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Tag: rock art

Playing it Safe | Other Side #3

Having spent a bit of time dealing with the rear e-locker, we were running about two hours "behind schedule" as we barreled west along UT-163 towards Monument Valley. In reality, I'd somehow significantly underestimated the number of miles between Comb Ridge and the Muddy Mountains where we planned to setup camp for the night, so we were running more like five hours later than planned. That meant we'd need to alter our itinerary a bit - eating dinner rather than lunch in St. George, as well as finding a nearby spot to camp so we could complete our final hike…

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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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After | Before and After #2

We'd wrapped up the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (AZBDR) in record time, a full day faster than even our most ambitious estimates. On the one hand, it was nice to relax a bit, knowing that we had plenty of time to make it from the Arizona-Utah border near Kanab to our flight out of Las Vegas. On the other, now we were faced with figuring out what to do with our spare time; I hadn't researched any backup plans should a situation like this occur! After a bit of "we could do this," and "we could go see that," we…

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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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The Perfect Day for Something Stupid

I love nearly every aspect of getting out to explore. The research when I'm at home. The anticipation of what will be found along the way. The unexpected discoveries along the journey. And, of course, the excitement of finding the destinations themselves. Usually. The Back Story Even the best-laid plans - of which mine rarely qualify - run into a snag every now and then. Sometimes it takes multiple attempts to find what we are looking for - if we ever find it at all - as I learned in the case of a singular rock along the Pahranagat Trail over…

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Wonderland in White | Snow in JTNP #2

Having climbed into the tent by 7:30pm, exhausted after nearly two days without sleep, we fell asleep quickly despite the tent flapping wildly in the wind, the entire thing swaying - as I imagine a train car might - with each gust. Still, with warm feet and ear plugs, everything was dandy until just after midnight when I heard the pitter-patter of rain. Or was it? Rain, it turns out, isn't so bad as long as it stops early enough in the morning that the rain fly can dry out by the time we need to put the tent away.…

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Extras Along the Way | EMHT Segment 4

I could have included this stuff in the main East Mojave Heritage Trail stories - and usually I would have - but they were already getting long. Plus, I know that most would prefer YouTube videos anyway. Not that there will be any YouTube videos here, if I just got your hopes up. Anyway, this is a mishmash story of a few things that weren't explicitly part of EMHT Segment 4, but that I experienced during that same span of time. The Copper Glint Mine As I was leaving Las Vegas - my body and the Tacoma both resupplied after…

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Worn Out | EMHT Segment 4b Turtle Mountains to Needles

My plan - if one can ever really have a plan when out adventuring, was that this was going to be my last day on the East Mojave Heritage Trail. After nearly 10 days of travel, I had only 70 miles or so to complete Segment 4, and in an effort to ensure that I'd actually get through those 70 miles before dark, I was out of the tent nearly half an hour before the sun peeked over the horizon. With no shadows, the ambient light on the Turtle Mountains was something special. The main reason I was up so…

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Volcanoes National Park | Hawaii Vacation #2

Whereas @mrs.turbodb was most looking forward to being in the ocean while we were in the tropics, I was most looking forward to seeing an active volcano. Actually, I suppose I was conceptually interested in that, but I hadn't fully thought through two key elements: (1) where to go to see said active volcano and (2) whether there was actually an active volcano. Turns out, (1) is a problem when the answer to (2) is "there isn't one." I so sad. Still, even if we couldn't see some fiery hot lava blasting into the night sky, or cascading into the…

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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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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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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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Wellington to Currant Creek - Tiniest Deer and a Big Miss | UTBDR Stage 4

Stage 4 of the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route - through Nine Mile Canyon (sort of), and through the Uinta Mountains to ... Wyoming? Shortly after 6:00pm, we pulled out of the Chevron station on the outskirts of Wellington on our way to Nine Mile Canyon. We were surprised when we discovered that Nine Mile Canyon was on the Utah BDR because when we'd visited - a little more than a year earlier - we'd spent an entire day in the canyon, completely overdosed on rock art, and still hadn't seen but a fraction of what it has to offer. How…

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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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Monticello to Dewey Bridge - Blocked by Snow | UTBDR Stage 2

Lockhart Basin in our rearview mirror, it was time for the main Stage 2 route through the La Sal Mountains. Having wrapped up our brief time in town with a quick meal and a refreshingly cold Coke - kept icy cold in my favorite stainless steel vacuum cup - and chocolate frosty from Wendy's - it was time to find some respite from the heat. A hotel room - with a shower - for instance. Sure, it wasn't triple digits anymore, but no one wants to sleep in this, either. Alas, there was no hotel room in our future, though…

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