It was a great trip all in all.
My Dad, myself and our good friend Steve met at my house to finish loading a few items and caravan out from Lancaster, Ca. to Goler, Ca. on Thursday night, early enough to secure a the Edith E. Cabin. Unfortunate that the entire Goler area down by the flats has been vandalized to such a completely sad state there is nearly nothing left in that area. It appears POS and sad examples of humans have proceeded to apply the same decor to the Edith E. Cabin. I remember when this cabin is really quite nice, habitable and a wonderful shelter in horrible weather. It is nearly beyond repair. Just a truly sad state.
We unloaded the necessary items, built a fire and relaxed a little bit before finally turning in for the night. Breakfast around the fire was nice while watching the sun slowly crest the ridgeline immediately west of camp, across Goler Gulch/Wash. Thank you Steve for that coffee! Having had enough of the sad site, we made our way over to Bonanza Gulch to set up camp for the remainder of the trip. Most of the cabins in that area are still in wonderful shape. My group and family have been heading out to this area and mostly stayed in Bonanza Gulch since 1998. Certainly not nearly as long as some folks. But, most definitely long enough to see the wrath of irresponsibility, carelessness and even intentional damage, i.e., shooting windows, trash....the usual shenanigans of those types. It was saddening to say the least. But, none the less, Bonanza as a whole is still a real nice area. However, on the way from Goler to Bonanza, we had few minor problems impeding our travels. We had a cooling fan that did not want to cooperate, causing a little overheating; a cold air intake that isn't fashioned correctly and sucked up extremely hot air truly messing with the EFI's calibration...it was STILL great because we were out on a trail, no one around and NOT at work! Once we made it to Bonanza, we unloaded again and set up for the weekend!
Friday night we grilled some nice little steaks over my homemade BBQ/Smoker (all made from junk at my house for FREE!). It worked great!
Saturday morning, up relatively early and Steve ALREADY had the coffee on! Thanks again Steve! We restoked our fire, set up to cook and did some leftovers and breakfast burritos. Then, I headed out to higher ground to get both signal and better line of sight for the two-way radio and the cell phone, as I had another small group of 4-5 people in two different rigs expected Saturday morning around ten. This is where organization fell apart a bit, lol. It basically took some 2.5 hours to make contact and FINALLY meet up with my expected friends. That was an adventure in itself leading a full size Dodge Cab plus size 4 WD Pickup Truck loaded with a pretty heavy and good sized cab over camper! Towing a trailer with a 650 Dirt bike in the back! Followed by a Montero Sport.....I lead them SLOWLY up Mesquite Canyon to EP 15 and over toward Bickel Camp and then Bonanza. That was a slow.....I mean to say SLOW going process. I never got to lead anyone out wheeling the trails Saturday. Once lead to camp, we all set them up and by then, began to think about simply relaxing (I had been driving the XJ for 4-5 hours virtually straight by now) and making dinner and tossing back a few cold ones. This is precisely what we did. Saturday night, I fired up the homemade BBQ/Smoker and placed the chicken pieces that I had been marinating since Thursday afternoon strategically on the grill and our friends loaded up some great veggies packs in foil and we waited patiently for our dinner, while growing hungrier by the minute smelling that tastiness over the fire! Saturday night, we were joined by our friend Jeff_R-C for a few hours and had a great visit. It sucked he couldn't stay as he had obligations Sunday. But, it was great to see one of the nicest off-roading folks I have ever met. Not to mention seeing his awesome rig personally!
Steve had made a perfect Tri Trip and provided us with some super delicious sandwiches while on the trail Sunday! Super yummy stuff! On Sunday, we headed out and up Bonanza to check out remnants and old remains, foundations, water pumps and wells and managed to get a little hiking in while checking out various rocks and panoramic views. I managed to get a few pics. But, some of the others along on this trip took several each as well. So, we should have a nice batch ultimately. After spending some time up that way toward the Protected Wilderness, we headed back to camp, had some lunch, tidied up and headed down Last Chance Canyon to the Dutch Cleanser Mines, stopping occasionally for pictures and even a couple of petroglyphs! I personally hadn't been down that way in quite some time so this was a nice treat to refresh my memory and see the beautiful contrast of colors and the diversity in terrain and soil. We hiked around in the hills for quite some time taking pics and finding all sorts of wonderful pieces including some crystals! Very, very cool day indeed!
Heading back to camp for one last time, I noticed a rattle under the XJ and could feel it through the floor. It turned out a LCA bolt had worked loose over the 3 days of driving all over those hills. Back at camp, I put a wrench to everything and all was well. We packed up for our last time this trip and headed out into the sunset, stopping at the EP15/HWY 14 entrance to air everyone back up and give everything a once over before hitting the pavement (oh how I hate that word)!
Despite a sort of slow start it turned out to be a great trip with really good people!
Here's a few pics. I will work on photobucket and share the link sometime this week.
HI N LO DESERT RUNNERS-AV, CA. Because Life Begins Where The Pavement Ends!(c)1998
Last edited by mojavedave; 02-24-2014 at 12:22 PM.
Reason: additional info