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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Death Valley, A Weekend Trip part1

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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 12/28/12 03:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Death Valley
A Weekend Get Away

Part1
Nov.09, 2012

My wife and I had been planning a weekend get away to Death Valley during the weekend of Nov. 09, unknown to me it would also be the 49ers weekend. None the less time off from work was scheduled and checking out some of the ongoing actives maybe fun. It was also Veteran’s weekend so a very early start Friday morning was a must to avoid a lot of traffic on the I-15.
3 am alarm roused us out of our slumber as the coffee maker sent the body moving aroma floating in the air to entice us out of bed. Rechecking a few items before departing like the refrigerator, we were off speeding down the darken interstate. Stopping at Outlet Center (on the I-15) off ramp to stretch my legs and Julie would make some more coffee. The darkness of night was just beginning to be chased away by forth coming sun; coolness of the air could still be felt through my fleece jacket as I took some early dawn photos.
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Soon back on the intestate with increasing traffic, fresh hot coffee in hand and old man winter being blustery this early dawn morning, blowing sand and dirt across the blacktop path.
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Making our way to Baker, refueling and continuing our travel towards Death Valley by the way of SR127. In the distance clouds of dirt could be seen floating near the desert ground as we raced towards it.
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Harry Wade road is we’re we had planned to entry Death Valley, a road we had done before.
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This dirt road was a bit rough at first, and then got smoother after a few miles. I could see we would soon be overtaken by a fast moving vehicle kicking up quite a roster tail.
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Someone was more about speed than enjoying the journey, for the gray overcast had gone for now and the day has presented itself with blankets of clouds and patches of blue skies. Not being in any hurry a pit stop was in order.
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Soon our path did cross with a two wheeled traveler in which it was all about the journey, he was sporting a helmet camera.
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Badwater Road came soon enough, heading to West Side Road and sights we haven’t seen before.
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Speeding along at a neck breaking 25 mph we made our first sighting of some old rust buckets tanks right along the road side.
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A few bullet holes were to be found and some graffiti seen.
The Road to Queen of Sheba Mine (wasn’t that a Bob Hope and Bing Crosby movie?) is right across from these tanks.
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Moving on down the road, did I tell you how well graded this road is? Several side roads went by before we came to a halt at the Bennett’s Long Camp marker.
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The next sight along the way was the Eagle Borax site, not much there; we looked around for any ruins but couldn’t find any, only some small lumps of something.
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Leaving Eagle Borax works our next place to see on the West Side road is Shorty’s grave, which wasn’t that far.
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It was time to make our way to Furnace Creek and take in some of the 49ers festive. Nearing Badwater Road some horse people were right at the end/beginning of Westside Rd, slowing down I was able to inquire some information from one of the members of this group. They had ridden from Ridgecrest to where we had crossed their path.
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Zipping along on Badwater Rd came to an abrupt slow down for what seen before us was horse/mule drawn wagons.
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We slowly passed the moving time capsules making our way to SR190 and into Furnace Creek, people lining along the roadway near the ranch area waiting for slow but ever getting there wagon train. My wife and I headed over to the visitor center to pick up the latest backcountry road conditions out to The Racetrack. Parked in the visitor center was this behemoth of a vehicle with signage saying “Yes, We’re from Austra”
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We did our thing at the visitor center and moved back over to the ranch area for a few photos and watch the long awaited wagon trail to arrive. With loud cheers abounding, sweating horses and mules pulled into the staging area of Furnace Creek Ranch, a hundred miles and a big welcome for the entire group. FYI the oldest person in this group was 90yrs old and driving their own rig.
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It was time for us to get along, for the drive out to The Racetrack (Homestake site) would be a long and slow one. Northern skies weren’t looking so great, dark clouds are on the move south blocking out what little blue there was to be had.
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Stopping at Ubehebe Crater to lower the tire pressure, down to 40psi, some light rain drops begin to fall upon us.
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Temperature was falling as the clouds draped over the nearby peaks as we made our way along Racetrack Road.
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Racetrack Rd was in the worst condition that I’ve ever seen it, heavily wash boarded, even aired down it was a slow go.
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Spotting a rainbow to our south we stopped for some photos, for it would disappear as fast as it appeared.
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Darkness loomed ahead as we arrived at Teakettle Junction and the blazing sun trying to make a last ditch effort to be seen. We brought along than old teakettle to hang here, my Julie weathering the cold hung what we brought with us.
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A few more miles of jarring wash boarded road and the Race track came into view.
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It wasn’t long before seeing other vehicles out at the Playa area.
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They’re leaving as we drove on by, arriving at Homestake dry camp as the sun was making it last effort to be seen.
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The clouds underbelly glow of pink and shades of gray as we found a suitable spot for our rig, old man winter was being felt as quickly as the night fall came.
Part 2 coming soon…Lippincott Pass the Hardside way.

* This post was edited 12/29/12 02:13am by c.traveler2 *


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colbert wa.

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Posted: 12/28/12 03:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

looking forward to part 2.


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pa traveler

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Posted: 12/28/12 03:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the photos and trip report.

4aSong

Northwest Arizona

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Posted: 12/28/12 04:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for sharing as we enjoyed the photos and trip report, looking forward to Part II.


M & N

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ariz

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Posted: 12/28/12 05:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great report,just missed you guys at the racetrack.Spent Friday night at Mesquete campground.Yes that weekend was a little wendy and cold.


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muelldawg

Phoenix, Arizona

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Posted: 12/28/12 05:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great photo's. To really get a taste of DV you must visit in August. I'm not kidding; we did it and it was HELL


Richard & Marilyn
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Ramblin Recks

GA

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Posted: 12/28/12 05:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for posting your trip report and awesome photos! Looks like fun..Enjoy!


George and Ann
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Tiger4x4RV

Inland Empire, Southern California

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Posted: 12/28/12 06:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It must've been great to see that wagon train. Your weekend would have been very different if you had had that mode of transit.

Thanks for sharing your trip with us.


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starcraft69

northern California(State Of Jefferson)

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Posted: 12/28/12 06:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great trip report!!! Love the mix of photos and vids. Thanks for taking us along.


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acudr

San Diego

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Posted: 12/28/12 07:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ahhh, The desert! Stark and beautiful. Looking fwd. to part 2! Did you donate a "tea kettle?


Bertram

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