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Thread: Death Valley Daze 2004

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  1. #1
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Death Valley Daze 2004

    Have you ever had one of those days where you just have to say "What's Next?". Some strange thing will happen and you can deal alright. Then another strange thing will happen and you'll start to wonder what's going to happen next.

    We had a day like that last Friday when we rode to Death Valley for DVD IX.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  2. #2
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    The day started out beautifully. We had nice, but cool weather and it was about 35 or so when I left the house at 5am. I rode down to Hollister, CA and met up with John Pierce, BrownAnt, Rob Laposta, Lone*Star, Mark Osborne and Jean-Luc. Most of them are AdvRiders.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  3. #3
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    We had a pretty nice route planned. We'd head down some of the nice roads in the coastal range and then cut across the central valley and climb up and over the southern section of the Sierra Nevada and then cruise on across the desert and into Death Valley.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  4. #4
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    The roads were clear, the traffic was light. We were gonna make some time. There's a kind of feeling you get when you're setting out on a decent ride.


    When the big hand's on the 95 and the little hand's on the six, it's time to watch for the police.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  5. #5
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    And then, you find some frost on the north side of a hill and you find something like this.



    We were up and out of the valley we'd been following and had started to cross the hills to get to Coalinga and the central valley. We came around the corner and the whole canyon wall was covered in frost. So was the road. Tony Brown went down and the rest of us managed to coast through the glaze and get stopped.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  6. #6
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    We kept Tony on the ground until the cops showed up and started to help him. Prior to the CHP arriving, we'd determined he knew who we were, knew what day it was and all his fingers and toes worked.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #7
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    The CHP showed up and set to work. Officer Hall, in the blue uniform, turned out to be an LT rider. The guys were great and were concerend with Tony's well being first and the details second.

    Thanks, guys. We owe ya.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  8. #8
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Well, the CHP called an ambulance and a helicopter and they both showed up within a couple minutes of each other.





    The EMT techs were all over it. They assessed Tony, splinted his wrist and got him ready for transport.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  9. #9
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    And then he flew away, off to Santa Clara. The ambulance crew explained the airlift this way: since Tony's injuries really weren't that bad (it seemed). We were a good hundred miles in either direction from a hospital. An ambulance ride down the bumpy roads were on would have been torturous. So they called the chopper.



    We found out today that they kept him over the weekend and let him out yesterday, Monday. He's got a broken foot, a broken wrist that's going to require surgery, a bruised kidney and a lacerated liver. He broke a couple ribs and got him self a little scraped up.

    All the Gear, all the time, kids.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  10. #10
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Tony's bike was kind of a mess (notice the big hole in the valve cover) and the CHP had arranged for towing. We grabbed Tony's electronics and took them with us so they wouldn't "disappear" in the towing yard. We also found a couple bags of chocolate chip cookies and gave one bag to the EMTs. We tried to give them to the CHP, but they all rubbed their stomachs and talked about needing to lose weight.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  11. #11
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    So off we went, across the big nothingness that is the Central Valley of California. We passed mile after mile of Almond trees and other orchards. We were heading south now and would pass by where James Dean got killed.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  12. #12
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Well, we made it across the Central Valley without incident (except for when the cops pulled me and Lapost over for going around that gravel truck at the stoplight and then let us go) , and headed up and over Greenhorn Summit on CA155. The summit is at 6000 feet, so there's a pretty good possibility of snow during the winter. We got up to about 5000 feet and started seeing snow on the sides of the roads. Lots of snow on the sides of the road, actually. Then we started seeing lots of sand on the road. Some of the sand had snow and ice under it! :yow

    When we got to the summit, Lone*Star was pulled over and stopped. He had broken his clutch cable on the way up the hill and had ridden up the hill without a clutch - through the icy patches!

    Luckily, I had a spare RS clutch cable with me that we used to replace his GS cable. It's not a perfect fit, but it got him home!


    Lone*Star on the left, Rob Laposta on the right.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  13. #13
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Jean - Luc's KTM decided it was jealous and demanded a little attention by spitting out the bolt that holds the sidestand switch in place. One Big Honkin' Ziptie later, we were rolling again and on our way to Ridgecrest.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  14. #14
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    When we got to camp, they had two things we like to see:



    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  15. #15
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    It was cool that night. Winter nights in the desert usually are. We saw 37F overnight. Met some new folks on Saturday - Here's MrCob with his cool old GS.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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