Driving along the Colorado is actually a really nice drive. I'm going to have to detour along here next time I ride the Triumph this way!
The Parker dam holds back the Colorado river to create Lake Havasu. Although a lot smaller and less famous than Hoover, it is actually very pretty!
Cross the Bill Williams river which I camped with a view of last night!
First bath of the trip. Who would have thought that Colorado snow run off would be COLD.
In Phoenix gas at Costco was 3.62. In Baker it was 4.85. That wasn't going to be the most expensive gas on the trip by a long shot. I snagged a picture of the worlds tallest thermometer because how do you NOT do that. Plus, who knew that Bobs Big Boy's still existed!?
Dennis and I were the first to arrive at our meeting spot. His 79 Bronco named "Ruff" is great. He knows his way around Fords since he built and was the navigator for the first Trophy Truck back in the early 90's with the Ford Rough Riders. I love this truck. Simple and reliable. This aint his first rodeo.
That's the great Taggart lounging next to the truck.
Dennis's simple lean-to set up. He also has a sleeping platform in the truck. Nice to have options!
Time to sit back and relax while waiting for everyone.
Friendly little ant!
Most everyone had shown up after dark. I had been working hard, drinking beer.
We played with some night vision for a while too. These things are fun!!
The next day we rounded up the group and headed for our first adventure.
Here is Jon's setup.
Steve's Trail edition does great work offroad.
Kevin picked up a new to him LX450/FZJ80 Landcruiser. He'd spent the week before the trip sorting out any issues and doing maintenance etc. Good to see the truck was together and he made it on the trip!
Here's Chui. He's a Sudanese Sand Hound. Bread for Scorpion hunting.
My brothers Tundra. Great truck, just BIG. I was absolutely amazed where we got this big 2wd truck with no issues.
We headed for Warm Springs.
Warm Springs was a Talc mine.
The amount of water in Death Valley is astounding. Everywhere you turn there is another spring gushing fresh water.
Warm Springs is in pretty good condition. Between the many out buildings and the pool it had to be a nice place to call home back in the day.
Just behind the Cabin is a nice spring. This pool of water is deep enough to sit in and just enjoy drinking a brew or two.
Some mining equipment from an earlier generation of mining.
Striped Butte in the background. The Geologists cabin was occupied so we kept on trucking.
Such a great view.
This cabin is another great one. Fresh water and lots of personality.
Fresh spring water.
The group so far!!
This section just before Mengel pass doesn't look to bad, but for the 2wd Tundra it was a challenge. With a little tug we were able to get him over the loose parts without hurting the trail.
Rachael zipping ahead wondering what is taking the big slow 4 wheeled vehicles so long!!
On top of Mengel.
Coming down Goler. We opted not to stop at the Barker ranch this time. We were lucky enough to see it before it was burnt down so visiting what is left just doesn't sound like fun.
Once down in Panamint Valley we decided that it was worth a shot to try and get the famed Briggs Cabin. It's the pinnacle of the Adopt-a-cabin's and our expectations were high.
It's interesting how photo's don't do the steepness of a trail justice. This section was an optional line that was a low range straight up. It's so steep that all of the 4wd trucks were chirping tires a bit as we climbed. In this shot it looks like a flat trail! Haha!
Climbing and climbing some more!
All of a sudden you drop into a canyon and continue to climb. Quite a change in terrain.
This was a great site! At first I thought I was seeing Briggs for the first time, but this is the Stoneman cabin.
Not a bad place to be.
Running water, clean beds, a wood burning stove, solar panels and an indoor/outdoor stereo with Ipod hookups. Not bad for a free cabin owned by no one in the middle of Death Valley!
Hook up a propane bottle and cook away!
Just up the hill we came upon this amazing place. The Briggs Cabin.
This place is just amazing. I'll try to remember most of the great things this cabin has.
There are enough seating areas for a large group. In fact there is room for a group twice the size of ours. A horseshoe pit etc.
The main fire pit. Grape vines growing just above your head and a fig tree giving you shade. Not a bad place to be!
The interior of both of these cabins was well swept and clean. The only way this works is to bring more than you take and leave it cleaner than you found it.
Come on in! If the flag is flying the cabin is occupied. First come, first serve.
The bathroom was stocked and clean!!
Some of the many beds!
Just high enough to have great weather all year round. There were some pictures of the cabin cloaked in snow. I would love to visit in January and enjoy the wood burning stove.
This cabin has an indoor shower with a water heater! Not to mention an outdoor tub.
Everything at Briggs was donated by someone! These outdoor speakers by the Dirt Diggers MC.
Just behind where everyone is sitting they turned the back of this patio into a makeshift swamp cooler. Spring water runs from the overflow valve on the tank and along a radiator of sorts. Then, as the breeze comes through, it feels nice and cool! They had an entire drip system throughout the entire property as well.
Ahhh, breakfast in the cabin!
Plenty of tools to keep things looking and working great!
We decided to stay at the cabin a second night. You can't just leave such an amazing place. We did some day hikes throughout the valley. First up the road grade we're planning to take the next day.
That's one scary old bridge.
Chicken Rock. This can be a sketchy spot! Check out this video of a Pinz almost going over while they winch up a Cherokee that DID go over.
That's a long fall from the bridge!
Hmmm, good time to know exactly what your modified truck REALLY ways.
Home Sweet Home.
Some of these pics are redundant, but none of them do it justice.
Carne Asada time!
We did a little night hike too. This time it was to go and find Chui who had run off looking for his owner. We did find him, but it made for an interesting hike!
At that was that. Tomorrow we head for Saline Valley.