Death Valley 2014

When the wind storm hit our camp site and knocked down our tents in Moab, we decided to continue our journey towards death valley.  It was a huge temperature change from Moab to Death Valley.  This place looks totally like a different planet.  The first day we went and explored Titus Valley.  Lots of norrow passages.  The second day, we explored Scotty’s Castle and Race track.  Everybody who goes to Death Valley should see Scotty’s Castle. This big mension in the middle of nowhere.  Self sufficient in this extremely deadly environment. And amazing story of a con artist. Race track is full with mysteries.  The name comes from these racing rocks.  Nobody knows how they move and leave these tracks. Well up until we met the scientists who were trying to solve this mystery.  They were doing some research with their satellite gear when we were there.  They told us that they have an answer to this mystery and they will publish it in 3 months time. The third and last day, Dave and I decided to go find Charles Manson’s hiding place.  We got good instructions from another camper and after getting lost a few times, we found the place. It was called Barker Ranch.  Luckily when we got lost, we found 2 or 3 mine sites full with old machinery.  On the way back to campsite we walked the sand dunes. This is a place I would love to go back and explore more.

Got Moabed!

This spring brake 6 jeeps and 11 people took off from Vancouver, BC to get Moabed.  I was one of them. We drove up to Twin Lakes the first day and slept there in a motel to get to Moab the next day. As we got closer the weather got warmer.  As soon as we arrived, Dave and his family, Dillon and me went our campsite called Pack Creek.  It was a good campsite with electric and water hook up sites. The other half of the group stayed in a rental house.

First day we went to do Fins n Things and Hells Gate trails.  The landscape was nothing like we got used to in BC, Canada.  The colors were red, brown and beige.  We were basically driving on the rocks most of the time.  It was like a concrete road. The tires would shriek going over obstacles. The hills were steep and looked like fins.  They were narrow too. It was a big combination of ledges, steep climbs, squeezing through rocks.  The trail was nicely marked with white circles and the tire tracks of thousands of jeeps marked the trail as well.

The second day we did the Elephant Hill trail and hiked through the Joint.  I was so shocked there was such a place on earth.  I basically walking through a crack in the mountain and it was only as wide as my shoulders.  The ground was sandy.  I walked about 7 minutes to get to the other end.

The third day we were on Poison Spyder, Golden Bar and Golden Spike trails. In all 3 days the awww factor and the pucker factor was at its maximum.  Awww! for the scenery and puckering for the obstacles.

Even though we were enjoying the days very much, the nights were cold in the tent.  On top of that, the wind storm on third day flattened my tent.  I put my tent back up but I couldnt do anything about the cold. It was -4C.  I took two rocks and put them into camp fire. When they were hot, I put them in my cooking pot and covered it with slightly wet towel.  Then cuddled it all night to keep warm.

Because of the cold Dave’s family and I decided to end our Moab part of the trip 2 days earlier and decided to head down to Grand Canyon.  After a quick visit to Grand Canyon, we went up to Death Valley.  This was the second big part of  our trip.  The plan was to see the race track, titus canyon, Scottys Castle, Bad Water Basin, craters,  canyons, sand dunes, ghost towns and mines. We did it all. We camped at Stove Pipe Wells campground.  It had a cranky host, a swimming pool and it was in the center of the Death Valley.  It made it easier to get to the trails in every 4 directions. The days was very hot and the nights were perfect temperature to sleep.  Until another wind storm flattened my tent on the third day.  The damage to the tent was unfix-able this time. So it was time for us to hit the road to find a motel.

This was basically the end of our trip.  The road back was one night in Williams, one night in Reno, one night in  Salem.  The route from Reno to Oregon was suggested by a very nice gentleman in the hotel we met in Williams.  It was through route 268 and 395.  It was the craziest windy road like a roller coaster with the views of Sierra Nevada.  There was not a single day in my trip  that wasnt better than the day before it. Everyday I was in full surprise with the landscape, the weather, the history I learned and experienced. The total round trip was 6495kms. The total elevation gained was 8600 ft from -280 t0 8300. Traveled through 7 states.

I will post my pictures and videos under this post later.  Meanwhile here is some of them from my facebook page and instagram page:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.857311170962340.1073741835.297534880273308&type=3

http://www.instagram.com/likes2jeep

Goldbridge

This trip was totally scenic. We have seen the ghost town of Braidan, swam in Kingdom lake with frogs, ate Dutch oven biscuits, saw a couple mines, an old hotel. It was an overall very relaxing camping trip. In fact it was so relaxing that I dont ever remember being so relaxed.

Britannia Copper Mines

We followed the Britannia Creek road up and first discovered old mine car tracks and a concrete structure. Then we went down towards the creek and passed by the old ruins of a swimming pool.  This was old towns public swimming pool. When we arrived the creek, there was a little dam which was part of the power plant.  Then we followed the route up the creek and crossed to creek later to get to the old generator building.  This building’s roof has collapsed.  The machinery and the back wall are still there.