Monday, May 13, 2013

Southwest Tour, The River Run

     Every year, sometime near the end of April we pack up and head to Laughlin, Nevada for The River Run.  Our plan was to head to the motorcycle rally and then take a little tour of Arizona after, so we headed for Laughlin.    
     April often has bad weather that makes travel over the Sierra mountains impossible.  This year the weather cooperated and we were able to take one of my favorite rides, Carson Pass (Hwy 88) to Hwy 395 which runs along the eastern side of the Sierras to Bishop, California.
     Home in wine country to Bishop is about 370 miles, a good if slightly long days ride.  We left around noon, which put us in the high country after dark.  John Muir called the Sierras the "gentle wilderness,"but he must have meant during the day because after dark it gets cold. 

     Next morning we left Bishop and headed south on Highway 395 to Lone Pine, where we turned east and headed to Death Valley.  Death Valley is a giant optical illusion.  Where ever you are in Death Valley, everywhere else seems to be down hill.  I think the illusion is because the place is so big that you can see the curvature of the earth so if you are at the north end of the valley the south end looks like it is downhill and visa versa.

     I usually stop at the 100 feet below sea level sign for a photo.  Death Valley Junction is not actually in Death Valley, it is east of Death Valley.  It's also a good place to stop for a photo. 

     It's another 370 miles from Bishop to Laughlin.  The weather in Death Valley was in the high 90's, hot but not crazy hot.  We went through Parumph. Nevada and Las Vegas and arrived in Laughlin around sundown. 


StreetGlider07 said...
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StreetGlider07 said...

Thanks for posting the trip report. I am thinking of the exact same route for 2014. Any gas stop suggestions?

Thanks again!

Ray said...

I get gas before I start over the mountains and again in Minden. I gas up in Bridgeport and again in Bishop. I avoid buying anything in Lee Vining the businesses there just seem too...greedy.
I top off in Lone Pine because gas in Death Valley is really expensive and I just feel better entering the valley of death with a full tank.
Gas up in Death Valley, there is no gas at Death Valley Junction. After that you will find gas at regular intervals.