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Mojave trail run - March 18th, 2018

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by cfayne, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. Mar 31, 2018 at 1:35 PM
    #1
    cfayne

    cfayne [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Just got to spend three days going through Mojave with my best buddy in his Jeep. I was driving behind him for about 140 miles through the dirt. Honestly, nothing very challenging and we did about 80% in two wheel drive.

    The thing that blows about not being the leader, is eating all the dust from the people in front of you. As he has all the trail maps, it was best for him to lead.

    A couple of tips if you are considering this type of trail:
    A) Be ready to clean your air filter when you get home
    B) Your truck WILL get scratches on it from random vegetation growing out there. I hope mine will polish out.
    C) Do not forget to change your cabin filter when you get back. Can you tell which filter below was in my truck for the trip?
    20180324_125757.jpg

    I wanted to use my new tablet for navigation and music so I purchased a mount for it. I also had a 12v cooler that would be responsible for cooling down the beer every day. Kurt has a nice ARB fridge, but that was for food. Beer would get deposited every morning to be cold for after the drive consumption. That was my cockpit for the next few days. It was kind of cramped.
    20180320_113432.jpg

    We started heading from Santa Clarita to Laughlin were we would spend a night in a swanky hotel and have good food and a shower before leaving the real world behind. Not much to do in Laughing on a Sunday night except to gamble and drink.....which we did. First task accomplished.

    The following morning was breakfast and then to Needles Highway to pick up the first part of the trail. Kurt decided to do a test on the drone, which got a burst of wind, and went down. The first 90 minutes of our trip was finding the drone. Unexpected second task accomplished. We then started out....

    Remember me saying you will get scratches on your truck? Well, these did a number on mine.
    Joshua trees.jpg

    I did not pay attention to how many miles we did that first day, but we decided to camp at the Mid Hills Campground the first night. I purchased a Napier tent from someone on TW a while ago to prepare for the trip. Sadly, it was like bringing a knife to a gun fight. It was pretty cold that first night at camp, and my 40 year old sleeping bag did not help either. If I am going to get serious about doing stuff like this more often, better camping stuff will be needed.
    DSC_0098.jpg
    DSC_0102.jpg
    As I live in a pretty major city, we do not get a lot of stars at night. The sky in Mojave is pretty much worth the tip all on its own. Here is a photo that I managed to get with my old DSLR. It has not been photo shopped at all, but I think you can get the idea.
    DSC_0112.jpg

    Other views from our camp:
    DSC_0094.jpg
    DSC_0096.jpg
    The next morning we ate and broke camp. Sadly, nobody remembered bloody mary mixings. Probably for the best. We headed to out and our first stop was the Mojave mailbox. I do not know why I wanted to see that so much as there are plenty of other weird and wonderful things out there.
    20180320_111519.jpg
    20180320_111604.jpg
    20180320_111700.jpg

    And it seems someone wanted penguins more represented at the mailbox.

    20180320_111745.jpg
    We ended up at the lava tubes next....honestly, not really my thing so we did not spend a lot of time there. We found we were getting through Mojave much faster then we thought we would so we decided that we were going to skip on night of camping and head for the final camp spot at the Afton Canyon Campground. We stopped to see a few old buildings and tried to see some of the springs, but there was not water flowing. The next real step to get to the campground was to cross Soda Lake and contribute to the Travelers Monument. After lugging around a large rock for two days, I was happy to dispose of it.
    20180320_142232.jpg
    20180320_141045.jpg

    After getting out of the dry lake bed we did start to hit some mushy desert sand and went back in to 4WD for a while. We Got to run through a mostly dry riverbed, but with some water for some splashing fun. Here is a photo he got of our trucks with a passing train.

    Train.jpg

    At the end of the canyon we finally got to the water crossing needed to get to the campground. On the other side of the water there were some dirt bikers who must have sensed our concern about crossing the water. They shouted over that is was 38 inches deep. So began the search for another way across. After about one hour we just decided to go for it. Kurt is running 35 inch tires, so he went first. As he was crossing, I saw the tops if his tires so there was no way it was 38 inches deep. With the knowledge, I felt a lot more confident on my 265/70/16s. In I went.

    swimming.jpg

    This short video will show more of the rest.

    https://youtu.be/w3AkT8oUkVg

    All in all, it was a great time. Another member posted a more comprehensive post about Mojave here:

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/exploredesert-into-the-mojave.476934/

    Something tells me, I will be going back to see if I can find more hidden gems out there. Thanks to Kurt for leading the way and doing a lot of research on the place.

    On a side note, it was pretty sad that we saw DOZENS of Jeeps out there, but no Tacomas.

    And here is the route Google said we took.
    trail map.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
  2. Apr 6, 2018 at 6:09 AM
    #2
    cfayne

    cfayne [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I found the other post before I made mine and saw all the things we missed. This trip was kind of exporitory for a return back some time

    Did you get a photo of your truck crossing that "river"? Some of the water got into my cab. It took me a while to get the stink out!

    I am hoping my buddy will be done with the full video early next week. Of course I will post a link to it.
     
    dtaco06 likes this.
  3. Apr 7, 2018 at 8:58 AM
    #3
    Rudyp.27

    Rudyp.27 Well-Known Member

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    would love to go out there. on my bucket list for sure
     
  4. Apr 7, 2018 at 9:04 AM
    #4
    Motofox

    Motofox Well-Known Member

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    Also on my bucket list, looks like a good time and good views. As far as sleeping goes, checkout the MSS (modular sleep system). It kept me alive in -20f IN the snow, and works great in the summer as you use the lighter bag. It’s hard to find one bag that works in all seasons, this one does.


    You can find them a lot cheaper than the $250 Amazon wants.

    https://www.amazon.com/Military-Modular-Sleep-System-Goretex/dp/B002LLPILC
     
    cfayne [OP] and Rudyp.27 like this.
  5. Apr 7, 2018 at 11:36 AM
    #5
    cfayne

    cfayne [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was not expecting to like it as much as I did. I would rather do a forest type of outing, but I am a little limited to that in Southern California! I am sure I will go back to Mojave again to see a lot of stuff we missed.
     
    dtaco06 and Rudyp.27 like this.
  6. Apr 9, 2018 at 1:37 PM
    #6
    BKinzey

    BKinzey Well-Known Member

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    None yet
    Yeah, like right here in the TW Buy/ Sell/ Trade forum.

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/u-s-military-sleeping-bags-various-conditions.427748/

    Good prices on a great sleeping bag system. Compact too!
     
    Motofox likes this.
  7. Aug 11, 2018 at 8:03 AM
    #7
    taco06

    taco06 Well-Known Member

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    I can't let the wife know
    Wondering if September is a good month to try this trail, anyone?
     
  8. Aug 11, 2018 at 11:15 AM
    #8
    cfayne

    cfayne [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Are you two related?

    We picked March so we were not hit with hot weather. The first night actually got down to 38 degrees so it was quite the opposite. It was a good trip though and I would recommend it. I am sure we will go back to see all the stuff that we missed from the other guys post

    Go represent Toyota out there! We saw a lot of Jeeps, but not one other Toyota!
     
    FrieightPusher and dtaco06 like this.
  9. Aug 11, 2018 at 1:29 PM
    #9
    taco06

    taco06 Well-Known Member

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    I can't let the wife know
    Wondering what you ment by it and then noticed the screen name. Lol. I have a week off in September and thought why not try this trail. I live in Pomona and it's been 100 degrees here and according to last year weather in the Mojave, it gets to that temperature.
     
  10. Aug 22, 2018 at 4:43 PM
    #10
    Taco_Da_Panda

    Taco_Da_Panda Off-road newbie

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    Stock for now....
    Damn been wanting to do this trek solo, pricing together recovery gear and camping essentials for the trip. Want to go some time in fall.
     
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