03/30/07 Lake Isabella, CA to Tonopah, NV
Time: 5h 8m
Ave Speed: 60.42mph
Max Speed: 100.1mph
This morning I packed up and was on the road by 9am. I was in a hurry to get out before anyone came around asking why I was there. In my hurry to get out I forgot to take any pictures of my campsite. Last night I woke up at 2:00am and looked at my thermometer; it was 35 degrees INSIDE my tent. I was wearing my long underwear, sweats, wool socks, an extra shirt, and a beanie. Still kinda chilly. After a nutritious breakfast at McDonalds I headed east past the lake. At McD’s I learned that a fishing derby was beginning today which would run throughout the weekend and that one of the stocked fish is wearing a tag worth $10,000. As I headed out a stream of trucks pulling fishing boats headed in. The further east I went the dryer the terrain became.
178 took me over Walker Pass and into the Sunshine Capital of America.
The desert grows strange creatures.
178 took me through several dry lake beds.
(Note from beck: the above is a link to a panoramic picture.)
Death Valley is on the other side of the closest set of hills. The snow covered peaks in the far distance are in NV.
Not many people on the roads out here.
Can you guess where the natural fed spring is?
As I rode through the Hills I ran across 3 ladies with a flat tire. They had everything they needed to change their tire except the key to the lock that held the spare tire to the back of their SUV. They said I was the first vehicle to pass by them in about 40 minutes and asked me to phone AAA for them from Stovepipe Wells which was another 40 miles away since they were well out of cell phone range. I thought I could do better than that and whipped out the flat repair kit that I always carry; I had their tire plugged and re-inflated in about 30 minutes. They were very grateful.
As I came down from the hills Death Valley spread out before me.
A quick trip below sea level.
The pioneers unfortunate enough to venture through this valley called these plants “devils corn” because from a distance they appeared to be shocked corn.
I wish I had a quad to play on
After heading out of Death Valley over the Funeral Mountain Range, I headed north on 95 along the western side of the mysterious Area 51. I was hoping to see some sort of crazy flying saucer or unexplainable alien creature but neither presented themselves. I rolled into Tonopah at 6:30 and decided I was done for the day. Since I stopped to fix the flat in Death Valley and spent a good amount of time taking pictures, I hadn’t gotten in as many miles as I had planned. However, it was getting dark and I didn’t feel like riding another 100 miles in the dark, cold, high desert. The DMV office in Tonopah cracked me up. Soooo tiny, and only open 3 days a week.
I checked into the Clown Motel which would make a great set for a horror movie. Clowns everywhere, I almost passed because it was kinda weird but what the hey, an adventure is an adventure.
As I write this I’m watching the Lakers lose to the Rockets. I feel wasteful, my room has two beds but I’m only one man; maybe I’ll spend the first half of the night in one and then switch. I’m either fighting a cold or have allergies to the grass in the high desert; I’m hoping for the latter.