After an amazing handful of days with the old man visiting the Grand Canyon, other parks and the like, it’s time to hit the road again. I took my planned route through death valley.
I knew while still in Florida that I wanted to ride through death valley, and was happy to have a water-cooled bike that would handle the arduous trip. To say it was hot or anything along those lines doesn’t really do the experience justice. It was around 115 degrees. I rode into the thick of it right around 1pm or so. I wanted to ride gloveless, figuring the air, however hot it may be, would be better had instead of closing the airway up my jacket sleeves. The experience really wasn’t so bad. If I kept positive, tried to think of it as a spa, and kept hydrated, it really wasn’t an issue. Yes, it feels like riding into a furnace, or more appropriate, it feels like having a giant hair drier set as hot as it goes continually blowing hot air at you at 70mph.
I’d take a hot death valley ride in my leathers over the slightest bit of cold any day. If nothing else, I suppose I learned I’m compatible with desert climates. Basically, it is never too hot for me.
I had to put the gloves on. It felt a little silly wearing full leathers and the helmet in that heat, but it got to a point where my fingers felt like they were being burnt by steam. Hot as it might have been, I needed to insulate against the wind burn.
The desert ride, however uneventful, is an integral part a road trip like this. When there isn’t scenery to be found outside, you start to look for it within yourself. I didn’t stop much for photos, but I felt like I put a lot of miles behind me today.
The long hours in the desert proved meditative.
Sitting at a gas station near Victorville, CA, I scrambled for a solution for the night. I missed many camping opportunities between there and death valley because I wanted to make more progress. Ideally, I had hoped that some people in SD or LA that I know could have pulled through for me. Already a little late and super last minute however…
The populated areas I rode through all seemed sketchy as can be. After several attempts to score a couch for the night, it was starting to get late and I decided to get a motel in Victorville.
I decided I’m going to San Diego. I realize it’ll likely put me behind schedule, but I really wanted to spend some time in California anyway. Despite advice to the contrary, I really think I’m going to end up doing an Ironbutt challenge ride on the way home. (1000 miles in 24hrs.) More out of necessity than anything else, really. I’ll probably lose too much time here in California.