Thursday, November 11, 2010 was Veteran’s Day. It was a company holiday, so we took advantage of the day off.
I joined a couple guys from work who enjoy going off-road with Jeeps on a day trip.
I went with Grant in his nice and clean, for now, yellow Jeep.
We left my house at around 6:00 in the morning to meet up off the highway in 29 Palms. Gees that was early for me. We got there a little earlier than everyone else, so we has some time to check out an old structure on top of a nearby hill.
Grant likes taking pictures too.
The old structure is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
These mining structures are typically built on a hill to take advantage of the natural slope.
There was a lot of old stuff lying around on the other side of the hill. This was one of them.
After poking around the area, we went to our meeting site off Highway 62 and Gold Crown Road. There were six vehicles in our caravan:
– a yellow Jeep
– a red Jeep
– a white Jeep
– two silver Jeeps
– and a green Toyota truck
We went through a fairly long flat dirt road and then climbed a surprisingly technical slope. The gravel was a lot looser than it looked. After a couple minutes battling the slope, we got out of it with a little battle scar.
We stopped to take a little hike and met a couple traveling alone out here with their Jeep. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t travel out here alone.
They chatted with us a little bit, exchanged tips on directions, and they headed on their way. As we started hiking along the trail, we looked back and saw their Jeep going down the mountain.
We walked around the hill and found some interesting cylinders left over from a mining operation many years ago.
There were also large holes where miners would dig, following the veins in the rock for the precious metals. You can easily fall in these caverns and break some bones.
Once near the top, we checked out the view.
And headed back to our cars.
Halfway back, on the top of the hill, I encountered one more thing. I don’t know what it is…or was, but looks interesting.
After the distraction, the cars came into view.
We got back in our vehicles and headed out to the next stop…
We all had fun climbing up the dunes.
Although some had more fun than others 🙂
I guess you never grow up from having fun in the sand.
Next was climbing a pretty steep side of the mountain. It looked pretty scary. But as you climb it, its not as scary as it looks.
Once we were all up…
We took a quick stop…
And continued climbing up the side of the mountain. The trail was narrow with drops always on one side of the road. The view was spectacular though. Perfect day for a view like this.
Our next stop was lunch. No restaurants out here. We just pulled out some fold-up chairs and our packed lunches. It was windy and cold, but it was a beautiful clear day.
After finishing my sandwich, I took a closeup picture of a strange red cactus. They were sprinkled across the desert like pimples on the mountain face.
On the way back down the mountain, we stopped for some photos.
The moon was kind enough to come out on the clear day for a picture.
Continuing down the mountain, there were some areas that were straight…
And others that were not.
An unplanned stop, as we saw this hole on the side of the mountain.
We, of course, went in. Even in the middle of the day, we had to bring a flashlight to see inside. There wasn’t anything but rock.
Continuing on, we ran into a part of the road that had been washed away. People have “fixed” it by putting boulders and rocks at the eroded area. After a stamping-foot inspection, we carefully guided the cars over.
We stopped at another mine. The mine went straight down. The bottom could not be seen, so we threw some rocks into the abyss to hear the rock hit the bottom. We did not hear it hit the bottom.
Far across from this mine were more structures that we did not get the chance to visit.
We continued to see more mining equipment and structures at our next stop.
Here is the mouth of the mine from which riches were excavated many years ago.
Near this mine, part of the mountainside was supported by these stacked rocks. Imagine the skill required to properly and effectively stack the rocks to support the heavy weight of mining vehicles, equipment and part of the mountain itself.
This mine required taking a little hike, but well worth it.
Here’s our lineup on our way back from the hike. Notice where the yellow Jeep is.
Here is a shot of it closer up.
This is one of the more interesting sites we visited.
The house had a solid set of rock walls, but was missing a roof. However, it does have a patio cover.
Looks like everything gets shot up out here.
Michael and his son Jacob.
Our last obstacle of the day. It was a good opportunity to take a shot of everyone one-by-one. First off is Grant and I in the yellow Jeep.
Next is Ramin and Bruce in the white Jeep without a cover. Good thing they brought a lot of jackets.
Michael and his son Jacob in the first silver Jeep…
And Juan and his son Juan in the second silver Jeep.
Larry in his Toyota. Although it stood out as a the only non-Jeep in the caravan, it had no problems tackling the terrain. I want a Tacoma now.
And holding the rear, Juan and his son Juan, or JC. Yes, there were four Juan’s on our trip.
At the end of our off-road journey, filling up our tires for the on-road trip home.
What an adventure!
This was my first off-road trip, and hope it is not my last.