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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Buttes and Harper Dry Lake - "A squall line approached"

 Mike and I drove about ten miles east of Kramer Junction and then turned left on Lockhart Road crossing the railroad one mile north of US 58.
 We passed by the parabolic troughs at the Mojave Solar Project north of Lockhart.
 Soon we were enveloped by the night on a narrow dirt road zigzagging our way to the Buttes.
 We set up camp on the very small dry lake bed between the buttes.
 Dawn at The Buttes.
 Rain to the East.
 The Big Blue Van.
 I need a larger truck.
 Panorama of our camp at The Buttes.
 Storm front moving over the El Paso Mountains to the NW.
 Mike relaxing at camp.
Later in the morning we hiked around the largest butte and did a little scrambling.
 Another storm was forming to the East.
 Panorama looking NE.
 Later in the afternoon we decided to drive over to Harper Lake and see if the playa was dry enough to cross.
 Leaving The Buttes behind.
 The playa of Harper Lake was dry but showed evidence that it had been wet recently.
 Fremont Peak on the left and Black Mountain center-right.
 With rain in the distance to the East we quickly crossed the playa.
 Off to our right we found a trebuchet.
 A squall line approached as we reached the northern edge of the playa.
 Luckily this squall did not reach us because it would have turned the playa into a muddy mess.
 Rain began to fall as we searched for a place to make camp.
 An old campfire ring told us that someone had camped here before.
 Sunset near Harper Lake. The photo doesn't show the heavy rain showers that drove us both inside our vehicles for dinner.
 Fremont Peak looking very photogenic in the morning light.
 Shortly after sunrise a helicopter flew over our camp.
 After breakfast we scouted the area East of our camp and found this abandoned homestead.
 Years ago I read a book about ghost towns titled, "Some Dreams Die" and that is what happened here.
 A few miles away we found this old well.  (Would be quite a surprise at night.)
 The camp's trash dump was a short distance from the well and close by was a small foundation for what must have been a cabin.
 We drove south and once again reached the lake bed where the dogs were allowed to romp as we prepared lunch.
 Mike and Daisy enjoying lunch and limited shade.
 A Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker passed overhead while we were stopped.
After lunch we crossed the widest part of Harper Lake, with a few muddy sections, and headed for pavement and home.

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