Add Heading HereFrom January 2006...
Spent Saturday riding in D.V. This time I did Echo Canyon in the Funeral Mts. It was a 10 mile climb through deep gravel. I spent a good portion of the time walking the bike up. But it's so worth it in such a beautiful place.
The ride begins above the famous Furnace Creek Inn and climbs up the alluvial fan to the mouth of the canyon. There the road narrows drastically. It's amazing that trucks can fit through some of the constrictions. At about 6 miles up, the canyon widens and slopes off into sparsely vegetated mountains. The Echo Cyn road eventually ends at the Inyo Mine, one of the largest operations in the Valley's history.
(There is another road that leads down into Nevada and the Amargosa Desert, an adventure soon to come.)
This ride was going to be my first overnight ride. Although, I decided to return to a lower, warmer elevation to spend the night. I did get some practice in riding with a large load on the bike. I did pretty well. But the Inyo Mine area wasn't going to get much sun in the AM, and I wouldn't have much time to explore on Sunday. So I headed back down to return another time. I must add that it's a creepy place at night too.
On the plunge back toward the valley floor I came across a group of OVR'ers. They had passed me earlier while I was loading the bike. I stumble upon them at a spot called Eye of the Needle (see photo.) The caravan of some 5 Jeeps, a few Broncos, and a Trooper had stopped to watch the sun set through the natural arch...and get rrrrrrreeeeeeally drunk. They twisted my arm to the point that I gave in and had a few Jack&Cokes with them. It turned out that the group was from right here in the San Fernando Valley. A few of them from my neighborhood here in Tujunga. I eventually had to accept a ride back to my car. It had gotten too dark to ride and I didn't have adequate lights...plus I was pretty damn buzzed.
So my first attempt at bike camping turned into my first reverse shuttle ride.