On the way to Death Valley


chloride hills

Drove to Death Valley today. As we drove along the 93 between Kingman and the Hoover Dam, I tried to remember any single thing about that area from the last time I rode through it on my F650GS. I couldn’t. It was because everything was the same shade of gray, and I had my head down so it wouldn’t get torn off in the wild winter storm we were riding through at the time. Today, I thought, wow, how could that trip have been so interminable? It was because we were only able to go about 50 mph against the raging wind pushing so hard against us. The rain was lashing down, and I counted down the miles until we reached Kingman. That same stretch of road hardly seemed to take any time at all today.

Today I saw hills of varying shades of brown, some with red, or white, or green shades mixed in. I was trying to imagine the minerals that would make the mountains appear those colors. Who knows what is out there? Maybe some toxic, crazy, man-made horrors. It makes me shudder.

When we got to Las Vegas, we met up with some of my blog followers, Tom A. and his wife, Cecelia. I had been talking to Tom for a long time, and it was nice to finally meet face-to-face. In fact, I found their company delightful, and I tried to drag out our late lunch as long as I could. It was so much fun. (Thanks for meeting us, Tom! Loved it!)

From there, Hal and I continued our journey to Death Valley, CA. I was struck again how lonely and desolate that part of the road is. A person could easily disappear. I can believe that wild, inexplicable things could happen out here after dark. Think lights, not from stars, unexplained flashes from  unknown origins. Imagine sitting out there in the dark, enveloped in the the absolute, infinite silence.

In a few places, there were the ruins of former settlements along thin ribbons of dirt that extended into the mountains. I wouldn’t go so far as to call them “towns.” And I knew they were more than just a collection of buildings because power lines had been strung along the road that led to them. I was thinking it would be interesting to bring the dirt bikes out to explore them further, but then I thought about being here to ride Death Valley, a vast resource for dirt riders and adventurers, and  one simple road paled in comparison. Besides, what is actually in that dirt and dust?

The mountains are so weird along the 95, too. They are more like large, gently sloping mounds that a person could easily climb, and also descend, without too much trauma. I have never seen any other mountains like them. They don’t look inviting, though. It crossed my mind that if I started up one of them, a drone might rise from over the top, humming angrily like a demented insect, seeking the source of my body heat. The imagination runs wild in this place.

Aside from meeting up with Tom and Cecelia, today was a “nothing” day, just sitting in the car nearly motionless. There are good things and bad things about trailering the bikes to a destination! Tomorrow we will experience the good things when we finally return to dirt riding in Death Valley.

Sorry for the brevity of the post, and the lack of photos, even though I took 62 today. I can’t seem to resolve the issue of getting fast, reliable internet connection and computer usage while traveling. I am tired of not being able to have small-sized current technology that I can take on the road!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “On the way to Death Valley

  1. I have taken that stretch of highway many times. On my annual trips from Zillah WA to Mesa AZ I always spend the night at Nellis AFB in Vegas. I have stopped a Cloride which is between the damn and Kingman. It’s very interesting, stop sometime. At Kingman there’s a restaurant that I like, it’s called the Calaco I think. I make it a point to stop even if I’m not hungry. I use to fly helicopters around Area 51. That was before it became so popular. We were briefed to stay with the helicopter if we had an emergency landing, they didn’t want us messing around out there.

    When I left you guys to go back home I had planned on stopping at Furnace Creek on the way North. I never made it. Ron

    • Hi Ron! Glad to hear from you.

      Yes, I’ve wanted to go in to Chloride for several trips, but it always seems that we are in a hurry to get where we are going, or get home. I will make it someday soon, though.

      We had a great time in Death Valley. I will post some stories soon! Just got him tonight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s