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Tag: trip start (big)

First post of a major trip, great place to start reading.

Swing-and-a-Miss | Other Side #1

As temperatures have started to rise across the west, areas that were covered in snow or otherwise too cold to wander during the winter are once again opening up. And, while I have an endless list of desert destinations to explore, it's always an exciting time to venture beyond the confines of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts that we've recently called home. And so, we're headed to Utah. There, San Rafael Swell and Cedar Mesa will be our destinations. Like the desert, an infinite number of days could be consumed savoring the sandstone formations, deep canyons, and Native American Indian…

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Before | Before and After #1

Our Spirit Airlines flight touched down in Las Vegas at 11:32pm on Tuesday night. We'd chosen to take a late flight so we'd be able to drive the 10 hours from Las Vegas to the beginning of the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (AZBDR) at the Mexico border over the course of the following day, but that was when we assumed that we'd be picking up the Tacoma just before midnight. "Welcome to Las Vegas folks, this is your captain speaking. Looks like they don't have a gate ready for us, so until they can push back another plane, we're going…

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Mexico to Benson - Unusual Encounters | AZBDR Stage 1

Prologue Running a BDR (Backcountry Discovery Route) this year is going to be a little different for us than it has been in years past, for several reasons. First, we'll be exploring a state that - due to its distance from home, or even Las Vegas where the Tacoma is now stored - we've done very little adventuring through. This should be a great thing, as one of the "problems" with the last couple of BDRs we've explored was that we were already reasonably familiar with what we'd encounter, making the trip less exciting. Second, we'll be running the route…

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Mountains of Blue and Lakes of Green | Missing Death Valley #1

Driving Forever I don't know how we ever did it. Or why. Time after time, for five full years, we would spend nearly 24 hours in the Tacoma, making our way south - in a single shot - to the desert. At the behest of @mrs.turbodb, and following in the footsteps of Ken @DVExile - my Death Valley archetype - I wised up at the beginning of 2023 and haven't looked back. Still, every now and then the Tacoma has to come home for one reason or another. This time, it was to do some work on my rear leaf…

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To the End of the World, and Beyond | Snow in JTNP #1

With the Pacific Northwest winter in full swing, both @mrs.turbodb and I were itching for warmer temperatures and a bit of sun as we planned our trip to the far southern reaches of California and Joshua Tree National Park. I'd visited for my first time almost exactly a year earlier, and this would be an introductory visit for my companion, one I hoped she'd enjoy given the heavy emphasis on hiking - and the nearly-complete-lack-of-driving - that I had planned. Plus, with surroundings composed of rock wonderlands and sunny skies, I was reasonably confident that we'd be pleasantly entertained. As…

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It's All Wilderness Now | EMHT Segment 4a Camp Clipper to Turtle Mountains

After running the first two segments of the East Mojave Heritage Trail (EMHT) with Mike and Zane last month, and then returning for the third segment with @mrs.turbodb only a week later, it was less of a question of "where" and more a question of "when" my first trip of 2024 would take place. The "where" - of course - would be the final, fourth segment of the 770-mile long route, winding my way through the Mojave Trails National Monument and the Turtle Mountain Wilderness. Segment 1: Needles to Ivanpah - 173 miles Segment 2: Ivanpah to Rocky Ridge -199…

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Lazying Around Town | Hawaii Vacation #1

We've gotten quite accustomed to flying to kick off a trip. That sounds rather elitist, but I assure you it is anything but; usually we're flying Spirit Airlines for something on the order of the cost of a single tank of gas. Roundtrip. That wasn't something we were going to risk for a little more than five hours over the Pacific Ocean, so at 10:00am on Christmas morning, we lifted into the air on one of Alaska's newest planes. It was just before 2:00pm local time when we landed to sunny skies and the most pleasant 75°F temperature a Pacific…

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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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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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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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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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The Blade | Soaring Over the Sierra #1

For the sixth time in as many years, I'm headed to a special spot in the Sierra of eastern California to enjoy a few days of wandering, chatting, and relaxation with my Dad. Having found this place more than 30 years ago, it's now the only place he camps anymore. If you recognize any of the places shown in the photos, please help to keep them special by not mentioning their names or locations. This year - like all the others - would be wonderful even if all we did was hang around camp and enjoy the world around us. In…

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Smoke in the Siskiyous | Siskiyou Crest 1

With much of our summer taken up with a kitchen remodel - perhaps a non-adventure story that I'll share some details of once we've completed it - and the Tacoma in Washington after we abandoned our non-refundable plane tickets after running the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route (UTBDR) in July, we were looking for somewhere a little closer to home as we started feel the antsy urge to escape to the outdoors. Not having had the time to plan a route - a process I enjoy, but that can consume nearly as much time as a trip itself - it dawned…

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We Arrive and it is Hot | UTBDR Prologue

As always, we wanted to run a Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR) this summer, and I'd had my eye on Colorado or Utah as both are always beautiful states through which to travel. This would be our seventh BDR in as many years, the original Oregon BDR being one of the very first trips we'd attempted with the CVT roof top tent. With record snowfall across the west, we realized a few weeks before our departure date that Colorado was completely out of the question, and even portions of the Utah route could still be blocked by snow. Still, the Utah BDR…

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A Plane, a Military Mockup, and a Sunken Dozer | Idaho-wyhee #1

With the warmer weather finally making its way north, and the Tacoma at home for a bit of maintenance after the last several months of living in Las Vegas, @mrs.turbodb and I thought that it would be fitting to mark the anniversary of our very first trip in the Tacoma by visiting the Owyhee. We wouldn't explore exactly the same spots - we rarely do - but we'd find ourselves in wonderfully similar surroundings, the fleeting green grass of spring welcoming us back. This time we decided to explore the Idaho side of this amazing wilderness, setting off on a warm…

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Roaming Below Cedar Point | R&R 1

Note: Visiting Cedar Point (and Cedar Mesa in general) requires a pass. For more information, check out BLM Utah Cedar Mesa Permits and Passes Information. My trip got off to a rough start when my plane from Seattle to Las Vegas was delayed by an hour, just after I arrived at the airport. While it was "only" an hour, I knew that even with my flight south, I had quite a bit of driving to do after I touched down and picked up the Tacoma. Driving that would now extend past midnight, shortening the amount of sleep I'd get for my…

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Far Below and High Above | Three Ways #1

We didn't plan to go to the Mojave. In fact, I've felt as though - over the last year - I've spent too much time in California, and I've had an urge to find myself back in places like Utah and Colorado. Alas, with a fantastic trip planned to hike the canyons of the Grand Gulch and Cedar Mesa, the weather did not cooperate. Snow - and lots of it - blanketed southeast Utah; rain spread across much of the lowland south. And so, at the last minute, I whipped up an itinerary to the only place I could find with clear skies: the…

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An Evening in Pinto Basin | Joshua Tree #1

In all the years I've been exploring the deserts of southern California, I've never made it to Joshua Tree National Park. The reason - if a little lame - is also simple: it's just too far away. Now, I know what you're thinking - they drive 20+ hours from Washington to Death Valley on a regular basis - and Joshua Tree is too far? Yes. It's a few more hours, and even I have my limits for what are usually 5-day trips where we leave at 8:00am and need to get at least a few hours of sleep before starting the…

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1,350 Feet Underground | Mine Mania #1

So. Many. Mines. I must admit to not really understanding what I was getting myself into when I started looking into a trip to the Dale Mining District, just east of Joshua Tree National Park. I mean sure, I knew there were a handful - or two handfuls - or maybe three - of mines, but nothing really prepared me for the sheer number of sites until I was driving around on the roads. Hundreds - perhaps even thousands - of tailings piles dotted the landscape. #overwhelmingmuch? After flying down to Las Vegas - which is so much better than driving -…

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Better to be Lucky | Left, Again #1

With the Tacoma stored in Las Vegas and a 6:00am flight, we headed out the door a little after 4:00am for a 45-minute light rail ride to the airport. In high spirits - the trip south would only take two-and-a-half hours - our discussion focused on what hike we should tackle when we arrived in Death Valley a few minutes after lunchtime. Train tickets purchased, we headed to the platform to wait for the next train. Unfortunately, we'd neglected to research when the trains started running, and only as we were waiting did we discover that the first train wouldn't…

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