Motorcycle Dealers Southaven MS

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Desoto Honda
(662) 996-0002
6910 Snowden Lane
Southaven, MS
 
Southaven Kawasaki Yamaha
(662) 393-2877
8668 Whitworth Dr
Southaven, MS
Makes
Yamaha, Kawasaki

Harley Davidson Of Desoto
(662) 349-6938
6935 Winchase Drive
Horn Lake, MS
 
Southaven Kawasaki Motor Sports Atvs
(662) 393-2877
8668 Whitworth Drive
Walls, MS
 
Olive Branch Suzuki & Yamaha
(662) 895-1580
5628 Goodman Road
Olive Branch, MS
Makes
Yamaha, Suzuki

Southaven Kawasaki
(662) 393-2877 Phone
8668 Whitworth St
Southaven, MS
 
Bruce Rossmeyer's Southern Thunder H-D
(662) 349-1099
6935 Windchase Drive
Horn Lake, MS
Makes
Harley-Davidson

Harley Davidson Of Desoto County
(662) 349-1099
6935 Windchase Drive
Walls, MS
 
Olive Branch Suzuki
(662) 895-1580
5628 Goodman Rd
Olive Branch, MS
 
Olive Branch Suzuki Yamaha
(662) 895-1580
7139 Commerce Drive
Olive Branch, MS
 

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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