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Category: Trip Reports

All the trips - because every trip is an adventure!

Unfinished Business | EMHT Segment 3B Granite Mountains to Providence

After cleaning up after dinner and getting the tent deployed, it was still only 6:15pm, too early - even for us - to hit the sack for the night. It was, rather, the perfect time for me to be reminded of what we had in store for the morning; the trail description I'd neglected to re-read prior to planning the trek. Whipping out what we lovingly refer to as the Mojave Preserve bible - @mrs.turbodb was happy to oblige: From its head near the highest point in the Granite Mountains to its mouth, Budweiser Canyon climbs about 2,800 feet in…

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Desert Art | EMHT Segment 3A Rocky Ridge to Granite Mountains

There was no way Mike @Digiratus, Zane @Speedytech7, and I were going to run the entirety of the East Mojave Heritage Trail when we set out to do it at the end of November. At something more than 700 miles long - not including the nearby side-adventures that I added for our enjoyment - it might seem like a Backcountry Discovery Route, but the roads are significantly slower and more technical, and the percentage of on-dirt miles is significantly larger. Frankly, these two things make it easily twice the length of a BDR, not to mention the fact that we…

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Racing the Sun to the Mojave Megaphone | EMHT Segment 2C Ivanpah Mountains to Rocky Ridge

I don't know if it was the coldest night of the trip from an absolute perspective, but when I climbed out of my tent, it was the only morning I found the rainfly - and the cab of the Tacoma - covered in a layer of frost. Luckily, as the final full day of our trip, we'd decided that no matter where we were, it was where we were going to cook our shared breakfast. And that meant we'd have a couple extra hours for our tents to defrost. While I waited for Mike @Digiratus and Zane @Speedytech7 to wake…

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Colorful Ore | EMHT Segment 2B Silver Lake to Ivanpah Mountains

Camped at 2,250 feet above sea level, the entirety of the night was quite a bit warmer than the previous two evenings at more than 5,500 feet, and it was so nice to open up all the windows and doors on the tent so that whenever I'd wake up through the night, I can take a quick glance at the surroundings and admire them under the moonlight. Morning brought more clouds than on previous mornings, but with a clear eastern horizon, more clouds just meant more color! After three days of doing it, getting out of camp early was now…

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Mine Hopping | EMHT Segment 2A Clark Mountain to Silver Lake

We lucked out with a windless night along our ridge on the eastern edge of the Clark Mountains. Hoping that out orientation would allow for some nice color at sunrise, I was up early to try and find the best angle from which to capture the splendor we were lucky enough to call home for a night. Framed by Clark Mountain, there was just a hint of color in the sky. Mike @Digiratus and Zane @Speedytech7 weren't far behind, and as I was wrapping up the morning photo session of their best-gen trucks, they were boiling water for coffee and…

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Almost the End | EMHT Segment 1B Caruthers Canyon to Clark Mountain

There aren't many nights that I close up all the windows and doors on my tent, as - especially when there is a full moon as there was on this night - I enjoy being able to gaze out on the surroundings if I wake up in the middle of the night. But parked under the watchful gaze of Easter Island Rock, with temperatures in the my-feet-are-numb range and a 10mph breeze blowing through camp, I zipped everything up tight, inserted my earplugs, and hoped for the best. It worked, and I was nice and toasty when my alarm -…

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We All Arrive ...Except for Monte ...Again | EMHT Segment 1A Needles to Caruthers Canyon

Prologue For the first time in five years, the "annual" TacomaWorld trip has morphed into two trips. I suppose, technically, I should call it a trip-and-a-half, given the debacle that became Half a Trip in Montana, but I prefer to see the glass always full (there's always something in there) so we're just going to call it two. The timing of the second trip - in December - clearly ruled out anything up north, so returning to Montana for redemption would just have to wait until next year. Plus, given the unexpectedly good time that we had in Death Valley…

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Pahranagat Man | Third Time #2

Our exit from Big Rocks Wilderness after lunch on Thursday gave us only a few hours in the afternoon -- and a couple hours the following morning - before heading to Las Vegas for our $27 flights home on Spirit Airlines. How Spirit can provide flights for so little money is beyond me, but it has made the decision to leave the Tacoma in Las Vegas even easier - for the cost of a single tank of gas, both of us can fly roundtrip, saving 40 hours of travel time in the process - on the ends of a trip.…

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Worth the Effort | Third Time #1

The Pahranagat Valley and its surrounding wilderness' have been my nemesis throughout 2023. I set out in January - nearly a year ago now - to follow the Pahranagat Trail in search of rock art that I'd discovered through the trip reports of other intrepid explorers. Ultimately - and luckily, quickly - I realized that without more information, I was searching for a needle in a haystack, so I headed east and south - to Utah and Arizona - where I discovered some of the most amazing rock art that I was not looking for. Strike one. Determined to succeed…

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60 Seconds Out | Connect the Dots #6

As was the warning that crackled over the military scanner for one of the most exhilarating moments of the trip, this story is a short one. - - - - - As you may recall, we'd camped as close as we could to a random point in the middle of nowhere Nevada that an internet stranger had shared with me as one that had nearly uncountable - there were so many - low level military flyovers. And again, as you may recall, we were only "as close as we could be" due to the fact that we'd run into the…

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Nivloc | Connect the Dots #5

Moonlit headframe. We arrived at Nivloc at what appeared to be midnight but was - according to multiple timekeeping devices - only a bit before 8:30pm. Still, even under the bight-as-day moon, we knew better than to poke around this old ghost-town-mine-site in the dark, so we unfolded the tent, read the most boring books ever on our Kindles (me: Bourne Ultimatum, @mrs.turbodb: Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent), and climbed into bed as I left the camera snapping one eight-second exposure after the next. I'd hoped to capture some amazing timelapse of…

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Bass Camp and Beyond | Connect the Dots #4

Hoping to get some photos before the sun was up and the cabin-under-a-rock was lost to the shadows, I set my alarm for too-dark-o'clock, and hit the snooze button a couple of times before finally pulling on my pants and climbing down the ladder to a beautiful morning. Even before the sun was over the horizon, the glow on the granite hillsides was magical. This old water tank caught my eye. Suddenly in a rush against the sun, I scampered up the hillside in search of a location where I could capture the entire camp. This - given the car-sized…

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Gruelling Hike or Heavenly Hot Spring? | Connect the Dots #3

One of the dots I'd hoped to connect on our trip through Nevada was hiking to the top of Boundary Peak in the White Mountains. Boundary is an interesting peak. Appropriately, it sits on a boundary - the state line between Nevada and California. At 13,147 feet, it's the highest peak in Nevada.  And hilariously, along the same ridgeline - less than a mile away, and just across the California border - Montgomery Peak rises 298 feet above Boundary Peak, yet Montgomery Peak does not rank amongst the top 100 of California's highest peaks. Sounded like the perfect peak to…

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Hand Me the Binos, I Think That’s a Tank | Connect the Dots #2

I don't know how cold it was when my alarm went off just before sunrise in the Tobin Range, but despite the fact that we were several thousand feet lower in elevation, it felt colder than waking up at the top of Lamoille Canyon. The fact that the entire tent - and the top comforter - were covered in a thin layer of dew-turned-to-ice probably added to that perception. I knew we wouldn't be getting any sun in our bottom-of-the-canyon location, so instead of dwelling on the wet tent, I found myself hoping that the drone wouldn't complain too much…

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Headed South... to the Arctic | Connect the Dots #1

It was refreshing 6°F as we emerged from the tent on the first morning of our trip. Without a doubt, @mrs.turbodb's statement the previous afternoon as we pounded away the miles in the warmth of the Tacoma - "We're headed south to the Arctic" - was top of mind. I'd ribbed her at the time - geography is her thing - but there was no question that the trip was off to an auspicious start. So, I'd better give a bit of background on how we ended up here. There isn't any *good* reason to "be" in temperatures like this.…

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One Dark Mile | Montana #4

After climbing into our tents to escape the oncoming storm, wind gusts and rain continued in fits and spurts for the next several hours. Even with my tent now tied down, a stronger-than-normal gust lifted it - with me inside - six inches, a situation I was forced to remedy during a lull in the storm. Thankfully however, by midnight, things had significantly calmed down. Winds were in the much-more-reasonable 5mph range, and only intermittent sprinkles fell on our flies. This allowed everything to dry out reasonably well by morning - each of us glad that we weren't putting our…

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Weather Turns | Montana #3

After a long camp fire, sleep came easy on the edge of the field, 8,000 feet in the Flint Creek Range. And, with Mike @Digiratus and Zane @Speedytech7 tucked into the trees, there was plenty of time for me to send the flying camera up into the sky for an early morning flight before either of them got wise to my shenanigans. Turns out the meadow in which I'd taken up residence was a little more interesting than it looked from ground level. Fred Burr Lake was glassy as I searched for signs of fellow campers. I found none. Back…

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Dan's Stuck | Montana #2

Having only gotten a few hours of shuteye before setting off on this adventure, the cool night air of western Montana - somewhere in the low 30s °F - made my cozy down comforters the perfect place to snuggle in for one of the best nights of sleep I've had in a long time. I'm not sure if I woke up at all through the night, only realizing when the sky was beginning to brighten that a thin layer of frost covered not only the exterior my tent, but also the top of my bedding. Knowing that I still had…

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Monte's Out | Montana #1

Since my first fateful trip with "the guys" from TacomaWorld in 2017, we've tried our best to get together every summer for an adventure. That's not to say that things haven't changed as some of the young guns - once carefree as school let out for the summer - have grown into jobs and families, our two-week jaunts shifting to five days of paid time off, our summer outings shifting into fall. Still, our friendships have persisted - and grown - and this year we are heading back to where (for me) The De-Tour started it all: Montana. As always,…

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Landmarks | Soaring Over the Sierra #3

When you visit a place time after time, features that were once remarkable or breathtaking can start to seem normal or even become mundane. I don't think that's happened with me yet as I've visited over the years - or with my Dad over the decades that he's been enjoying this special place - but I still thought it'd be worthwhile to capture some of the landmarks that we enjoy when we're there. Some of these are large, others are small, and surely over the years every one of them will change or we'll find new perspectives from which to…

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