SteveInLA's trip report
My wife Carmen and I hit the road early Friday and rolled into Panamint Springs early Friday afternoon. Andy, Simon and Smokey and Nancy beat us there and the rest of the group trickled in throught the day. By evening, the gang was all here and the "van talk" was in full swing. In attendance:
Steve & Carmen (SteveInLA)
Andy & Diesel (Brit55)
Ron, Curly & Pinto (Tapatio)
Smokey & Nancy (nandunoon)
Ted & Cinamon (Wearethegoods)
Stevo & Donna (stevovenice)
Ron & Charlene (daytona323)
Eric & Jackson (KTMRIDER)
Ken, Tammy & Lucy (hogphoto)
Saturday morning we gathered at the gas station.
The true heroes of the trip!
We aired down at the start of the Saline Valley Road.
After an hour, we stopped to stretch our legs.
As we approached Teakettle Junction, the washboard got worse and worse. We made a quick stop to let out more air and rattled on.
Group shot at Teakettle Junction.
Sadly, the teakettle we left in 2013 was no longer there. This tradition is in no danger of dying out, it seems.
This year's contribution.
We filled the parking lot at The Grandstand.
The damage from the recent vandalism was sad to see but overall, the playa is in pretty good shape. Time will heal even this wound.
Jackson was the first to summit. It must be the shoes.
Cinamon looking lovely as always.
That night we went to sleep to the sounds of strong winds and awoke to the sound of rain, but it didn't last long.
Dramatic clouds overhead as the sun rises. A time-lapse video of the clouds can be viewed here.
We packed up and hit the road once again.
On the way back we made a side trip to see the Lost Burro Mine. Some history of this mine can be found here
As we started up Hunter Mountain, the rain came down. The road was slippery and steep and at the top, very foggy. I terrified Carmen by taking this picture while driving.
Every one of us made it out without a hitch, even Eric with his stock front bumper. Though some of us slipped around a bit, it is always amazing to experience how capable these vans can be. The off-road newbies in the group definitely earned their stripes on this day.
At this point, most of the group departed. A few of us spent one more night at the Panamint Valley Resort and enjoyed the sunset and a starry night.
Monday morning, Carmen and I did a quick hike to Darwin Falls, then left Death Valley for home.
Words can't express how grateful I am to all the people who attended. I feel I made some life-long friends on this trip and can't wait for our next adventure. Thank you thank you thank you all!
Steve and Carmen