The Second Annual Death Valley Daze
Death Valley, California, January, 1997
From: Mick McKinnon
Subject: BMW: DVD II Short trip report......
DVD II is now in the history books. Our little trip began when we hooked up with Darryl Richman from Seattle at 9000 on Friday morning. Darryl was down this way visiting family so we decided to ride over together.
Linda and I were on the LT, Darryl on his R11RS (recently put back together by Cascade BMW) : ) We got off at the Reseda Blvd off ramp of the 118 freeway and ran into Darryl as he was coming north towards the freeway....not a bad start! We fought the 9AM traffic pattern to the 405 north which turns into I-5 north and then peeled off at 14 north to Mojave. On our way through the Palmdale Lancaster area it was in the mid 30's with ice along the side of the road.......not bitter cold but pretty brisk for us So Cal wimps. At Mojave we had breakfast (at my favorite Mickey D's), warmed up a bit and headed for the Randsburg turnoff. While we were getting dressed for the second leg, a pristine R11GS rolled by, turns out it was Randy Marcus (from somewhere in LA). We would see him again at Stovepipe Wells as he related a most excellent experience with an F16 pilot over in the Pannamint range.....seems the pilot saw Randy waving to him from a lookout where he had stopped. The F16 jockey then proceeded to tip his wings, fly the length of the valley, turn around and scream up the valley to where Randy was standing and pass over his head at about .8 Mach. I think Randy was still smiling about that as he left on Sunday morning. : )
We had a totally uneventful trip into Furnace creek, 5,475 ft Towne pass was cold but we only had gravel to contend with on the road, no ice! Darryl pulled into the campground about 1430 as we checked into the Ranch. We only saw two bikes as we checked in, Duner Tor's GS and Warren Harhay's(sp?) RT.
The rest of the weekend is pretty much a blur, we walked over to the camp-ground and ran into Susan and Fulton from San Diego, Mick and Lani, Butch, Herb and Wilma, and watched Arno draw a crowd like moths to a flame with his superb GPS toy. We had dinner with Susan and Fulton and hit the sack about 10PM.
Saturday we were up by 7AM in anticipation of the Roozbeh ride. Linda finally got to meet my 'other' 3-Flags partner, Roger Austin. He and Rob made it over from Tucson with Arno. There was a little indecision on our part when the Ride finally left at 0915 (I think Roozbeh's watch was off cause he's NEVER late!) : ) Linda and I took off solo after the group left. We went directly to Badwater, bypassing Artists drive. Jim White from Long beach was following on his R11GS. The rest of the Ride arrived about 10 minutes later and all the required photo ops were taken. Linda and I waited form them to leave and then we backtracked towards Dante's View. As we were climbing through about 4,000 feet, this Fly Yellow spec appeared in my mirrors. Yep, Jim Rowley was approaching from the rear, followed by James Chen, Jerry and Dave Swanson. Jim passed us but began riding very cautiously when he saw the thick covering of ice in the opposing lane on a couple of corners. About a half mile from the top of Dante's view, ice covered the entire road. If this had been on the flat, and not on an uphill right hand corner climbing a 16% grade.....we might have tried to get past this hazard. As it was, we had nothing to prove and we've still got our pictures from last year. : ) We later learned that two of our group dumped their bikes up there, if felt really sorry for Sam, he had enough sense to stop but he stopped ON the ice.......with no friction for his boots to balance the stopped bike....down it went.
The group photo was moved from the Ranch parking lot to the campground this year by unanimous vote (Right Herb?) I think these pictures will be the best ever. It seemed we had about 30 professional photographers in attendance this year.
We had a late dinner and desert (provided by Richard and Meg Meltz, THANKS GUYS!!!!!) and we missed the toast so someone else will have to fill that gap. Linda and I hung around till 11AM on Sunday just to get some time with the K1200RS that BMW NA rumored would arrive on Sunday. NOPE! We were kinda 'bummed-out'. Our trip home was uneventful too, we took 190 to 127 and left via the southern route out of the valley. Then it was just the boring I-15 to Victorville, Pearblossom to 14 and then I-5, to 118 and home. I think the return trip was faster but not as much fun as riding out with Darryl.
It was a GREAT weekend, met lots of old friends, made some new ones and the weather was perfect! Looking forward to next year already!
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