The upcoming March chapter 230 ride was scheduled to go to Pioneer Town in 29 Palms and then up the back way past Silverwood Lake to the town of Crestline and return. The week day Tuesday March 1, 2011 ride as proposed by Johney was to follow the route outlined for the following Saturday as sort of a preview of the road conditions and basically an excuse for a nice ride. That seemed simple enough in theory but the reality became much more of an adventure than we bargained for. Here are a few of the warning signs we ignored...
Whoops what's this? Pioneer Town restaurant is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, so no stopping there. It's press on to Lucerne Valley and a small Mexican Restaurant, but first there are some dips in the road covered in sand and a bit of dirt along the way, but nothing too threatening. We did pass a snow plow going the other way back to 29 Palms and I wondered if it gave up trying to get through somewhere. Another ignored sign.
The following photos were taken by Ed as we drove toward our lunch stop...
Cloudy sky, and cold but not really uncomfortable.
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I was on this road right behind Johney and looking at the pictures I don't believe we actually did that. Carolyn was behind me and I know she was surprised (shocked) to see these road conditions as well. Thanks to Ed for taking some great shots and leading the way into town:
Temperature in the low 60's means melting snow and water runoff across much of the road still covered with all the cinders layed down to provide traction over the previously fallen snow. There were very few dry places on the road leading into Crestline. If you ride a motorcycle I'm sure you will appreciate the caution required in these conditions.
Well, we all made it, every one did great, I was more than happy with my handling on the entire trip and we certainly all learned something I'm sure. My lesson seems to be if Ed is going in a truck instead of a motorcycle, pay attention. From our stop in Crestline it is all down hill back to clean dry California. Everyone had a part in making this a successful, accident free trip including Ed, Johney leading and a special note about Chuck as Tail Gunner. He was a tremendous help in being patient with the group and not trying to rush anyone and stuck to his position the entire trip. I don't know what he did in Viet Nam but anyone would be lucky to have had him with them in battle, as we were on this ride.
Oh yes and one other final note, Crestline is off the route for the monthly chapter ride. Entire trip was about 275 miles, but this time the entire trip was defined by less than 10 short wild miles.