A few weeks ago I am checking Facebook and I see a riding buddy of mine is having a tough go at it. I suggest some helmet time, whiskey and a camping trip to Death Valley. He says he is in so I make the reservations at Furnace Creek for February 23-24. Long story short, work got in the way and he was unable to make it. Mike was in from the beginning so we went. This is going to be just a short little write up of our weekend.
Mike and I met up at 10ish on Saturday morning. I say 10ish because I forgot the reservation paperwork for the camp ground and had to go back and get it. That took me a few minutes; however, while I was home I decided to change out of my summer riding jacket and liner and put on my winter jacket with heated liner. This would turn out to be a good choice!
The week of our trip we had what we call here in Central California a winter storm. Some clouds rolled in, the wind blew a little bit and then it rained in the valley and snowed in the mountains. The snow level got down to around 2000 feet and that is mighty low for around here!!! The weather was supposed to be clear and warmer, 65-70 degrees in Death Valley with just a slight chance of rain. Sounds great right? I forgot to look and see what the winds were going to be doing. As it turns out, the winds did not get the memo about taking the weekend off! Steady 8-10 miles per hour winds with gusts out of the north to 35 mph! Yup, should have paid attention to the wind!
Mike and I headed out of town and we were headed to Randsburg to have lunch at the General Store. I must say that going through the Tehachapi Pass was cold and windy! When we got out on the desert it did warm up a little bit; however, the 35 mph gusts of wind were making their presence felt! At times it felt like the steady winds were 35 mph and the gusts were somewhere in the 50 mph range! Keeping a positive attitude about the whole thing, I kept telling myself it will calm down! I mean how long can the wind blow like that? Ya, I know, stupid question!
We arrive at Randsburg just minutes before the lunch crowd. We both order the "World Famous" BBQ Beef Sandwich which comes with a bag of chips and a pickle slice. It was pretty good grub! After we finished eating we headed outside to the bikes to continue our trip. The wind was blowing so hard I could feel little pebbles hitting me! I was now thinking about how much fun the next 120 miles was going to be! I have been through Trona several times. Every time I have been there it has smelled like Trona except today. Today the wind had blown the Trona smell away. That is how hard the wind was blowing! The first time I think about pulling out the camera and trying to get some pictures is on the Trona - Wildrose Road.