The plan was simple enough. . Aim for Barstow, surely a town who's name is largely connected with off road racing will have a shop with a dual sport tire to replace the bald Pirelli. . Plan B's exist for the sole reason that Plan A's sometimes fail. . Barstow has nothing . . Spent awhile on-line checking the large site "cycle-parts"Victorville which is not far down the road in ug! the wrong direction but they appear to have a large choice and stock . . After some good eats and a quiet night in Barstow the tire search began. . Arrived in Victorville before opening time and after verifying with an employee that they would indeed be able to change the tire for me, I proceed to take the tire and all the gear off . . Ten minutes later the store was open and a minute later I found that on-line isn't reality. . They had little actual stock on hand but of coarse order me something. buggah!. The Metropolis of San Bernadino was plan C. . Chaparral is an enormous shop for most anything moto related alongside the 215. . Being perhaps a little older and wiser I went shopping before removing the wheel. . No worries as there's gajillions of tires IN stock and they can change it right now. . Removing the wheel for the second time today and hauling it into the store to have the meaty MotoZ GPS installed. . I found that in the time it took me to buy oil and a front tire, the rear was done. . The service was awesome. . Literally minutes in the turnaround time. . After a fun meeting with Kyle their PR type fella who did a little video of me and my bike out in the parking lot, I was off for hwy 66 and back on track again (though a little farther south than planned). . This detour must have brought me very close to Tom and Sharon who are also headed north.

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Though it hasn't been mentioned in awhile,, the 990 has been handling far less than stellar,, almost wobbly and no suspension adjusts seem to help much. . With the install of that super sturdy and meaty MotoZ the handling changed by worlds. . Virtually gone is an annoying 70 kph headshake from the front and the wallow from the chassis is way down. . Seems the stock Pirelli scorpion was simply not up to the task of carrying a loaded 990 and was the cause of crappy handling. . But that has all changed, , my bike is acting much more like it should.
I am elated.

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Stopped at the Bottle Garden along the "historic" route 66. The full history of this sign is unknown to me, but I do know Run away Bill and an Evil Clown have visited it.


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This little glass covered plot of land had no attendant or apparent donation jar/plate/bucket so dunno what to say but I shot a ton of pics there.







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Remember Borrego?, Surely this must be the same artist. . The large almost industrial looking homestead had lots of critters of all sizes. And this one is really big.




In case you'd like to buy something.

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Yea baby, git yur kicks, on route, 66!


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closed for renovations, a long long time ago.

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Arrived in Kelso near the end of the day not long before needed to make camp. . While stopped for a train I scouted a dirt track on the GPS that looked to go around the stopped train. . Following along a loose sandy silty double track at a spot where I wanted to investigate a washout,, i stopped. . The moment that stop happened with a ton of weight pushing down on them the tires sank an easy 4 inches into the silt, this is gonna be a problem. . Before I could remove likely all the gear to be able to muscle the bike out, a couple of fellows showed up from their camp that I just rode past to assist me. . You bet, thanks.
Now even closer to sundown (i hate making camp in the dark) I was invited to stay and share a beer with the truck campers who were on a week long plunking around the desert trek, crossing a lot of the terrain that I would cover in the next day. . Those rigs are all parked on a silty scrub covered ground no good for tent camping so I parked right on the gravel double track even though I got the vibe that my hosts felt it was being antisocial. . Thank you for the beer and tasty grub I was served,, and for the hand when the bike sank for a second time in the silt.



closer view in the morn. of the roof top tents. The toyota on the left was fully kitted for remote standalone travel.











there is a terrific beauty in the hills here and vistas that just go on and on. . You can see the lines of mountains off into the distance, what can't be seen is the wide valley floors in between them.




long straights are perfect places to goof off with the camera;


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the 392 megawatt solar generating plant near Vegas in 2014 it was the largest in the world. The whiteish lines are the mirrors used to redirect the suns rays to a central collector, which in full sunlight glows white hot! Massive!



gross. gimmee a back road anytime.



paved, but a very long time ago and in really good shape and 100% traffic free (ok not 100%)

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while the road is good pothole wise etc. that doesn't mean its smooth. Here it loooks every bit the same as gravel, but isn't.



thats Vegas over there.



One valley will be all Joshua trees the next Yucca's then turn a corner and there's barrel cactus everywhere.



Crossing through Mojave there are several sternly worded warnings of speeding in the essentially vacant Nat. Park. . After passing through it is easy to see why. . If you were in a car, at night, and boogeying along at a pace you could be in a world of trouble as the road has deep rolling sections for water runoff that you would easily catch air off of which of coarse could be a very bad thing.


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more like subject to targeting.




running along the belly of Death Valley.






Lines of cars stopped at Badwater, the theoretical lowest point in death valley. . If you look closely you can see the Lemmings out walking on the valley floor,, which is flat,, for miles and as such is all at essentially the same plane.

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Not the most inviting of Town Names.



last pic. of the day and yes it was real special riding straight into the setting (ish) sun especially the climb out of the valley floor.
Panamint Springs and the ADV nubie rally is part way up the next side of the Valley of Death where I'll be hanging out for the next few days.
Next post some really wide pics. and monsters in the desert.



thx fer lookin.