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Tag: mine

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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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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Into the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and Back Again | Siskiyou Crest 3

Having gone to bed with smoke so thick that we could barely see the mountains a few hundred feet away, and wondering if the smart move would be to head home rather than push through the remainder of the Siskiyou Crest Adventure Trail, I let out an audible whoop as I unzipped the tent door to greet the morning light. Wilderness! We can see the wilderness! At some point during the night - I couldn't tell you when since I'd zipped up all the doors of the tent to keep as much of the smoke outside as possible - the…

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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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A Stroll through the Rocks | Three Ways #2

Having drifted off to sleep to the pleasant pitter-patter of rain, it was extra nice to wake up just before sunrise to clear skies and a completely dry tent. Letting @mrs.turbodb bank a few more minutes of shut-eye, I headed to a nearby ridge to watch the sun crest the horizon. Surrounded by mountain fingers, any westerly winds had been kept at bay through the night. Half an hour later, my whistle - carried across the sandy slopes on a cool breeze - was answered in kind as @mrs.turbodb started her morning routine while I retraced my steps back to…

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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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Finally Hiking Hungry Bill's | Left, Again #2

Except for the burro that decided to "eee-aww, eee-aww, eee-aww" in the middle of the night a little ways up canyon from our camp site, Galena Canyon was one of the most pleasant nights I've experienced in Death Valley in recent memory. The level of the tent was just right; there was just the tiniest bit of a breeze to keep air moving; and temperatures were extremely pleasant in the low 40s °F. I was well rested when my alarm went off just before sunrise, and soon I was poking around the mining area that we'd discovered the previous evening.…

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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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Needle in a Haystack | Not the Rock Art #2

Having gone to bed at a little over 6,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by snow, I was a little worried that I'd be freezing cold and that the tent would be covered in frost when I woke up in the morning. To my delight, neither came to pass, and as I climbed around on the rocks behind camp - looking for rock art - just before sunrise, I found myself hopeful for the day ahead. Good morning, sun! After watching the sun crest the horizon, I hopped from stone to stone on my way back to camp. Cereal…

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Big Mine, Small Dunes | Inyo East #3

It was 2:00am when the light pitter patter of rain woke both @mrs.turbodb and me from our cozy sleep in the mouth of canyon on the eastern escarpment of the Inyo Mountains. "Guess I waited too long to go pee," she said. "Me too," I replied. It was the first time - in more than 80 nights in the park - I've ever experienced rain at night in Death Valley. Of course, while the whole bathroom thing was inconvenient, my biggest hope was that the rain would tail off reasonably quickly, allowing the tent to dry off before we had…

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Tramways and Waterfalls, Cascading Down Canyons | Inyo East #2

Nestled into the mouth of an unnamed canyon of the eastern Inyo Mountains, sleep came quickly after climbing into the tent a little after 8:00pm. For five hours, everything was great - temperatures were perfect, in the low 40s °F, a gentle breeze cascaded down the canyon, and clear skies eliminated any anxiety about putting the tent away wet in the morning. Then, as if to remind us that conditions should never be taken for granted in the desert, the wind picked up. As though a switch had been flipped, gusts up to 40mph seemed to appear out of nowhere.…

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Into the Inyo | Inyo East #1

We wrapped up our long drive south as we turned onto CA-168 from Big Pine. My plan - crazy as it seems now - had been to get all the way to our first trailhead prior to calling it a day, but given that it was already 3:00am and the trip over North Pass and into Saline Valley would take another 90 minutes, it seemed prudent to find camp rather than risk needing to do so in the much colder elevations should the pass be... impassable. There was no getting up at sunrise. Nestled in a small side canyon and…

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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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Big Mines and Squeeze Slots | Highway Hikes #2

It was shortly after 2:00pm when I arrived at the trailhead for my next destination. Literally parked along the shoulder of CA-190, anyone driving by might surely wonder, "why is a person parked here?" I know I was wondering why a white Tacoma was parked in the same spot, almost exactly one year earlier. Like the time of day, to the casual observer, there's nothing remotely remarkable about this place - though with a little knowledge, both the time and place become noteworthy. The time, because I had only a little over two hours - before sunset - to complete…

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