"Life After Ted's Trip"
by Rebecca Friedman
Since Leonard, Hannah and I were among the survivors of Ted’s Ibex Spring Trip (5 out of 8 vehicles made it to the end), we decided to tempt fate and continue on. After parting from the others on Sunday at about 5:00 p.m. at the Harry Wade marker, we headed north toward Death Valley Junction. We were in time to take a quick peek at a benefit dance recital at the Amargosa Opera House. We stayed overnight at a motel in Beatty, NV, and enjoyed visiting the “largest candy store in the state.”
After watching the televised Presidential inauguration on Monday morning, we headed west into Death Valley National Park. Leonard was especially excited to be driving through Titus Canyon for the first time, since the road was open thanks to good weather. The beautiful colors and steep canyon walls did not disappoint. We even enjoyed stopping at Leadfield, a mining town of 300 people from 1926-1927. We drove by the Devil’s Cornfield as we proceeded to Mesquite Dunes for lunch. Our hike through Mosaic Canyon was another highlight, as we saw such varied rock formations and colors. We even ran into a dancer we recognized from the night before; she was also an artist, who was sketching the scenery. It was a full day at the end of a long weekend, and we arrived home late. We were tired but happy.
Survivors Traumatized No Rain; Some Pain
Leader in Denial
January 19 & 20 2013, Leader and author: Ted Kalil
Peggy Sue’s Diner, Yermo. This was the meeting place where I thought we might enjoy a breakfast or coffee together. However, I was the only one who dined, everyone else waited outside (was this an omen?). Those present were Gene and Beverly Stoops; Jose Alvarado together with Steve, Aaron, and Jordan; Rebecca, Hannah, and Leonard Friedman; Alan Hodes; Nelson Miller; and Nan Savage. We then went to the Mad Greek’s parking lot in Baker, where we met up with Mignon Slentz, and continued on SH 127 to the radio tower. There we turned off onto Ibex Spring Road, following it to the settlement and mine where we saw and photographed the old buildings.
Gene shared a lot of great information about this place, having been with Bill Mann when Bill persuaded the National Park Service to refrain from destroying the sites. The provision was that the Mojave River Valley Museum would annually monitor the changes and provide photos. Gene had brought newspaper articles and pictures from when they first photographed the area in 1991. In comparing them we could see some deterioration, but not much considering twenty one years had passed. The palm trees were alive and flourishing. Our two signs there are readable but could use some help.
Explore Arizona II
November 24, - December 1, 2012
Leader: Mal Roode. Photos by Mal Roode. Story written by Neal Johns
This time , we just laid back and let someone else do the planning! Mal did a great job and a good time was had by the three vehicles that followed him wherever he went. We were gone for a week.
We met Mal at a nearby rest stop and headed for camp four miles from Wickenburg, AZ where the other two vehicles met us. The next day we explored the Agua Fria National Monument and found some petroglyphs and a historic site of one of the original settlers of this area. In camp, we were entertained by watching a large group of vehicles supporting a helicopter working on the big powerline a mile away. Busy little bee.
The next day the group decided I was too old to accompany them on a petroglyph hike and following ancient Native American custom, left me to die. I survived and we drove onward to the interestingly named Bloody Basin Road. It turned out to be named after the red hills nearby.
San Bernardino Mountains
Written by leader Ted Kalil
Photos by Allan Wicker
When I arrived at the Greenspot Equestrian Group Campground Friday afternoon, the Nevada pilgrims, Mignon Slentz with her brand new Toyota FourRunner, and Glenn Shaw, were already there and set up, along with Jim Proffitt. Later we were joined by Marian and Neal Johns. Saturday morning Terry Ogden arrived, having come to the campground Friday evening but left after not seeing our campfire. We traveled up to Onyx Summit on SH 38, then on to Thurman Flats picnic area, where we met up with Allan Wicker and Mal Roode. From there, we went a short distance to the start of trail 1S12 where, after first making a side trip, Jim Proffitt again joined us. Then we headed towards the Morton Peak Lookout. When we got to a locked gate, though, I found that my Forest Service key was of no use because there was only a combination lock installed. So, we weren’t able to look in on the lookout.
The last week of August 2012 we were invited to spend a week in Sitka Alaska visiting some close friends. Sitka is actually an island in the Pacific Ocean. They planned a fun-filled week which included deep sea fishing, hiking, ATV riding, a day trip to Juneau, glaciers, great food and breath-taking scenery.
(Leading photo) This is Mosquito Cove Trail which is a 1.5 mile gravel and boardwalk trail that includes both shoreline and forest ecosystems. We were the only people on this trail, it was around 5 p.m., and both of us had this uneasy feeling that we were not alone. We were relieved to get back to our car. A week after our trip we found out they closed this trail due to a bear attack. - Mal & Jean Roode
Tehachapi Area Weekend
Date: November 3-4, 2012
Written by Leader Bob Jacoby. Photos by Allan Wicker
We were fortunate to have good weather for a weekend of fun and education in the Tehachapi area. We met on Saturday morning at the Caliente exit from State Route 58 about 15 miles west of Tehachapi. Our outstanding group of attendees included Nan Savage, Danny and Norma Siler, Rick and Sharon Cords, Mignon Slentz, Nelson Miller, Alan and Ding Wicker, Mal Roode and Ted Kalil.
2012 Annual Christmas Party
Desert Explorer's Christmas Party--December 15, 2012 at Allan and Ding Wicker's house. All who attended seemed to be having a really good time. I know they were well fed! What a potluck spread. All the food groups were well represented in all the main dishes and side dishes. And the desserts -- WOW! You couldn't do better in a top rated restaurant.
There were 23 persons in attendance: Allan & Ding Wicker, Ding's sister Gen Wentworth (visiting from Minnesota, she is a member of Desert Explorers also) , Alan & Ding's guest Ester Bhebhe from Zimbabwe (a really gorgeous young lady who readily joined into the fun of gift stealing), Neal & Marian Johns, Sunny & Jean Hansen, Bob & Sue Jaussaud, Jay Lawrence, Marilyn Martin, Terry Ogden, John & Anna Page, Ron Ross & Nancy McClean, Daniel Dick & Bobbie Sanchez, Joe Burns, Mary Jo Bartholomew, and Emmett & Ruth Harder. Wishing you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR - Ruth Harder
photos taken by Allan Wicker
Date: July 21-22, 2012
On Saturday morning, our first surprise was Ted Kalil appearing at our campsite in Big Pine and announcing that everybody but Allan Wicker was already here, having coffee and ready to head for the hills! Sylvia and I had pulled in late the evening before and (ever observant) I hadn't recognized any of their vehicles. Joining Ted was Homer Meek, Mignon Slentz and Nelson Miller. Our daughter Ariel, her husband Nick and eight month old granddaughter Alice had rolled in and set up camp next to us in the wee hours of Friday night. So everybody said hello, Allan showed up and we all signed in, anxious to move out.
Normally, the Big Pine, Bishop and the Owens Valley area in summer is an oven, 90-105 degrees, but we lucked out with some light overcast and the start of some clouds, temps in the 70s. A perfect start to the trip. We left Big Pine (4200') a little after 9:00 a.m. and headed east on Highway 168, past the remnants of Zurich Station of the Carson and Colorado Railroad, over the Owens River, past the toll station site and over the Westgard Pass into Deep Springs Valley, about 25 miles of pavement total.