SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 MOTORCYCLE MOJO 11
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Story by Clayton Bellamy
Photos by Travis Nesbitt
J ULY 2 0 19 MOTORCYCLE MOJO 25
Situated between the Great Basin
nd the Colorado
subdivision of the Sonoran
Desert, the Mojave is considered
the smallest of North America’s
deserts. A land of extremes,
temperatures can range from
freezing to above 50
range from 85 metres below sea
level in Death Valley’s Badwater
Basin to higher than
3 , 630 metres above sea level
IN THE HEAT OF THE VALL
Death Valley is the lowest,
hottest and driest place in all of
North America. In 1913 ,
a temperature of 56. 6 C was
recorded, the high
ever recorded on earth. July is the
hottest month of the year with an
average temperature of 46 C.
Average annual rainfall is 60 mm.
PAPPY & HARRIET’S
Pappy & Harriet’s Pionee
Palace is located, fittingly enough,
in Pioneertown, California.
It’s a permanent 1940 s western
movie set created by
ie star investors
Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and
Russell Hayden and the Sons of
the Pioneers, a western-genre
singing group. The eatery was
nce the town’s cantina and
owned by Harriet’s par
opened it in 1972 as an outlaw
biker burrito bar. I kid you not.
ARE YOU CHOKING?
choking is the fourth leading
cause of accidental death and the
Heimlich manoeuvre has saved
the lives of 100 , 00 potential
24 MOTORCYCLE MOJO JULY 2019
TRAVEL CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA
Achieving a higher state of
consciousness and spiritual
awareness amid the
unpredictable desert sands
f Los Angeles is the City of Angels, then the Mojave Desert
is her dark mistress. Hot, seductive and mysterious on one
hand; cold and dangerous on the other. The Mojave holds
secrets that many men have gone in search of – some never
to return. The Eagles, the Doors and the Band all went in search of
her magic and muse and shaped a generation. The Mojave indig-
enous people would take devil’s weed and wander her endless
plains in a rite of passage to achieve a new state of consciousness.
But we, we are a different breed. We seek wilder things: not just to
wander, but to conquer. We seek to achieve a new consciousness in
only one way – we ride.
On paper the plan looked simple: three friends, four days, four
stops, four amazing adventures. And as a professional musician,
travel is pretty standard fare for me. After 15 years of making
records and touring the world, I would hope I got this travel thing
British custom Triumphs provided by our friends at International
Motorsports in Vancouver and go for a ride, right? Wrong! On the
map, Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park, then to Las Vegas
and on to Death Valley, then back to L.A. looks like four easy days
of riding. But we found out nothing is easy in the desert and you
never know what you will get one day to the next.
DEATH VALLEY ADVICE
As someone who has gone to Vegas umpteen dozen
times and who has rented bikes and ridden out to
No, I have never achieved a higher state of con-
great place to visit and enjoy. I’ve visited and seen most
of the places and pictures in the story. Brought back
wind-blown sand on the road. You can see most of the
sand and ride it out, but in the corners, you have to be
really careful. Never went down, but came close a few
The real reason I am writing is the pictures of
I’m afraid I am old enough to remember when you didn’t need to wear a helmet when riding a bike. I think it was
I’d be interested to know if the helmets in the pictures are new or have been around for a few years. Back then, the
ROSS HELPS VIA EMAIL
REMEMBERING BRUCE REEVE
Thank you for giving notice of the passing
of Bruce Reeve. I suspect a lot of his readers
through back issues of CC from during his
tenure as editor. He set a high standard,
fun annually at the industry and its journalism (e.g., “Bad
magazine while sitting on the toilet. But he could write
tribute to his assistant editor, Piero Zambotti, who had
been killed accidentally while on their annual fall tour. In
such circumstances, words could express only so much,
and Reeve left off the prose and let an uncaptioned photo
essay tell the story of their last ride together.
BRADEN K. VIA EMAIL
Her message is so true. It’s great to unplug from our digital
world for a small while, perhaps while you enjoy riding
your motorcycle. The maps comment was excellent.
I thoroughly enjoyed her article!
MATTHEW ANDERSON VIA EMAIL
Jenn Martin’s August article has pointed out how
wonderful it still is to do things the old-fashioned way. I
Brunswick through the Virginias, over to the Ozarks,
then on to the mountains and gorges of Colorado,
numbering the maps, highlighting the planned route and
noting on each fold the distance scale.
Technology has advanced so much that I believe it has
taken away some of the thrill and the unknown when
heading out on a major excursion. Yes, Google Maps is
great at home to calculate distances, and GPS helps when
approaching a town to know where a motel is located.
But, otherwise, there’s an excitement in exploring and
discovering, in not knowing where restaurants or gas
As a trip progresses, you get a sense of where you are
and how far you still have to go during the course of each
day as you adjust the maps’ display on the tank bag.
I am sure that many others still enjoy seeing the larger
picture and their progress unfold day-by-day by using
reliable, old-fashioned, always accurate paper maps.
JAMES STOKES-REES VIA EMAIL