Motorcycle Dealers Charleston WV

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Dohm Cycles
(304) 342-5148 Phone
616 Leon Sullivan Way
Charleston, WV
 
Casto Motorcycle Sales
(304) 343-0486
2679 Sissonville Dr
Charleston, WV
 
Kawasaki Of West Virginia
(304) 768-4211 Phone
4924 Maccorkle Ave Sw
South Charleston, WV
 
Harley-Davidson Buell of West Virginia
(304) 768-1600
4924 MacCorkle Ave. SW
South Charleston, WV
Makes
Harley-Davidson, Buell

Hidden Trails ATV
(304) 595-1979
3014 E Dupont Ave
Belle, WV
Makes
Yamaha, KTM, E-ton

Casto Motorcycle Sales
(304) 343-0486
2679 Sissonville Dr
Charleston, WV
Makes
Suzuki

Harley Davidson Kawasaki Buell Of West Virginia Inc
(304) 768-1600
Ofc 4924 Maccorkle Av Sw
Charleston, WV
 
Kawasaki of West Virginia
(304) 768-4211
4924 Maccorkle Ave SW
Charleston, WV
Makes
Kawasaki

West Virginia Auto Sales
(304) 776-4600
424 Old Goff Mountain Rd
Cross Lanes, WV
Makes
Kymco, QLINK

Hidden Trails ATV, LLC
(304) 984-2500
6283 Sissonville DR
Sissonville, WV
 

Escape To The Mojave Desert On A Motorcycle

Home » Articles » Motorcycles » Road Trips » Escape To The Mojave Desert On A Motorcycle

Escape To The Mojave Desert On A Motorcycle

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Six campsites and no reservations make camping at Mitchell Caverns a gamble for an overnight stay. You can make reservations for cavern tours, however. An hour-plus tour runs daily from Labor Day through Memorial Day, with extra tours on weekends. In the heat of summer, when the 65-degree interior is enticing but visitation is low, tours are limited to weekends. Call the State Parks regional office at (805) 942-0662 for information on tours and camping.

Even if your schedule doesn't jive with the tour times, a run up to the visitor center at 4300 feet is worthwhile just to read about the desert, see the relics on display, buy a T-shirt, and take in the incredible view. The desert here is alive with barrel cacti, cholla, and other vegetation that make it look lush compared to the barren creosote flats already crossed on the way. It's usually cooler, too.

More flat desert stretches eastward from the caverns, offering minimal pavement for the Buell, so I rode 22 miles west on I-40 to the Kelbaker Road exit. Heading north, the Kelbaker runs through some of the prettiest desert anywhere. The Granite Mountains (one of many such-named ranges in the desert) look like huge granite boulders piled over 6,000 feet high. In reality, they intruded from beneath the surface and are decomposing before our eyes. Formed under greater pressure than they experience today, they are slowly expanding -- literally popping apart (at a geologic pace) as the internal pressure releases. A short hike in the Granites is a great way to stretch cramped up touring legs, and the big boulders have a knobby texture that makes them easy to explore.

At Granite Pass, marked by a cattle guard and microwave installation, the Kelbaker slips between the Providence and Granite Mountains, then slides into a long, low valley. Off to the west, tucked into a bowl that captures both wind and sand, the Kelso dunes are a permanent and prominent feature. Three miles down a marked dirt road (a rough go on a street bike) leads to a parking area for dune adventures. The reward for huffing and puffing to the top of the highest dune is an outstanding view of the sculpted sand and surrounding desert. Watch trains roll through Kelso, glimpse an eagle in flight on the updrafts from the hot desert floor, or watch the sand grains bounce and tumble in the wind. You might even see a stick lizard, the legendary reptiles that use a stick to stay cool while roaming the dunes. When things get too hot, they plant their stick in the sand and climb up to get their bellies off the scorching surface. And we think umbrellas are clever!

Kelso, a steam engine water stop founded in 1906 and the "Kel" in Kelbaker, lies in the bottom of the valley. The stately building next to the tracks is the old Kelso Depot, built in 1924...

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