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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 10/30/08 03:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Death Valley, Ca.
Part 3
Oct. 6,2008
Al of part 3 photos
Part 1 and 2 reports
This is a Long Report

Like with many of our trips morning always comes around so soon. Morning at Mesquite Spring was so bright it hurt my eyes. My Julie has coffee perking away and is busy making breakfast. This morning I have some repairs to do on my roof rack, for 2 of my rail bolts had sheared off. Since I’m a handle type of guy repairs were made in short order and didn’t have any more trouble from that area.
[image]
Mesquite Spring Campground
Finishing breakfast, we packed up our TC and made a pit stop at the RV dump before exiting Mesquite Spring campground. Just a side note the dump is setup in what I would call the “right” way in which our TC was pointed uphill enough the drain the tanks completely.
Once back on North Highway it was a very short drive to Racetrack Valley Rd turn off and down we drove into wide-open spaces. Heading to our first viewing of the day, Ubehebe Crater.
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To Ubhebe Crater
A few miles in on this road we came across a section of the road that was dirt laden from last Saturday thunderstorm and the ark maintenance crew hasn’t gotten to this clean up yet.
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Washed over Road
Paved road is all the way to Ubehebe Crater, loops around on itself with the turn off to Racetrack spurring off there.
[image]
For now we are alone and that didn’t last long for this is a popular visiting site. I was able to take several pictures before the horde of people showed up.
[image]
While there I was talking to a young man by the name of AJ, Julie didn’t want to make the walk down into the bowels of the crater and AJ was going to make the hike down there, so we went together
[image]
Getting down to the bottom of the crater was done in short order for the slope was indeed steep. A dark area at the bottom was that way due to it was still wet from last Saturday’s storm. AJ and I wandered around a bit, I had learn that he competes in iron man contests. I said that’s good you mat have to carry me back up.
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Bottom of Ubehebe Crater
Picture below is of us on our way back up I had stop a couple times to rest my legs, man I’m out of shape, AJ hadn’t even broke out in a sweat.
[image]
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Well we made it back and AJ didn’t have carry me back up like a sack of potatoes. With a new friend made, it was also getting time for us ramble on to Racetrack and AJ was headed else where in Death Valley.
Video Good Bye Ubhebe
Leaving Ubehebe Crater area, following the asphalt path back around to Racetrack turn off. From this point on it dirt road all the way out and some sections of the roadway were severely washboard, other road sections became the riverbed for water doesn’t care what’s it is flooding over.
[image]
Video-Rain Damage Road
We even came across a large puddle in the roadway while traveling to Racetrack. Many types of cactus were showing as the road climb in elevation with the sprinkling of Pickly Pear cactuses
[image]
[image]
There wasn’t a sole to be seen since leaving Ubehebe Crater, well just when I think we have the place to our selves a motorcyclist and his buddies blow pass us.
[image]
Reaching Teakettle Junction, to our surprise we had a cell phone signal and voicemail waiting for us, you bet we took advantage of the situation. While doing our cell calls several SUV’s came from the direction of Racetrack and one driver asked us if we were with the motorcyclists, they were searching for of their buddies. We finished our calls and did a couple of picture while reading some of the place the teakettles had come from.
[image]
On the road again, that theme keeps coming back to us. A few more miles and many excellent sights along the way entertained us till the sight of Racetrack came into view
[image]
Stepping up the pace the distance to Racetrack came to a close in a short time. Taking a look at the information signage and then we made the trek out on the playa in search of those mysterious rock tracks of Racetrack.
[image]
Wandering out to the Grandstand is search of those slower than crawling snail tracks, we did come across a rock that had a hard to see track. This end of racetrack didn’t have much in the way of those rock.
[image]
Julie and I looked around some more with little in the way of rock tracks, I was thinking that the recent storm had washed out the tracks.
[image]
Video-At Racetrack
Taking notice of the time we when to the dry camp 3 miles south of Racetrack, for tomorrow we’ll go back to the southern part of Racetrack. The only way we knew about this dry campsite was the fact it was shown on Death Valley Back County road hand out, those free hand outs do come in handy.
[image]
Rocks outline the camping area with a portable toilet on site. Being surrounded on three sides by local mountains it was going to get dark quickly and we weren’t the only one’s here.
[image]
On the way in I saw what appear to being mine tailings on the near by hillside near the base, so I trek up to them while Julie was getting dinner ready. Once up to the tailing I found that there was no mine but just a small hole dig.
[image]
Video-Dry Campsite
Our neighbors had shown up and it turned out we had passed their parked SUV on the way to Racetrack, they are father and son from South Dakota on a university grant doing satellite conformations of mineral deposits. Julie had made a large pot of sweet n sour soup, much more than we could eat. Well with this much soup there was only one thing to do, invite the two geologists to our nightly meal, which they were glad to do. They told us that they had been to this very campsite about 20 different times.

Oct.07, 2008…Tuesday morning
Waking up to a refrigerator that’s dieing isn’t what I expect on this trip, but not the less it was happing. The darn thing when on strike on us and wouldn’t stay lit on propane; lucky for us we always take the ice chest with us. Well we invited the geologists to breakfast explaining that our refrigerator was dieing on us and we had to cook some extra food (not enough room in ice chest)
[image]
They thank us for breakfast and we finished packing up for the drive back to Racetrack, the south end.
[image]
Video-leaving Dry Campsite
Three mile drive was indeed short (I put my foot into it) for the road here wasn’t that bad. We wasted no in getting out on the playa and making that little hike out to the rocks that a snail could out run.
[image]
[image]
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Video- Traveling Rocks
We saw a lot of rock trails out here and enjoyed our time out here, wandering around the playa and I was amazed how flat this place is. Our next place to explore is the Lost Burro mine, the road to it is back at Teakettle Junction was done fast, once being over it I now knew how fast I could fly over this part of the road.
[image]
Video-Road to Lost Burro Mine
Today there wasn’t any cell service at teakettle, so we continue our drove up to Lost Burro mine. The beautiful of Death Valley just keeps on coming, while taking in the passing sights I almost missed the spur road up to Lost Burro mine
[image]
Video-Lost Burro Mine
Conditions on the spur road became such that the last ¾ mile we ended up walking to the mine for the road became so off camber I didn’t want to risk tipping into the hillside, as it turn out there were 3 other section that were worst and I estimate it would take about a hour at each section for repairs by hand, It was better to walk in.
[image]
Lost Burro Mine is worth the trouble getting there with structures in fairly good shape and decent photo opportunely.
[image]
Video-At Lost Burro Mine
Julie stopped at the entrance of a storage room crave into the hillside
[image]
The mine is spread over a good size area; I found the retaining wall a nice piece of work and looks like it has held up rather well.
[image]
We spent what time we could here and then made our way back to the TC. I would have to back it up a few hundred feet to an area to due a 3-point turn.
[image]
Video-Leaving Burro Mine
Making our travel back to Racetrack Valley Rd didn’t take long and getting back to Ubehebe Crater was done in a fair god clip. Once back at the crater it was time for a little lunch, did we get a surprise when I opened the door, there lying on the floor was the bathroom door. Humm, I found all the screws on the floor as well so I guess making that fast run over all that wash boarding had backed out those screws. It took 10 minutes to put everything back together and we had lunch looking at the crater. Our next area to see is Eureka Dunes and we have a few miles to get there.
[image]
Road to Big Pine and Eureka Dunes allowed fast travel for it was in good condition and had little wash boarding. There were only two spots that had to be slowed down for to transverse the damage from the pasted storm. On our map is a place along our way called Crankshaft Crossing, when we arrived there we knew why it was called Crankshaft Crossing.
[image]
From here the road climbs up into the Last Chance Range winding around in a valley, in traveling thru here is a un-named mine just off the roadway no time to stop to explore. The road opens up to a spacious valley, for the road to Eureka Dunes is at the bottom of the hill.
[image]
Ten more miles to of dirt road and a couple of soft sand pocket spot to transverse.
[image]
Arriving at the big dunes with a cloud of flying dust left behind us, we looked at the dunes with awe. Out came the daypack and off to climb that pile of sand.
[image]
Video-Eureka Dunes
Walking up the dunes was fairly easy until I stepped on my first soft spot, watching my foot vanish to my ankle, good thing I have my hiking boots on. This is the way the surface tension was on the dune, one spot firm the next one soft. We hiked up to what I guessed was about 300 feet above the base; this was about as far as we would go today.
[image]
[image]
Once back a tour TC we relocated to a different site south of where were are at. On the way in we were buzzed by a F15, this happen a couple more times and this time I was able to catch some of the fly by on video.
Video-Fly By
The above video shows a F-18 flying by and a couple of F-15 over the distance Saline Range. Shadows were taking over the face of the Eureka Dune like a blanket covering a kid being tucked in for the night.
[image]
Video-Shadows on the Dunes
The above video is in real time, no fast foreword effects done. At this time we are the only ones here and I’m bar-be- que the last of our steaks as twilight curtain tumbles upon the retreating sun. A great steak diner and night entertainment of local bats doing their twilight maneuvers chasing down their nightly meal.
[image]
Video-Bats at Night
This is the last picture I took before settling in for the night, maybe Don Curley can tell me what planet is being shown by the moon.
[image]

To my follow travelers may your road be smooth and all your sights be wonderous.

* This post was last edited 11/19/08 07:55am by c.traveler2 *   View edit history


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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 10/30/08 03:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

C.Traveler:

Tremendous! You've got a follow-through like no other!

...it's going into TR now [emoticon]

Cheers,
Silver-


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 10/30/08 03:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

...more: well documented with great support info!

Thanks again for putting this Magna Opera together!

Cheers,
Silver-

bigeking

Arlington, Texas

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Posted: 10/30/08 04:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can tell you really enjoyed your trip, and I can tell you are ones that think the desert is beautiful. We drove across Death Valley the last week of August this year, and I stopped to take a picture of the Sand Dunes----it was 124* and I am still trying to understand what the beauty of a place like that is. I have seen the desert area in Arizona when it is in bloom, but Death Valley left alot to be desired
for me. I still really enjoyed your pictures, and from what you said you had a great time. Please do not think I am trashing your choices it just really amazes me how different people can be in their interpretations of things and places. Have fun, and if you ever get to the mountains maybe will see each other. [emoticon] [emoticon]


Everett & Jayne
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Life is'nt about how you survived the storm...
It's about how you dance in the rain!

Nemo667

Louisiana

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Posted: 10/30/08 04:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good Stuff Alex and great pictures. Thanks for posting


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SooperDaddy

Southern California

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Posted: 10/30/08 04:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the journal, we appreciated the pictures of your trip! [emoticon]


My posts shouldn't be taken for factual data, and are purely fictional, for entertainment purposes, should not be constituted as related to scientific, technical, engineering, legal, religious, spiritual, or practical advice. After all it's FREE! Amen. ">


jefe 4x4

West Slope, Northern Sierra Nevada

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Posted: 10/30/08 10:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Alex,
Thanks for part three. Makes me want to go back. Soon.
regards, as always, jefe


'01.5 Dodge 2500 4x4, CTD, Qcab, SB, NV5600, 241HD, 4.10's, Dana 70/TruTrac; Dana 80/ TruTrac, Spintec hub conversion, H.D. susp, 315/75R16's on 7.5" and 10" wide steel wheels, Vulcan big line, Warn M15K winch '98 Lance Lite 165s, 8' 6" X-cab, 200w Solar

~DJ~

Boise, Idaho

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Posted: 10/31/08 07:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Absolutely Awesome!!!!

Hope I get the chance to go there someday.


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Albin

North Alabama

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Posted: 10/31/08 06:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You took your truck and camper up the Lost Burro Mine road? I'm impressed!

My son and I did your route last summer except in reverse. We also came out of the Racetrack valley over Lippencott Mine road into Saline Valley.

If I had known about Teakettle Junction, I would have bought one at a thrift shop and left one there.

Great pics and report, keep'em coming!

Al


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whazoo

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Posted: 10/31/08 08:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Albin wrote:

You took your truck and camper up the Lost Burro Mine road? I'm impressed!

My son and I did your route last summer except in reverse. We also came out of the Racetrack valley over Lippencott Mine road into Saline Valley.

If I had known about Teakettle Junction, I would have bought one at a thrift shop and left one there.

Great pics and report, keep'em coming!

Al


You did that route in reverse?! That must have been pretty hairy. I figure most folks do it in first gear...going forward.

Nice finish to your trip Alex and Julie. Thanks for all the pix and report!





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