Last weekend was Cindy's birthday and to celebrate it, we decided to go on a 3 day, 400+ mile run starting from Trona, CA and ending near Montgomery Pass, NV. Along for the ride were our good friends Doug, Moochie, Don, Ray, Tony and Stephanie and together, we would do a run up Ishim Canyon, work our way across Death Valley, cut our way down Titus Canyon, head up to Crankshaft Crossing with a quick stop over at Ubehebe Crater, have a few drinks over at Goldpoint, meander our way through a car forest, stay the night at the Historic Mizpah Hotel, explore the old ghost town of Candelaria and then finished our adventures out in the Teels Marsh and ghost town of Marietta. Of course, none of the days or miles include what it took to get to the starting point or to get back home and for that, I am grateful to all our friends for joining us just the same.
There are few ways I can think of to kick off a new year than to head out into the Mojave Desert with all our good friends here on WAYALIFE! Although we did do this a week later than we had hoped, our first group run for 2014 would be one out to an area known as Crucero. This is a trip that starts off in Afton Canyon, heads east to the old town site of Crucero, turns south toward the Mesquite Hills and then crosses over the Broadwell Dry Lake before hooking back to pavement in the town of Ludlow. Along the way, we got ford two deep water crossings, took a hike up Spooky Canyon, paid our respects at a gravesite belonging to Delores Holland, attempted to decipher petroglyphs left behind by ancient inhabitants and paid a visit to the mysterious Mojave Megaphone. Below are a few shots that we took along the way and I hope you enjoy them.
Last weekend, we got lucky and were able to get out to Barstow a bit earlier than we had expected and, decided to use the extra time to do a little prospecting out in the Mojave Desert. While our quest was to find gold, it would be more of the aquatic variety than precious metal that we would be looking for.
A few years back, I caught wind of an area out in the middle of the Mojave Desert where there was a small pool that held water all year long, even through the scorching triple digit heat of summer and held within it, a beautiful school of goldfish. Over the years, I would pour through my old maps and scour them for a possible location of where these elusive fish might be. During my search, I found goldfish to exist near Darwin and even out by Oatman, Arizona but, not anywhere in the Mojave. That is, not until a few weeks ago anyway. Reading through a blog, I gleaned a bit more information and even found a couple of photos and based on them, I was able to zero in on a highly probably location. Here are some photos from our quest to find Mojave Gold... FISH! I hope you enjoy.
A week ago, Cindy and I began a search for large concrete arrows that have been strategically placed across the Northern Nevada Desert. These arrows were constructed back between 1923 and 1933 by the United State Post Office and the Department of Commerce and were a part of the very first Transcontinental Airway Beacon System. You can read more about them and our first attempt to find the few that still remain by clicking on the link below:
Continuing our quest to find more of these arrows, we met up with our good friend Carl and headed back out to the Nevada Desert to pick up where we left off. As before, we found that many of the sites have long been lost to history and have little evidence that a concrete arrow or tower had ever been there before. However, we did find a few gems worth sharing and I hope you'll enjoy seeing them now. Being that the best one was also the first one we visited, I will work backwards and save it for last.
Starting in Hurricane, Utah, and ending up in South Lake Tahoe, California, the 2013 Off Road Evolution JK-Experience presented by Nitto Tire was designed to be one of the most demanding excursions to date. Covering almost 1,000 miles of America's wild west, in just seven days and approximately half of them being all off road, this trip would prove to be an adventure of a lifetime that would push our components to the limit, and those of our gas tanks too. A full feature length film highlighting all the fun we had will be coming your way soon!
Click on the link below to watch the official WILD WILD WEST : The 2013 JK-Experience Trailer on Vimeo now:
Click on the link below to see it on YouTube (may not play on mobile devices):
It's hard to imagine there was actually a time when people flew airplanes, back before the invention of things like GPS, radar or even rudimentary radio communication to help guide them to their destinations. Back then, pilots had to rely solely on what they could see and at night or in bad weather, that wasn't a whole lot.
A few months back, I heard a story about large concrete arrows in the ground that you can still find scattered all across the country. From what I understand, they were constructed between 1923 and 1933 by the United State Post Office and the Department of Commerce and were a part of the first Transcontinental Airway Beacon System. Essentially, they were a network of visual beacons established to help early pilots navigate their way from New York to San Francisco and eventually, built all across the United States in an effort to connect all the major cities within it. Positioned approximately 10 miles apart (some closer and others further apart depending on terrain), most of these beacons were towers built on 50 foot concrete arrows that were painted bright yellow and had a 24" diameter rotating light mounted on top. Additional red and green lights were also used to help provide useful information in Morse Code utilizing the following letters, W, U, V, H, R, K, D, B, G or M, to represent the numbers 1-10. To help remember the sequence, pilots made the following phrase out of it, "When Undertaking Very Hard Routes Keep Directions By Good Methods."
By 1933, there were as many as 1,500 beacons spanning 18,000 miles but, thanks to a new Low Frequency Radio Range system that was implemented in 1929 to replace the original visual system, most of the towers were shut down and dismantled as scrap metal for World War II. And, with the exception of a few that are still operating in Western Montana under the Montana Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division, the very last official tower was shut down in 1973.
Since first hearing about these mysterious concrete arrows and the fact that the Transcontinental Airway System came right through Northern Nevada, I've been thinking of little else than to find them. After spending countless hours doing research online, pouring over old maps and trying to verify locations using Google Earth, we loaded up our Jeep and headed out. Here are a few photos from our recent expedition and what we found. I hope you enjoy.
So I was going through our photo gallery today and just realized that I never made a post regarding a trip we did earlier this summer. Back in July, some friends of ours came up to visit us in Tahoe and to do a little exploring in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. For one of our trips, Cindy and I decided to take them up north to the Lakes Basin so that they could run the Snake Lake trail and climb to the top of an ancient volcanic peak know as the Sierra Buttes. In any case, I figure, better late then never and so here are some pics that highlight our trip. I hope you enjoy.