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Diet Taco... trying to keep things light

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Builds (2005-2015)' started by DVexile, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Sep 29, 2018 at 10:21 AM
    #1041
    DVexile

    DVexile [OP] Exiled to the East

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    WeatherStory1.jpg
    Well looks like it is going to be interesting times for my trip starting Monday! I had been considering either Grand Staircase Escalante or northwest Death Valley. Looks like Death Valley is going to be the winner. Hope to spend almost the entire time up along White Top Mountain Road doing hikes in the area. Had originally planned to do back in April but that trip didn't happen. Forecast is extremely uncertain on the track for the most moisture but hopefully it stays mostly to the south east as predicted in the figure above. On the plus side unseasonably cool temperatures, on the down side probably pretty windy. And of course some of the roads could disappear...
     
  2. Sep 29, 2018 at 9:00 PM
    #1042
    scocar

    scocar Treat the cause, not the symptom

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    Oooff. Yeah, keeping to the NW sector looks like a good plan.

    But should provide some nice dramatic sky photo ops....
     
  3. Oct 3, 2018 at 11:31 PM
    #1043
    ETAV8R

    ETAV8R Out DERP'n

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    Hope to see some awesome photography...read a report you're in the Cottonwoods and significant wx was sighted in Saline moving east.
     
    I married my tacoma and Crom like this.
  4. Oct 4, 2018 at 9:27 AM
    #1044
    DVexile

    DVexile [OP] Exiled to the East

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    These rumors one hears on the internet!

    Anyway, does this count? Good enough for a trip report teaser photo I think...

    [​IMG]
     
    Cwopinger, omegaman2, jnw32 and 12 others like this.
  5. Oct 4, 2018 at 9:29 AM
    #1045
    ETAV8R

    ETAV8R Out DERP'n

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    Wonderful stuff!
     
    Crom and DVexile [OP] like this.
  6. Oct 4, 2018 at 8:29 PM
    #1046
    scocar

    scocar Treat the cause, not the symptom

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    Groovy, baby. Keep em coming.
     
    DVexile [OP] likes this.
  7. Oct 4, 2018 at 9:01 PM
    #1047
    DVexile

    DVexile [OP] Exiled to the East

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    Hidden Valley, DVNP - Day 1
    October 2018

    Finally the desert camping season is opening! For this trip I planned on exploring the area around Hidden Valley in northwest Death Valley National Park. If the temperatures were on the high side I'd head up White Top Mountain Road to gain elevation into the western Cottonwood Mountains. If the temps were on the low side I'd explore Lost Burro Gap, Hidden Valley and Ulida Flat which run north to south just west of the Cottonwoods and still at a comfortable 5,000 foot elevation for this time of year.

    As my trip began the remnants of a hurricane were sweeping south of the area with the potential for significant precipitation. Just after that a low pressure system was coming from the Pacific and could upset things more! So I planned to be flexible and just see what would come.

    I flew into Vegas late on Sunday and hoped to get an early start on Monday. Alas things went a bit slowly Monday morning with work interfering by phone and email but finally I was headed out of Vegas by 11AM. Originally I planned to enter the backcountry from Ubehebe Crater but on a whim I decided to drain more of the old gas in the tank from storage by driving to Panamint Springs before filling up and entering via Saline Valley Road.

    I had thought about eating a late lunch at Panamint Springs but oh my goodness was the place completely overrun with two huge tour buses in the parking lot. They now have a giant tent setup with endless tables under it to handle the crowds. I guess I'm happy the place is doing good business but I decided to eat a snack up at Father Crowley Point in peace and quiet instead. Well relative peace and quiet since Father Crowley Point overlooks "Star Wars Canyon" (actually Rainbow Canyon). Always worth hanging out for a bit to see what flies by. Or rather what flies below. I was too lazy to get out a camera but my phone was handy...


    Panamint Valley Bird Watching
    So far there was no rain and the weather forecast had changed midday with greatly reduced probabilities and quantities of precipitation forecast for the area. There was however plenty of wind and quite a few clouds. The cloud line was mostly ending right over the Panamints which was potentially going to setup a great sunset with clear skies to the west to provide nice illumination of the storm clouds.

    Crossing Lee Flat I paused to check out a composition I've been waiting years to shoot but it still didn't seem like the right time as the wind was just punishing making it impossible to keep a twilight shot steady. Besides which I was worried a storm could dump a lot of rain on Hunter Mountain making it impassible. While there though I did notice a C-17 make an impressive dive into Panamint Valley in the distance.

    Continuing on I reached North Pass which hosts perhaps my favorite view of Panamint Valley. I've taken a number of shots from here and none have completely satisfied. The wind was absolutely screaming through the pass so this was not going to be a good time to setup a twilight shot and I was still in a hurry to get over Hunter. Nonetheless the afternoon light was raking the valley nicely and the clouds were to die for. With plenty of wind and no precipitation yet there was a fair bit of haze in the air compromising the view. So I took out my IR converted camera which cuts nicely through haze and often does interesting things to clouds.

    [​IMG]
    Panamint Valley Vista
    This worked out very nicely and I think I finally have this particular viewpoint "bagged" as it were! The rest of the trip over Hunter was uneventful but beautiful with raking late afternoon light and clouds throwing patchy shadows over the landscape. I made good time through the valleys on the other side in a rush to try to setup a twilight shot of Hidden Valley with the storm clouds behind it. I got there just barely in time huffing and puffing to get to the summit of a low peak a few minutes before sunset. Things went just as I had hoped with the high sweeping cirrus leading the storms catching pink light while the lower clouds in shadow turned a steel blue.

    [​IMG]
    Hidden Valley Sunset
    I stayed on the peak a bit too long and made a stumbling descent in deep twilight. Given the predictions of strong winds and potential rain through the night I left the Flip-Pac closed and slept diagonally on the raised floor. I made a neat discovery that if I set both Action Packers on the tailgate they are the perfect height that the door can close right above them! If I wanted to grab food all I had to do was open the rear door, pop the lid off and grab what I needed.

    So far the skies had been remarkably agreeable and my luck continued as unexpectedly a huge clear window of sky opened above me so I could enjoy some moon free binocular stargazing. I'm always stunned by what simple binoculars can do in a deep dark sky. I was more tired than hungry and had a small snack instead of dinner. I finally dozed off very happy with my first day and still wondering what exactly the weather and myself would do the next day.
     
  8. Oct 5, 2018 at 12:31 PM
    #1048
    DVexile

    DVexile [OP] Exiled to the East

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    Hidden Valley, DVNP - Day 2
    October 2018

    Tuesday dawned with unsettled weather. It had not rained at all during the night but there were fast moving clouds everywhere and the crest of the Cottonwoods was completely obscured. The forecast was uncertain with a good chance for rain or thunderstorms during the day but the temperatures were quite nice for hiking. I decided to hike from Lost Burro Gap up to Lost Burro Peak and then descend through Lost Burro Mine and return the to truck by walking down the roads back to the gap. This route gets a couple of paragraphs mention in Digonnet's book. I planned to take my time but figured I'd still have the afternoon to do something else since it was only about six miles and 1,600 feet for the loop.

    Lost Burro Gap is the narrow wash the road from Teakettle Junction passes through on the way to Hidden Valley and eventually up Hunter Mountain. It is a beautiful spot with awesome slanting strata on both sides of the road. A small canyon exits the gap to the south and I've always stopped here to take the very short walk to see its impressive dry fall and numerous tiny holes and windows in the canyon walls.

    [​IMG]
    Canyon Mouth in Lost Burro Gap
    I started into the canyon just a little bit after 9AM packing a bit over 1.75L of water, snacks and a lunch since I expected to take my time. The sky was mostly cloudy with small blue patches appearing here and there. Previously I'd only ever gone in far enough to see the 25 ft dry fall which quickly blocks the way. I'd never bothered to bypass the fall and see what lies above but today not only would I do that but continue all the way up to the head of the canyon and then up a ridge to Lost Burro Peak. In no time at all I hit the first fall.

    [​IMG]
    Dry Fall
    Indications were that a bypass to the left side of the canyon would get around the fall without too much trouble. I think the easiest grade would be to go back to the mouth and start up the ridge to the left (east) but being a bit lazy I climbed up a slanting slab just a little ways below the 25 ft fall right above a 6 ft fall that proceeds it. This rock was really sharp which was good for traction but not so great for the hands! Being out of shape and the slope being steep I didn't rush it but still made it up the mixture of slab and talus to a point where a rather short descent brought me back to the canyon floor. From there a short but beautiful slot led after a few turns back to the top of the fall.

    [​IMG]
    Lost Burro Slot
    I wasted some time here taking pictures and enjoying the shady confines of the canyon. Digonnet makes little mention of the rest of the canyon other than to say it widens at one point and eventually a "short steep" climb takes you to the ridge below the peak. His trail guides are usually exceptionally detailed but this route was just a passing suggestion at the end of his section on the Lost Burro Mine. Turns out there were some details left out but likely on purpose as these kinds of routes he usually leaves to the reader to explore on their own...

    The first check was a 12 foot dry fall but there was a very easy class 4 climb immediately to the left. A bit further on another 12-15 foot dry fall blocked the way. While polished smooth there were some large gaps at reasonable spacing to act as foot holds. To the right however was what appeared to be an easier class 4 climb which I opted for. Indeed it was quite straightforward except that at the top I discovered I'd need to make an awkward move with my feet to step onto the lip of the fall. Instead I opted to basically flop on my stomach into the top of the chute and drag my legs up. I felt like a seal hauling out on an ice flow. Ugly, but it worked. I don't think I'd attempt to downclimb this fall but there was clearly a reasonable bypass on the left (east) side of the canyon should I need to double back. Climbing the fall was just a short cut.

    Soon after the canyon did open up into a wide wash with Joshua trees above the banks. The walking was easy but I was happy to be doing it on a cool day with patchy clouds. Eventually the wash narrowed again and steepened. Digonnet mentions exiting to the ridge where the wash makes a pronounced U bend which he shows on his map. The same bend was on my topo and the canyon really seemed to be ending but the GPS showed me not to this bend yet...

    Eventually I came to a huge 80 ft or taller dry fall with a large alcove at its base. No mention of this fairly significant obstacle in the book. I stopped to have a snack and a drink while I considered what to do. The fall was in many stages with the lower portion potentially bypassed in a steep crevice to the left. The upper portion though appeared to have an overhang at the lip though perhaps with a class 4 route to the side. It look very intimidating. Potential wider bypasses to the sides didn't look particularly inviting either. I explored climbing in the crevice to the left but quickly decided that was not a good option. Besides which I couldn't see above the top of this fall and had no idea what lay above it. There was a good chance I could get trapped between falls.

    So I started to try a bypass to the left. Well this really sucked. It was extremely steep and the rock quite crumbly on the ridges and the talus in the chutes sliding. I started my bypass just a few hundred feet down canyon from the fall but it isn't clear to me starting further down canyon would help much either. You basically have to trade crappy ridge climbing for crappy talus scrambling. Most of it was just the annoying kind of suck and there was only one point I considered scary. I had to choose between a more challenging climb with less exposure and a more trivial climb with more exposure. I chose the later because it was so short but in the process discovered the rock was much more crumbly than I expected and the talus right above it very prone to sliding. It all took less than 30 seconds but I finished it shaking a bit and thinking what a stupid thing it was to have done while solo.

    Above that point more crappy talus and eventually a descent of maybe 50 feet back into the canyon floor. It was extremely exhausting as I'm not in great shape compared to my younger days when I hiked all the time. Curious I walked back down canyon a bit to discover another 20 ft completely impassible dry fall lives just above the huge one I saw from below. Indeed had I even managed to get above the 80 ft fall I would have been trapped there.

    Shortly past this point the U bend appeared and I scrambled up to the ridge. More talus but far more tame than the bypass had been. The wind was screaming through the saddle at the top and I trudged on higher to reach the peak. Exhausted I was rewarded with quite the view.

    [​IMG]
    View west from Lost Burro Peak
    The eastern and southern sides drop shear into Hidden Valley and the canyon of Lost Burro Mine. It is hard to get a 360 degree view from one spot but the above photo shows about 270. To the far left is Racetrack Playa with the Nelson Range and Inyo Ranges rising in the background from south to north. In the middle foreground is Teakettle Junction with the Last Chance Range rising behind it. The western edge of Saline Valley can be seen peeking from behind the crests. The bajada rising from Teakettle to the north is bounded by the Last Chance Range and the northern extreme of the Cottonwoods - the road to Ubehebe Crater runs up this slope. The whole scene was constantly changing as the fast moving patchy clouds cast ever shifting shadows across the landscape. It was a delightful lunch spot on the lee side of the peak out of the wind.

    This place appears rarely visited. The peak log had three parties from the past spring but then nothing until 2015. The log placed in the middle 1990's had less than forty entries. Three of those were from the same guy who seems to keep coming back! Finally fed, watered and feeling a bit recovered from the nasty last parts of the canyon below I continued on my way. The plan was to follow the ridge line to the southwest hitting two more peaks along the way before descending to Lost Burro Mine. Before descending to the saddle I checked out the extreme south of this peak which ends at a precipitous drop into the canyon where the Lost Burro Mine sits. The clouds were just doing amazing things to the sky and the land today.

    [​IMG]
    Lost Burro Mine from Lost Burro Peak
    Down to the saddle and then following sheep trails up the gentle slope to the next peak - more of a high point on a ridge than a true peak really. The whole time the views in every direction were incredibly dynamic as peaks and playas were alternatively cast in deep shadow or blinding light. I was quite tired as the canyon and bypasses had taken way longer than I expected and I had decided to not rush things and take my time. It was already almost 3PM in the afternoon but who could rush the walk along this amazing ridge in some of the rarest light you'll ever find in a desert? Too fatigued to keep taking the camera out I eventually just started using my phone, but it did an admirable job all the same.

    [​IMG]
    Windy Ridge
    More threatening weather started to build to the south of Hunter Mountain and over the Nelson Range. Eventually I could see sheets of rain coming down behind Ubehebe Peak in the southern end of Saline Valley. I made the third peak overlooking Racetrack Playa now quite worn out and buffeted by strong winds. I took shelter behind a small ridge and had another snack. Checking my water it was getting quite low given the whole hike had been much more exhausting than expected but it was all downhill from here over familiar terrain and most of the way along roads.

    Given the worsening weather and low water I decided I did need to finally descend away from this amazing ridge. On the way down I could hear thunder rumbling from the storm behind Ubehebe. The clouds, the light and the land continued to put on a show and I had to concentrate on keeping my eyes on my feet during the descent and to stop taking out the phone so often to take pictures. I was now under some thick dark clouds making it seem much later than the 3:30PM it was. In the distance bright afternoon light was lighting up clouds and other parts of the desert.

    [​IMG]
    Storm clouds bring evening light early
    I was glad I was familiar with the Lost Burro Mine workings as it is a little confusing to thread the various paths to make it off the ridge most efficiently. As I neared the cabin spots of rain started to fall. I sat on the front step and cleaned out my shoes and socks and took a well earned rest. I was really worn out. I had forgotten just what a true cross country desert peak climb can be like despite the relatively low miles and elevation change viewed on paper. Fortunately all that was left was a bit less than three miles downhill on dirt roads.

    The rain disappeared in a few minutes having barely gotten anything even damp. I was down to a few swigs of water and figured it was really time to get back to the truck. Despite being fatigued the walk down the roads was positively delightful. The wind was not too bad, just enough to keep me nice and cool but not enough to blow off my hat. The clouds and ridges provided shade nearly the whole way. As the road began its slow turn into the gap I could see that some serious weather had developed further north. The tops of thunderheads poked up over the ridge ahead of me.

    [​IMG]
    Storms to the north
    Finally a bit before 5PM the truck came into view and my "half day" hike had come to an end. I finished the hike with zero water which is not the way to finish a hike. I had poorly estimated the time and effort involved. I recalled making a similar error over 15 years ago and I guess I needed another reminder to plan more conservatively. I was fortunate it had been a very pleasant day as far as temperatures and humidity went.

    The forecast was now for a dry but windy evening and so I headed to what I hoped was a sheltered site between Hidden Valley and Ulida Flat where I could put up the Flip Pac and have more room to spread out. It was a pretty quick drive and after opening up the Flip Pac I collapsed for a half an hour or so. Sunset be damned, I was tired and had enough nice photos for a day. I eventually got hungry and had hot dogs for dinner before finally going to bed early. It had been an awesome if exhausting day.
     
    Mtnflyer, omegaman2, Jim Bob and 9 others like this.
  9. Oct 5, 2018 at 3:24 PM
    #1049
    PappyKat

    PappyKat Wildly Inappropriate

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    You did nail it. That is a beautiful photo of Panamint Valley.
     
  10. Oct 5, 2018 at 4:12 PM
    #1050
    ETAV8R

    ETAV8R Out DERP'n

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    What a great adventure. There is something about being alone in the desert that most people do not comprehend.
     
  11. Oct 6, 2018 at 9:00 AM
    #1051
    Crom

    Crom Outside

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    Great photos and write up. I'm so out of tune with my surroundings, I didn't learn of the hurricane that was affecting my weather until I read about it in your thread. ROFL!:rofl:
     
  12. Oct 6, 2018 at 10:10 AM
    #1052
    adadandhistruck

    adadandhistruck formerly "lashingbar"

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    This is awesome. You gave me some good ideas. I'll make use of these batteries and lights in the bed of my truck for sleeping and maybe a few in our camping boxes just for rummaging at night without blinding ourselves. I can just stick a few lights to the inside of our boxes with tape or velcro. Same goes for under my softopper
     
  13. Oct 7, 2018 at 9:36 AM
    #1053
    SIZZLE

    SIZZLE Pro-party

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    A little a this, a little a that...
    Wow, incredible pics and description. I think we’ve all been in a situation like that where you underestimate what your about to do. Glad you made it thru ok, and were able to share the tale.
     
    DVexile [OP] likes this.
  14. Oct 8, 2018 at 7:13 AM
    #1054
    DVexile

    DVexile [OP] Exiled to the East

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    Hidden Valley, DVNP - Day 3
    October 2018

    Wednesday morning broke mostly clear with a few clouds blowing through but the forecast indicated a potentially stormy afternoon as a trough blew in from the Pacific. Given how badly I had underestimated the hike of the previous day I decided I’d take it a bit easier. There are number of mines just below Hunter Mountain on the southern end of the road that passes through Hidden Valley and Ulida Flat which I’ve driven past many times but never turned off to explore. More interesting though was that I had learned in the past few years that unbeknownst to me about 15 years ago I had walked almost right past an interesting site. Returning to that area would be a relatively mellow hike and so that was my priority for the morning.

    Because of the sensitivity of such sites I’m not giving any details on its location. I had deduced its location based on some thin reporting and a photo or two online and my general familiarity with the area from past visits. I was fairly certain where to look and that the search would be confined to a small area.

    It was a mostly sunny morning and my hike was down a gentle wash most of the way. There was little wind and so I spent most of the walk using my hiking umbrella. This provides more and deeper shade than a hat while also leaving ones head to radiate heat away very effectively. Doesn’t work in the wind of course but if there is wind about then the breeze keeps you cool enough without the umbrella. Recommended accessory for all desert explorers. Get one with a reflective top and a black underside for maximum effectiveness.

    There were no human footprints around that I could see in the wash but I’m sure there is an occasional visitor here. Eventually I left the wash along the low hillside where I expected to find what I was looking for. Here I did notice some deeper impressions that I’m fairly certain were old human footprints that gave me a hint I was on the correct track. Soon I started seeing the types of rock outcrops I expected. And then a fairly obvious sign…

    [​IMG]

    Now certain I was in the right spot I slowed down and watched for more signs. Indeed there were fainter panels around but that wasn’t what I was looking for. Ahead I saw a likely outcropping. On the other side in a small cool alcove I found what I had been looking for…

    [​IMG]

    This whole area was rather unusual. There was an incredible amount of coyote and kit fox scat about. Packrat middens spilled out of nooks in the surrounding rocks. There were lots of birds around and plenty of vegetation that was green and blooming. To the north of each of the many large outcrops on the hillside were areas of what I presume is nearly perpetual cool shade. In many of these shady spots there were dens dug and I had visions of fox pups playing in the shade every spring. There are no springs indicated on the map and I saw no sign of any. Instead I suspect the hillside outcroppings act as water pockets trapping rain that would other wise become runoff or percolate to a deep aquifer. All the areas around these outcrops are covered in shallow sediment and I suspect the water soaks into these sandy little basins where it is protected from evaporation by the sand above it and trapped by the hard rocks below it. The shade the rocks provide greatly reduces solar heating and evaporation. All these little things put together makes enough of a difference to create a microclimate that supports noticeably more life than the surrounding desert. Not much life mind you but noticeably more than you’d expect. It was almost like a weak riparian environment spread over a hillside instead of a wash. It was easy to see why this was a special place to those who lived here for centuries past.

    After spending the better part of an hour poking around this unique spot I began the gentle climb back up to the truck and continued my far more mundane explorations of the day.

    Most of the mines in the area proved rather uninteresting. They are mostly all talc mines with few remaining structures or particularly interesting history. I did drive out to a more obscure one at the end of a long spur road that I’m pretty sure was closed in the past. More clouds were starting blow across the sky producing another day of wonderful shadows. As that spur road climbed some hills it provided a great vantage point of Sand Flat and the crest of the southern Cottonwoods.

    [​IMG]
    Sand Flat

    There is a small network of roads all around the area that visit the various mine sites. Many of the spur roads are in excellent condition while others are fairly rough and slow but none are particularly long. I spent a couple of hours traversing each and every one of them.

    I also finally visited Goldbelt Spring which was definitely living up to its name on my visit. The few small cabins below the spring had all collapsed some time ago. Nonetheless it is a picturesque little spot.

    [​IMG]

    As it was getting to be early afternoon I had to decide what to do with the rest of my day and part of that related to what I was going to do the following day. I was considering exploring White Top Mountain road and heading up that way I knew I’d get some cell coverage to check the most recent weather forecast. It would also be a nice vantage point to have a light lunch. I stopped a little ways up the alluvial fan to take a break, eat and evaluate. The first thing I noticed was building clouds to the west. Checking the weather forecast it looked like the afternoon and evening had a good chance for thunder storms but the follow day would be clear and unseasonably cool. Taking in the view I watched thunderheads form over the Inyo and Nelson Ranges as well as smaller cells at the north end of the Panamints. It occurred to me that there was a chance, albeit a slim one, that both Hunter Mountain and Racetrack Road could end up getting heavy rain. The forecast also called for the storm chances to continue well into the night as the airmass was moist and unstable enough to not require solar heating to force the convection.

    I decided it would be best to exit the backcountry and perhaps take advantage of the next day's cooler temps to do a canyon hike somewhere in Death Valley proper. The storm in Saline Valley was seeming to build more and more and move to the north. I suspected it would stay on that side of the Last Chance Range but it could potentially cross and take out Racetrack Road. So I decided to make tracks. As I passed Teakettle Junction it was clear a series of cells was building over the southern Inyo Range. The largest storm was already headed towards Steel Pass but more seemed to be forming in its wake. The skies had changed a lot from the benign puffy little clouds a few hours earlier.

    [​IMG]
    Tempest over Teapots

    The drive to Ubehebe proved very easy, I made the 19 miles in just 35 minutes. The storm did in fact stay on the other side of the range but was steadily getting worse. I stopped at Ubehebe to air up and there was a fierce wind. The major storm appeared to be well up into Eureka by now. As I finally headed south on the paved road I could see the storm had crossed into the northern extreme of Death Valley and was looking just as ugly as ever. Meanwhile the lesser cells that had been forming over the northern Panamints and southern Cottonwoods were now bathing both sides of the Cottonwoods including where I had stopped earlier to check the weather.

    [​IMG]
    Future Wildflower Site?
    Heading towards Furnace Creek with better cell coverage I could check the radar and there seemed to be long strings of cells forming all across the Mojave. My original plan had been to camp somewhere near Furnace Creek and ride out the weather for the night so I could take in the pleasant day forecast to follow. This was now seeming a questionable plan as I realized all my best camping options were in canyons. If West Side Road had been open I know of some safe spots to camp on the fans along there but the park service has it closed at present due to previous storm damage. As the radar showed more and more cells forming I decided that perhaps I had been very fortunate with the weather so far and perhaps I wouldn’t press my luck. With some regret I decided to head out one day early. At least the sky was putting on a nice show for my drive.

    [​IMG]
    Stormy Afternoon
    I was a bit bummed to be heading out early but as more storms showed up on the radar it seemed the safest option if a bit conservative. Later that night I did watch on the radar a cell pass very near Echo Canyon where I would likely have tried to camp. I don't think it caused any significant issues but it was a warning as to how unpredictable things can be when the weather is unsettled. Along the way I saw some amazing clouds and some great lightning shows. I was getting a bit too tired to keep stopping and taking pictures so I mostly just enjoyed the view as I drove along. There was one point though where it appeared the weather was confirming I was on the correct path with my decision to head out.

    [​IMG]
    On the right track
    In the end the trip was a blast. Despite running away from some storms at the end of the trip the weather had actually turned out much better than expected for the start. I was treated to some rare lighting and some amazing dynamic views courtesy the weather - a special kind of thing in a region usually only sporting a spotless dome of blue.

    As usual though I can't wait to get back again!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
    Axion, Mtnflyer, omegaman2 and 8 others like this.
  15. Oct 10, 2018 at 10:30 AM
    #1055
    DVexile

    DVexile [OP] Exiled to the East

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    Tailgate Abrasion Mitigation
    October 2018

    This is a real simple mod and perhaps not the final iteration but hopefully good for awhile. I've got a aluminum tailgate cover and it is powder coated. The bottom gasket of the Flip-Pac rear door naturally overlaps with it. With trail dust that gasket acts like fine grained sandpaper and abrades the powder coat. These days the top of the tailgate looks like this:

    IMG_0738.jpg
    Now since the tailgate cover is aluminum there isn't any sort of rust issue. The real problem is that the powder coat dust is extremely messy. If I forget to wipe the top of the tailgate down and lean over it I've got a nearly impossible to remove black streak across my shirt. Worse still the rear door rubber gasket now acts practically like an ink pad since it has been impregnated with this extremely fine black powder coat dust. Drive down a dirt road for ten miles and run a paper towel across the top of the tailgate and it comes back jet black. I wiped down the door gasket a good ten times with a wet paper towel before it finally started only making the towel gray as opposed to black.

    The door and the tailgate are always going to move somewhat independently of course - everything flexes and jiggles off road. There will always be dust as well. I had hoped the problem would abate as I got down to bare aluminum but well it hasn't seemed to. So I'm now trying a simple solution - an ablative layer of tape.

    A local HD had some inexpensive white reflective tape. It is very smooth which perhaps will reduce the amount of abrasion slightly. More importantly though any dust generated won't be black. A side benefit is that when I have the tailgate down in a parking lot at night it will be much easier for other vehicles to see it.

    Cost only about $6. Time spent applying the tape about 5 minutes. Time spent cleaning all that dang powder coat dust off the top of the tailgate and the gasket probably 15 minutes. Effectiveness to be determined!

    IMG_0739.jpg
     
  16. Oct 10, 2018 at 5:23 PM
    #1056
    Crom

    Crom Outside

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    Tape just might do the trick. So simple and versatile. :) So much hate for the black dust problem you described. :rofl: :D. It kills your clothing :oops: :bananadead: image of you breath it in. :eek: :p:)
     
  17. Oct 10, 2018 at 5:41 PM
    #1057
    scocar

    scocar Treat the cause, not the symptom

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    In close proximity to an undisclosed location
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    Mostly pallet racks loaded with very impressive boxes, and a smashed head unit
    So sorta kinda similarly, the new sliders on the Leer windoors are extremely tight against the rubber seals surrounding them and sealing against their exterior surface. It is a hell of a lot of friction. And it is at its worst right near the end of travel as it hits the end seal, and the window catch won't click closed, and I'm afraid if I shove it any harder, i'll end up breaking the glass against the metal window frame. Also, the windoor gasket on the fiberglass cutout of the cap really sticks closed. Both are a complete PITA nuisance, but potentially shattering the slider has be most worried. Because I get enraged. And you know what happens to glass things when I get enraged. *entune*

    ANYHOOO

    WITAF can I lubricate glass and rubber with, and not have a horrible mess, especially once the dust starts flying?

    I got some of this. It greatly reduced the slider friction to a manageable state. It may aid your tape or possibly replace it. Plus it is damn handy stuff for other uses requiring clean applications and dissimilar materials.

    [​IMG]

    https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company...Silicone-Lubricant/?N=5002385+4294924458&rt=d

    Don't get it on Amazon. Once you pay shipping, you could have two cans for the same price. I picked some up from a local Finish Master (there appear to be 3 locations in LV), and I think you can get it from Fastenal, too. Just call to see if they have it or can get it within 24 hours.
     
  18. Oct 10, 2018 at 9:12 PM
    #1058
    Crom

    Crom Outside

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    I'd try some prothane super grease for the window track. It's a synthetic, safe for rubber, plastic, etc.

    Also, be careful with silicone spray lube. If you ever intend to paint anywhere close by, you may have a serious problem because no paint molecules will adhere to silicone. And silicone is impervious to solvents, so getting rid of it can be xtremely difficult. :anonymous:
     
  19. Oct 10, 2018 at 9:19 PM
    #1059
    scocar

    scocar Treat the cause, not the symptom

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    Sounds like you have firsthand experience lol. Other than inside the track, where I used the red tube applicator, I sprayed it on a rag and hand wiped only on the contracting edges. It is all rubber and glass.
     
    DVexile [OP] likes this.
  20. Oct 10, 2018 at 9:38 PM
    #1060
    Crom

    Crom Outside

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    I reread what you wrote, you may be outta warranty, but the window shouldn't be that hard to close. Maybe try to slightly expand the frame with a sicssor jack or something. Just nudge it bigger. I dunno. :notsure:
     
    DVexile [OP] likes this.

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