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Tag: ghost town

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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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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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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Dewey Bridge to Wellington - There are No Dinosaur Bones | UTBDR Stage 3

Stage 3 of the UTBDR - from Moab to the Book Cliffs to the San Rafael Swell. Pulling away from Dewey Bridge a little after 6:30pm, we'd already been on the road for 12 hours and we were spent. Unfortunately - as long as we wanted to continuing making forward progress on the route - there was no real elevation to be found until the beginning of the following stage, and we knew there was no way we could make it that far, even if we drove long into the darkness. So, we resolved to keep an eye out for…

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More than a Ghost Town | Panamint City #2

My night on a concrete floor in Panamint City was the worst camping experience of my adult life. Really, there was nothing redeeming about any aspect of it, so entertain me while I complain momentarily, completely aware that this is all my own fault! The sleeping bag was a disaster. In fairness to @mrs.turbodb - who warned me of this when I borrowed the bag from her - the fact that I could barely fit my shoulders into the bag, much less adjust my body at all once I was mummified, was super uncomfortable. Add to the fact that it…

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Hardest Hike Ever | Panamint City #1

For more than a year I've been trying to get to Panamint City. Despite requiring a 5.5-mile (one way) hike with more than 3,700 feet of elevation gain, trekking to-and-from this ghost town high on the western slopes of the Panamint Mountains isn't the issue. Rather, the problem presents itself once one has arrived: there is so much to explore - more than 10 miles of trail and another 5,000 feet of elevation - that there is no way to accomplish the round-trip in a single day. At least, not for this human. And this is where I should share…

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Hard Times at Poker Flat | Plumas 1

For much of my childhood, summers were spent in the Plumas National Forest. I have such fond memories of waking up in our favorite campground, earning Junior Ranger patches, and fishing in creeks recently stocked with so many fish that the stream bed was obscured by wriggling tails. And yet, when out exploring as an adult, I've spent almost no time in the Sierra, much less the Plumas National Forest. So, it was with great anticipation that we set out to wind our way through on the Plumas National Forest Backcountry Discovery Trail. Like a BDR, we figured this would…

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Elk Mtn to Alcova - A Most Welcome Detour | WYBDR 3

We had a hell of a time getting out of Elk Mountain. Well, not exactly out of town per-se, but out of the Conoco fuel station along I-80, just a few miles away. With gas prices as they are, I'd downloaded the Conoco app to save $.10/gal; let me tell you - that thing is a piece of crap. Credit cards added to your wallet are "lost" from your profile every time the app is restarted, requiring all the details to be reentered. The problem is that you can only enter five cards total, and the back end seems to…

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Oh No! Rain! | Out-and-Backs #3

My exploration of Blue Valley complete, and a bit of my curiosity satiated at the Hattie Harrell Homestead, it was time to scratch another itch that had been bothering me for more than a year. On the same trip where I'd seen the Harrell Place across the river, I'd spotted a road high up on the eastern escarpment of the canyon. A series of switchbacks, I made a note to investigate when I got home. I year earlier when I spotted this zigzag I thought, "Doesn't that look intriguing!" Making my way back up through Blue Valley - completing yet…

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A Little Drama in the Sky | Out-and-Backs #2

Out on the end of Owyhee's Tongue was one of the windiest nights I've ever spent in the tent. I think things calmed down for about two hours - between 10:00pm and midnight - but for the rest of the time, it was like sleeping in a washing machine. For how windy it was, I still slept relatively well - waking up now and then when the entire truck was rocked on its suspension, but always dozing back to sleep within a few minutes. I woke up an hour before sunrise and snapped a cell phone photo before zipping up…

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Owyhee's Best Hike | Out-and-Backs #1

I always look forward to the changes of spring. Warmer weather pushing north means that the snow melts, opening up more places for exploration. For a short time, everything seems so green and colorful. Flora showing off their brightest colors to the world - perhaps with the exception of fall aspen - celebrating the longer days with enthusiasm. Usually - no matter where I'm headed - I look for routes that are through - or at least loop - routes, giving me as much new terrain as possible over my limited time in the outdoors. That - naturally - leaves…

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Corn Spring and Desert Center | (Venturing Off the) Bradshaw Trail #4

Right smack in the middle of my Bradshaw Trail adventure, I was presented with an option - travel the trail as outlined in my guidebook - Gold Road to La Paz, an Interpretive Guide to the Bradshaw Trail - or take a 75 mile detour north over Graham Pass to a nearby desert attraction - Corn Spring. Normally, I'd probably have opted to just keep going, but this time the decision was a tough one. While not on the actual route, my book had included a photo of some petroglyphs at Corn Spring, and if I'm a sucker for anything,…

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Beginning of the End | Back for More #3

I think the night we spent in the Panamints was the most peaceful of the trip. Sheltered from the wind, our high elevation resulted in cool temps - always better for sleeping in my book... to an extent, anyway. Having arrived at dusk the night before, none of us had a chance to look around our camp site before it was too dark to really see anything. So, though it was cloudy, I was up and looking around relatively early the next morning. Mike found a spot on what appeared to be an old garage pad. Certainly was level! As…

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Welcome to Death Valley, Boys | Back for More #1

I'm one lucky dude. Having just gotten back from two trips to Death Valley - (Lowest Peak in the Park) (Highest Peak in the Park) - over a three-week period, I'm now headed back for my third trip in a month! But, frequency isn't the only reason I'm excited. Every year, a few buddies get together for an annual outing - usually in early fall - to explore and hang out. For me, it all started when I tagged along on my first major trip - The De-Tour - and I've been hooked ever since. This year, truck problems and smoky…

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The Legend of Skidoo | Panamints 2

Sleep came quickly on our tailings platform nestled into the drainage high in the Panamint Mountains. Sheltered from the wind, and with temperatures in the low-40°F range, it was one of the most pleasant nights of sleep I've had in a long time. It wasn't quite as good for @mrs.turbodb, but she certainly welcomed the nearly 11 hours of shut eye after the slog of driving we'd endured over the previous 48 hours. I'd set my alarm for just before sunrise, but my internal clock was having none of that silliness, and I awoke three minutes before Toto's Africa came…

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The Town of Bodie | Last Minute 4

After two nights of restless sleep, I slept well at the Chemung Mine. Legend has it that a ghost haunts the property, but luckily for me it was a Friday night - one of the six nights each week that the poltergeist is a peacefully content. Apparently if I'd been there on a Saturday evening, things could have gotten interesting. I awoke only once during the night - right around 2:00am - when a flurry of snow was passing overhead, the tick, tick, tick of ice on the rain fly, rousing me from my sleep. I'm never happy about the…

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Unexpected Success | Last Minute 3

Having not gotten much sleep the night before, I thought I'd conk out and sleep through the night here on my ridge in the Pine Grove Hills. No such luck, however - instead I wandered in and out of sleep, a little worried that the wind and rain would pick up during the night. Neither of those things happened, and a few minutes before my alarm went off, I decided I'd read a bit as I waited for color to spill across the sky. With views to both the east and west, I knew that this could be a primo…

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Smoke in the Sawtooths

It's been over a year since I was last in Idaho, and boy did I miss it! So, after spending a few weeks at home upon returning from the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route (NMBDR), and with @mrs.turbodb heading out on a camping trip with her dad, late July seemed like the perfect time for me to whip up a little something in the Sawtooths. The key word there being "seemed." I'd been collecting places to go - some of them from roads not travelled on earlier trips, others discovered online one way or the other, and one in particular…

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