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Old 12-27-2008, 12:05 PM   #1
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Thanksgiving in DV trip rpt.

Well, there is a first for everything so bare with me on this trip report.

It was a great trip. The hard part for me was resizing pics and posting and writing. Not that I don’t like to share, just a bit different then sitting around the fire talking about it on a future trip. Actually, I have a hard time sitting in one place this long. LOL.

Ok then, we spent a week in DV over the 'T' day holiday.

Day 1 Sun, Flew in a bit late via 178 straight to Furnace Creek. Since it was our first camping visit to DV thought it was best to go ask about the road conditions. Also needed to get info on the expected rains on the way.

Yep, Rangers said we should prepare for heavy rain. So we got an ear full of do's and don'ts to consider as well as a lot of good ideas on places to stay.

Before heading back to spend the night at Hole in the Wall we spent the rest of the day checking out Badwater, the Natural Bridge, and Artists Canyon.


The next day Monday, headed out from hole in the wall. Did Titus Canyon, stopped at Ubehebe Crater to have some lunch and decided to get to the Racetrack before the rain hit. We camped that night just south of the Racetrack. It was great! Had a great view of the Playa, watched the fighter jets practicing overhead and hiked all over the place. We were the only ones there.

The next day, Tues we explored the mines along the Lippincott trail and then we headed back to the crater for some grub and a hike around and to the bottom of the crater. Then off to the Eureka Dunes.... Thought that to be a good place for the rainy times.

At the Dunes, we got there just in time to set up camp...LOL pop the top!
And the rain hit and yep I mean it was a torrential downpour for the next two days. It basically didn’t stop. No wind made it possible to put the awning out and a little foil for a home made rain gutter between the van top and the awning over the double doors made it real nice. Picture this- heater blowing, the doors wide open and NO leaks on the porch made it possible to have a nice breakfast and in the evening some popcorn and a movie.....yes I think I am becoming a bit of a techno junkie (for me anyway). My wife laughed when I said let's watch a DVD and she realized I actually was prepared too.

When the rain let up, we were able to hike the dunes. This was a must do! Very cool and the fact the rain made the sand very heavy and compact made it very easy to walk on, nothing like when it's dry.

After being able to get out and hike the dunes I was tired of staying in one place in the rain so the thought was to move to a higher elevation and see if it was cold enough to get snow. So we headed off to Rogers Peak and yep we had snow. Over the past 4 days we had gone from 85 degrees to heavy rain to snow and decided this is where we would have Thanksgiving dinner....We are Thankful ...... this was great.

The next day Friday we headed back stopped at the kilns and then thru Stovepipe Wells and on to Ballarat via Panamint Valley rd. Stopped at the store in Ballarat to ask what the rains did to the road and the good ol' guy just laughed and said sure you can do Mengal Pass. I checked with a few others in the area (jeepers) and we decided to go for it.

Slow but not to bad getting over the pass, the back side had some pretty big ruts but it was a lot of fun and a great learning curve....These SMB's are TANKS all locked up in 4x4. We made our way out past the cabins and set up camp right at the base of Stripped Butte. The stars that night were fantastic. No pics I am sorry all I have is a phone camera and an old point/shoot..........note to self get a good camera!! The next day we headed back to 178 but first we stopped off at all the mines on the way.

After making our way to 178 we aired up for the asphalt trip home.

Take aways: # 1 Thankful we can and did this trip, #2. very helpful rangers at Furnace Creek and would recommend stopping their #3 go see for your self even if others say it is closed due to rain or snow, and #4 Go back - there's lots more to see.

Sorry if this was too long, there are a few more pics in the album.[/size]

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Old 12-27-2008, 12:57 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing your awesome adventure CJ. Great pics!

"I do, cellularSTEVE" :o)
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:54 PM   #3
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Great write up and pics CJ. Sounds like you really put the miles on. Makes me want to go back. I've never been to the racetrack yet.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:44 PM   #4
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Awesome trip! I liked your report. Now more than ever I want to go back and do the Mengle Pass. I have done it in my Jeep but not in the SMB yet.

Thanks for the write up!

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Old 12-28-2008, 08:43 AM   #5
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Excellent trip report. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

You are certainly using the SMB the way it was meant to be used.

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Old 12-29-2008, 08:41 AM   #6
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Hey CJ,

Great report! Thanks for taking us along (if only in our minds). I especially like the image of your rig taken from a distance at what looks to be near Eureka Dunes.

I was told that the N.P. Rangers removed the rocks from the Racetrack for fear of vandalism or something. Based on your picture, it looks like at least one is still there. Did you see more?

Thanks again!

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Old 12-29-2008, 09:29 AM   #7
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"Removed the rocks for fear of vandalism"
it was good to be back
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:33 AM   #8
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Is that vandalism OF the rocks? or WITH the rocks?
Greg in Austin
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:55 AM   #9
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Blackeye, your right on, it's the dry camp at Eureka Dunes.
Rocks, those crazy rocks....yes there were plenty more but you have to hike across the playa about a quarter mile from the road at the south end. There were plenty more rocks there, LOL

Big ones, little ones, all seemingly going in different directions. The Rangers told us it's the visitors that take them and they don’t want to hike too far out to get them so that’s why we needed to walk across the playa at the south end to see a lot of them.

The first pick is looking across the playa to where the rocks are. The others are from up on the hill looking down.

Sorry about the picture quality, it was real cloudy, Rain was on the way!

I found it pretty amazing and even more amazing no one knows how or why. Lots of dispelled theories though.

Thanks for the kind words glad you enjoyed the trip,
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:01 AM   #10
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What ever gets the rocks off!!!!!

The playa, I mean the dry river bed dear what'd ya think I mint

Did I spell that wrong?

sorry, I dint know she was looking over my shoulder

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