deathvalley offroad day2

Day two: Fish Lake Valley to Furnace Creek, Death Valley. 183 miles.
Now we are primed and waking up before the sun.  Fish Lake Valley was full of moisture and everything outside is dripping wet.  Our adopted orchard here is growing along with 14 new trees planted in 2009.  (the Nevada orchard link tells the complete story)  Next year we have lots of new plans for the property, although hard, working land is something I prefer to do.

Other orchard projects are in the works too for land we lease or own in the Owens Valley.  Next year we'll work a 35 acre plot we own in Ackerman's Canyon, lots of stone circles in there but movable with a tractor.
A hearty breakfast was made consisting of potatoes, onion, a can of corned beef, and fresh brewed Indian Creek coffee. Camp food always tastes better.
Fish Lake is also popular for it's hot spring and cooling pond - great soak.  The story I heard was that a well was being drilled for oil and hot water was hit instead, still flows today under its own pressure. 

This area of Nevada has great OHV trails alongside the pavement saving the wear on tires. 

We arrived at the gas pumps about 45 minutes before they opened - new October hours were scaled back.  But not all was wasted as a Mono County public works employee stopped by to talk off roading, hunting, and breaking chains.  Got lucky too and saw the store owner passing by, got a chance to catch up with him and meet his wife.

James purchased some rockets for later.

Again, map out to make some sense of the dirt. 

Cucomongo canyon draws near.

Minor road wash out, was actually hoping for more of these to get things interesting.  Officially in Death Valley.

Leaving Cucomongo Canyon, Whites in the background.  Back out of Death Valley - kind of a short visit...

 We started to do this road but it quickly washed out.


After a few more turn arounds we made it to Goldpoint, the Tom Harrison map wasn't too much of a help in this area.  The bar in Goldpoint looked good to my brother but we couldn't stop because we still had a large trek in front of us.

After Goldpoint we got turned around again in the desert mountains but finally made it over the next range.  The Hard Luck castle road helped us find our way out. 

Might be the Hard Luck castle "pass" getting ready to get back into DV in another 1/2 hour or so.

Hard Luck castle - heard that tours are offered.

Some sort of shrine for desert travelers.

Back in Death Valley after a horrible 20+ mile of whooped out road.  Sweating buckets and the XR400 bottomed out a couple times - I was surprised that the saddle bags didn't rip off for some desert cartwheels. 

Desert art near Rhyolite, NV.

The last supper.  Did some research on how these were made because I like them a lot.  Once we looked at an 80 acre ranch over near Trona and there was one there at the ranch entrance - creepy!   

Took a lunch break in Beatty, NV.  Stopped for the first time at the Ensenada Grill and had a great meal.  Ordered the #34 (tour of mexico, fish taco, enchilada, and skirt steak) while James had the burger/fries special for $2.99
Now it was 3 p.m. and we were headed to Echo Canyon.

Getting rocky, but dirt bikes like this. 

Small step-up.

The below dry fall would have been tough, lucky someone tractored an easier bypass.

The largest fall wasn't too bad going down.  Our local tennis pro told me it took him 3 attempts to go up this, the last one was with him running and back tire smoking.  Haha, way to go Russ! 
The eye of the needle. 

Just happened to make it before 5pm.  Here it's hot!  (high 90's)  Next stop is the visitor's center to find out where to camp, shower, eat, etc.  But the center just closed at 5, now there's no one around to free some dollars from us.  self-pay?!? 

Discover that Furnace Creek sells showers for $5, swimming included.

The eatery over at Furnace Creek wants $14 for a hamburger - so off to the general store for us.  For $1 you can buy a bagel and cream cheese.  Extras include salami, avacado, chips, beers, and all the mayo/mustard/honey you can grab.  Now for under $9 each we have a full picnic meal with large Modelos included.  Evening is warm, lots of Europeans out eating on the cheap too.

Campsite over at Texas spring (or something).  Tried to pay the camp host but she wouldn't take the money - kiosks are closed, strange that we can't pay for anything in Death Valley.  Not complaining.

End day 2.