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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Trip Report: a lemonade trip in the California high desert

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Tiger4x4RV

Inland Empire, Southern California

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Joined: 03/14/2007

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Posted: 04/23/12 02:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The lemons: few wildflowers, high winds, heat, a blister, noisy neighbors on the last night (a Saturday, in a campground).
The lemonade: accompanied by burger and fries on last trip day.

7 nights, 4 at free, remote, quiet dispersed sites and 3 reserved in a campground for $$ because I needed a site in a certain area on the weekend.

875 miles, many off-pavement, exploring territory almost totally new to me. This would be a good trip for a small TC, preferably with 4WD for the sandy spots.

First stop: a couple of hours at the Wildflower Festival exhibits in Ridgecrest. http://www.ridgecrestdesertwildflowerfestival.com/

Night #1: remote camp 5 miles from pavement at Trona Pinnacles National Natural Area.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ridgecrest/trona.html

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Next day, a brief visit to the BLM wild horse and burro holding facility near Ridgecrest. There are 1200 animals at this facility right now. Staff says it is OK to feed them carrots.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ridgecrest/whb.html

[image]

On to Short Canyon, a dirt road trip off 395 near the Hwy 14 junction. I camped here, explored the area for flowers.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ridgecrest/shortcyn.html

Looking toward Short Canyon.

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Desert Calico, Loeseliastrum matthewsii, in Short Canyon. That's a 22 casing in the photo to show size. Very tiny plant, one blossom.

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Purple mat, Nama demissum A. Gray var. demissum. The name is bigger than the plant!

[image]

The next three days were spent exploring the BLM's Jawbone-Butterbredt Area of Critical Environmental Concern, mostly on dirt roads. I drove up Sage Canyon a few miles, hiked a few miles more, then drove a long way up Horse Canyon and camped there. The next day, I drove the dirt road up and over Bird Spring Pass on SC120 (photos below), then pavement through Sageland and Kelso Valley, dirt on 589 up and over and down and around and...to Jawbone Canyon Open Area, where I camped. Until the last few hours of this midweek trip, I had seen fewer than 5 other vehicles. Timing is everything if you like solitude. BTW, if you go here, take your own water and plan to haul out all of your trash.

Info and a map at this link:
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ridgecrest/jawbone_open_area.html

More info, and maps to buy (I did and it was worth it) at this link. At Jawbone Station, the Friends of Jawbone also have a nice bookstore and a very helpful staff.
http://www.jawbone.org/foj/

Along SC120 heading toward Bird Spring. Good wide dirt road, 2WD, all the way to the Pacific Crest Trail crossing at the summit.

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The narrow shelf road going down toward Sageland. Not for the faint of heart, although you can look down and see if anyone is coming up. Good thing, because there is almost no place to pass on this road.

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Butterbredt Spring Wildlife Sanctuary. A magical place with habitat for many kinds of birds and other animals. Trees, a stream, a little wetland, big rocks. Directions are toward the bottom of this linked page: http://kern.audubon.org/birding.htm

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Blue Point, Jawbone Canyon, looking down from road 589. Color is from copper.

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A piece of the rock from Blue Point, found near my camp.

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Tiger camped at Jawbone Open Area, right at the fenceline. Camp area #7 on SC176. No facilities except a vault toilet a half mile down the road.

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View near camp.

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Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park, tiny gem along Hwy 138. Nature trail, toilets, picnic table, shade.
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=634

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A quick drive through Hungry Valley SVRA, nearly deserted on a Thursday. Over 150 campsites. Dry camping $10, day use $5.
http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1192

Typical campground, with perimeter fence, shaded picnic tables, a vault toilet. No water, no showers, or no dump station.

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Road through Hungry Valley SVRA. Only street legal vehicles are allowed on this road.

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I camped at Los Alamos campground, affiliated with Pyramid Lake. $20 a night, reservable, senior pass not honored. Nice view of the valley, and a good place to stage for the last night of a trip home to south of San Diego.
http://campone.com/campsites/pyramid-lake-ca/

The highlights of my weekend: two hikes with the Tejon Ranch Conservancy. Free, reserve online in advance. Get on their mailing list to be notified about hikes, or visit the web page linked below. These hikes fill quickly. They are the only way to see this very special area, over 400 square miles of nearly pristine California.
http://www.tejonconservancy.org/events/index.html

Los Alamos Creek area of Tejon Ranch.

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Tejon Creek area of Tejon Ranch.

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2006 Tiger CX 4x4, 8.1 L gas V-8, Allison 6-speed


acudr

San Diego

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Joined: 03/23/2005

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Posted: 04/23/12 02:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cool! Some out of the way places not too far from us i have not explored. thanks for the maps and links. Glad the lemonade was good.


Bertram

louiskathy

Oregon (presently)

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Joined: 03/23/2003

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Posted: 04/23/12 04:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Loved the .22 casing to show size of the flower. Great way to send a message.

Nice trip report!


Kathy

5percent

N. San Diego County

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Joined: 09/27/2010

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Posted: 04/23/12 04:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Love the TR! Thank you for posting all the links - we're always looking for local areas we haven't explored yet. Neat pictures too!


06 Ford F-350 diesel DRW Crew Cab 4X4
06 Bigfoot 25C10.6


the tc life

colbert wa.

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Joined: 08/19/2010

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Posted: 04/23/12 04:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

some day ill make a trip to the desert. in the cooler months mind you, im a northerner. all the openess is just another form of beauty.
thanks for sharing.


2010 adventurer 810ws
1999 c3500 dually 12' flatbed

THE TC LIFE


Bubtoofat

SE Michigan

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Joined: 02/27/2004

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Posted: 04/23/12 04:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice report. All these great trip reports remind me that I gotta get OUT THERE! Man, work really interferes with a lot of stuff.
Mike


2005 Chevy 2500HD Crew 4X4 6.0
2011 Northstar Adventurer
Hellwig Bigwig, Ride-Rites, Fastguns, KYB Monomax.


"No matter where I am, I can't help feeling I'm just a day away from where I want to be."
Jackson Browne

whazoo

Idahome

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Joined: 10/12/2007

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Posted: 04/23/12 06:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What a great report there Tiger. You must be taking online "professional trip report classes" and passed with flying colors. Good pictures, links, info and I'm sure more than a little fun also. Thanks mucho...

Less Stuff

WA. USA

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Joined: 10/18/2003

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Posted: 04/23/12 06:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for posting. Nice report.
We have a picture of the wire and self grinning amongst the Trona Pinnacles National Natural Area.
Your pictures and report are so nice that our picture wouldn't help at all. Believe me.


DG
Former user name: "Lots of Stuff"
2015 RAM 1500 V6 8 speed
Regular cab short bed 2 wheel drive.
Leer 180 Topper

~DJ~

Boise, Idaho

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Joined: 05/10/2005

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Posted: 04/23/12 07:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Tiger!!! Great stuff!!! [emoticon]


'17 Class C 22' Conquest on Ford E 450 with V 10. 4000 Onan, twin Trojan T 145s, 400 watts solar.

spacedoutbob

SF Bay Area

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Joined: 07/20/2009

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Posted: 04/23/12 07:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great Photos and Trip Report Tiger! I have been to the Trona Pinnacles before, the other places I have not visited as of yet, Thanks for posting and giving me more ideas for places to check out.

Bob in Oakland, Calif.


Good Sam Club Life Member


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