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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Silurian Hills - Pt 3 "They had a new winch"

 We drove north on CA 127 until we reached a right turn onto a road that led us out onto Silurian Lake.
 Crossing the dry playa of Silurian Lake with the lights of our vehicles pushing away the blackness of the night.
 Upon reaching the eastern side of the lake, which was very dusty, we drove up the canyon on a surprisingly mellow road.
 We set up camp on level ground near the cabin. After dinner I shot this 15 second exposure looking east toward Las Vegas.
 The constellation Orion over the Silurian Hills.
 Morning light on clouds above our camp.
 Rays of a new day on the Avawatz Mountains.
 Looking west from the cabin's kitchen window.
 After breakfast we broke camp and drove east looking for the correct canyon from which we were going to start our hike. Our plan was to hike into the Silurian Hills in search of a couple of interesting locations.
 I was absentmindedly driving along in 2WD checking our route on the iPad when the truck bogged down in the gravel of the wash. Engaged 4WD and tires spun. Exited vehicle and found several large rocks blocking front wheels. Decided to ask Jo Ann and Clark for help because they had a new winch on the front of their Jeep and were eager to try it out. Plus, the position of the vehicles made for an excellent photo.
 Cautionary tale for backroad photographers. I did not think that my truck was really stuck because a quick look underneath did not reveal any problems. Besides this was a good opportunity for my friends to use their new winch and it would make for a good photo op. It only took about ten seconds of winching until I shouted for Jo Ann to stop the winch because I could feel my truck assuming an unnatural position. The tip of a large boulder had caught on the underside of my truck and rotated up as the winch pulled it backwards. Note: If you find yourself in this situation grab a shovel and dig a hole big enough for the rock to return. If you don't the boulder will reposition itself higher than its original position and the degree difficulty of the problem will have trebled. We dug a fairly large hole for the rock but it still rotated about eight inches higher.
(photo credit: Jo Ann Ward)
We spent about 45 minutes extricating my truck from the offending boulder in the foreground and another 45 minutes bending a section of bent skid plate away from the drive shaft. After spending almost two hours extracting my truck from the bedeviled photo-op we decided to postpone our Silurian hike for another time.
Our route west toward Silurian Lake. I did not tell Brian that there were a couple of cabins in that distant mountain range but am sure that once he reads this post his fingers will be working GoogleEarth to locate them.
Departing the Silurian Hills.
Crossing Silurian Lake.
To the north storm clouds looked to be producing rain in Death Valley.
We decided to stop, have lunch and watch the show.
The three of us wanted to stay out another day but soon it was time to begin the drive home.
Traffic on our drive west was very congested and slow. As we neared Kramer Junction on CA 58 we left the highway and took our usual dirt road bypass. It was pure serendipity that we chanced upon Murrough and Pat from Victoria, Canada. Being caught in the same traffic they had driven off the highway to set up camp. It was our pleasure to spend about 30 minutes talking with this wayfaring couple.

1 comment:

  1. Bill, Brian has been feverishly scouring Google Earth since the day we got home from our trip with you guys. He has found all kinds of cabins, some that we have already been to and some that we need to go check out, to continue the Cabin Extravaganza. I actually found the one in the Avawatz Mountains because I was bored at work and playing around in Google Maps. Hope to see you guys again sometime, we thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with you, Jo Ann and Clark.