Trip Reports (453)

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2013 Trips (30)

Reports on trips taken in 2013.

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2014 Trips (29)

Reports on trips taken in 2014.

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2006 Trips (0)

We apologize, many wonderful trips were taken in 2006, but no trip reports were submitted for posting to the website.

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2015 Trips (31)

Reports on trips taken in 2015.

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2016 Trips (42)

Reports on trips taken in 2016.

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2017 Trips (44)

Reports on trips taken in 2017.

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2018 Trips (52)

Reports on trips taken in 2018.

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2019 Trips (13)

Reports on trips taken in 2019.

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Thursday, 24 May 2018 22:41

Old Railroads of the West

Written by

Old Railroads of the West

Michael Vermette - KI6JFU

I’ve been fortunate to travel with several people who are railroad history buffs and they always have great stories to tell about the early days of railroading.  While all I could see in front of me was some old track beds and the remains of 

some trestles, their stories brought their history to life and painted a picture of the efforts to settle the American West.

As I listened to the stories, I could see that there were a lot of common elements between the railroad companies.  It seemed as if every group of businessmen in the West were dead set on starting their own railroad and making money hand over fist.  In fact, many did just that.  Some of the big names in our country’s history owned railroads and made their fortunes that way.  Some famous names I’m sure you’ll recognize were railroad developers.  John D. Spreckels and the San Diego and Arizona Railway Company, Leland Stanford and the Central Pacific Railroad, Cornelius Vanderbilt and several eastern rail networks, and the list goes on and on.

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Desert Explorers Go Nuclear!

Nevada National Security Site Tour

by Bob Jaussaud

Last January 30, four Desert Explorers were lucky enough to be included in a group visiting the Nevada Test Site (NTS), currently known as the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), America’s nuclear proving ground. Several times a year, the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas hosts a tour to the site. These tours are filled almost as soon as they are announced and each person on a tour is security checked. People had come from as far away as Michigan and Florida just to be on our tour. 

Unfortunately, you won’t see any personal pictures of this trip, as cameras (including those on cell phones) are strictly forbidden.

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East Mojave Heritage Trail – Second Segment Ivanpah to Rocky Ridge

February 23-25, 2018

Trip Report  By: Nelson Miller

We had an adventure, following Dennis Casebier’s book. Neal was the “pathfinder” and developed the road log for all four of the Heritage Trail Books, so we had his recollections along the way. We met Friday at Yates Well Road, just south of Primm. There were Neal 

and Marian Johns, Nelson Miller, Bob and Sue Jaussaud, Dave Burdick, Dean Linder, Tracy Wood, Lindsay Wood, Dave Rehper, B.J. and Jerrod Keeling, Glenn Shaw, Ron Lipari, Bruce Barnett, Mignon Slentz, and Randy Peterson.

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Thursday, 24 May 2018 22:12

2018 - Trip Report - Rainbow Basin Natural Area

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Rainbow Basin Natural Area

By Danny Siler

I enjoyed my day hiking and exploring Rainbow Basin in the Mojave Desert.

This fantastic area was chris.tened in 1966 as a National Nat.ural Landmark by the National Park Service. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Manage.ment (BLM) and has been designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). It is set aside for its colorful geological features and its wealth of fossil resources that do not exist anywhere else.

It is located in the Mud Hills about 8 miles north of Barstow by taking Irwin Road (not Fort Irwin Road). It should be easily found on any map. I’ve been seeing it on the AAA San Bernardino County map for most of my adult life - and finally I went out there for a play day.

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Tuesday, 20 February 2018 22:53

2018 - Trip Reports - Desert TOADS

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Desert TOADS

by Bob and Sue Jaussaud

The adventure began with a call from Marian Johns: “I know this is last minute, but can you meet us in Baker tomorrow? We are going with the Harders to try and find a cabin we have never seen in theMojave.” Sue and I couldn’t pass up an invitation like that.

A friend of a friend had told Neal and Marian about this wonderful cabin near the Old Dad Mountains and they wanted to find it. We didn’t know that such a thing existed, namely a cabin in the Mojave that Neal and Marian had never seen. We hadn’t heard of it either. Turns out that it does exist and is in fine shape due to the efforts of a jeep club that has adopted it.

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Tuesday, 20 February 2018 22:44

2018 - Trip Report - Quartzfest!

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No story but click read more to see the photos

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 22:40

2018 - Trip Report - Kofa Exploration

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KOFA Exploration

By Bill Smith

Two DE members, Bill Powell and Bill Smith, took an off-road trip through the KOFA National Wildlife Refuge in the KOFA Mountain range south of Quartzite on January 21, 2018. They were part of a group of roughly 65 people in 32 vehicles - Ham radio operators and their families - who were attending the annual Quartzfest ham radio event in Quartzite, Arizona. One special highlight of the trip was the discovery of a maintained well that appears to be in the refuge to provide a water source for larger wildlife. Though not a DE activity, one could scarcely tell the difference. This may become a trip offered to DE members in the cool air of winter 2018/2019.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 22:32

2018 - Trip Report - Black Mountain Area

Written by

Black Mountain Area Trip

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Leader: Nelson Miller Photos from Ken Hemkin, Nelson Miller and Bill & Julie Smith

Sunday after the Museum Work Party, we took off from the Barstow Museum with 5 vehicles and 11 people (Nelson, Ellen, Julia, Ken, Peter & Janet, Bill & Julie, Ron & Barbara, and Jacque). Julia is a grad student working on her doctorate regarding historic and cultural preservation in the Mojave. Jacque is a friend of Barbara’s that we hope will join us on future trips. Thanks to Bill Smith for running tail all day!

This is another trip for which a Giant Thanks is owed to Bill Mann. We visited most of the sites he mentions around Black Canyon in his first book, “Guide to 50 Interesting and Mysterious Sites in the Mojave.” Our first stop was Murphy’s Well, where we explored the petroglyphs and a few historic signatures.

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Museum Work Party & Black Mountain Visit

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A great big “THANK YOU” to Bob Jaussaud, who first suggested this work party and to all the rest that participated in helping out with the work party at the Mojave River Valley Museum!

Some of the significant contributions from Desert Explorers included:

Bob Jaussaud - worked on replacing light fixtures and installing mule rider

Bill Smith - Worked on replacing light  fixtures, replaced a fan switch in the library, and installed locks on cases with Germain Moon dolls

Julie Smith - Cleaned and put out Germain Moon dolls

Ellen Miller - Cleaned up yard  debris and helped put out the  Germain Moon dolls

Barbara Midlikoski - helped everywhere all day long

Ken Hemkin - helped with lights, assembled mule train pieces, and helped install the lead mule rider

Nelson Miller - organized tasks and helped with lights, Germain Moon doll cases, mule train assembly and installation, and clean up.

(click Read more to continue reading)

Monday, 12 February 2018 21:46

2017 - Trip Report - Salton Sea Whimsy

Written by

Salton Sea Whimsy

by Sue Jaussaud

“Whimsy…a fanciful device or creation, especially in art.” Well, that pretty much describes the places Bob and I recently visited in the Salton Sea area. Our first stop was at the International Banana Museum (“The Most A-Peeling Place on Earth”) near tiny North Shore. The museum is just one large room, but it’s delightful… and delicious. There is a nominal admission charge, which is waived if you buy something, and you really, really want to enjoy one of their chocolate banana shakes. While whipping them up, the owner told us the story of the museum’s origin. And when his wife saw me taking Bob’s photo, she popped up from behind the counter wearing, what else, a banana costume. Display cases line the walls, full of more banana related items than you ever knew existed. Take a look on line, and call first to be sure they’re open. Then go bananas!

Our second stop was “East Jesus”, near Slab City, east of Niland. Amazing folk art lives here, created from the flotsam and jetsam of a trash pile. And it’s wonderful! Enter through a metal arch decorated with bicycles and propane bottles, and move on to the bottle wall, giant lizard, decorated cars, and TV wall. The creations go on and on, and you are free to walk around and take pictures. Nice folks here, too. I do love the desert, and finding this stuff is just the best!  ~ Sue

(Click Read More to see the photo album)

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