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Death Valley Rally


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#1 Ted

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:38 AM

Preface - Normally my wife, our dog, and I camp together. But our dog is getting old and having some difficulties with a pinched nerve. So it looked like we were going to have to take a pass on the rally. But my wonderful wife, knowing I had been very excited about the rally, offered to stay home with the dog and let me participate. not being as wonderful of a husband, I accepted the offer. So, Dear, anything said in this are any other reports from the rally that give the idea I had fun are fictitious. Any photos where I appear to be smiling are shopped. And anyone that doesn't believe she is the greatest wife for letting me go alone, must believe she is for putting up with my warped sense of humor for 21+ years.

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Now on with the report.

I met Craig333 and Deltarat along with his partner, Pam, at 6:00 Friday morning and we took off for Death Valley. Along the way we caught up with Dirty Dog. We stopped to take in the view of Mono Lake and get our first multiple camper shot.

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We left DD in Bishop to get some supplies and went ahead to set up camp. We arrived in Ballarat about 4:00. A Father and son run the small store and campground there.

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I noticed the campground was quite crowded for January.

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We were informed it was a Clamper Rally! :eek: Deltarat is a member, I'll let him explain the concern. Knowing we wouldn't get any sleep there, we set up camp down the road about a half mile. Eventually Camelracer, Sunman and his girlfriend Jessica, and DD found us. That evening was spent sharing stories and food around the fire.

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#2 Ted

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:45 AM

The next morning we started slowly around camp. DD's fault, he kept us up late.

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We finally broke camp and wandered around Ballerat. There were several old buildings and an old truck that reportedly belonged to Charles Manson's gang when they were hiding at Barker Ranch near here. The stars painted on the ceiling of the truck are said to be the pentagrams they used as a symbol of their gang.

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#3 Ted

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:52 AM

In town was a small cemetery. The epithet for Seldom Seen Slim read "Me Lonely? Hell No! I'm Half Coyote and Half Wild Burro". I never did find out the meaning of leaving a coin on the grave site.
Another site had the ancient remains of a cherub.

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We left Ballarat and took the Wildrose Canyon road up to the charcoal kilns. It was quite a climb and the temperature dropped quickly. We went from desert floor to snow patches in a half hour.

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This is looking across the Owens Valley to the eastern Sierras.

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#4 Ted

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 04:02 AM

We backtracked to Emigrant Canyon Road and drove out to the Eureka Mine. The parking lot there was crowded with our six trucks.

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I even got attacked by a miner that thought I was jumping his claim. Oh wait, never mind. Just Sunman and his dog Gunner.

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A few more shots from the mine. The wire mesh is to keep people from falling down vertical shafts.

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#5 Ted

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 04:15 AM

Before leaving the mine, Craig and his dog Yuma had to make sure they were king of the hill.

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That not being high enough, we drove up the hill behind Craig to Aguereberry Point. What a view! We could see Badwater, Furnace Creek, and the sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells 6400 feet below us.

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Above I was referring to the hill behind Craig. But it reminded me of driving behind Craig on washboarded roads. For any members that do this in the future, don't try to keep up with Craig. He is in full Baja 1000 mode. We discovered later, after Craig left, Lawnmowerman drives similarly. I wonder what would have happened if they had done any of the trips together? :rolleyes:

A couple of shots of driving back down the hill and across the desert.

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#6 Ted

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 04:38 AM

As a side note, when driving washboarded roads in future rallies, don't try to keep up with Craig. He drives in full Baja 1000 mode. We found out later the same goes for Lawnmowerman. Craig and Lawnmowerman with their rigs, respectively.

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We caught up with Craig at the Skidoo town site. What a let down - just a sign post.

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Supposedly the road ended here but appeared to go on for a little bit. So we followed Sunman out the narrow, icy road only to find it gated. Each truck had to turn around and back towards the gate to let the next truck turn around.

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Being the last truck, i made my turn and left. The others explored beyond the gate and found a very intact mine. bummer. Guess I'll have to wait for their trip reports.
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#7 Ted

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 04:42 AM

On my way back, I checked out a small mine that looked open, only to find it blocked a little ways inside. I did find the symbols on the warning sign amusing, though.

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Getting late. I'll try to finish the report tomorrow.
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#8 marc

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 01:48 PM

Great report and Pics Ted. It was good meeting you, and look forward to crossing trails again.

marc
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#9 DLN

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 05:16 PM

Ted,

Great pics and report, looking forward to the rest.
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#10 craig333

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 05:41 PM

Great report ted. If you think I drive fast you should see what I do without the dog in the truck!
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