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Guzzi Meet-n-Greet in Joshua Tree - Oct 30 - Nov 1 2020

Discussion in 'United States of America' started by GT-Rx®, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    From our good friend Glenn below. We had a string of Fall meets in Death Valley over the last handful of years, however read on below...

    Hi All,

    Hope everyone is holding up under the current extraordinary situation. As you know, there wasn’t much of a gathering in Death Valley last year. I didn’t have a bike since I lost my Stelvio in the wildfire the year before. The big issue we’ve had is the rising cost of the accommodations in Death Valley at Furnace Creek (now remodeled and branded The Oasis at Death Valley so it sounds more expensive as well). And staying in Beatty got mixed reviews.

    So I’ve been thinking of having a gathering in November (assuming things have normalized) at Joshua Tree instead. A couple of you have seen this already. I wanted to share it wider and solicit any comments. I’ve long overnighted there on the way to the Arizona rally, but hadn’t spent much time in the park. A couple of weeks ago — when things seemed fairly normal and the park was open — my wife and I took a car trip there so I could scout for a possible Guzzi etc weekend there. I’m thinking the same weekend, Oct 30 thru Nov 1. It’s just after the giant Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals happen nearby.

    For anyone in Northern California, it’s oddly almost exactly the same mileage as to Death Valley (basically it’s the same mileage from Lake Elizabeth.) And there’s a great back way to go from LA that makes for great, no-freeway riding. It’s remote enough that there should be good roads to get there from most anywhere.

    This would be spending the night in the little town of Joshua Tree, which is right at the park entrance.

    Joshua Tree Scouting trip

    We spent the night at a little hot springs place in nearby Desert Hot Springs. Spent Sunday doing research for a ride in the fall. It could definitely be a fun trip. In fact, there’s even a peak that would be great at dawn (Keys View), but that’s probably a bit ambitious for our first trip. It would be a 42 mile round trip, which is actually less than Dante’s View (62 miles round trip) but the road’s not as fast. We can discuss.

    There are a couple of options.

    First leg would be Joshua Tree, winding thru the park, including a 12 mile or so spur to Keys View (which would still be nice a couple hours after dawn). Roads are very nice, well paved, some traffic the first 20 miles or so (we were there mid day). Not as great as the south end of Death Valley, but very pleasant and fun. And a lot nicer than the ride to lunch from DV. And a genuinely beautiful and different landscape. Then we’d exit the park at the south end, cross I-10 and head to Mecca. The last 10 or so miles of that road to Mecca are fantastic, thru a gigantic wash. That would be the highlight from a riding perspective.

    Lunch in Mecca. It’s a small farm town. Found a decent hole-in-the wall Mexican place, or there’s a Denny’s.

    Then head 11 miles or so down to the Salton Sea visitor center. It’s quite beautiful and fascinating, though it smells bad sometimes. Really interesting history there. And it’s only 5 feet higher in elevation than Badwater! An alternate possibility to the Salton Sea would be the Thermal Club private race track in Thermal, north of Mecca. One of those zillionaire private tracks with condos etc. Normally you can’t get in, but it’s possible I could find a connection and get us in just to see it. They were holding a BMW driving school there and wouldn’t really let us take a peek at all.

    Then, we could either retrace our route, which would be very nice, roads and views would feel very different going opposite direction at a different time of day. We could also save a little time by doing the last leg thru Twentynine Palms then taking Highway 62 back to Joshua Tree.

    The other option, not a lot shorter but probably an hour or so quicker would be to loop back up to North Palm Springs / Desert Hot Springs. We took that road and it’s very pleasant (the long section that goes by Coachella Valley Preserve). Then there are a few miles with traffic lights thru Yucca Valley, but really not unpleasant overall. The good thing is that we could decide when we head back which one makes more sense, depending on what time it is etc.

    Mileage to Salton Sea (with Keys View) is about 110, and 93 to return the same way. 203 Total
    The loop version would be about 190 miles.

    By comparison, our DV route was around 150 miles, but we first did the 60 miles to Dante’s View and back so about the same.

    The year we stayed in Beatty our loop was 245 miles including a ride up to Dante’s View along the way. And that would have been fine had we not had the key fob problem with the Ducati that delayed some of us a couple of hours at the end.

    I’ve stayed at the Safari Inn in JT many times over the years. About $75. Nothing special but totally fine. And a big nice courtyard area to hang out. Also in walking distance (2 or 3 blocks) of multiple restaurants and bars in “downtown” JT, which is great. http://www.joshuatreemotel.com/ Campgrounds in the park are first come first served and tend to fill up.

    Extra reading and maps:

    Salton Sea info. It’s a crazy place

    http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=639

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salton_Sea

    Are you familiar with Gram Parsons? Here’s what Joshua Tree might be most famous for.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Gram_Parsons

    https://www.desertusa.com/dusablog/the-strange-tale-of-gram-parsons-funeral-in-joshua-tree.html

    That motel is still there. We stayed there years ago on the way to Prescott. But it’s small and expensive.

    Please post below and spread the word.

    Glenn
     
    groundhog105 likes this.
  2. groundhog105

    groundhog105 Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    This sound like fun. I’m going to try to make this.
     
    GT-Rx® likes this.

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