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Death Valley Recon March 2013

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Old 04-02-2013, 01:41 PM   #1
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Death Valley Recon March 2013



My cousin and I completed a ridiculously fun solo recon of the Death Valley region... an area I had never explored before. I averaged 150+ pics a day easy!

My poor truck is going into "drydock" for a while as I tend to its needs. We ran into a variety of minor mechanical issues but pressed on battered and bruised and limped home OK. Checking the truck before we left I noticed one bolt at the top of each coilover was missing. Getting new parts would take days. After taking them apart and analyzing things I decided to chance it. On the first day there I noticed that a seal was leaking at a rear tire. I bought some gear oil in Beatty and topped the diff off twice during the trip. It only required a few squirts each time so not a huge deal. Then a wheel center cap bounced off somewhere along Titus Canyon Rd. Goodbye proud plastic piece. Then I busted a rear shock. Then my check engine light came on, which turned out to be a minor emissions problem I thought I had fixed. Oh, and my steering started to groan a lot with slower speed heavy turning. I guess my poor old truck is getting old and needs some extra lovin.

None of this dampened our trip however. Our itinerary turned out to be this:
Dantes View
Hole in the Wall
20 Mule Team Canyon
Zabriskie Point
Echo Canyon
Devils Golf Course
Natural Bridge
Badwater
Artists Drive
Golden Canyon
Furnace Creek area
Harmoney Borax Works
Mustard Canyon
Salt Creek
Devils Cornfield
Mesquite Flat Dunes
Stovepipe Village
Mosaic Canyon
Stovepipe Well
Rhyolite Ghost Town
Titus Canyon Road
Scotty's Castle
Ubehebe Crater
Teakettle Junction
The Racetrack
Hidden Valley to Lee Flat
Talc City Mines
Darwin
Father Crowley Point
Darwin Falls
Panamint Springs ($6 gal gas)
Emigrant Canyon
Skidoo Townsite
Harrisburg
Aquereberry Point
Charcoal Kilns
Mahogany Flat
Panamint Valley
Ballarat Ghost Town
Goller Canyon (Barker Ranch)
Mengel Pass
Russell's Camp
Warm Springs
Ashford Mill

It was a good mix of paved, high clearance, 4x4, walk, and hike. And too many old mines to mention.

The whole trip from Phoenix was about 1200 miles, say about 380 one-way, leaving about 440 miles in and around the park or roughly 73 miles a day/average in the area. Sounds like a lot but didn't seem like a lot for some reason. But it was definitely not a leisurely camping trip, it was an uptempo "go" trip packed and designed to maximize mobility and cover some ground. We set camp between 6-6:30pm and broke around 7-7:30am. We weren't rushed, just active. I run the spectrum when it comes to outdoor trips and this particular mission was very much a recon... and an epic run it was!

Too many pics to deal with but here's a fairly representative sampling.

I will say that the trail from the mouth of Goler through Mengel Pass and into Striped Butte Valley was no joke. Although we passed through fairly smoothly with no spotting/stacking/multiple attempts/etc, I was just a couple inches away from sheetmetal damage one or two times. A small group of motos with cameras on their helmets was working it and we saw one of them biff it pretty hard. Of course stretches like that can be pretty stressful and I rarely think to get cool pictures along the way
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:05 PM   #2
whys the rum gone
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Looks like an awesome trip! Great pics. Nice truck too
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:23 AM   #3
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Thanks, since I normally can only take longer trips in the summer I figured I better squeeze in Death Valley now since I'm not working atm. Still looking to do a summer trip... maybe Elk Mountains, CO.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
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DV is a beautiful place to visit. Sounds like you had a great time. Titus Canyon is a must see. Did you go thru Echo Canyon or just to the water falls?
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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Buckoma is one of the sharper tools in the shedBuckoma is one of the sharper tools in the shedBuckoma is one of the sharper tools in the shedBuckoma is one of the sharper tools in the shedBuckoma is one of the sharper tools in the shedBuckoma is one of the sharper tools in the shedBuckoma is one of the sharper tools in the shedBuckoma is one of the sharper tools in the shedBuckoma is one of the sharper tools in the shedBuckoma is one of the sharper tools in the shedBuckoma is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Went to Inyo mine, guessing about 8-10 miles in.
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