SEAT at Death Valley Daze XIII - Lucky Thirteen!
As has been true for most every year, the weather was a real player for DVD XIII attendees. Web and TV weather stations had predictions of snow down to as low as 1,000 feet, rain by the bucket full eminent, and all the bad weather in the known world descending on Death Valley, right where we were going. Good thing it didn’t happen that way!
That’s not to say there wasn’t any rain along the way for those of us coming in from the east side of the Colorado River. Thursday and Friday we had the typical Arizona rain dance. Watch which way its coming and wait just a bit…it’ll move on…hopefully.
The SEAT dinner gathering Friday night at the Colorado Belle in Laughlin was a hoot! It’s amazing the number of SEAT members who do some serious riding. Winter weather can be a real danger and it takes serious motorcyclists to brave these kinds of unpredictable winter weather conditions. Good seeing everyone there.
Friday morning’s ride over to Furnace Creek was in cool and clear weather. Breakfast in Searchlight at the Casino was a good warm up before heading down Joshusa Tree Road over to I-15. The passes on I-15 were pretty cold; still a bit of snow along the shady side of the highway. It was a turn up the electrics moment and enjoy the ride.
Furnace Creek at the center of Death Valley is truly an Oasis in the middle of nowhere. The ride into the valley along the Bad Water route is awesome, especially with so much snow on the westward peaks. Not as much water at the Bad Water site as there has been in the past though.
The SEAT sites at the Furnace Creek Campground were better than expected. One was longer than the park map showed and had quite a few under-tree tent sites. There was plenty of room for the number of folks who braved all those dire weather predictions.
The hot dog dinner Friday night was outstanding…the beans were the best. The hot dogs and beans were a great lunch Saturday, too. The SEAT dinner Saturday night was a blast! We had 17 SEAT members and guests around the picnic tables. The stew was worthy of the best Chefs in the world and the bread was icing on the cake. No one left the table hungry that’s for sure.
The Friday night hot dog dinner and the Saturday night stew dinner couldn’t have happened without the help of each of the SEAT members there. Special thanks to Butch and Bev for bringing their pop-up trailer with all the stuff that’s needed to put on such a feast, wouldn’t have happened without you. Thanks to all the members who brought their cans to add to the stew…it was delicious! The 24/7 fire was appreciated by all. Thanks to everyone for making it one of the best DVDs yet!
Saturday night and Sunday morning it rained. Not a real hard rain, but enough to soak the camp sites pretty good. By the time all the gear was packed up Sunday morning, the rain let up and the sky had some blue patches showing. By early morning the SEAT sites were deserted, the party was over and everyone was heading home.
The weather on the ride home wasn’t the best. For some it was a long haul home in the rain and cold. The good news is everyone got home safe and sound.
Members present: Roger Austin, Richard Bartasek, Ed Birch, Deb & Gary Blomstrom, Don Cameron, Dave Delie, Bill Getter, Harb Lill, Craig Littlefield, Deryle & Wanda Mehrten, Carl Mueller, Ed Mulgrew, Phillip Orth, Mike Proctor, Don Schweiger, Butch Smith & Bev Grosh, Stan Thibaut. Guests: Jay Hirsh, Mike Farrar, Ron Foltz.
Now…what were those site numbers we planned on getting next year?