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Archives: Trips

Early Summer in the Sierra (Jun 2024)

In what has become an enjoyable tradition, the end of June marked a few days of fun and relaxation in the Sierra with Pops. Usually, busy schedules keep us from getting up until just before Labor Day, but this year we pulled off our visit early! With perfect weather, we soaked in the sun and surroundings. Visited traditional lunch spots. And trapsed our way through blackened forests of the 2020 Creek Fire. And of course we ate well. This is a special place to my Dad, one that he's been visiting for more than 30 years. As such, I've used…

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Wandering the White Mountains (Jun 2024)

For years we've travelled south to explore the Mojave. More times that I can count, we've cruised south - and north again - along US-395 through the Owens Valley, or followed US-95 through Nevada. On every one of these, we've passed by the White Mountains, their sharp peaks - often dusted in snow - reaching high into the sky. And yet, even as we've stopped to explore areas near these mountains, we've never taken the time to wander into them. This trip would change all of that. With several days to explore, we hoped that our timing - at the…


Inyo West (May 2024)

I've done a lot of exploring in and around Death Valley National Park, and have spent many a morning watching the sun illuminate the Inyo Mountains from the east. But, I've spent almost no time exploring the Inyo Mountains from the west - Owen's Valley - side. I'm not sure exactly why this has been the case - there's a ton to experience - but I suppose it's due to the fact that it's nestled between the dramatic Sierra Nevada and my favorite National Park. Regardless, I've wanted to drive the Swansea to Cerro Gordo Road - up past the…


The Other Side (May 2024)

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 and After (Apr 2024)

Making our way back-and-forth from Las Vegas to the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (AZBDR) was a whole lot better than a round-trip from Washington. Still, we had a 10-hour drive to the Mexico border before starting the BDR, and a full day between when we crossed the Arizona-Utah border and our return flight home, so we made the most of it by checking out a few places with some of the most unusual rock art - of one type or another - we've encountered!

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Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (Apr 2024)

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 in…


I've Missed Death Valley (Mar 2024)

It's been more than a year since I last visited Death Valley. Hit hard by Hurricane Hillary, nearly the entire road system of the Park was closed, and it's taken a long time for it to re-open. In fact, even today, many of my favorite trails - the ones that shuttle intrepid explorers to the far reaches of remote valleys - are still closed. I've tried to satisfy my desert appetite with places a little further south in the Mojave, and even the lower lying Colorado deserts, but there's something special about Death Valley for me. I can't take it any…

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Does it Always Snow in Joshua Tree? (Feb 2024)

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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Wrapping up the EMHT (Jan 2024)

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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The Vacation Adventure (Dec 2023)

This wasn't a typical adventure for us. There were no tents, only a few miles of dusty roads, and not once did we yearn for the day when we could finally hop in the shower. In fact, this adventure was so vacation-esque that I had no plans to write a story, and even contemplated leaving my camera at home. And yet, as we found ourselves exploring the big island of Hawaii - a new-to-us destination, since we've traditionally enjoyed Kauai - the things we saw were familiar but new, and as exciting as ever.    

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A Bit More EMHT (Dec 2023)

There was no way we 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 - even without 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 were trying to do it at…

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East Mojave Heritage Trail (Nov 2023)

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 a…


Third Time's the Charm (Nov 2023)

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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Connecting the Dots in Nevada (Oct 2023)

No matter where we travel, there always seem to be more to see than time to see it. The result - inevitably - is that areas are left un- or at the very least under-explored, leaving us wanting more; urging us to return. Nevada is no exception. One of our first introductions to this fantastical state was along the Nevada Backcountry Discovery Route (NVBDR), a route that surprised us both with its beauty. Since then, we've returned several times, each time uncovering more and more that this underrated state has to offer. But this time is a little different. Rather…

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Half a Trip in Montana (Oct  2023)

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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Soaring Over the Sierra (Sep  2023)

Green river. Crystal clear. 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. 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 fact, for the last five years, that's been exactly what Pops has done, a hip hindering his ability to cover…

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First Time Fishing (Aug 2023)

With @mini.turbodb getting bigger, only two viable seats in the Tacoma, and having sold the family 4Runner, it's a lot harder to get the whole family out to our favorite camp site on a regular basis. Of course, with @mini.turbodb getting older, the thought of spending time in the woods - away from showers, mirrors, and technology - and having to put up with parents - peskier creatures than mosquitoes - isn't all that appealing anyway. And yet, several times over the last six months, she has mentioned the desire to try fishing for the first time. So, when @mrs.turbodb…

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Siskiyou Crest Adventure Trail (Aug 2023)

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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Utah Backcountry Discovery Route (Jul 2023)

As always, we wanted to run a BDR this summer, and I'd had my eye on Colorado or Utah as both are always beautiful states through which to travel. 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 is an iconic route. Meandering 871-miles through the Valley of Gods, climbing the Moki Dugway, picking the perfect route through the rough roads of Lockhart Basin, and winding through four mountain ranges…

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