Thursday, 9 January 2014

Riverside BMW

Tuesday Jan 7 I had an appointment for service on the bike. So bright and early I rode to Riverside. When I arrived they took me right in and while they were working I went to get a bite to eat and visited a few other shops.

I bought a couple of souvenir shirts for friends and it did not take long and all the work was done. Lights in the dash and now my accessory plug works as well. Oil change and chain adjustment and lube. All for $351.00. A bargain as far as I am concerned. Then back to Palm Springs. Tomorrow
The Living Desert in Palm Desert.

Joshua Tree Monument

I absolutely love this place. It is so beautiful and serene.
Of course a Joshua Tree.
And the other phenomena of this amazing place. Rocks. Piled in every configuration possible. Like building blocks.
Many desert plants are intermingled with the rocks. It is truly an enormous rock garden. There are several hikes throughout the place and many of the plants are labeled so they can be identified. I of course make a mental note of these names and forget them. Need to take a pen and paper with me.
Skull Rock
I stopped at this serene place. It was the epitome of Joshua Tree. Quiet. In the presence of Joshua Trees and Rocks. Look how precariously some of those rocks are balanced. I went up to a place called The Keys outlook as I had made a wrong turn and had never been there before. Again I was amazed as I came up to an outlook on top of a mountain and found myself overlooking the valley and Palm Springs. Apparently the San Andreas fault runs right up this valley. I had thought it was closer to the coast. Through San Francisco but not so.
Off in the distance from this viewpoint one could see the Salton Sea. From here I finally got back on track and retraced my steps and headed for I10 and back to Palm Springs. What a glorious day. 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Death Valley to 29 Palms

Well I left off in Death Valley and am getting further behind with all the wonderful things I have seen and done. So here goes. I headed up to Scotty's castle as I had not been there in over 40 years and had never taken a tour. How very interesting.
Inside the front hall. Mr and Mrs Johnson were actually the builders and owners of the house and Scotty was just their friend and lived there also. Interesting history and phenominal how they got the materials and the workers to build this beautiful place.
This was a beautiful old chest in one of the music rooms.
On the way to Scotty's castle I stopped at Stovepipe Wells for fuel and then at the Mesquite sand dunes where I took these gorgeous pictures. I saw several different sand dunes on my journey.
After touring the castle it was getting late but Ubehebe Crater was only another 5 miles so I went and so very glad I did. What a great place. I know I want to go back and do some hiking around the area.
Back at the campsite I visited with friends and newcomers and we had a campfire and then the next morning Mary and I had told Zane, Jim and Nancy's grandson we would take him up on the other hills.
These are some of the salt crystals we found growing near a water source.
This is Bob and Don who were at the campout last year. Don is from Pahrump and is the one who led us to Lone Pine last year.
Looking toward Furnace Creek Ranch over the valley floor.
The last day. Packing up to leave. This is Ray and Erik{a new IBMC member} who saw the bikes and decided to drop by and stayed. The wind last night was about 60mph and was flattening out our tents. Once the packing was done I headed for 29 Palms. I stopped at Shoshone for fuel and Jim stopped by. He is a UMCI member I had seen in Okanagan Washington.
Here he is with Bob, a gentleman we had just met on a 2012 1800 Goldwing.
This is a fountain by the service station. I said my goodbyes and headed on to my motel. I stayed at the El Ranch Dolores . My plan was to go through Joshua Tree Monument the next day. I stopped at the Kelso Train Depot. Another very interesting place where I watched a video on the Mojave Desert.
If you are a train buff. This is definitely a must see as it has a wonderful train museum.
And this was my hotel.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Palm Springs to Death Valley

I spent some time in Palm Springs on my return from Agua Caliente. I visited with Cathie at Indio and Ken & Karen and I saw the New Year in sound asleep. I experienced my first earthquake. 3.7 on the Richter scale centered in Idyllwilde. Not too far away. It felt like a close explosion. Everything in the house rattled and then it was all over. On Jan 2 I headed out for Death Valley. I travelled east to 29 Palms and then south to Amboy in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
This horse is outside the restrooms. Sorry I do not know its significance.

Note the postcard on Route 66
Roys Place is an iconic stop on Route 66.
It has been spruced up a bit but the motel is not open. They sell a few things in the service station as well as gas. There is sodium chloride mined on the south side of the stop. I only stopped for a potty break and proceeded on through Kelso, Baker, Shoshone . You may remember I stopped in Shoshone overnight last year. However I just stopped for lunch this time.
 to the Texas Springs campground just outside of Furnace Creek Ranch. To my delight Mary Norby from UMCI was there along with Jim and David and Susan also from UMCI.
The next morning after Mary cooked Jim and I breakfast of sausages and eggs we went for a hike on the south hills around the campsite and saw some incredible views.

After we returned I jumped on my bike and headed for Scotty's Castle and I will update you in my next post but right now it is 10:27 and I have packed up and ridden from Death Valley to 29 Palms today and am very tired after 3 days camping.