Back in August, I posted to the forum asking if anyone was interested in a group trip to Racetrack in Death Valley for some time in October. There was a great response and all together, seven forum members plus one honorary member attended. They were SteveInLA (Steve & brother Jon), Tapatio (Ron & friend Brad), Christopher Thwaites (Chris, Ruth and Lulu), dig255 (Don), KTMRIDER (Eric and daughter Madison), pinz712 (Tim, Rachael and Felix) and woodbee (Woody).
Let me say this now since the report is long. Thank you all for making this such an enjoyable and memorable trip. I am forever grateful to you all for joining me on this journey and look forward to camping with you again soon.
Oct 4, 2013
The plan was to assemble at Panamint Springs Resort and Campground and camp together on Friday night. My brother and I left mid-morning and arrived in the early afternoon. Woody and Eric were already there. The campground isn't much, but it served its purpose and had a nice restaurant, general store, gas station and showers.
Throughout the rest of the afternoon, the rest of the group arrived except for Don who was spending the night in Warm Springs and would meet us on the trail. There was a new moon that night and several astronomers had set up some impressive telescopes nearby.
Oct 5, 2013
We rolled out after breakfast and aired down at the start of the Saline Valley Alternate Route Rd.
The wind was picking up in the Panamint Valley. We had a great view of the Panamint Dunes and Lake Hill.
We met up with Don at the start of Hunter Mountain Rd., then continued up over the mountain, enjoying the beautiful scenery.
We took a short break at the start of Hidden Valley Rd.
Chris watches as Lulu surveys the trail.
Our first glimpse of Racetrack.
Our camp for the night was about 2 miles past Racetrack near an abandoned mining site.
Brad's impressive Jeep and Adventure Trailer rig.
Felix kept a watchful eye on the camp.
After dinner, Chris broke out the light-up bocci balls.
Then Don dazzled us with his 1000mW industrial laser from wickedlasers.com
Another moonless night far from city lights.
Oct 6, 2013
My brother and I awoke before dawn and drove back to Racetrack to get some pre-sunrise photos.
We made breakfast and waited for the rest of the group to arrive.
Chris and Ruth, Eric and Madison and Woody all headed out Sunday morning. Soon after, Tim and Rachael and Ron showed up and we went back out to the playa.
The night before, everyone signed a teapot and we left it attached to the Teakettle Junction sign.
We then headed to see the Lost Burro Mine while Ron, Brad and Don went ahead to find a place to camp for the night.
That night we camped near the summit of Hunter Mountain among the cedar trees. We "roughed it" by being forced to gather around Don's tiny 30" flat panel satellite television so we could watch the Dodger game.
Don also demonstrated the awesome power of his LED light bar.
The radiation may have been responsible for causing Ron to spontaneously mutate.
Oct 7, 2013
We awoke to an incredible sunrise and gradually made our way back onto the road.
My brother and I stopped to check out the Boxcar Cabin.
At the end of the road, we aired back up and headed home.
All in all, it was an incredible trip and I am sure I will be returning again many times. May I also say that meeting all of you was an incredible experience. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Steve in L.A.