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Old 03-09-2008, 08:49 PM   #1
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T minus 3 days and counting

We are off to Death Valley National Park this week to warm up and see the spring wildflowers. Any thoughts on backcountry camps that you particularly like?

I've heard good things about Echo Canyon, but it seems too close to Furnace Creek to escape the crowds.

We were going to camp at Cottonwood Canyon west of Stovepipe Wells last year, but it was over one hundred degrees already in late March, so we bailed and camped up at Mesquite Springs.

Anybody ever camp up at Chloride Cliff on the way to Beatty?

I've been up to the Racetrack twice, but never camped at Homestake at the foot of the Lippincott Grade (which I plan to avoid).

Any thoughts and advice is appreciated.
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:14 PM   #2
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We are leaving on Wednesday for DV (first real trip) as well. I'm still working on the itinerary, but planning on starting at the south end near striped butte on Thursday and working our way north over the course of a week. We should compare notes.
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:35 AM   #3
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I will probably see you down there! We are leaving very early on Thursday, and zooming down I-15 to Cedar City Utah for the first night, then on to the Greenwater Valley below Dantes View for the second night. It's around 1,100 miles/ 22 hours one way from here to the Park. I will be down there through next Friday, before heading home.

Make sure to pick up their Backcountry Roads map, which is downloadable from the Park's website. It shows generally where you can camp on the dirt roads throughout the Park.
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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T minus 48 hours and counting.

SMB Mountain Rover sits on the launching pad outside of the Casa Eduardo this evening, fueled with 47 gallons of $3.60/gallon low sulfur diesel, 4 gallons of $2.50/gallon propane, 16 quarts of gad knows how much a gallon AMSOIL synthetic oil,and a case of $12/bottle red wine. Okay, some of the wine is worth more than that , but I'm not telling how much.

It will be a night launch like the Space Shuttle Endeavor tonight, with planned takeoff at 0600 hours Thursday morning for the 1,150 mile run south on I-15 to Death Valley National Park (DVNP).

Loading is almost complete, and the launch timetable has escaped several holds. The first hold examined a failure of the external electrical power cable socket, but was dismissed by the mission team since the solar panels and diesel charging system were considered sufficient backup for the mission objectives.

The second hold was released upon the successful insertion of a locking diesel gascap into the SMB Mountain Rover's fuel system.

SMB Commander and Pilot Ed in Montana is on his 4th mission to DVNP and is accompanied by co-pilot Kevin in Montana, an old desert and river rat, on his first mission in this class of RV.

Look to the north early Thursday morning for the contrail of the SMB leaving the Montana area as it reaches cruising speed on I-15 south.
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Maravia New Wave 13.5 foot raft (fishing and white-water)
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:26 PM   #5
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$3.60/gallon for diesel? I'm jealous.

Prepare for some sticker shock in CA, and especially remote areas like DV. Fuel up before you get here.

Sounds like you're pumped up for your adventure. Have a great time and take/post lots of pictures.


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Old 03-10-2008, 09:29 PM   #6
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Unfortunately Herb is right. I had a $153 fill up last Friday. The worst part was that I had to complete the transaction 3 different times due to the $75 limit at the pump. Ok, maybe that was not the worst part...the $153 total beat it out.

Have a great time in DV. I'm guessing it will be pretty spectacular right now after all the winter rain/snow we received. I loved your pre-trip checklist and write up as well.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:29 PM   #7
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The candy shop in Beatty is a good place to buy Diesel. I filled up there before going in and then once on the way out, never had to buy fuel in DV. The spice drops are good too.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:35 PM   #8
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Camping spots

Chloride Cliff is great. Great view and lots of mines to explore. Be sure to hike down to Keane Wonder mine.
It can get very windy up there. When we get blown off the mountain, we head for Cottonwood Canyon.



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Old 03-10-2008, 11:44 PM   #9
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$$$$ limit at fuel pump

If you put it on your charge card WHY is there a limit!!!!! It drives me nuts, I won't go to any station without at least a 100.00 limit. which are hard to find..



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Old 03-11-2008, 11:07 AM   #10
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Have a great trip. It's actually nice weather in Seattle at the moment. But I'm still jealous of a trip to the desert. Should be a lot of fun.
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