Apr 7, 2013

Mojave Road. MOGETA edition.

Ahhhh yes. The Mojave Road. Everyone's done it.

I think I neglected getting around to it because I saw the pics of others and thought "that looks cool, but not amazing."
So I put it off for years. Finally, I was chatting with a friend who lives near Upland, CA which isn't far from the west end of the Mojave Road and we decided it was a perfect "in the middle" trip. We will start or end near both of our homes. SOLD! Just enough justification to take some time off and get it done.

The drive out from AZ was beautiful. I drove along parts of Route 66 and some other back desert roads.

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The road to nowhere.
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Defacing rocks with graffiti is stupid. It just happened to be sort of pretty at this spot. Still stupid, but pretty.
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Thanks to a good winter the wild flowers are blooming all over the southwest!!
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How could someone throw away Croce. How!?
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This section of road was being plowed because the sand is constantly burying it.
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At the beginning of the Mojave Road. (Truly for an easterner it was the end, but for anyone leaving California (Which is always a good idea) it was the beginning.
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To the Colorado River for us!
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Right at the start you have more water than you do the rest of the trip!
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The second water crossing was fairly deep. No worries for a truck, but definitely for a bike who's rider wanted to stay dry just before camping for the night!
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I could sit and watch the sunset in this canyon every night.
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Well, that's not bad!
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Beautiful again!
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The next morning we headed out east following the train tracks.
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Such a great Bronco!
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Rachael was riding her DRZ400S the whole trip. She had a great friend drop her off at the start and now she was ALL IN. Neither of us had a truck to act as a sag wagon if she broke her bike or herself. AZ or bust!
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This was a random find. It's T-Bone's grave site. He was a fellow who road the rails for many years and had a LOT of friends. Much respect to ol T-bone.
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T-Bone Albright.
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A nice jar with lots of memories and a few beers for T-Bone's spirit.
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The book to sign.
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Some photos of T-Bones life. Original photos so be careful with them.
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Lots of special things for the stranded traveler.
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Time to hit the road again!
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Lots of old train cars and train remnants out here in the desert.
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The sand went from pretty firm to billowing fresh powder. Best to air down. Way down.
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Getting soft!
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Soda dry lake.
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At the top of this pile of rocks is a message for the weary traveler that will enlighten. It is only for those who venture to see it.
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The idea is that travelers in either direction take a rock from the edge of the lake and carry it to the pile to mark their journey.
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The venerable DRZ with 14,000 miles and no rebuilds... yet.
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HOLD your line. Because it's the rules in the preserve AND because if it's wet the crusty layer will break through and you'll be stuck. VERY stuck in a soupy muddy mess like you've never experienced.
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Lost of mining ruins through the desert. You think you have it tough, just imagine what these settles/miners lived like.
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Awesome flower we saw.
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We came across the TOADS Cabin by accident. Looks like even the crapper was empty. Good sign!
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It's a great spot! Heck, I'd live here.
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Please latch the door numb skull!
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This and the reefer were well stocked with dry food and supplies.
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Hmmmm, so I gotta make a shopping list.... photo IMG_1547.jpg

Ohhhh man. We better get the heck outta here before the TOADS get back!
The caretakers...
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You wanna see any more? Go and explore. That's the best way to find amazing things in this world. If not, go see some made up stuff on a cruise or at Disneyland.
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Now that's a great truck! I love it!
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The fireplace is the strongest part of your home. Long after it's fallen down and washed away it may still be standing like this one.
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You can picture it mushing along. A lava flow in the middle of a flat desert.
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Joshua trees are just so impressive. So massive and strange!
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Yep, that's it.
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A long time ago I designed this sticker and sold them. Funny to see one out here.
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We left a water and took the apple. Best not to let a fresh day old apple rot and ruin the rest of the stuff. Some knucklehead must have left it.
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Just because you are in the desert doesn't mean you shouldn't have nice hands? Hmmm, we should get going again.
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You see busses in the most amazing places. I once saw one headed up Goler wash in Death Valley which is a tough trail. Gotta love em.
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Camp for night two!
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A nice old wooden toilet has no place in the desert. Thankfully... it was wood so we could take care of it.
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My buddy Dennis is a cool guy.
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Dennis's dog Taggart sometimes like to play dead. Good boy, STAY. Gooooood.
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Okay, this was a pretty good trip I have to admit.
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On the road again. What a road.
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In a lot of areas the road was so well worn it was 3-5 feet lower than the surrounding desert.
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Railroad marker.
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Pay the Mojave Toll or beware your Karma. On a side note, DAMN that's a big Joshua tree!
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Da bus!
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The bus teleth no lies.
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Someone wanted to pass and got UPSET!
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A downright beautiful corral on the way to Fort Piute. Some people feel that ranching and cattle ruined the west and the terrain. In some cases they can make a point due to overgrazing. I tend to point to the fact that 150 years ago a lot of things weren't done perfectly. I also think that if it wasn't for miners, ranchers and trappers the west never would have become part of the US. For better or worse depending on your families background, it just wouldn't have become part of the US. I for one in a very ethnocentric sense, am glad there were tough enough people to work and live on this tough land.
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Fort Piute. These fort outposts were placed about a days travel from each other with the idea that you could make it from one to the next (and safety) if you did it right.
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This fort had a nice springs along side it.
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Down the trail and almost in site of the Colorado River the terrain changes yet again.
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We made it!
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This was a good shake down run for Death Valley! Pretty easy terrain and short mileage, but it was a great trip all around!
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Campsite, night three.
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Not bad. I'll take it.
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The next morning we bid our good byes to Ruff (The bronco), Dennis (the human) and Taggart (the dog.) Rachael and I linked some good old dirt roads back to Wikieup to meet up with her truck and then head on home!
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Well, that's that. Mojave road is a great trip. I think it would be an epic trip for a beginner and would really give someone a test of map reading, compass and gps skills. For the experience traveler it's a great mellow trip with little stress. It was well worth doing just to see the history associated with the route, but the cabin, flowers and sites were all an amazing bonus!
Till Death Valley, See ya!

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