about camping another night kind of waned...we were heading to Bashfords Hot Springs on the east side of the Salton Sea. I was pretty miserable trying to drive with one eye bothering me.
The trip home was only a 150 miles so I decided to forgo another night of camping and head home.
Date Grove on the west side of the Salton Sea.

The great Salton Sea:

We raced the sun back to Yuma...arriving home before dark.

A beautiful sunset to complete the day.

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Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.