We woke up and headed back by the warm springs on our way to Lippencott Mine. The night before a gentleman at the hot springs told the whole group that there was no way he'd take a full size 4x4 let alone a 2wd up Lippencott Mine road. Now that everyone was a bit leery I decided that we would at least check it out. I had never done the road either so I was open to turning around if it got gnarly.
We headed back by the lower and larger warm springs.
On the way back there is an optional road through the dunes that is on my Nat Geo Death Valley map. We decided to take it and it was like riding on a cloud. The sand is a very fine billowy kind unlike the larger rougher grains of glamis of baja. It really did feel like riding on a pillow!
We stopped to chat for a second before the shelf road. I staggered the trucks 4X4 and 2wd. A couple of things I suggested every person get before the trip were FRS Radios, 10 Gallons of extra gas, and 5 Gallons of water per person at least. Everyone got everything they needed. It was really nice having radio communications while on the trail. We could help people spot, tell about oncoming traffic and just generally have fun and tell jokes. I prefer HAM frequencies for distance, but these FRS radios worked great for line of site. We actually had clear communications from one cabin all the way to Ballarat which was at least 15 miles at one point.
The trail had some wash out's that gave everyone a little excitement and some of that feeling of tilting out to the cliff side.
We latched up tow straps a couple of times to help the 2wd trucks get up some of the steep and loose rock sections. Lippencott takes little or no articulation so it's really just an exercise in basic 4x4 and low range to get up it. With 2wd it took some smooth driving and throttle control to get the 2wd's as far as they did without needing more strapping.
I have to give a nod to the Jeep Commander 2wd. It made it up the whole pass without a strap. I credit it to good driving, weight over the rear drive wheels and a killer traction control that would put the brakes on whichever rear tire tried to spin out!
Toyota's helping Toyota's! It's a wonderful world!
More amazing flowers.
We passed a couple of Park Rangers along the pass. Very friendly guys. After all, besides saving ill prepared tourists all day, they have a great job!
Next we headed over to the Racetrack. I hoped that this year there would be more rocks since some people like to steal what they believe are magic rocks... Come on people. Slick flat wet surface and wind...
Chui! Sense the magic!
It's a profound spot and a great place for pictures!
The road to the track and back to the crater was in amazing condition. Last year it was a whoop de doo road and this year it was flat as can be.
We blasted on over to Tea Kettle Junction.
Lotta tea kettles!
Stopping to check out the Ubehebe crater.
We dropped by Scotty's Castle and gave some gas to some Harley Riders. We then headed into Nevada and up into the Queer Mountains.
Gotta love the art on the way up the mountain.
This house is amazing! Check out more info here: http://www.hardluckminecastle.com
We headed up to a very small and rarely used Adopt-a-cabin that we found last year.
A mine right at the back door.
At our final campsite of the trip we got a much needed fire going. It was going to be in the 30's this night.
Tired T and D!
It was a COLD night.
The folks in tents had a rough night, but we headed back down to the highway to air up and head home. Along the way we headed by some of the items at Hard Luck City.
I have to admit. It was a sad time airing up the tires.
We headed into Beatty for a fuel up and some food. (said like Warren Beatty)
On the way we saw several uhhhhh whore houses. This one has it's own airport because.. ya just never know?
We went to this bar/restaurant because it looked cool and because it was just about the only one open.
This place was awesome.
I was seeing a theme. When I hear that the couple that owns this place was from Orange County I'm not surprised.
The bathroom was great!
We headed home. I was tired of taking pics so we just cruised on home and stopped in Wickenburg for some dinner.
Talk about a great trip. I'm still thinking about it. Good times!!!
I just heard that two of the trucks running stock tires now have a flat thanks to Death Valley. Again, it's the curse of CAZADORES!!!!
See yall next time.
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