Death Valley Feb 27-Mar 1

Already had a rider down with a concussion :(

More to follow...

I sure do hope your friend is ok. I was just riding there last week.

Gozde is going to be fine.  We were riding to Panamint Springs coming north on Trona/Wildrose and she lost control of the bike on that stretch of dirt/gravel that a storm washed out about a year and a half ago (that's still not fixed).

 

I was lead rider, she was second and Greg was third.  Tolga was riding separately, as he had to run an errand up in LA and was going to meet us there later.

 

I stopped just past where the dirt section ends and waited but it was clear I would be waiting for awhile as I didn't see any lights coming.  I rode back and saw Gozde lying on the side of the road and Greg over her.  I got off the bike, went over and was told she lost control of the bike and most likely has a concussion, as she was confused and was having trouble with her vision.  We made her comfortable and Greg got on his DeLorme inReach and within seconds had a two-way conversation going with emergency personnel.  We got her vitals (pulse, respiration, etc...) and they told us exactly what to do while an ambulance was dispatched from Trona.

 

They took her to Ridgecrest and all I've heard is that she's doing well but still has some vision issues.

 

After we got all her gear off the bike, loaded in the CHP SUV and made it to PSR, Tolga showed up and we gave him the news.  He rode to Ridgecrest and stayed with her all night and is still there.  We are working on arranging to get the damaged 640 Adventure Gozde was riding back here to Orange County.

 

That's the bulk of what went down.  I just hope she recovers quickly.

Gozde in Trona before her spill

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Greg,looking quite dapper

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Greg has photos of the aftermath of the accident but we'll just not show those right now.  We're still kind of upset about the whole thing.
 
Greg and I ended up at Panamint Springs Resort Friday around 6:30 (after dark) and just unpacked and relaxed after such an eventful day.  The wind was also howling through the camp, which made for quite the blast-furnace campfire.  I got this wood from a local wood lot and hauled a bunch of of between three of us up there.  The wood you buy there is like $10 a bundle and is all pine; it burns in like 45 min.  This stuff I got burned very long and hot.  :)  

 

We enjoyed some Capt. Morgan and a couple of fine cigars.

Saturday our plan was to ride out to the hot springs and then be back in time to go see Gozde in Ridgecrest at the hospital.  We got a cell signal on the way out at the Father Crowley lookout and Tolga said she was doing better and that they'd meet us at camp around 2-3.

 

Orbel "Zach" Zacharian was supposed to get to PSR with a crew of about six other riders around noon but we didn't see them until about 7:00 later that night.  They rode Titus Canyon.

 

I brought my good camera (DSLR) and got these right up near the Hunter Mountain turnoff

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Further down Saline Valley Rd at Lippincott.

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Salt tram remnants

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Greg riding

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Some beautiful shots of the valley and clouds

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The seldom-photographed Saline Valley dunes

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Entrance to the hot springs

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Really nice pools there

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Weather couldn't be nicer

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On our way back, there were amazing views of the valley below

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As well as a bit of snow up the pass

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We came out to an open plain of Joshua trees and saw these storm clouds dumping snow on the hills nearby

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PSR when we got back.  Didn't get much of any rain at camp after all.

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Sunday morning (today) we packed up and headed back with a short side trip to the Trona Pinnacles.  These were formed a long time ago when they were submerged in a shallow sea that has obviously evaporated since.  They were volcanic vents and the organisms that thrived around them would die and pile up into the huge columns.

 

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We got done and headed out but after two quick turns over just about 30 seconds, I looked back and didn't see Greg behind me.  I went back and he was gone!  &%$#@!?  Where did he go?  I went around the other side and no sign.  He couldn't have gotten out and back to the highway that fast without me seeing him, so I just stayed put.  For like 15 minutes.  Then I went looking for him again.
 
About 30 minutes go by and I was just about to ride back out to the highway to see if he was there when I saw his headlights behind me.  I went back and asked "what happened?"  He thought I went right and followed me around to a spot where he got stuck in some deep sand and had to unload his whole bike to get it unstuck.  He said he saw me at the top gazing across the horizon for him and he yelled and waved but I didn't see him!  
 
All part of the adventure... :)

Sounds like a fun and eventful trip! Gives good examples of why riding alone is not a good idea. Great pics!

Good news she is OK. I would ask to not post pics of the aftermath. You guys did a great job doing what was needed in an emergency. If it was me riding with you, I would have been more than happy to transport the bike back to OC. Death Valley is a strange place for sure. I plan on going back to see more.

 

Chris

 

Sunday morning (today) we packed up and headed back with a short side trip to the Trona Pinnacles.  These were formed a long time ago when they were submerged in a shallow sea that has obviously evaporated since.  They were volcanic vents and the organisms that thrived around them would die and pile up into the huge columns.

 

 
 
 
 
We got done and headed out but after two quick turns over just about 30 seconds, I looked back and didn't see Greg behind me.  I went back and he was gone!  &%$#@!?  Where did he go?  I went around the other side and no sign.  He couldn't have gotten out and back to the highway that fast without me seeing him, so I just stayed put.  For like 15 minutes.  Then I went looking for him again.
 
About 30 minutes go by and I was just about to ride back out to the highway to see if he was there when I saw his headlights behind me.  I went back and asked "what happened?"  He thought I went right and followed me around to a spot where he got stuck in some deep sand and had to unload his whole bike to get it unstuck.  He said he saw me at the top gazing across the horizon for him and he yelled and waved but I didn't see him!  
 
All part of the adventure... :)

 

 

I always wondered how you get a huge adventure bike unstuck out of sand. What a concept, unload the darn thing!!

Great pictures but more importantely I am glad to hear that she is doing better... wish her all the best and a speedy recovery 

Greg wasn't sure if he was coming or going

 

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My video is a bit shorter.  I got it out earlier and found the battery was dead, so I missed some footage :(

 

Gregory here.  Eric, myself, and another rider (who will remain nameless until I have their permission to discuss these events publicly) were going to meet another group in Panamint Springs, then explore Death Valley’s numerous offerings such as Titus Canyon, Ubehebe Crater, Racetrack Playa, Lippincott Trail, and the Hot Springs in the Saline Valley.

 

These are my photos and narrative from this weekend.  We left Orange County on Friday, 27 February headed up to Panamint Springs.  Eric asked me if I could load some firewood.  Sure, I said…

 

 

 

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Then we were off north up the 91 east, then to the 15 north, then the 395, and finally for a fuel stop at Trona.  Now there’s very spotty cell coverage at Trona and points north so at this point we were out of coverage.  This would have proven to be a serious issue if it weren’t for my Delorme InReach SE satellite transceiver.  There’s a stretch of fairly well graded gravel road you have to ride about a half hour after you leave Trona going north.  It is wide, well compressed, and straight, but it does have soft berms and softer tailings between the tire tracks.

 

Eric was in the lead about a half mile ahead.  Our other rider was in the middle and I was sweep.  I entered the gravel at about 50 MPH … 

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Rider 2 took a very nasty spill on the gravel road about 500 yards in front of me.  I braked to a stop in the dust and ran up to her in the road.  She was laying face down about 30 feet away form her bike and did not seem to be conscious at first as she didn’t respond to me.  I won’t go into the details of the first aid process until I talk with her but there are some great lessons learned here for riders.

 

1.     Have a plan.  This means you have the training, equipment, gear, and the ABILITY to address a life and death situation with determination, calmness, and skill.

2.     Know your equipment.  I carry an Adventure Medical Kit (Mountain Series Weekender) first aid kit, both sailing and riding, packed inside an Adventure Tool Kit first aid pouch with hook & loop fastening strips so that it sticks to the lid of my Pannier.  Inside is a foam padded pliable SAM Splint as well.  I know how to use them both.

a.     http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/medical-kits/mountain-series-weekender.html

b.     http://www.sammedical.com/products/sam-splint/

3.     Know how to get help.  Eric carries a SPOT and I have the DeLorme.  Eric was on his way back when I activated the DeLorme SOS for the first time ever.  More on this later…

 

Here’s a screenshot of the first of the SOS messages.  Blue is me.  Green is the DeLorme command Center in Texas.  The unit goes through a 20 second countdown when you activate the SOS in case it was in error.  After that, boom.  Instant response…

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Just know that when you activate this feature, your family WILL GET CALLED instantly.  I’m told that things were pretty hectic at three different homes until it all got sorted out and they knew (from my text messages through the DeLorme) that I was not injured.

 

Knowing where everything is and having the skill to use it can save a life.  I pulled the bag open to get the splint to use as a collar and the shears to cut a helmet strap.  Neither was necessary as it happens, but I knew I had them and I wanted them handy.

 

 


You can see where she plowed-in and high-sided…

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Rider 2 was transported by ambulance to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital about an hour away.  We pray for her full recovery.

 

CHP Officer Brian was a true professional.  

 

 


So night had fallen while we were on the side of the road and Eric and I were closer to the campground than home so we decided to plow on ahead and re-group our plan in the morning. 

 

“Re-grouping our plan” included riding up to Father Crowley Point.

 

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Followed by a ride up through Jackass Canyon and the snow dappled pass into Saline Valley.

 

 


Above you can see my tool roll, first aid kit, and FUBAR bag with my inflator and other “oh shit” items I hope not to need.


Above you can see my tool roll, first aid kit, and FUBAR bag with my inflator and other “oh shit” items I hope not to need.

 


Eric as Boba Fett.


Getting close to the Lower Warm Springs.


It was old lady day so we free-balled it.  60 degree air and 100 degree water.  Amazing!

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Some minor repairs to Eric’s instrument cluster with cable ties.

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