Latest posts by Bob Ward (see all)
- Ward’s Dual-Sport Adventure Research and Trip Journal - November 9, 2015
- 046 Plan to Backpack Yellow River Again and Doing So with Jack and Joe - August 19, 2015
- 045 Truck Toppers and Panel Vans - July 18, 2015
Finally got with MotoSpeedy and moved the planning forward.
Date: Feb 23 (Sat) – Mar 2 (Sat)
Although April has potential for spring bloom, we both agreed the temperature was more important. Average February temperature should be mid-seventies.
We will spend our time in Death Valley National Park, using Beatty, NV as our base camp.
After considerable research, we have determined the northern parts of Death Valley National Park to be the most agreeable terrain, vistas, and sights. We looked at Mojave National Preserve as well, but found the sandy, cactus-laden terrain uninspiring. We much preferred the high craggy walls (such as Titus Canyon) as well as the great vistas offered in Death Valley. Furthermore, the white, rocky ground (full of switchbacks, washes, and raggedly steep escarpments) seemed perfect for our dual sport bikes.
Here’s the rough idea, which we’ll refine later…
From Beatty, take day loops into the park, returning each night. For example:
- Day 1, loop 1 will be Titus Canyon
- Day 2, loop 2 will be Saline Valley Road
- Day 3, loop 3 will be Lippincott Pass
These will be refined as we progress with our planning.
The guidebook we are using is California Trails, Desert Region. This is primarily a Jeep touring book, which shows all the trails, sights, and provides a difficulty rating per scenic rating. Lippinscott Pass, for example, has a difficulty rating of 4 with a scenic value of 10.
(We also have one for Colorado Trails (Central Region), and the series has several others.)
Other FYI items we’ve noted:
- Brush guards are not necessary in Death Valley, but Bash Plates are VITAL. There are few trees, but lots of large rocks. Cracking your knuckles is much less likely than cracking your oil pan.
- Badwater is the lowest point in the contiguous United States (verus Mount McKinley–Denali–where I’ll be in January, which is the highest point in North America).
- Our travel distance is 1,660 miles each way.
These Youtube videos show the terrain we are after:
Now, the part we haven’t resolved yet, which is crucial, is where to stay. Motospeedy suggested we camp on cots in the back of the truck (at an RV park, for example), but neither of us are sure about that. In all our previous travels, after long miles in the saddle, we’ve found the hotel’s hot tub at the end of the day called to us very loudly. This trip will not have long miles, unless you consider 200 miles long. We don’t although we will be tuckered out by the end of the day.