From there we retraced our path until we were again on Camp Rock Road; then on to Ord Mountain Road. That eventually took us to SH 247, where we then headed north to the Slash X Café, a very popular place with desert motorcyclists, ATV and UTV riders, and four wheelers . Mal informed us that the Clampers (Billy Holcomb chapter of E Clampus Vitus) had recently installed a monument dedicated to the Slash X. After a nice lunch there, with Mal’s help we found the Stoddard Wells close to Stoddard Valley Road. Further along that road we came to the Lucerne Valley Cutoff, which eventually took us back to SH 247. Looking for a way directly across to our campsite, we found some trails. As we were going, Marian asked if we knew where Hercules’ Finger was; moments later there it was. Mal and Nelson tried to get closer but it was too difficult. A little further on we had a spectacular view of the desert valley and could see our site far below.
Despite the forecast of rain, there was none - but there were high winds. An outside potluck seemed out of the question, so the remaining twelve of us crowded into our motor home. Crock pots were plugged in, items warmed in the microwave, snacks served, and the spread laid out. Cozy but workable, and all seemed to be glad to be out of the high wind and cold. The food was great!
Next morning we got an earlier start to head north on Troy Road, a trail that eventually lead to Route 66. On the way, there were some steep hills that everyone managed well, and we went on to the Grand Canyon of the Rodman Mountains, a very scenic trail. When we reached Route 66, we turned right, passing the Bagdad Café and on to Pizgah Crater. Upon reaching the crater, we drove to the top and parked. Leonard hiked out and found a lava tube, and then he was accompanied by Bob and Nelson to explore further and found more. After telling them our plan, the rest of us went back down to where there had been a working site, to examine equipment and buildings. We waited for the others for quite a while, and since there was no further itinerary, the rest of the group then went home. I went back up to see what they were up to, and found them gone. Subsequently I’ve learned they’d found more tubes in a different area – we just missed each other on radio and visually. They got home safely, though. So, I only lost 3 out of 12; that’s 75%, a passing grade, isn’t it? Many thanks to all who braved the elements and came. -Ted and Sue