May 1, 2013

ERDV's- Valley 'O Death Trip 2013

CAZADORES!!! Welcome my friends to the 2013 edition of our Death Valley trip. A sacred institution it had become. After too much of that silly blacktop we arrived after dark at Sheep Springs. There used to be another adopt-a-cabin, but the "bureau of land grabbing maggots" (BLM) bull dozed it in 2011. (the locals aren't fond of the BLM and I can understand their feelings.) As we drove up the canyon we knew at least one other ER'r was somewhere in this canyon so we called out for him on the radio. In a whisper "Caaaazaaaadoooooreeeeeees.".... "Caaaaaaazaaaaaadoooooooreeeeeees, come out and plaaaaay aaaaaay." Nothing at first. Then when we were nearly at the end of the cabin I hear a sleepy fellow yelling back at us. He was alive and just like a good ER'r he had partaken in the Tequila and already fallen asleep! We are getting pretty gnarly in our old age! The next morning we were treated to this view though.
 photo IMG_1687.jpg So then there were four.  photo IMG_1688.jpg  photo IMG_1689.jpg Then we spent some time checking out the new Power Wagon. Oh, it's powers are great. This one is quite impressive. If the marker lights weren't Federal Government looking enough the spot lights finished the look. This thing is boss. I've gotten to enjoy a Power Wagon before and seeing it do jeep trails was a thing of beauty and quite an oddity!
 photo IMG_1690.jpg It was time to get on our way!
 photo IMG_1691.jpg Here we go.
 photo IMG_1696.jpg If you haven't been to Death Valley there is mining evidence everywhere.
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 Warm springs! This would have been a great place to be in the valley. It has a nice and warm spring.... hence the name, and that spring once fed this pool.
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 This particular mining camp is a bit easy to get to so it deteriorates each year.  photo IMG_1700.jpg King of the camp, king of the camp.  photo IMG_1702.jpg
 Wild burro's are everywhere. Extra points for the albino ones.  photo IMG_1707.jpg photo IMG_1708.jpg Striped Butte!  photo IMG_1711.jpg  photo IMG_1717.jpg Not a bad view.  photo IMG_1714.jpg  photo IMG_1713.jpg This is one of the smallest cabins, but one of my favorites.  photo IMG_1709.jpg  photo IMG_1720.jpg
 We made it to Russel's Camp!  photo IMG_1718.jpg  photo IMG_1722.jpg Parking spots. Fancy.  photo IMG_1726.jpg  photo IMG_1727.jpg Nice brand new bathroom with a solar powered motion activated lights!  photo IMG_1729.jpg
Not a bad place to stay for the night!  photo IMG_1730.jpg  photo IMG_1734.jpg Hike up to manly peak!  photo IMG_1741.jpg
 Not a bad place to sit.  photo IMG_1742.jpg  photo IMG_1744.jpg These adopt a cabins are like an oasis in a lonely place. Pretty bird, pretty bird!  photo IMG_1756.jpg Striped Butte at sunset  photo IMG_1761.jpg And at sunrise  photo IMG_1770.jpg Ernie is a ladies man... dog.  photo IMG_1766.jpg  photo IMG_1769.jpg No place I'd rather be.  photo IMG_1772.jpg Danger danger!  photo IMG_1745.jpg

 The big Dodge did well in some very tight spots.  photo IMG_1747.jpg
 Mengels grave.  photo IMG_1750.jpg

The road to Panamint!  photo IMG_1751.jpg  photo IMG_1754.jpg Time to head to Panamint!  photo IMG_1776.jpg Pretty stock 80 series had no issues. This is the worst I've seen the pass in years.  photo IMG_1778.jpg  photo IMG_1780.jpg There's more water in Death Valley than in the Valley of the Sun here.  photo IMG_1784.jpg  photo IMG_1786.jpg
 Down Goler wash.  photo IMG_1787.jpg Minietta Cabin.  photo IMG_1789.jpg  photo IMG_1791.jpg Not a bad set up.  photo IMG_1794.jpg  photo IMG_1795.jpg The mine just above Minietta.  photo IMG_1799.jpg  photo IMG_1800.jpg

 Old air compressore.  photo IMG_1802.jpg  photo IMG_1803.jpg

Scary mines. I wouldn't recommend going in.  photo IMG_1811.jpg  photo IMG_1812.jpg Where is Indiana Jones when you need him!  photo IMG_1816.jpg  photo IMG_1822.jpg  photo IMG_1825.jpg
 Another great day.  photo IMG_1827.jpg  photo IMG_1831.jpg Make sure you have AAA for you VW bus!  photo IMG_1833.jpg When filling up in Death Valley, be prepared to be in pain at the pump!  photo IMG_1834.jpg
 OUCH! Power Wagon, NO! Stop drinking!  photo IMG_1836.jpg
 This morning we headed to the town of Darwin.  photo IMG_1840.jpg The birthday boy.  photo IMG_1842.jpg A giant compressor for moving water up from Darwin springs to the town of Darwin.  photo IMG_1844.jpg
 The town of Darwin.  photo IMG_1847.jpg Renault.  photo IMG_1848-1.jpg No gas...  photo IMG_1849.jpg

If you spotted the creepy statue he'll haunt you for a month like he's done to me.  photo IMG_1850.jpg King Ernie!  photo IMG_1851.jpg

 Time to go do some line dancing. The ERDV crew.  photo IMG_1854.jpg On the way to Saline Boxcar cabin is a great place to stop for lunch.  photo IMG_1856.jpg It's not one of the nicer cabins.  photo IMG_1859.jpg Danica and I decided to do a side trip to the top of the mountain above Saline Valley. We were looking down on Saline and even the racetrack from about 8,000 feet. The little flat light tan area in the middle left of the picture is the Racetrack.  photo IMG_1863.jpg  photo IMG_1862.jpg  photo IMG_1865.jpg The roads up here go from skinny to treacherous.  photo IMG_1866.jpg Yikes!  photo IMG_1867.jpg And this is why I will hang out in a cabin, but never sleep in them!  photo IMG_1869.jpg

 We found Nelson Cabin.  photo IMG_1870.jpg

 Nice place!  photo IMG_1871.jpg  photo IMG_1872.jpg  photo IMG_1875.jpg  photo IMG_1876.jpg It was great. As we stood on top of the ridge we could talk to the rest of the group 7000 feet below at the valley floor like we were standing next to them.  photo IMG_1881.jpg

 We decided to channel the desert racing gods and rally from there down to the valley floor and try to catch
the other ER's.
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 Putting up an awning is a team sport.  photo IMG_1883.jpg Thank goodness mine is easy to set up.  photo IMG_1884.jpg  photo IMG_1887.jpg  photo IMG_1888.jpg  photo IMG_1890.jpg The crew in it's natural habitat. Right next to the springs.  photo IMG_1892.jpg Arrrr  photo IMG_1894.jpg

 King of the valley, king of the valley.  photo IMG_1898.jpg Beware the wandering naked hippie at the hot springs. They will talk you out of 4 beers before you know what happened! That being said Martina... Martini by night as she says, was a nice German and a strange person. haha.
Poor Chui is sitting in the 4runner wondering what all the hubub is about.  photo IMG_1899.jpg The next morning we had to run. Time to head out!  photo IMG_1904.jpg One last quick stop at the cabin.  photo IMG_1906.jpg  photo IMG_1909.jpg Mmmm  photo IMG_1911.jpg

 About half way home we stopped and camped along the colorado river near Lake Havasu.  photo IMG_1912.jpg It was another great trip that went by WAY too fast. A chance to see family and friends. Work, bills, day to day life, they all have to happen, but things like this you have to MAKE happen. Until next time ER's of DV.

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