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 conditions cancelled our trip - a huge bummer - until now!
Finally, I get to play tour-guide for a spot I've come to love. It will be the first visit to Death Valley - in more than 10 years of exploration - for a couple of the guys, and our route will take us to lots of iconic places. With a little luck, I'll get them hooked on the desert too, and before long, we'll all be Back for More.
Where are we going? Just a few places - you know, Titus Canyon, Ubehebe Crater, Teakettle Junction, Racetrack Playa, Hidden Valley, the Lost Burro Mine, Lippincott Pass, Ballarat, Pleasant Valley, Gohler Wash, Mengal Pass, the Barker Ranch, Butte Valley, Warm Springs Rd, Saratoga Springs and the Ibex Dunes, Badwater Basin, Devils Playground, Zabrinski Point, Echo Canyon and the Inyo Mine, Crankshaft Junction, Eureka Valley and Dunes, Dedeckera Canyon, Steel Pass, and finally Saline Valley and its Warm Springs.
Well, that was the plan anyway. We had a great time, but it surely didn't go all to plan.
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… Buzzed by a C-17 Transport - Back for More #2 - We were all pretty tired after our long drives south, so once we finally headed to bed - some six hours or so after firing up Mike @Digiratus propane fire ring - I think we all slept quite well through the night; our little spot in Hidden Valley out of the… 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… Eye of the Storm - Back for More #4 - I've found no place in all my exploration of Death Valley National Park that I like more than waking up to a view of Striped Butte. You can imagine then - sleeping in our tents less than a mile away - that I had more than one alarm set in… Just Like That, It's Over - Back for More #5 - After another evening spent around Mike @Digiratus propane fire pit, we'd all climbed into our tents to clear skies and very light breeze. Thousands of feet above, however, things must have been different. Climbing down my ladder, a dark sky lent a dramatic air to our own little slice of… Rig Review - What worked and what didn't in Death Valley? - December 15, 2021. It's been three months since the last rig review, and in that time I've put another 10,000 miles on the Tacoma. With a nearly catastrophic failure, as well as a few great successes, it's time to dive into the good and the bad from the last several…