Trips taken in 2000.
by Bob & Marilyn Martin
We left early, but at San Bernardino we lost the motorhome transmission. Thanks to our cell phone, Neal, a giant tow truck, and our Toyota pickup camper we made it to camp by 5:00 p.m.
Dick Taylor with Mighty Mouse, Nancy Woodside, Doug Nunn, with Sidney & Murphy, Bill Ott, Dan Messersmith with Spiker, Pete and Bonnie Panattoni, Bob and Betty Oliver with Suki, Bob and Shirley Bolin, Dwight Stroud, Ed and Maxine Manes were all there in the Happy Hour circle, but not waiting for us! OH WELL!
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Baker to Shoshone (Rondy trip)
By Bob & Sue Jaussaud
When we decided to do our usual Friday trip for the annual D.E. Rendezvous, out came the maps and upward went a prayer for divine inspiration in charting a route. And, sure enough, we finally remembered that we had indeed been through this area, maybe 15 years ago (is that possible?) while following Neal Johns. In those days, Neal had a lot more hair and a lot less tummy. (Had a couple of other things too, but can’t mention them in a family publication.) Neal was Dennis Casebier’s ‘chief scout’ and as such he was exploring backroads for what would become the Heritage Trail. We, the new kids on the block, tagged along on many of his exploratory trips. We remembered Cree Camp with its neat old cabin, and the turquoise mine, where we’d actually found some of the stuff. So a tentative route for the Rendezvous was laid out; and, with very little advance notice, Charles & Mary Hughes were able to accompany us on the exploratory trip at the end of February. We took along Dennis’ book, East Mojave Heritage Trail: Ivanpah to Rocky Ridge, which is one of a series of books covering the 600 mile loop trail. There is an incredible wealth of information to be had in these texts. The scouting trip proved the plan to be a winner. Many thanks to Charles & Mary Hughes for accompanying us.
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Sperry Wash (Rondy trip)
by Vicki Hill
Saturday morning the wind was blowing hard enough that the planned hike to Ibex Dunes was cancelled. We didn’t want to spend the day rubbing sand out of our eyes, ears and mouths. Instead, seven vehicles left for the Amargosa River near Dumont Dunes. The sun was warm, and there was plenty of water in the river. As we drove up the canyon towards Sperry Wash, we crossed the river several times. Part of the road is bumpy from lots of motorcycle traffic. Part of it actually has asphalt pieces left from when there was an actual stopping place at Sperry. Nothing is there now but cans, metal and glass and desiccated pieces of wood. An occasional telegraph pole (one still standing) and the berm from the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad is still there, although in the past few years, rains have breached it in many places. Pieces of metal culvert material lie around disintegrating. We stopped at the site at the same time as 3 hikers from BLM. One told us about the wild Longhorn cattle that had just been removed from the area. Apparently remnants from the old days. They were extremely unfriendly and a threat to hikers. No need to keep looking over your shoulder now. We hiked up river a way and walked on the berm. Our group included John and Nancy Hoopes. Allan Wicker, John Page, Bob Meador and Nonie Desurra, Jim, Ryan Colleen and Jeff Kay, Don Summers and myself. A nice sized group!
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Shoshone Day Trip (Rondy trip)
by Neal Johns
Twenty-four vehicles! That’s a bunch, but our fearful leader handled it well. I have to say that or the house, truck and dogs will no longer be available to me as well as certain other things. Marian led the motley crew out of the parking lot Saturday morning and headed south to the BLM improved Salt Springs ACEC. Sure, the water was a little salty, but in the desert who cares? This was a stop on the Old Spanish Trail and a good spot to tarry before heading uphill to even worse water at Bitter Springs (now on Fort Irwin). The BLM has killed the water-sucking tamarisk and put in a bridge and picnic tables. The water level has risen, the native plants are coming back, and the pupfish are doing well.
Next it was off to Sheep Springs, a way station of the Desert Studies Center at Zzyzx. This was located just southwest of the entrance to the Harry Wade route of the lost 49’ers fame. The water was flowing a little, and the shack was in reasonable shape. Many inspected the old car parts and debris of living in this old talc mining area. On the way to Salt Basin, we had to turn west along the edge of the mountains and oops! There was a two-foot bank where Sheep Creek Wash had cut the road. We turned the women loose on the problem and had a ramp of rocks constructed in no time.
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Rendezvous Plant Trip
by Alan Romspert
The final total of vehicles showing up for the rendezvous plant trip to the Kingston Mountains was 14. An itinerary of getting the group from Shoshone and back in six hours (0900 to 1500 hrs), over a distance of 75 miles did not seem to present an unsurmountable task until one considers the logistics. My sweep, Chuck and Jeanice Kalbach (thank you), said I should figure five minutes per vehicle per stop plus any additional time for observation of the plants . With an hour figured in for lunch and two split breaks plus five stops for plant observation and/or pictures (the view of snow covered Charleston Peak in the Spring Mountains in Nevada was spectacular) we would have used up 230 minutes of the 360 minutes allotted for the trip. This left only 130 minutes to drive the 75 miles which meant that an average speed of about 35 mph had to be maintained. I drive like that, Neal Johns drives like that when four-wheeling, but most of our group do not take their vehicles to the body shop as often as some others, not to mention any names.
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by Ken Sears
It started innocently enough—a short trip to Chappa Spring (southeast of Shoshone). With about 10 vehicles in tow (an unfortunate word, as it turns out), we started out and half an hour later, we were there. There was water in the spring, which is surrounded by palm trees. Old cars, a cabin, animal pens, and assorted buildings adorn the site, with a small stream running down the middle. It’s quite a surprise to see this much water in the middle of the arid surroundings.
While looking at the map, I saw a loop trail that would take us back to Shoshone. The night before, I was talking to Bob Oliver, an Old Timer. (An Old Timer is a man who is retired and talks youngsters [me] into doing stuff that will get them into trouble.) He said "Young fella, yesterday I ran that loop trail. It’s OK. Follow the pink ribbons." I was nervous about following pink ribbons. I prefer blue ones. But I said "Let’s go." Everyone followed. I was surprised--they don’t know Bob Oliver (O.T.) like I do.
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By Myrtie Putnam
For starters the geology trip was a lot more interesting than the speech the night before. There’s something about actually seeing the rocks. We went to a mountain beyond Resting Springs and as we climbed the mountain Dr. Cooper explained all the different formations (and rocks that anyone showed him). There were quite a few children and they seemed to really enjoy the climb, and naturally they beat everybody to the top of the mountain. Don and I did not climb all the way to the top. We branched off and went to the tribolite beds. It seems that there are several beds as it was not the same one that the rest of the group went to. We found tribolites at both sites. When we met up again some of the other group went over to the site that we visited. Didn't see them for some time. There was a geology class over there doing some collecting. We got back to camp about 12:45. All in all it was an interesting trip.
Edmund C. Jaeger Nature Sanctuary and Chuckwalla Mountains
April 14-15, 2000
by Reda Anderson
(Note: This trip was originally scheduled to include a tour of the future Eagle Mountain Mine trash dump site north of Desert Center which has been postponed until September due to construction and lack of tour personnel.)
A small party of enthusiastic desert explorers was led through the desert 60 miles east of Indio and a few miles south of Highway 10. The participants were the Trip Leader, Reda Anderson; Debi Cherry and Pamela Ware; Homer Meek and brother-in-law Jim Cox; Allan Wicker and Ding Elnar; and Tail Ends, Chuck and Jeanice Kalbach.
Early Friday morning, the group congregated at the Desert Center Family Cafe, then proceeded east and south to Graham Pass Road (DeLorme, page 110 at D2), a thin ribbon of a trail between the Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness Area 30 feet to the west and the Little Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness Area 30 feet to the east.
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Photography Day Trip/Mojave River Valley Museum Barbecue
by Allan Wicker
This was a day and trip of good fortune for most participants. Before assembling at our meeting point in Barstow, several people dropped off cookies for the Mojave River Valley Museum Barbecue that we would rejoin later in the day. Everyone was on time. We were a group of 8 vehicles, 15 people, 1 dog, and an unknown number of cameras when we started out from Barstow. The weather (a slight wind, not excessively hot) was good.
Shortly after we left the I-40 Freeway near Daggett, a desert tortoise was just completing a road crossing ahead of us. We stopped to take pictures. Being sympathetic to this endangered species, we did our best not to disturb him/her. He/she responded in kind by keeping his/her head and legs out of the shell, and moving around slowly to facilitate our photographic efforts. I took this occasion to distribute a list of photo tips.
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By Robb Anderson and Ana Romero
At first I wasn't sure that I wanted to go; I mean there was an air show at Point Mugu on the same weekend for cryin' out loud!
"Of course, I had fun in Shoshone last month. These Desert Explorers are really great people," I said to Ana who was trying her best to convince me to take her out to the desert for a fun weekend of off-roading and camping. She twisted my arm and I started packing and preparing my 4Runner for the trip.
"What time do we need to be there?" I asked.
"8 a.m. Saturday" was her reply.
Let's see...if it takes 2 and a half hours to get to the desert...hmmmm....
FIVE THIRTY IN THE MORNING!!! ON A SATURDAY??? This better be worth it!
Rocky Mountain High—In Colorado
By Dan Messersmith
Leaders: Bob Martin, John Page
Photos by Dan Messersmith, John Page, and Paul Ferry
The trip began in Ouray at 9AM. Our leaders, Bob & Marilyn Martin were joined by Dan & Matt Messersmith, Doug & Nancy Nunn, John & Lucy Perko, George Gilster, Bob & Shirley Bolin, and John Page with Paul Ferry. We all fell in line with Dan and Matt in the "sweep" position.
The first objective was to enjoy the falls of Box Canyon on the outskirts of Ouray. A very refreshing way to start the day.
After the falls, we were driving up a nearby canyon, towards Yankee Boy Basin. We viewed the Camp Bird Mine operations, Sneffels townsite (AKA Porter) and the Revenue Mine and Mill ruins.
Moving further up the canyon, we visited the area of the Yankee Boy mine and the lovely basin that bears its name. While there were some flowers to be seen, we were a week or two late for the magnificence flowering the basin can produce. It was still quite lovely and well worth the trip.
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Mongolia - Camels, Yaks, Takhis, and Gers
Trip report by Neal and Marian Johns
Where do you find all these things? In Mongolia, of course; everyone knows that. So what is a Lytle Creek couple doing at the end of the earth? Read on.
It started when one of our Desert Explorers ladies named Reda said “You can go with us to the Gobi Desert if you think you can handle the trip at your age”. A challenge! There is no way I wanted to spend the money to travel to the end of the earth, but my manhood was at stake, so I said, “Sure, if Marian thinks she can handle it at her age”. Unfortunately, Marian was eager to go, so off we went. “We” included Joe Daly, Paul Ferry, John Page, Steve Bein, Larry Reese, Marian Johns, Neal Johns and our hardnosed DI, Reda Anderson. The custom trip was set up by Reda working with Boojum Expeditions, which I can’t say enough good things about. While I didn’t work with the US staff as Reda did, the guides and Bobo, the Ulaan Baatar office manager, were first class.
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Panamints, August 12, 2000
By Robb Anderson
Alan promised us that at a higher elevation, there would be some relief from the heat of Death Valley. I really hoped he was right because at 8 a.m. in Ballarat the mercury was already warning us not to spend too much time outside our air conditioned 4x4’s. In attendance were Alan Romspert (our fearless leader), Linda Harris, Bill Ott (the rock counter), Ana Romero, Mike and Phyllis Aguilar, Reda Anderson, Steve Bein, Leonard and Rebecca Friedman, and myself.
We aired down and right outta the gate the trail got challenging. There was slimy water trickling down over the sand covered rocks as we attempted to motor up the hill toward the first of several mines we were to explore. Steve got his Infinity QX3 stuck in a hole and needed to be pulled out by Reda’s Jeep. It was then noticed that the Infinity had a severe toe-in problem. The steering tie rod was now bent at a 90 degree angle. Alan and I proceeded to do our best to straighten it out while the others held a tarp over our heads shielding us from the scorching rays of the sun. After getting the rod fairly straight it was decided to leave the Infinity there and proceed with the trip. Steve rode the rest of the way with Reda.
Without any further mishaps, we had lunch in the shade of an abandoned building near a mine. After lunch we progressed up to higher elevations in an attempt to beat the 100 degree heat. Along the way we spotted several wild asses.
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By Marian Johns with a little help from Neal
Nineteen people in thirteen vehicles met at our home in Lytle Creek for the San Sevaine day trip. Participants were Dave McFarland, Ana Romero and her friend Robb Anderson, Tim Mullins, Roger and Alice Cannon, Dave Cox (my son), Jim Kay and his son Ryan, both driving their own Jeeps, Chuck and Jeanice Kalbach, Dave Welbourn, Mike and Phyllis Aguilar, Reda Anderson, Bob and Shirley Bolin, leader, Marian Johns and current hubby Neal. Son Dave served as Tail End Charlie and picked up the Jeep parts as they fell off.
Well, we had some good luck and some bad luck for this outing. Good luck consisted of the fact that: No Forest Adventure pass was required. I discovered that there are a few days during the year when the fee is waived, and it just happened that the weekend of September 23 and 24 was set aside to honor National Public Lands. I also learned that if you are just passing through National Forest lands, you don’t need a pass. As long as you stay in your vehicle you’re “passing through”. But if you get out of your vehicle you are “recreating” and you do need a pass. There seems to be a blurry line between recreating and passing through. If you are passing through, but have stopped and are still in your vehicle, you’re OK if your engine is still warm. If it’s cold, you’re probably recreating. Are you thoroughly confused now?
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