Friday, May 12, 2017

Trip Report: Canyons and Craters - Day 3

Welcome to day 3 on my Nevada adventure motorcycling trip.
Titus Canyon
This is the daily log of six novice adventure riders who attempted the new #NVBDR route but have had to abandon it due to broken pegs and tougher-than-thought terrain. We are riding Honda Africa Twins and Kawasaki KLRs.

Crisp air welcomed tired bodies out of the hotel and Mel's Diner called our name.   No chance of a fresh barista made latte in Mel's Diner however the food was in abundance and the atmosphere made the occasion.

Titus Canyon

Our first destination for the day was Titus Canyon. The Canyon is a deep narrow gorge cut into the Grapevine Mountains of the Mojave Desert in California. The track through the canyon is one way for vehicle traffic and is known for its winding passes and steep gorge walls.

This route was made for adventure motorcycles as the track wound it way up and down hills before descending into the gorge.

Layers of rock scaled to the cliff heights as our ears hummed with the silence of the gorge.  Echoes of conversation would bounce off the walls.  Once again we were pondered how the early miners found routes through the barren hills.

My GPS tracked the kilometres traveled revealing the enjoyable pace we were traveling at.  The gale force winds continued to howl above us, as witnessed by the rolling clouds.  And then the peace and serenity ended as we exited the Canyon and rolled into Death Valley.

The riding was thoroughly enjoyable with enough wow moments to keep us entertained.  Standing on the pegs of the KLR650, I felt the bike was beautifully balanced as I manoeuvred the bike through the tight canyon turns and across the loose gravel.
Honda Africa Twin cockpit

Note: Titus Canyon is actually in California and is not part of the offical Nevada BDR.

Ubehebe Crater
Ubehebe Crater

The route through Titus Canyon ends along Death Valley and offers a natural route to the Ubehebe Crater.    The crater is roughly 1km wide and a few hundred metres deep.  It could potentially be as young as 800years old (or 2000 or 7000years old).   The ride to the crater rim is on sealed roads.

The bikes shook as the wind challenged the side stand whilst perched on the crater rim.  The wind made the time rather unpleasant as sand whipped our faces.  It was time to head back to Beatty and call it a day.

Arriving back in Beatty we noticed the nail sticking out of the Africa Twin rear tyre.  Thankfully we did not have to change the tube!

Trip Stats:
Accommodation: Beatty (again)
Ride distance: 199km
Total trip time: 6hr 08min

Additional Reading:

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