East Mojave Trek


Riley's Human
Jan 12, 2007
I just got back from the first annual East Mojave Trek based out of Goffs CA. If you're ever in the neighborhood you should stop in and check the place out. Impressive what the volunteers have done there.

I started out Wednesday and headed for 395. Fortunately Monitor pass was open. Decided to fuel up at the Topaz Chevron. $4.29 a gallon for diesel. Made it to the Alabama Hills and camped at the Tuttle Creek campground. Weather and the views were so nice it was tempting to stay another night but we had miles to go. Can't say I'm fond of 40 especially with all the construction. Made it to Fenner where I was tempted to top off my tank until I saw fuel for $8.55 a gallon. Pass. Rolled into Goffs where they assigned me a nice camping spot. Made use of the flush toilets and had dinner. Hope they try a different caterer next time but it was okay.

Friday we head out on Part 4 of the East Mojave Heritage trail.

Nothing technical in fact I only used 4wd once. The new (to me) Jeep performed very well. I left the doors and windows at home. I like the extra visibility, ability to hear and smell but, it was mistake. A minor one but I wasn't really expecting that much heat in the middle of April. Oh well, I'm a desert rookie. The dust wasn't bad, its far worse in the Sierra's.

Riley seemed to enjoy the outing except when I missed seeing a dip in the road. Seems as soon as you hit a good stretch and get up to 30mph it punishes you with some more washboard. We did get to see a somewhat rare cactus bloom.

Of course we had to sign the logbook.

It was supposed to be an all day run but it turned out to be a little more than that. We got back well after dark. They did save dinner for us and it was just in time for the Dark Sky presentation. Too bad the moon was out but I learned a lot more about constellations. Day two was the other half of the fourth part of the EMHT. Too much highway driving to get there for my taste but oh well.

I should add our leader stressed over and over the necessity of hydration and watching out for the desert tortoise. Apparently they like Jeeps and will hide from the sun under your tires. We never did see a tortoise. Did need the hydration. Hit 102 about the time we got to the petroglyphs.

I kept thinking of the 3Skipins here.

Fenced off so you can't get too close. We had lunch at not so old mine Impressive job they did closing it off with rebar and concrete out in the middle of nowhere. Cacti there do a great of warning you away. Everything in the desert shouts "don't touch". I was worried about Riley getting too close but he seemed to get the message also.

We ran into some washboard that I've never seen before. I threw us from side to side. Really annoying and way too much. After both trips we fueled up in Arizona. $4.29 and under four dollars at the Indian casino. At least this time we got into camp with daylight to spare. I got to take a nice cold shower. My fault, only afterwards did I read the sign that told how to turn on the hot water. A cold shower in the desert isn't so bad! Stayed for most of the desert survival class Sunday morning. They also had tire repair and vehicle recovery classes for those that didn't take the all day runs.

I had originally planned to head to Kings Canyon but it was little early in the season for that and I've never traveled the Southern section of Death Valley and pretty soon it will be too late for that. I topped off just before the Park and paid $6.50 a gallon. I could have made it to Bishop without stopping (I'd fueled up in Searchlight NV) but I played it safe. Crazy drivers in DV. One almost clipped me after passing over a double yellow line. Spent another night in the Alabama Hills and almost a night at Green Creek but by the turnoff to Dunderberg it looked there would probably be too much snow to continue and I didn't want to be unable to turn around. Spent the night at Centerville flat. Had the whole place to myself. Cool enough the heater came on a couple times. Loved the drive back on Hwy 88. So beautiful with all the snow until you hit 6000' and it just disappears. 1300 miles and something over $500 in fuel, I won't be doing another long trip for a while.
I forgot to mention, on the way home I finally stopped at Manzanar. I've had a lot excuses for not stopping in over the years. I've known the history for a long time but it was still a very worthwhile stop.
I also forgot to mention the trains. The BNSF main line runs by Goffs. Three tracks. This is where you may have heard of the thieves breaking into train cars while they sat still waiting for permission to continue. The railroad added a bunch of very bright lights to discourage the thieves. Two long whistles, a short whistle and another long. Annoying at first but I was surprised how quickly I got used to it and slept through the night.
What was your tire pressure at? 35x13.50x15 Tires with that light of a rig you can probably go down to 10-15psi without any issues at all. That is really the only way to get through the washboard. I air down to 20psi on my F350 for long stretches for reference.
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