Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-04-2009, 09:06 PM   #1
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,410
Garage
Death Valley Group Run part 7-9

Part 7
As Craig flew past the entrance I screamed on the CB that he just blew past it. The trailhead is slightly hard to see if coming from Zabriskie. CBís are really a great tool. He flipped around and we all pulled over to air down at the start of the trail.



Jeff had to go back to fuel up at Furnace, and as he drove off I realized that when Don and I were at the store we forgot the most important items. BEER AND ICE! Was this even possible? I cranked up the CB to 50 watts and yelled at Jeff to at least bring ice. Itís a good thing I always have a backup. In this case it was Vodka, Rum, and a bottle of Long Island Ice Tea. However, ice was imperative. Both Steve and I transmitted several messages to Jeff; ďpick up ice-pick up iceĒ. As we drove into Echo my palms were sweating. Did Jeff hear us? Craig said he had some extra ice and it eased the ride.



(Picture from 2006)
We pulled over at the Eye Of The Needle which is the highlight of the trail. This is a great spot and you can walk up to the formation and check it out if you wish. We moved on toward the mine site and I decided to let the speedsters take the lead. As we pulled up to the mine I noticed the chefs were once again were in action. I guess I have to re-evaluate my pantry. Sure; even a PB & Y sandwich that others make looks better than when I make one, but they were making one hell of a great looking lunch. Even though Don and I had just munched down, my eyes were on their creations. We muttered under our breath.
Some of the guys checked out the mine.



(Picture from 2007)

When Jeff pulled up, all I was worried about was if he heard us on the CB. Nope. We were in for a night of warm drinks. But this was DV; sometimes you got to rough it.

We left out for the dry falls and once again Jeff was in the lead. Steve told Jeff there was a little old lady with a walker passing us. Craig also made a comment that he also was being passed by the little old lady. Jeffís answer was something to the effect of ďyou guys are real funnyĒ. We finally made it to the falls a few years later. NaÖIím just joking Jeff.

Here are pictures from last year and although the images really canít show the level of difficulty they are about class 5 or 6 depending on the rating scale.




I had to laugh at the look on Craigís face when we walked up to the first fall. The Badgerís did it but they have an RB. Jeff was willing to give it a go and we all felt he should go first because he has a rear winch andÖ..because heís Jeff. Steve said he would go next but Craig wanted me to go after Steve. HumÖI wasnít too sure. I have ran similar obstacles before and last year we started up these falls by ourselves, only to stop when we figured the tail end would start to drag. Nothing had changed except on this trip we had beau coup help so it seemed like we could make it. But what if a rock kicked out? What if we snapped something or side walled the van? Jeff started up the route and we figured we should utilize our winches to avoid an axle or U-joint failure. Sloooowly we started to talk ourselves out of the climb. By the time the last van would have made the grade it would have been dark. It was time to re-direct our plans. Sorry Steve! Somewhat frustrated we returned to the mine area to set up camp. On the way back we only took a few pictures.




This was the steepest portion of the trail we encountered heading back toward the mine. Although there was an easy way around it we couldnít resist in taking the steep part.



(Picture by Tom)

Tears wept as we returned from the dry falls. This picture hit the spot.

We checked out areas around the mine. At the end of the road there is a great place to boon dock at but the wind was bad. Steve asked about the spot that Don and I boon dock at. Our site we frequent can be windy but it is usually calm and that was what we were betting on. It was only 15 minutes away and worth the chance to have a nice camp site for the night. And it was. We all pulled in and set up camp.



The night started with drinks and I was thankful that Craig still had some ice. We bartered ice for booze but we would have shared anyway so everyone came out a winner. Don and I started off with rum and coke. Jeff made steaks and offered some to the group. Stabbing one off the grill, it hit the ground. Oh-no; 5 minute rule? Steve washed it off with water and made it palatable with his famous Margaritaís that were conjured up that night. Craig and Dave had some good stuff going as well; Asada tacos with Corona beer. We had steaks going ourselves along with veggies to round out the meal. After everyone was stuffed we started up the fire and poured on the wood. This would be the best night by far.



(Picture by Craig)

Steve had marshmallows to roast. Marshmallows and Margarita's?
Again Don broke out the fine cigars to add to the night. The campfire stories were tall and everyone had a good time. I un-leashed the Long Island Ice Teaís minus Coke and lemon. My trick...use Fresca as the citrus flavor. Fresca? Again I was showing my age but it worked. Now what to call the drink? A Drunkin Echo? Itís actually a great drink but you know how everything tastes better when youíre camping. That drink kind of put the lights out for me but not before having an enjoyable night.

(End of part 7)
__________________

__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 09:08 PM   #2
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,410
Garage
Re: SMB Death Valley Group Run part 7-9

Part 8 Echo to Zabriskie.

In the morning we all posed for a group shot before breaking camp. Steve took the picture after we all had breakfast.



Left to right - Steve, Don, Jeff, me (Dave), and Tom.
Below - Dave, and Craig.

Plans on which way home everyone would take were discussed.



The trip was ending for most of the gang, but Don and I had a few more days. We still wanted to see Charlieís place but the group decided to split. Jeff and Craig headed toward home but Steve still had some time to burn and decided to check out Artist Palette on the way out. Since it was another spot I had never seen we tagged along. As we were breaking camp, Steve took off to run the 20 Mule Team Road that I did last year. This is a short one way dirt road and is a nice little drive. Here are some pictures of that area I took last year.








When we called Steve on the CB he was returning from the 20 Mule Team Rd, but there was a different driver. Can you say insurance company?



OK we were off to see another 2WD road. Artist Palette is a similar drive to where Steve and Tom had just visited (or should I say Tom and Steve) but itís a bit longer and has one of the most colorful rock formations in the park. Even though it is another tourist trap, it is well worth a drive by. In fact it might be the best two wheel drive road in the park. Itís another spot that would excel during low light conditions. Even though these snap shots wonít do justice to the drive, it was well worth the time to see the area.

(End of part 8)
__________________

__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 09:10 PM   #3
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,410
Garage
Re: SMB Death Valley Group Run part 7-9

Part 8A Zabriskie to Furnace Cr and Beaty Nevada.



The Artist Drive starts about 4 miles west of Furnace Creek Inn. Even at the start of the road, the mountains are fairly colorful.




We found a spot to pull over that led to a hill which overlooked the local area.



We followed the trail to the top and again I was in competition older tourists. God I got to get in better shape.



We werenít sure if this was the highlight of the drive so we got some pictures. Does Tom look exhausted? He doesnít know it but I had to edit this picture.



This would be a great run for a 2WD vehicle. The road has narrow canyon like sections in spots to add to drive.



We finally made it to the Artist Palette. Itís easy to see how it got the name. This mountain range is the postcard of Death Valley.



Iíll bet this place kicks butt during a good sunset. I donít think they let busses in here, so we never saw the crowds that Badwater basin gathers. In fact, the whole drive had minimal traffic for a tourist trap.



The road winds its way back toward the main road passing some more canyon like spots. It was a great little drive and would suggest anybody visiting Death Valley with a car to take this drive.

Steve and Tom stopped at the Furnace Creek Inn which is the premium resort stop in DV.


What would other SMBíers think of this?

At Furnace Creek store we grabbed some supplies. Steve and Tom were off and we told them to have a safe trip home. Being we were heading toward Beaty Nevada and they were exiting via Panamint Valley we kept in radio contact until signal was lost. The last transmission by Steve was when he was headed up Emigrant Canyon and we were just coming into Beaty. Not bad; about 50 miles away from each other.

I needed some fuel and wanted to buy some military canisters from this guy in Beaty we missed last year. We also wanted to hit the store. Donít go to Beaty to find a store that has any kind of reasonable food supplies. Youíre better off at the Furnace Creek store. With the size of the town Iím surprised they donít have a small supermarket. At least this time we didnít forget the beer and ice. We were off to the Chloride Cliffs trail and our nights destination; Monarch Canyon.

End of part 8A
__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 09:13 PM   #4
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,410
Garage
Re: SMB Death Valley Group Run part 7-9

Part 9 Monarch Canyon to Red Rock State Park.

Monarch Canyon is another nice small spot that can hold a limited amount of vehicles. The canyon is accessed off the Chloride Cliffs trail. A few miles off the highway the trail splits. The right split will take you on the short spur that shortly dead ends. Here is a link to a site that is more suited to rock climbers but has some good pictures and a great explanation of this area.
http://www.dankat.com/swhikes/monarc.htm
I really liked Monarch Canyon when we explored the area a couple of years back. You can drive to the dead end where a cliff overlooks an area of brush like no other Iíve seen in DV. There is a spring just below this cliff which seems to keep things growing. The end of the road is a fine place to camp but can be windy at times.

The wind was a little bothersome so we set up a couple barriers. Here are a few pictures of Monarch from past years:






This vegetation was a strange site.
I wish the group had time to join us on this part of the trip. It seemed strangely silent now that we were by ourselves. Now I donít mind being by myself or with a friend while off roading, but my smile muscles were recuperating from the last 3 days. This was one trip were it seemed everybody clicked. Still Don and I had a great night in Monarch. The fire was comfortable as we kicked back and watched mice run around the rocks next to us. I wondered if they knew we were going to feed them. As they scurried around I hoped they would stay out of the van. Iíve had an intruder in my van before and I donít like.
In the morning we decided to leave DV. As we left the canyon, the same Jeep group that we had seen in Echo showed up.



At Echo we had discussed the rock dry falls that our group had avoided and suggested they could make it provided there rigs had lockers. They didnít have any problems climbing the dry falls, but they informed us that there was another section of the trail which was more difficult due to a wash out. The word was ďhighly off camberĒ. It was good information to know. Iím glad we decided to pass it by on this trip even though the vans might have been able to make it. You never know whatís around the bend and apparently the rangers didnít know about it either. After the Jeeps passed us we headed for the highway. The previous night we had discussed what route we were going to take on our trip home. The Jawbone area was on the list but eventually we decided to return to Red Rock state Park for the last night. We planned to leave the park via Emigrant Canyon.



On the way out we finally saw some wild flowers along the roadway. I donít think it would be a good year for flowers but what do I know. It was a little early for spring time flora anyway.



Dropping into lower DV we noticed the weather was changing. The wind was blustery and we could see a sand storm off in the distance.



I did not want to drive through this even though it didnít look bad. In 2006 we had endured a solid week of extreme high winds. Both of us have had enough of wind storms at Death Valley.



This time we missed all the blowing sand while heading up and out of the valley floor. At the top of Emigrant Pass I took a picture. It was amazing what the temperature difference was up there. It was flat cold up there.
Dropping down into the Panamint Valley we got strafed again. One of the jets flew so low and fast we didnít have time to react, but I got the next guy.



It still wasn't as close of a fly-by as the day we were coming out of Ballarat, but it's cool to watch these aircraft no matter how close they are.

In Ridgecrest we stocked up on food, ice, and beer. We finally made it back to Red Rock. Unfortunately it was cold and windy, so the evening party time occurred in the van.
In the morning we got up early, made some espresso, and had our traditional cup-o-noodles. We had three choices on our return trip; head straight home, Jawbone, or Dove Springs. Being the Dove Springs trail was less than a half mile away we went for it.

(End of part 9)
__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline  
Old 04-07-2009, 10:59 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
cellularSTEVE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,065
Re: Death Valley Group Run part 7-9

Death Valley Group Run Navigation

Go to Part 1-3
Go to Part 4-6
Go to Part 7-9<<You are here
Go to Part 10
Go to Comments Page
__________________
'05 Ford V-10 4x4 SMB "50" White
'00 Jeep Cherokee 4x4 Highly Modified
'04 Jeep Grand Cherokee- wife won't let me modify it. :-(
Does anyone really read this stuff other than surfgeek?
cellularSTEVE is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.