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Old 11-17-2020, 10:51 AM   #1
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Mojave Preserve - Kessler Peak, Macedonia Canyon and Foshay Pass

Did a three night trip out to the Mojave Preserve this past weekend with a couple of buddies. Stayed the first night right below Kessler Peak. I didn't realize a fire had hit the area recently and it was a strange scene to see all of the burnt joshua trees. Looking in one direction everything was charred and then turning around it wasn't... It got pretty cold the first night and dropped into the high 30s, but the CCV top stayed fairly warm given the circumstances. I also ran my buddy heater for about 15min to warm up the van prior to hopping in bed.

We headed over to Death Valley Mine in the morning followed by Thomas Place. Death Valley Mine has some cool older structures and some wild melons growing out back. One of them grew right in the middle of a wire fence which I thought was cool. Thomas Place had this awesome little dwelling mostly underground.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:21 AM   #2
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We then headed over to Macedonia Canyon trail to get back behind hole in the wall. Trail was a little tricky to get to due to having to drive under the train tracks, van was a little tall haha. We were able to figure it eventually.

We stopped at Columbia mine on the way which was the most difficult off-roading of the trip. There was a challenging steep uphill that was off camber and very rutted. Group consensus was to park and walk at the bottom at first, but then my brother cruised right up in the land cruiser and several others followed. I decided to go for it in the van with the rear locker engaged and surprisingly made it up on the first attempt. Very impressed by the capability despite not having 4wd. In the end only half the group went up and as some members didn't want to risk damaging their vehicles. Unfortunately I don't have many pictures of this portion.

We went from the mine back down and through Macedonia canyon which was a great trail and dumps you right north of hole in the wall on the backside. From there we went south and found an awesome camp site kind of in the Providence mountains area. Got a really nice pano shot of the surrounding area right after sunset. Between the mountains where the sun is shining is Foshay Pass.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:32 AM   #3
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The next day we went to Bonanza King Mine just north of Foshay Pass. It was pretty impressive. There was literally a pit of doom like you would see in Indiana Jones or something that could probably fit a car inside of. The depth was indiscernible. We did a decent amount of exploring here as the mine was big enough to actually go inside. A few of the braver (or stupid depending on how you look at it) members in the group climbed down about a 30' ladder into the mine to check it out. I think that was a vent shaft as we later found the main shaft which was massive.

The trail in was rougher than expected and there was actually a couple of technical sections. Particularly a steep downwhill just prior to reaching the mine. Fortunately the trail was a loop and not an out and back so we didn't have to go back up it on the way out.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:41 AM   #4
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After the mine we headed to Foshay Pass which ended up being one of my favorite sections of the trip. We stuck to the upper power line trail rather than the lower gas line trail which switch backed up through the mountains and provided some incredible views. Nothing too challenging about the trail just an extended uphill that was a little rocky. I kept the air locker on most of the way but only needed it really for one hairpin turn that took us up to a lookout point.

On the backside of the trail coming down we got an epic view of Kelso Dunes. We drove all the way back to Kelbaker Road a where we went a little further south on pavement and then hopped off back to dirt and found a campsite near arrowhead spring. The spot had some nice rock features and was sheltered from the wind. We also had a nice quick exit out to the 40 on Sunday morning to get head back home.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:44 AM   #5
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Couple of bonus van shots for you guys.
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:41 PM   #6
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Awesome. Nice photos. Looks like fun.
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Old 11-17-2020, 02:28 PM   #7
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nice write up, thank you!
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:18 PM   #8
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Very fun trip...always appreciate all the accompanying photos! Little sad when you think of how many places have been scared by all the recent fires.
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
Very fun trip...always appreciate all the accompanying photos! Little sad when you think of how many places have been scared by all the recent fires.
Yeah it was definitely sad to see all the joshua trees burnt. That was my third trip to Kessler peak and it was kind of jarring to see it in that state.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Yeah it was definitely sad to see all the joshua trees burnt. That was my third trip to Kessler peak and it was kind of jarring to see it in that state.
Wow, how wide spread was the fire? That's sad. Did the fire kill the trees or can they survive that?


BTW nice report.
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