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10/12/02 Desert Run Trip Report and Photos




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Ken Cooke

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White knucke sections?

Josh,

Being that this was your first legitimate trail run, which trail provided the biggest white-knuckle section for you?

--I hope your mother isn't reading this!:nono:
 






Josh S.

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Ha ha ha...uhh I would say that the most white knuckle part was the long trek between the two wash runs. The cliff right next to me proved to be a challenge, especially when boulders I drive over knock me closer to the edge. That was sweet though. I kept wanting to encounter something more intense and more intense after a while when we were in the washes. That was quite a cool feeling and I've never had that before at the places I normally go to. We'll have to go back and do some slightly more crazy rockcrawling action after I get regeared! Thanks on the congrats dude...What was it for you???
 






Ken Cooke

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The climb into Brooklyn Mine

Being that my knuckle's simply do not turn white, I'll have to say that my "Sweatty Palm" section of the trip had to be first the hillclimb into Brooklyn Mine, then the descent into Brooklyn Mine. Having to climb something as rugged as this trail, and to have it simply drop off over what looked like a cliff made me ask Dan if he was sane. Like the trail out of O.K. Mine that went from being a pack-mule trail to instant suicide (the trail literally crumbled into the side of the hill with large boulders below).
I wasn't going into that Rattlesnake den to prove that I had the same guts as Dan either. Plus, those bats swarming over my left shoulder had me screaming for the exit! :eek:
Those are my 2 cents on stuff that kept my heart racing on Saturday!:thumbsup:
 






Ken Cooke

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The road out of O.K. Mine

I noticed that you were literally scaling that wall to avoid sliding into that cavernous abyss. I drove my rig up the wall just like you did on my first trip through O.K. Mine. And, that hillclimb that I lifted all kinds of tire on kinda bugged me too - like, I didn't know how far I was going to slide before my BFGs grabbed onto *something*. When we did that trail in the dark - I mean, pitch black - I was sliding all over the place as well. Maybe that No-Slip Locker needs to be under the Christmas tree this year...
 






Ken Cooke

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Paging Mark!

Mark,

Was there anything that gave you the creeps as you drove those trails on Saturday?:banghead:
 






markmeen

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Heart Pounding Action

The most intense :eek: part for me was the Brooklyn Mine Jeep Trail. And just getting there I got into trouble. In the wash, I tried to avoid one of the many natural obstacles and didn't see a large concrete block with a metal pole sticking out of it.

I felt like I had hit a brick wall :banghead: and my Explorer kind of stopped by itself. I was just crawling along and wasn't going that fast. I immediately stepped out to investigate. I found I had hit a two-foot chunk of concrete. There was a 12-inch metal pole sticking out of it and I skewered my fog light with the pole and ran the bumper right into the block. It wasn't too bad except that the pole had ripped out the light bulb and broke up some of the plastic where the bulb inserts into the back of the fog light. No big deal, really.

Then when I tried to reverse I got my wheels buried in the loose sand. I dug some of the loose sand from around the tires and placed some flat rocks in my path for traction. Luckily, Josh was following me and attached a tow strap between the two Explorers and gave me a pull backwards as I put it into reverse. This was my first real jam and came out a bit wiser and very thankful for Josh's help.

Next came the rocky up-hill climb that was challenging and exciting but luckily it was less eventful. Dan kept telling us he's done this with a stock Explorer (I think with 31"s?) and we'd all be fine, even me. The Brooklyn Mine really was a great site to visit and was one of the more memorable spots on the run. Dan gave us a lesson in the turn-of-the-century mining operations and the remains there are pretty much still intact.

Another hair-raising event was the bat cave. It was creepy. There were bats flying around inside and one buzzed Ken which gave us all some excitement. Dan knows where all the best kept secrets are in this area. Dan, thanks for spreading the fun around we all enjoyed it. :thumbsup:

I've got a couple of more pictures.

Here is a picture of one of the bats that inhabit the bat cave :eek:
CRW_1230.jpg


And here is the concrete block and metal pole that skewered my driver's side fog light :hammer:
CRW_1119.jpg

-Mark
 






markmeen

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It could have been a lot worse

I forgot to mention that the steel pole that I stuck through my fog light had missed my radiator by less than a foot. Had I been a few inches to the left I would have skewered my radiator and I would have been up Sh!ts Creek. Thank God I only did minimal damage to a non-essential part. You gotta be careful out there. :eek:

-Mark
 












markmeen

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Sorry about that

The image problem is fixed. All the pictures should show up now. Sorry about that.
-Mark
 












flyergrl

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I can't belive how crazy you are! All of you! Pictures can't even began to show how crazy off-roading is! And to think I thought Cleveland was a little on the rough side! I'm so proud of you Josh! You're so amazing and talented! You're mom is right... boys and their toys... sigh! My GTI can't compare! Love Richelle
 






Ken Cooke

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More photography wanted/needed

Mark,

Please let us know when more of this photography is available for us to view on the 'web. Also, I never gave you those photos of our first run.

I had the roll of film from this run developed, and I purchased 'doubles.' It looks like I have more photos to give you when we 'wheel again...
 






Josh S.

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Originally posted by flyergrl
I can't belive how crazy you are! All of you! Pictures can't even began to show how crazy off-roading is! And to think I thought Cleveland was a little on the rough side! I'm so proud of you Josh! You're so amazing and talented! You're mom is right... boys and their toys... sigh! My GTI can't compare! Love Richelle

Cleveland national forest! Now I get it. We could raise your gti ya know...
 






zensius

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That trip looks awesome. I wanna go!:eek: Gotta go. You guys did some great wheeling that looks like a lot of fun. How about some camping? How is this area in the winter?
Just one thing. If you're environmentally minded : When you entered the bat cave you potentially put their lives at risk. I know this sounds stupid. But a lot of caves in State and National parks (because they have rangers who do this sort of thing) are closed during certain times of the year because bats are hibernating. Waking them and having them leave the cave can make them too weak to survive the winter. I'm sure this remote cave doesn't have enough visitors to cause this to happen. But it is a problem in other areas.
 












zensius

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What's the closest real town so I can mapquest this area?
 









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Ken Cooke

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29 Palms, CA

I would say that 29 Palms is the closest town to the Old Dale Mining district. There are hotels that are real close by, but you can also camp on the B.L.M. land, and there are plenty of opportunities to do this.

About the bat cave, it was almost hidden from the main road in the area. You had to almost know where you were going in order to find these little guys. They don't get too many campers/tourists in this area of the Joshua Tree National Park. Because we were technically out of the park, almost nobody ventures in this area.

Camping? Why don't we all camp at Dan Wilson's house? He has a 20' X 40' pool, he lives about 5 houses down from Bob Hope in the swanky part of Downtown Palm Springs, he is a 'wheeler, he is divorced, and he has lots and lots of free time on his hands, so, having a few visitors stay over isn't a problem! We'll all have to ask him, but with his heart condition, he could not sleep in a tent, and he would feel bummed out if he couldn't be a part of the action. Or, you guys could stay in the park, and I could stay at Dans house. Maybe my wife would like to come along too. She love's 'wheeling in the desert too!
 






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