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Trip Reports - 2000 - Rendezvous - Baker to Shoshone

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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St. Patty’s Day arrived, and, along with it, the trip. We exited Baker with 20 vehicles behind us and promptly missed the power line road. No problem, just work over to it and point out all the interesting junk along the way. Finally arriving at our first scheduled stop, Cree Camp, we poked around the cabin and garden remains, then went up the canyon behind it to an arrastre, and beyond that, a well. Lunch stop was near an old mill site that Bob and Mary located on the scouting trip. The Wander Mine was next, and the abandoned Bronco that had been there on our scouting trip was gone. We found it a few miles further along the road. Someone had pushed or driven it to this point, then left it.Bob’s plan to salvage the beast was torpedoed when Don Putnam announced that he knew who the car belonged to: a big, burly miner working in the area. Ah, well...onward we went. Somehow, everyone got parked at the turquoise mine, where we scoured the debris for the elusive mineral. Another stop at the Silver Lake Mine, an abandoned talc mine, where there is a neat ‘chapel’ carved into the rocks. Last was the townsite of Riggs, on the old Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad. There’s a great writeup of the history of this railroad in Dennis’ book.

Back to pavement, we turned north toward Shoshone, our motel room, and happy hour. Unfortunately, the leprechauns had been busy under Reda Anderson’s car, and all the oil had leaked out. She caught it before any damage was done, and several D.E. members contributed enough engine oil to get her to Shoshone. Whew. That was close!

Thanks to everyone who accompanied us on the trip! Special kudos to sweeps Chuck and Janice Kalbach


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