This was a fun trip and we truly enjoyed everyone's company. Sportsmobile owners are all characters and this group was no exception. The sights were amazing and the roads unforgettable. You could spend weeks exploring this area.
Our rendezvous point was the Trona Pinnacles. Woodbee (Woody) and Christopher Thwaites (Chris and Ruth) were already at the Pinnacles when we arrived. Yvvr (Jack and Jacque) arrived a few hours later. Charlie56 (Charles and Dina) arrived very early in the morning the next day. After a quick breakfast we headed out of the Pinnacles and over to Slate Range Trail.
Woodbee at Trona Pinnacles
After surviving the zombie apocalypse that is Trona we headed to the Slate Range Trail. This is a well groomed road up to the summit.
The drive down Slate Range provides spectacular views of Panamint Valley.
The alluvial fan dropping into Panamint Valley is rock strewn, very slow going, no fun.
Road along the bottom of Panamint Valley and the dry lake.
Road leading into Coyote Canyon.
The water fall was ahead. This is something I had been looking forward to for months.
Charlie56 got up it the first try. Cool, this is going to be easy!
My first attempt was in four wheel drive only, no lockers. After failing to climb the falls twice I decided to lock up my rear axle. I got a little further but still no luck. The group told me that my front wheels were not spinning in conjunction with the rears. Hmmm, thatís weird. I decided to pull out all the stops and lock up both axles. I finally made it up, phew. What I didnít realize was my passenger side Warn hub was not engaging. It was set to lock but the axle spun freely.
My SMB is going into a local 4X4 shop this week to see whatís wrong. [EDIT] Turns out the c-clip on the inner hub was not properly seated. No damage or broken parts luckily.
Christopher was next. He climbed up the falls with ease. His rig has front lockers and limited slip rear. After seeing me struggle yvvr decided to use his winch. Sorry I made it look so hard JackÖ
Woodbee took a different approach. He decided speed was the solution. I have no idea what gear he was in but he charged up the falls going what must have been 7-10 mph. Iím pretty sure I heard Ride of the Valkyries blasting on his stereo or maybe it was Sammy Hagarís I Canít Drive 55, hard to tell at that speed. Nice job Woody!
We visited Barker Ranch and then headed up to Mengel Pass. The road down Mengel was steep and very rocky. Low 1st gear all the way down.
We met up with Ford_6L_E350 (Mike) near the Geologist Cabin in Butte Valley. The drive from the Pinnacles took all day and it promised to be a very windy night so we found a semi protected ravine a few miles away. We huddled together like cows in a storm that night.
The next day we visited the local cabins in Butte Vallley, Geologist, Russell and Stella.
Group photo in front of Geologist Cabin.
We took Butte Valley road and headed further down into Death Valley. After stopping for lunch at Warm Springs we decided that this would be the campsite for the 3rd night.
Christopher carved out a nice campsite under this tree.
View of the valley from the top of Warm Springs
Passenger van windows do come in handy!
Mike brought a SMB trailer full of wood which made for a nice warm campfire that night. It was cold and windy but we managed to play a few rounds of Bocce with Christopherís trick LED balls.
The next day we headed down to the valley floor and up to Furnace creek where everyone grabbed some fuel, food and a shower. That was the end of the trip for us and we headed back home. Thanks for the fond memories everyone.