Exploring Death Valley during the winter months is usually a good choice. Given the wintery-cold temps and snow elsewhere, the relatively cooler - but still pleasantly warm at 60-75°F - days in the desert a welcome break from the dreary days in the Pacific Northwest.
It was with this in mind that I decided to plan a trip to the southwestern Panamint Mountains to explore the area I'd discovered along the Pleasant Canyon-to-Lower Park loop on my previous trip just a month before. We'd rushed that section a bit - completing it in about four hours, and I hoped that giving myself 48 hours would do several of the spur roads and abandoned mines justice.
The only thing I didn't factor in was... winter.
We'd end up spending much of the trip at a series of talc mines. Talc of course is a primary ingredient in makeup, so you could say we were - essentially - putting lipstick on the pig.
Change of Plans - Lipstick #1 - Having replaced the transfer case that had given up the ghost on my previous trip to Death Valley, the new year and lots of rain at home was enough to get us back on the road and headed south again. It was a long drive - this time along a… One Dunes Down - Lipstick #2 - Unlike the previous morning when we slept in, I had my alarm set for early-o-clock so I could catch the sunrise from our camp site at the north end of Panamint Valley along the Big Four Mine Road. Oh, and so that we could get an early start on our… Two Dunes Down - Lipstick #3 - It was another pleasant night at the southern end of Death Valley National Park. We slept soundly, a light breeze wafting through the tent as the moon passed by overhead. Clouds built slowly and morning brought the brightest sunrise of the trip - an opportunity I took full advantage of… It's Mine, Mine, Mine - All Mines! - Lipstick #4 - Hoping for a repeat of the previous morning, I was up early to capture a sunrise that never materialized. With few clouds in the sky - especially above the eastern horizon - there was nothing for the sun to highlight as it made its daily appearance just before 7:00am. Even… Rig Review - What worked and what didn't Winter 2022? - March 15, 2022. Time flies when you're having fun, and the last several trips have been exactly that. A regular reader may recall that my last rig review was just as the transfer case blew up on my Back for More trip to Death Valley. Since then, the truck has…