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Death Valley II. Wintertime!

  • Hometown Buffet

    24990 Redlands Blvd, Loma LInda, CA (map)

    34.063076 -117.259315

  • Death Valley wintertime rewind!

    This desolate place has the reputation for being the lowest, hottest, driest and most unforgiving place in the northern hemisphere. It's a reputation that has been repeatedly earned, especially in the summertime. However, there are times, when this place can be enchanting for the prepared. The Free riders visited this place in the springtime. The temperature was cooler, the flowers were blooming, and the landscape looked extraterrestrial. The plant variety included Gravel ghost, phacelia, rock daisy, pin cushion, and brown-eyed evening primrose. Life finds a way even if the rainfall is less than 2" per year.


    On Dec. 10th, the adventurous Free Riders will roll into this normally foreboding place to experience the stark stillness of Death Valley in the wintertime. We should see a contrasting landscape, a brooding, vulnerable presence, far removed from the fiery malevolence of warmer seasons. Be prepared for a completely different experience.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8F0wnwkL0c

    In spite of the reputation for high temperatures and limited rainfall, Death Valley exhibits surprising biodiversity. Wildflowers, fed by melted snow, cover the desert floor each spring. Animal life includes bighorn sheep, red-tailed hawks, coyotes, and wild burros. Death Valley has over 600 springs and ponds. Salt Creek, which is a mile-long shallow creek has pupfish.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_dP4ENjcL0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDlji7FO2OY

    Darwin Falls (waterfall) drops a hundred feet into a large pond surrounded by willows and cottonwood trees. Over 80 species of birds have been spotted around the pond.


    Death Valley is home to the Timbisha tribe of Native Americans, formerly known as the Panamint Shoshone, who have inhabited the valley for at least the past millennium. Some families still live in the valley at Furnace Creek. Another village was in Grapevine Canyon near the present site of Scotty's Castle. When borax was discovered, it took two horses and eighteen mules to pull their load over a distance of 165 miles to Mojave which took them ten days. Eventually, a railway was built. In 1881 Harmony Borax Works (near Furnace Creek), which is now partly restored and open to visitors, came into operation. Others soon followed. Although Death Valley has been a "National Monument" since 1933, borax can still be mined within its boundaries, but only underground. 


    Details:

    This is an overnight ride. The Free Riders will meetup at the Hometown Buffet in Loma Linda. The address is 24990 Redlands Blvd, Loma Linda, CA 92354. Well try to leave there at 11:00 am. Arrive early if you wish to indulge in breakfast there. We will travel north 215, 15, 127, 178, 372 into Pahrump where we will find overnight lodging at the Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-4uzQT56lY

    The Pahrump Nugget has blocked off 23 rooms for us. Call (775)[masked] to reserve your room. The group code is "FR16". The cost is only $59.95 for the night, and they will provide each of us with a $10 off coupon for dinner. Can't beat that deal!! Thank you Gary Butler for getting this handled for us.


    There are lots of retailers in this area including a motorcycler retailer and a Big 5 Sporting Goods store. So if we need any emergency supplies, we can get it here. This location will serve as our launching point into Death Valley. This first part of our trip is 221 miles, and there will be multiple stops along the way, like in Victorville, Barstow, Baker and Shoshone. This will be an easy relaxed cruise. Additionally, anyone can lead if they wish, although Gary and I will know the way. Gas and convenience products are available in the park at Furnace Creek Ranch, Stovepipe Wells Village, and Panamint Springs Resort, although I expect the prices to be elevated. Naturally, we will fuel up in Pahrump before entering the park. The distance across the park is 83 miles.


    After Breakfast on Sunday, we will depart Pahrump and head into Death Valley from the east side. The interesting places that we will visit are Death Valley Junction, Furnace Creek, Park Village, Beatty Junction, Stovepipe Wells, Emigrant and Panamint Springs. Scotty's Castle seems to be permanently closed, so that's off the list for now. Other excursions within in the park are completely up to the participants. We can do whatever you wish, as we're in no hurry. Later in the day, as we exit the park on the west side, we'll need to travel south on Panamint Valley Rd about 68 miles to Ridgecrest, where we will seek food and drink at the Xin Bowl Asian Food restaurant. They have good reviews on Trip Advisor. The address is 1110 N China Lake Blvd Ridgecrest CA 93555. Here is a link to this nice restaurant: http://www.xinbowlca.com/


    After topping off with good food and fuel, civilization is another 118 miles south on 395, with a few rest stops in between.


    Friendly advice:Bring extra water, some snacks and check those tires, and bring extra warm clothing. God favors the prepared. Murphy does not.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF7dSE0-JY0

    Okay Free Riders. Bring your camera, bring your gear, and bring a friend. If you signed up for adventure, this trip will not dissapoint!! 4 wheeled vehicles are welcome for this trip too!


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  • Gary B.

    The hotel Casino in Pahrump called me today, the group rate will be closing after 4pm today so if ur going you need to call ASAP.

    1 · Yesterday

    • jimmy m.

      I'm booked,yeah baby!!!!Also,booked for Sunday Lone Pine extravaganza.....we can do Mt Whitney portal and Fossil Falls for our Monday expedition

      Yesterday

    • Louis C.

      I'm booked too, with my family. I bought a dash cam for the bike too.

      3h ago

  • Gary B.

    We lost our 10 dollar off meal discount because not enough people reserved rooms.

    1 · Yesterday

    • Louis C.

      No sweat. It's still a great deal.

      3h ago

  • Joe E.

    Jimmy - I'm booked at the historic Dow Hotel in beautiful Lone Pine, Sunday December 11th. Maybe a quick trip up to Whitney Portal on Monday morning?

    1 · November 22

    • jimmy m.

      I've stayed there before...what r they charging for a room on Sunday???I need to check out the weather before canceling my Monday schedule....

      November 26

  • jimmy m.

    Suggestion for those wanting to stay Monday....going back to Puhrump is way out of the way.Last year route kicked us out by Pinamint Springs....around Owens Lake,the overnighters should head slightly north to Lone Pine to spend the night.....the rest should head south 395 to Ridgecrest .The overnighters might want to hit Mt Whitney for some Zen relaxation before heading home . I'm thinking of staying overnight in Lone Pine

    2 · November 22

  • Joe E.

    I'm interested in staying over and 395 will be less congested on the way home.

    November 21

    • Gary B.

      Joe I like the ride back on 395 better too, the motel I called were really old and wanted 79 per night. I was just thinking the deal was so good at Pahrump I'd just go there but I am flexible if you find a good place I'm in.

      November 21

  • Gary B.

    I'm booked for Saturday and Sunday because the next day is only 39 bucks and this time I want to enjoy death Valley, rest and ride back Monday. I'm retired so I don't have to go to work, I'm not saying anyone else needs to do the same as me, I'm just saying incase someone else wants to. The lodging on the west side of death Valley via 395 were about 79 and old. I wouldn't mind staying on the west side if there is a decent place. I can always cancel extra night. Anyone else interested in staying an extra night before riding home?

    November 20

    • jimmy m.

      I know Steve Melton is staying over

      November 21

  • Louis C.

    My whole family is going too.

    November 20

  • Joe E.

    Booked

    November 20

  • Tamara D.

    Booked

    November 20

  • Louis C.

    I'm booked

    November 20

  • Gary B.

    They will hold the rooms until Dec 2nd so please call and reserve your room ASAP non smoking rooms will go fast so don't delay.

    November 20

  • Louis C.

    Of all the rides that the Free Riders have done, this one was one of the best. Should be cooler this time.

    November 20

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