2019 Trips (62)

Reports on trips taken in 2019.

Thursday, 13 February 2020 21:58

2019 - DE Meeting minutes , 12-7-2019

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DE Meeting Minutes

Saturday, December 7, 2019

We had a brief meeting before the DE Holiday Party at the Wicker’s:

Meeting Open 12:05 p.m.

Regrets Vicki Hill & Dave McFarland, Mignon Slentz, Steve Jarvis & Kate Fosselman, Bob & Sue Jaussaud

Attending Allan & Ding Wicker, Ron Lipari, Marian & Neal Johns, Terry & Eileen Ogden, Bill & Julie Smith, Axel Heller, Jerry Dupree, Dave Burdick, Bill Neill, Nelson & Mari Miller, Emmett & Ruth Harder, Debbie Miller-Marschke & Steve Marschke, Jean & Sunny Hansen, Dave Mendenhall.


Tuesday, 11 February 2020 23:12

Military Convoy Trip

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Military Convoy Trip 

by Bob Jacoby

I have mentioned briefly before my incredible trip with the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) on their cross country auto tour commemorating the centennial of the 1919 Army Convoy across the Lincoln Highway. The original convoy, in my opinion, was one of the tremendous achievements in American history as it provided key insights into the military’s ability to transport vehicles over long distances that required crossing hundreds of bridges. (The convoy included a young officer named Dwight Eisenhowtyer.)  Many of these bridges had to be strengthened or a new bridge built to accom.modate military vehicles. Needless to say, this knowledge came in very handy some years later doing World War II.

During the first two weeks (16 days) in September the LHA notebook containing 173 pages of route instructions! The book also contained other information, including lunch stops, location of photo opps, and other historical sites. I was very impressed with the level of detail, including historical detail, in this information. The LHA also provided an experienced support team consisting of a Tour Director to handle all of the arrangements, a Mapping Coordinator to prepare the turn-by-turn instructions, and a sweep truck to provide assistance in case of any mechanical problems.

I have many memories of this trip and the best way to share them is briefly talk about the route each day and some of the key experiences I had. Below is the day-by-day rundown of this conducted an auto tour retracing the path of the original convoy. To celebrate the history of the event people were encouraged to drive vintage vehicles on the trip. I had the opportunity to navigate for my friend Brian Suen who is the proud owner of a 1958 Studebaker Hawk. Having the privilege of riding in this vehicle made the trip even a more special experience.


Tuesday, 11 February 2020 23:04

2019 - Trip Report - Needles Christmas

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Needles Christmas

Sue and I are sure that the Desert Explorers 2019 Christmas Party was a great success. We are so sorry that we missed it, but we had obligated ourselves to put together a Christmas float for the Needles Christmas Parade which, of course, took place on the same day as the DE party. Vicki Hill and Dave McFarland helped us assemble the float and Mignon Slentz towed it in the parade.  ~ Joso

Tuesday, 11 February 2020 22:52

2019 Desert Explorers Christmas Party

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DE Holiday Party at Ding and Allan's

Food, Friends and Fun

Photos by Allan and Ding Wicker and Julie Smith

Please see all the photos that were taken

Sunday, 09 February 2020 21:21

2019 East Mojave Heritage Trail

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Trip Report: East Mojave Heritage Trail Parts of Segments 3 & 4 - Kelso to Needles

October 25-27, 2019 • Trip Leader: Nelson Miller

We met Friday morning at Kelso Depot, including Dave Burdick, Bruce Barnett, Larry & Annette Green, Ken lltrich, and the fearful leader, Nelson Miller.

First stop was Vulcan Mine, where we found a nice stone building that someone had set up pretty nicely for a campsite, with chairs tables and everything, including a view of Kelso Dunes. Vulcan Mine was active from 1942 – 1956, shipping iron ore to the Kaiser Plant in Fontana, for which it was the only source of ore for Fontana until 1948.  Kaiser Steel made it into “ship plate” and sent it to the port.  The iron ore here is magnetite, which is naturally magnetic and weighs 312 pounds per cubic foot.


Sunday, 09 February 2020 21:05

2019 - Trip Reports - Old Dad Guzzler

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Old Dad Guzzler:
Out With the Bad, In With the Good

By Debbie Miller Marschke

Steve and I have been MIA missing in action from DE trips this year. We don’t like it but it is just the way things are right now. Our day jobs are big time and energy vampires; both of us have been working extended hours and it’s limited our choices when it comes to “free time.” Steve is the President of the Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep. A lot of our personal time that we have available is spent volunteering for wildlife habitat work, and it takes priority over everything else. The bright side of that is that we get out to enjoy the desert while doing a lot of good works. I guess most people would agree that if you had to choose between having fun verses having fun while doing work for a good cause, the latter would prevail.


Sunday, 09 February 2020 20:59

2019 - 20 Mule Team Power in Death Valley

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Alan & Claudia Heller Experience 20-Mule Team Power in Death Valley

There was a long line of spectators perched on camp chairs lining the dusty Death Valley road from the Inn to the Ranch. The celebrities of the day were scheduled to appear soon, and security had blocked the road to passing cars. Under a brilliant blue sky, we waited until suddenly they arrived, the stars of the day: The 20 Mule Team!

Once working under the harshest of conditions hauling borax from mine to railroad, the mules were but beasts of burden. Today they march in parades, re-enacting a mundane task of the past, bringing history alive. As in years ago, they are dependent on teamwork and cooperation between the workers, the mules and the horses. A fine-tuned team is their goal.

It was mules like these that contributed to delivering borax crystals loaded into wooden containers to the railroad and on to processing plants. In time the raw crystals would make up many household products such as a humidifier, deodorizer, carpet cleaner, drains de-clogger, detergent booster, and most popular a hand and household cleaner called Boraxo.


Sunday, 09 February 2020 20:49

2019 - Trip Report - San Dimas Experimental Forest

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Trip Report: San Dimas Experimental Forest

Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 • by Bob Jacoby

It was a beautiful, sunny day as we gathered together at the Glendora Forest Service Ranger Station for what proved to be an outstanding outing to the San Dimas Experimental Forest. We had a total of six cars that included the following individuals: Beth Mika, Danny and Norma Siler, Alan and Ding Wicker, Janet and Pete Austin, and Robert Wieting with family members. Oh yes, I almost forget to mention Bob Peltzman. This was on a trip that we didn’t get lost on! I should also mention that joining me on the trip were my friends Richard Brazier and Chris Parker. (Chris is now a DE member.)

Our group was joined at the Ranger Station by Ranger Pete Wohlgermuth who was actually our leader for the day. Pete was a wealth of knowledge regarding the Experimental Forest and was very patient with us as we asked numerous question about what the Experimental Forest was all about.


Sunday, 09 February 2020 20:40

2019 - Trip Report - Hansen Dam Basin Tour

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Hansen Dam Basin Tour  Trip Report and Photos:
Bill Neill

A Sunday morning tour of Big Tujunga Wash and Hansen Dam flood control basin, at the northeast corner of San Fernando Valley, was lightly attended, probably because I could not obtain permission for a 4WD caravan. But because our party of four could ride in one vehicle – my Toyota 4Runner, with entry authorization –
we were able to drive across the basin by vehicle after a short hike on equestrian trails.

My vehicle was authorized because I have worked in the basin on invasive weed control for the past three years, as a contractor to the Los Angeles Conservation Corps and National Forest Foundation. Other participants on the Sunday tour were Jay Lawrence, Craig Baker, and my non-DE guest Carvel Bass. Jay was interested in the area because his grandmother’s uncle, Homer Hansen, owned the property before expropriation by the Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1940’s. Craig was interested because he lives nearby; and I invited Carvel because he was involved with resource management for 25 years as an ecologist with the Army Corps of Engineers.


Tuesday, 04 February 2020 23:44

Who's ever heard of Route 20?

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Who’s Ever Heard of Route 20?

By Bob Jaussaud

We had never heard of Route 20 when Sue and I traveled east on our “bucket list” trip to see the Fall colors in New England and, believe me, the colors were nothing short of spectacular. We landed in Boston, rented a car, and started a two week, 2000 plus mile long tour through seasonal beauty and American history. At our furthest point we even went into Canada to have “tea with Eleanor” at the Roosevelt’s summer home, Campobello. I hesitate to wax too eloquently about our adventure, but along the way we walked the Freedom Trail in Boston, strolled aboard the historic ship USS Constitution, boarded the WW2 destroyer USS Cassin Young and descended into the first U.S.atomic powered submarine, the USS Nautilus. We rode the trolley at Kennebunkport, the steam train at Boothbay and the wind at the top of the swaying Penobscot Narrows Bridge. We walked in the steps of Calvin Coolidge at his boyhood home in Plymouth Notch, Vermont and Norman Rockwell at his studio in Stockbridge. Other highlights along our way have to include Lake Champlain, the Trapp Family Inn, the snowplow museum in Bangor, riding Warner’s Ferry, the Bridge of Flowers at Shelburne Falls and the “OMG” Olympic ski jumps at Lake Placid. Our New England experience was all these wonderful things plus food “to die for” including lobster rolls, Acadia popovers, eggs Bigelow, fish chowder and sweet, delicious bay scallops. I didn’t think our trip could possibly get any better until we discovered a historic route across the United States that I had never heard of before! As I do my research for this article I am continuously amazed at what I am learning about U.S. Route 20.


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