Rondy 2014 Inbound Trip
Friday, April 4
By Marian Johns
We started off the weekend with a Friday inbound trip. 15 vehicles met at the Arco station in Baker. After filling up our gas tanks, we all headed north up Hwy. 127. Our goal of the day was the Amargosa River, Sperry Wash and China Ranch date farm. About 30 miles north of Baker, we turned off on the access road to Dumont Dunes and Sperry Wash (and the Amargosa River); we followed the BLM trail signs up the river. I believe there was more water this year than in years past, yet it was still very shallow and wasn’t a problem. It seems we bypassed the old site of Sperry without noticing it– at least I didn’t see any remains, but then, the BLM route may have diverted us away from it. There isn’t much to see anyway.
Eventually, we left the river and headed up Sperry Wash where we ran into some challenging rock/boulder clusters that required 4x4. After a lunch break in Sperry Wash, we continued on up to the Talc mines.
It was there that Bob Jaussaud asked if I had ever seen the “Grand Canyon of the Amargosa”. Well, no I hadn’t, so off he went to see if he could find the road to it while the rest of us made our way toward China Ranch. While Bob was still off searching, I noticed a side road over to what looked like a deep canyon. Sure enough we found it! And it was well worth the short side trip – although it is not really an Amargosa River canyon, but rather a canyon that dumps into China Ranch – and eventually the Amargosa some distance away.
China Ranch is now owned by Brian Brown and his wife. (Brian is the brother of Susan Sorrells, owner of the little town of nearby Shoshone.) While visiting this lovely date palm oasis, quite a few Desert Explorers pigged out on date shakes. At this point our inbound trip ended, and folks were turned loose to make their way on up Hwy.127 to the Longstreet Inn and Casino