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Arrrgghhh, the last year has been one of those that I pray never to repeat. After the loss of my wife from cancer two months ago I’ve been getting in as much traveling as I can. Putting my butt in the seat and my knees in the breeze has always been therapeutic for me and this major change to my reality has been no different.

Prior to My Darlin’ going into the hospital for the last time on January 30th I’d made plans for a Death Valley run on the weekend of February 26th with friends from Arizona and California. When Teri passed away on February 5th all that changed, I had absolutely no desire to be with anybody so the Death Valley run didn’t happen.

So now we fast forward a couple of months and I’m getting my feet under me so to speak, not over the loss of my best friend and never failing to shed a tear at least once a day from missing her but adjusting to my “new reality” as it’s been put to me. In the last month I’ve bailed from our winter hide out in Lake Havasu City and gone out into the desert with the 5th wheel and bike and just vegged for five days, traveled to Phoenix by bike and 5th wheel several times to stay with an old friend and currently I find myself at the Furnace Creek Sunset campground in Death Valley. Although I hauled the bike up here from Arizona I have no regrets in doing so, it’s much nicer to be sleeping in my own bed than sleeping on the dirt (rocks) here at the lowest point in North America.

Death Valley: Day 1
My departure from Lake Havasu City AZ on Easter Sunday had me killing bugs by the crack of ten in the morning, not exactly an early start but a friends birthday party apparently kept me up too late the previous evening. I didn’t arrive in the Death Valley area until late afternoon and I’d put Stove Pipe Wells in as my destination since it was about the furthest point north with a campground that could handle a 40’ 5th wheel behind a Freightliner. As it became immediately obvious, that might not have been my best choice given what I found that had the name “Campground” on it. When I arrived what I encountered was comparable to a dirt Wal-Mart parking lot only without the amenities. I considered turning around and going back to Furnace Creek but not knowing if what I’d find was any better I decided to bite the bullet and stay the nite. As it turned out the decision to return to Furnace Creek in the morning was an easy one. It appears that there is either a Sulphur or H2S vent somewhere in the vicinity of Stove Pipe Wells. When the wind calms down at nite the stench reminded me of forgetting to hook up the stinky slinky properly when dumping my black tank on the RV years ago.

Although the bike didn’t even get untied the first day in Death Valley I had high hopes for the next few days and good or bad I wasn’t to be disappointed.
 

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FJ, sorry for your loss. I recommend you read "Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road" by Neil Peart. Great book and yes Neil Peart is the drummer for Rush.
 

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I was in DV week before last - had a blast! Make sure to stop in Furnace Creek for a cold beverage and lunch at the saloon (across from the fuel station) Good beer selection and great food. Bad water is a must see - great place to people watch. Same with the racetrack - all the tour buses go here and folks from all over the world are there. We stayed in Beatty at the Stagecoach Inn for 3 nights and explored during the day
Have fun :smile
 

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Sorry the loss of your best friend FJ. Hope your trip goes well and that you find some joy out on the road!
 

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Sorry for your loss. It wasn't h2s. You would be dead.
 

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Sorry for your loss. It wasn't h2s. You would be dead.

That's not true... It takes at least 4hrs of 300ppm of H2S to kill you. You stop smelling H2S when it gets above 5ppm. H2S is hydrogen sulphide that is found in many minerals & anywhere organic matter is in a certain stage of decomposition. It was likely H2S he smelt.
 
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