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Trip Date: 2024

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…

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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…

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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…

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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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