Saturday, November 29, 2014

A day to get ready to move on. 11-29-14 evening.

We went out to breakfast at the Nugget Buffet with Suzanne and Roy. It wasn’t very good but we got filled up anyway. Patti stayed at the casino to play for a while so I went back to the RV to start getting stuff done.

We are leaving Pahrump on Sunday so we are spending the day getting ready to head for Quartzsite. That took until around 1:30.

We went into town to get a couple of things and look for a gas station that we can get the RV into.

Around 3:30 we went over to Suzanne and Roy’s for an early happy hour with them and Sue and Denis. Of course we had a lots of laughs. Around 6:00 Patti and I went back to the RV to get something to eat and relax.

Okay that is about all there is for this day; we leave for “Q” in the morning around 9:00

Wheeler Pass. 11-29-14


We left the RV park around 10:00 and turned east on the street in front of the park.
After a hundred yards or so the street turned into a dirt trail.


We followed this trail east toward the mountains. Our destination, Wheeler Pass.

As we drove along we noticed a lot of Yuccas growing in the desert.


At first we weren’t sure if they were Yuccas or young Joshua trees. Then we started seeing actual Joshua trees and the difference was obvious.


Joshua trees are interesting in that they seem to grow in a narrow band at an altitude from 2000 to 6000 feet. As it turns out they are indeed a type of Yucca.
If you would like more information on Joshua trees here is a web site for you to read.

We continued our ride through the desert heading for the mountains.


We came to a wide, graded, dusty road and followed it for a while.


We encountered several groups of people on ATV’s throughout the day.


As you can see the air temp was quite cool and the ATV people were bundled up for the cold.

We continued on, getting closer to the mountains. You can see the trail winding through the desert in the distance.


Eventually we turned off the wide road onto a smaller track. As we entered the foothills we saw many interesting rock formations.


We eventually came to some old Charcoal Kilns. These were not in as good a shape as the ones at Wild Rose. But they haven’t been refurbished like the ones there.


Our next stop was just up the road to where the people who were operating the kilns had their camp. There was a good spring in the area. There was some black pipe connected to this large spring box.


The water was very clear and cold and the flow was about the same as our Broken Handle spring at the cabin.


It had apparently been very cold the previous night because there was a layer of ice on the wet ground around the spring box.


From here the trail starts climbing the mountains in earnest.

As we climbed we passed the grumpy old man of the mountains.


He looks a bit like a “Rock Troll”.

After climbing for a while we eventually came to Wheeler Pass. When we got there the wind was blowing a gale across the summit and it was very cold so we didn’t tarry there.

Here is the view to the east from Wheeler Pass.


We headed down the east side of the mountains looking for a suitable lunch spot.


Eventually we found a place in a wash that was somewhat protected. We arranged the Jeeps to block some of the wind and had a nice lunch.
I tried to get a picture of all of us at lunch by using a tripod and the self portrait setting on the camera. After several tries I finally got the right buttons pushed and just made it, falling into my chair it in time to get in the picture.


We continued on after lunch and drove through a small settlement of what appeared to be vacation homes and lots.


Denis found a trail that looked like it would take us to Indian Springs which was our intended destination. We turned down this trail and followed it for a mile or so



We held a council and decided that it was getting too late to do any more exploring so we turned around and headed back to the main trail which had become a wide graded road. We turned east on this road and drove a short distance until we came to a large parking area for ATV’s etc. that is where we came to a paved road going down into the eastern valley and Hwy. 95.

Along this road we saw some wild horses and stopped for some photos of same.


I think these horses are used to getting hand outs from passing motorists so they weren’t all that wild.


After saying good by to the mustangs we continued to Hwy. 95.  Where the road meets 95, there is a large prison on the north side


and a conservation corps camp to the south, which still looked like a prison to me.


When we got to Hwy. 95 we turned north toward Indian Springs. About twenty five miles north of Indian Springs we turned west on Hwy.160 toward Pahrump. The sun was setting as we drove through the mountains.


After dinner we we went over to Suzanne and Roy’s to play cards.

It was a fun ride and another long day.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving day off. 11-28-14

We stuck around the RV for most of the day.
I worked on the blog from Wednesday’s ride to Death Valley.
It took me about three hours to finish it.

Around 11:30 Patti and I went to Walmart to do some grocery shopping.

At 2:00 we met Suzanne, Roy, Sue and Denis at the Nugget Casino for a Thanksgiving Buffet; it was okay but I still ate too much. Patti did a little gambling after dinner and came out $30.00 ahead.

We got back to the RV around 4:00; the sun was setting by 5:00 and Patti got some pictures of the sunset.


Okay, that’s it for Thursday.
Tomorrow we are going for a ride in the mountains just outside of Pahrump.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Death Valley Day. 11-27-14


Happy Thanksgiving!!

We planned to leave for Death Valley yesterday around 8:00am.
I planned to get up at 6:00 so I would have time to work on the blog before we left on the ride.
As it turned out our clock in the bedroom was still set for mountain time so when I woke up and saw that it read 6:25. I jumped out of bed and hurriedly took care of my morning routine. When I walked into the kitchen I noticed the clock on the wall and it read 5:45.
Oh well, I will at least have plenty of time to work on the blog from the previous days drive.

Around 8:00 we left the RV park and headed north from Pahrump.


We turned west on State Line Road. We saw this pretty cool house built against the side of a huge rock outcrop. The builder did a pretty good job of blending in but I think he blew it on the roof. The effect would have been better if he had used some grey roofing.


We followed State Line Rd. until we came to Death Valley Jct. At the intersection we saw this building. I don’t know if they have opera here.


We turned right on 127 then left on 190 toward Furnace Creek.


The drive is very scenic with lots of colorful mountains in the distance


and along the road.


We stopped at the Visitors center to pay the fee (it’s free for senior pass holders) and get some maps.


From the visitors center we drove north through the valley until we came to the turn off to Stovepipe Wells. As you drive through the valley you drop to an elevation of – 266 ft. We passed a sign that read Sea Level


then started down hill.


We turned left at Stovepipe Wells and followed this road until we came to Emigrant where we turned left on Emigrant Canyon Rd.


We stopped to check out an abandoned mining operation just off the Emigrant Pass Road.


There wasn’t much there just some cement foundations and these tanks and a hopper of some kind.


We went over Emigrant Pass, 5318 ft.

Our destination is the Charcoal Kilns in Wild Rose canyon. So far we have been driving on pavement all the way to the wild Rose Campground. Past there the road turns to dirt and rock.

The kilns were built in 1879 by a Swiss engineer using Chinese labor.


They burned Pinion Pine in the air tight Kilns and the resulting charcoal was hauled to The Modoc Mine where it was used to melt lead from the rich ore of the mine.

We wandered around the Kilns for a while


taking pictures from the outside


and the inside.

Below is the rear exhaust port of the kiln. 


This is looking straight up.


The Kilns have a great echo inside so a few “OHM’S” were called for, “Ohmmm” I couldn’t resist.
After a short consultation


we decided to have lunch at the Kiln’s.


From here it is a bumpy, dusty dirt road to  Mahogany Flat Camp Ground at 8,133 feet in elevation. 


We passed some snow on the ground as we drove higher into the mountains.


The newer jeeps were experiencing transmission heat temperature issues so we had to stop a couple of times to let the transmissions cool down.


At Mahogany Flat there is a trail head for Telescope Peak (11049 ft.) it is an 8 mile hike.
About Forty years ago I camped at Mahogany Flat and hiked to the peak. But that was forty years ago, not now.

We hung around Mahogany Flat for a short time and then headed down the mountain. When we got back to Emigrant Canyon Road we turned right and headed back toward the junction at Emigrant.

On the way we took the turn off to Aguereberry Point.
We passed the Eureka gold mine and decided to check it out on the way back.

The view from Aguereberry point was pretty spectacular as you can see the whole Valley spread out before you.


We walked around the point for a while enjoying the views.


After a while we headed back down the road and stopped to check out the Eureka Gold Mine. We took the turnoff and drove to a parking area where we could see some structures


and a tunnel.  We walked to the tunnel but of course it was closed off.


We wandered around the area for a while taking some pictures.
I think this was the powder magazine.


We worked our way around the hill and came to the large structure that we could see from the parking area. It turned out to be the old stamp mill.


From the Eureka Mine we started our trek home. We had driven so far that all of our jeeps gas tanks were getting low. Clifford was down to a quarter of a tank. We stopped at the Gas station at Stove Pipe Wells. I poured the three gallons from my gas can into the tank. Even though Denis’s Jeep was also down to 1/4 tank he decided to try and make it home without getting any gas.
I left a little gas in the gas can just incase he didn’t make it. When we got to Death Valley Junction he radioed us saying that his low fuel indicator light came on. We pulled over and added what little gas I had into his tank. It was only about a quart.
Back on the road again we headed for home. About 25 miles later we came to a gas station so Denis and Roy filled up there jeeps. I still had plenty of fuel to get us home so we continued on. We stopped at Carl’s Jr. for a quick bite to eat.

It was a fun but long day. Patti had only been to Death Valley once many years ago with me in my van (Pig Pen). We only saw the Titus Canyon and Scotties Castel on that trip so it was great to do more driving around the valley so she could appreciate the scenery.