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North to South
After a brief side quest in Nevada to see a crane I missed two years ago, I motored into Big Pine for fuel and lunch.  I was in my JLUR even though my JK was fixed from last weeks wheel bearing failure.  The JLUR's two extra doors allow me to sleep inside and I didn't want to battle any rodents this trip.  Plus, I wasn't sure any of the 10 or so cabins I had pinned were decent enough to sleep in.

I enjoyed the pavement on the Death Valley Big Pine Road and that's the last place I saw any humans until late today.  I aired down and hit the two track of Waucoba Road, following it through rolling hills until it dropped me at Waucoba-Saline Road.  I didn't have to go that way, but it seemed more interesting.  I bailed off of that in Opal Canyon and checked out mining ruins until I passed the entrance to Jackass Canyon.  I found my objective and settled in.  

I had a nice lunch, explored, and then became bored after an hour or so.  I kinda planned on staying there, but I was really curious about the Jackass Canyon boulder.  I had seen the video, I had been warned tire damage was possible, but I still wanted a peek.  Trouble was, I didn't know exactly where the rough spot was.  As soon as I turned into the canyon I saw it.  The advice I had been given was solid, it was a tight squeeze.  With no spotter I used a trick my wife taught me many years ago.  I got the driver's side as close as I possibly could and I sent it.  Zero issues.  Everything else was a cake walk.

I cruised to both cabins I pinned in the area and was kinda saddened when I read the logbooks.  10-15 years ago these cabins were loved and well cared for.  I read many comments about how clean they were and how appreciative people were for the caretakers (official/unofficial IDK). It's not like that up there anymore.  Hanta house of horrors.  Mother nature has almost reclaimed the road to the second cabin, the two track is fading fast.  

Not wanting to deal with the boulder again I scanned Gaia for a quicker way out and found a route that would take me in the other direction.  The only problem was I didn't have the correct offline map loaded so of course after a short distance I hit a wilderness area.  No biggie, I went out the way I came in.  Temps were great, I had my sunrider top down (soft top that replaces the freedom panels on a Jeep) and the windows down.  Back at the boulder it was now on the passenger side.  I hugged the wall with the driver's side, didn't hear anything scraping or breaking off so I rolled through. 

I headed back to Waucoba Saline Road and made my way up North Pass.  At the top I detoured to another cabin that's seen better days.  I could stay up there high and be nice and cool or I could drop lower and set myself up closer for the next day's hikes.  I figured it couldn't be that much warmer so I continued on down to the trailhead I needed.  Turns out it was a lot warmer down lower, but it was gonna be okay.  It was almost dark so I got things set up.  I got Starlink fired up and made my bed.  I left the sunrider top open and crawled inside.  Things were comfy and cozy but just a little warm even though there was some wind.  I jumped out, barefoot and in my sleeping shorts.  I opened the front door, hit the ignition button to get some power and cracked the rear windows for ventilation.  As I shut the door I heard a CLICK and then realized I just somehow locked myself out of my Jeep, deep in the middle of nowhere.  Both keys were side and so was my phone.  I could call someone on my Apple Watch since Starlink was providing high speed internet, but I already had both keys, it's dark and no one is coming anyway.  The front window was cracked for the Starlink cable to exit, not enough room to reach in.  The back windows were down more, but not enough.  I had a good 10-15 seconds of pure terror before I remembered the sunrider top was open.  That means there's a massive hole in my roof.  I just had to climb barefoot up onto the hood, release the sunshade and unlock the *&*^$%$* door.  That was a stupid move.  Hide a key, just like the other Jeep, coming soon.

I had three hikes planned for the area but I knew they all wouldn't happen due to heat.  In the morning I geared up and headed uphill to the first mine site.  Lots of cool junk left to explore and I probably stayed too long.  The other two hikes I could drive closer to, but I didn't know how far because of Hillary. The only good intel I had on the roads was early 2023.  I jumped in the Jeep and started out for the second hike but things got ugly quick.  If I had been in the JK I would have went for it, but this Rubicon is mostly stock.  I turned around and tried for the third hike.  A mile into my three mile route I came across another washout that I probably needed my other Jeep for.  I thought about hiking from there but it was already warming up.  I sent a message via Garmin to my granddaughter to see if she wanted to come back with me later in the year to do the hikes.  She quickly replied "absolutely" so I pinned those for another time.

I then kept going south checking out mines.  Talc stuff is kinda boring but there was some cool machinery left behind.  The next cabin has been on my list for a very long time.  The road up to it is pretty much gone.  I used front and rear lockers just to get close.  A lot of the outside areas look different than the online pics due to the vast amount of water that came through in the storms.  Still there was a lot of cool junk around and I stayed longer than planned.  It was now starting to get kinda hot.

My last planned stop was to check out the Toppled Tram Tower just to get a first hand look.  I even thought about live streaming from the site, but it was too hot for it.  The park service has installed 5 new wilderness signs, in some places right in tire tracks to help avoid any confusion.  The tower appears to have a rotted base and I doubt it took much to yank it over.  I don't know how repairable it is, I'm not an engineer.  I do know that with Jeeps there's nothing large amounts of money can't fix, so maybe Toppled Tram Towers are the same.

From there I steered towards South Pass.  DVNP has Saline Valley Road listed as CLOSED, so I was hoping not to run into this phantom closure.  Everything I read said people were using it.  But then again, I hadn't seen another human since the day before, so maybe it is closed.  Nope, no issues and the higher I climbed the nicer it got.  I spotted road graders and other heavy equipment parked alongside the road at various places, so someone is working on it.  I didn't see a sign or so much as an orange cone the entire time.  DVNP should update their page.  

For the second week in a row I stopped by Boxcar cabin to use the outhouse.  Weird how that's worked out.  I decided there was no way I was stopping at Stovepipe Wells since that place is cursed and kills Jeeps.  I told Waze to take me the long way through Furnace Creek because I wanted to stop by John Lemoigine's grave and pay my respects.  We've been to his canyon, to his cabin, his mine and to his wagon.  I figured a quick stop by his grave would bring it full circle.  I stopped along the road even with my GPS pin.  Gaia claimed it was 1/2 mile each way.  The Jeep's thermometer said it was 115.  I stepped outside and it was pretty warm.  Maybe not 115, but walking a mile in dirt and sand at these temps seemed stupid.  I put a pin in that idea too.  From there it was an easy drive home with no tow trucks involved.  I think that's a wrap until this fall.
Thank you for writing up your detailed report. Plan to share some photos, or a link to your photo album?
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.
(2024-06-05, 08:47 AM)DAW89446 Wrote: Thank you for writing up your detailed report. Plan to share some photos, or a link to your photo album?

I don't have a photo album, if I can figure out how to post some here I will.  Right now they are just a mass of 100s of pics on my phone, DJI cameras and drone.
I too, would love to see any photos! thanks for the nice repirt.

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