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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Trip report - southwest US winter 2011 (Part 2)

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Windwalker55

Missouri

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Posted: 03/23/11 07:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Forty four days on the road, 6022 miles, and warm sunny days. Sure beat winter at home.

From Lake Mead I headed north toward Death Valley. I was suppose to meet Mike and Carole Dodds there and join them in exploring this national park.

Entering Death Valley.
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The road leading into Death Valley.
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Finally meet Mike and Carole at Stovepipe Wells campground in Death Valley.
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Mike and Carole hiking Mosaic Canyon.
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Living on the edge.
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I've always heard if you weren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.

How Mosaic Canyon got it's name.
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More Mosaic Canyon.
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Mesquite Springs Campground.
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Hiking around Ubehebe Crater.
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Scotty's Castle in Death Valley was a treat. Be sure and take the tour.
Here is a photo of Ranger Lauren giving a tour.
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A shot above Scotty's Castle.
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On the road in Death Valley.
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Wildrose Campground.
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Charcoal kilns at about 8,000 feet in Death Valley, up the road from Wildrose CG.
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More kilns.
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Following Mike.
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Furnace Creek Campground. This is the main campground in the park with a large concessionaire motel and stores across the street. This is also the only place with cell phone reception in the park.
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Entrance to the Furnace Creek Concessionaire area.
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Borax museum at Furnace Creek.
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Solar panels at Furnace Creek.
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Palm trees near golf course at Furnace Creek.
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Mike had developed a problem with his lock out hubs there at Death Valley so he ended up calling Good Sam road service and arranged to b hauled to Las Vegas to get it fixed. Thus, I had to bid farewell to Mike and Carole.
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Here are a few more shots of Death Valley.
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Zabriskie Point in Death Valley
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More Zabriskie Point
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Badwater Basin
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Badwater Basin from a distance.
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Walking on water.
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Badwater Basin is well below sea level. Note the sign on the cliff above my camper. That is sea level.
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More of Death Valley.
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Death Valley is a lovely place. The photos just don't do it justice. It is big though, so plan on spending some time there. I was there five days and barely scratched the surface.

From Death Valley I headed south to Mojave National Preserve. This is a national park run area, but they do allow dispersed camping in certain places. My first stop was the main office of the preserve which is in a historic train station in Kelso, CA.
Here is the train station.
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The ranger told me you could camp anywhere that there was a stone or metal fire ring. I found one on the road just south of Kelso about a mile off the road. It was a beautiful night in the desert.
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From here I headed back to Lake Havasu City and found a BLM area to camp in one night.
Here is a sunset from there.
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The next couple of nights I ended up back at La Paz County Park just north of Parker AZ.
Sunset at La Paz County Park.
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Mike and Carole called. Their truck was repaired and they were headed my way so we met again at La Paz County Park.
Mike and Carole back on the road.
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I was in Parker taking care of laundry one day and found this yard across the street from the laundry. I thought it was pretty.
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From here it is back to Quartzsite for one more quick visit. It is not nearly so crowded this time and much more pleasant.
Quiet Quartzsite.
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I was starting to get a little homesick so I left Mike and Carole once more at Quartzsite and headed east.

Here is a shot of Casa Grande National Monument.
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Here are a couple of shots of Florence AZ where Murphy's Romance starring James Garner and Sally Fields was filmed.
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Next stop Tucson again and Gilbert Ray Campground.
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Sonoran Desert Museum is a must see when in the Tucson area.
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Another must see in Tucson is the Pima Air Museum. I was an intercept director in the Air Force in the late 60s and early 70s. There were several planes that I controlled while I served. It was a tour down memory avenue for me.
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F-102 - one of the figters I controlled in Korea.
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SR-71 spy plane. I loved to watch these things on a radar scope. They were so fast.
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F-4 - I loved these planes. Their radar was much better than most interceptors and they would take a lockon at about 25 miles instead of the 3 or 4 miles we usually had to get the interceptors into.
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I remember watching these commercial airlines taking off at the Kansas City municipal airport when I was a kid. These were called Constellations or Connies for short.
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I saw lots of other guys there also traveling down memory lane.
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My only stay at a Walmart on the whole trip. This is at Deming, NM.
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On the way back up through New Mexico I found this BLM site called the 'Three Rivers Petroglyph Site. It was fascinating with hundreds of petroglyphs on this one hill. Here are a few photos from the site.
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My last night on the road I parked in my brothers back yard in Ft. Scott, KS.
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I had great weather all the way across Kansas, sunny and warm. The day I drove home from Ft. Scott though it started snowing. I ended up right back where I started from.
Home again.
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Hope you enjoyed the trip report.

* This post was edited 03/27/11 12:52pm by Windwalker55 *


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Awurst

New Caney

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Posted: 03/23/11 08:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Again Awesome Photos!

covered wagon

USA

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Posted: 03/23/11 08:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks so much for sharing such an interesting trip. Mike and Carole are fun folks too.

Bigfootchevy

Bancroft, Ontario, Canada

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Posted: 03/23/11 08:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Again great pics and again thanks for sharing.

Paul

coolmom42

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 03/23/11 09:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great pics, thanks for sharing! We are planning a winter trip to Tucson next year.


Single empty-nester in Middle TN, sometimes with a friend or grandchild on board

rockhillmanor

On the Road

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Posted: 03/23/11 09:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OMG! Those are fantastic pictures. Thank you for sharing them.
I am heading west within the next week. I had no clue you could 'camp' in Death Valley!

How DO you find these great places to camp?


We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.


sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 03/23/11 09:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have published the perfect trip report... I have really enjoyed following along with you.

Sleepy


2003 Lance 1161,/slideout/AGM batteries/255W Solar/propane generator/Sat dish/2 Fantastic Fans/AC/winter pkg
AirFoil, Trimetric, LED lights, Platcat vent heat

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5percent

N. San Diego County

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Posted: 03/23/11 10:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great report and nice pictures. I enjoyed seeing the changes two months made in Death Valley from January when we were there. Thank you!


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Matho

New Mexico Texas

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Posted: 03/23/11 11:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the pictures.


2015 Chevy 3500 SRW 4X4 6.0 CC SB Big Wig 2016 Northstar Laredo SC Off Road

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 03/24/11 12:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good Trip Report!
Both of them!
It was so complete, I feel like I was your shotgun rider.


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