Leaving our Oasis
The "little Draggin' " manages to entice the "She Beast" away from the Oasis with promises of free fuel from the processing trailer it's pulling.
The plan is to navigate as much dirt track as we can between our part of the Mojave and the other side of the Sonoran Desert. We are hoping to do about 100 - 150 miles on most days.
Today we start out late and don't plan to make that much distance, but we will get quite a ways off pavement.
Some of the mountains to the north of us as we work our way across the Palen/Mccoy wilderness.
Hard Pack and Washes
After running a few miles of sand track we get to some hard pack. Now we just have washes to cross. Some will be easier than others.
We camped here the first night out.
Nice rock hill behind us. We climbed up to see the setting of the sun.
The next day upon leaving we discover that there are these ruins on the other side of the hill we were parked near. Not sure what the history is on these, will need to do some research.
She's Tuff E. Nuff . . .
. . . to roll with me on this kind of a trip.
a Good section of the track
Our goal today is to make the crossing of the pass. Neither of us have ever used this route, it's all an exploration.
It's a special kind of strangeness that makes one explore the unknown tracks . . . it's even STRANGER to do it with TWO BIG TRUCKS AND A TRAILER!!!
We've not spoken with anyone about the conditions of the track, . . . or done any research on what the route is like. Can we fit through tight spots? . . . will the angle of some climb be "off" enough that we risk laying the "She Beast" on her side? . . . Will it be too soft, eaten by erosion? Will we find an impasse and have to back track for hours? It's all unknown to us.
This is NOT how I would advise anyone to go! This is how I go!
It's not about getting there, it's about going there! For me it's the knowledge that we are not dependent on anything that we do not have with us. Even fuel, . . . the challenge for this run is that we buy little (or NO) fuel, we know that diesel is available and will most definitely be used if needed. The fuel processing trailer (`sketer) is still under going testing. Some would do that in the safety of their driveway, side yard, maybe even a garage. That just doesn't work for me . . . I have to really take it out there.
The route we have planned lands us in some small town about every 100 - 175 miles. That should give us the chance to help out some Mech-Docs with all the vital fluids that they collect. If we collect even 100 gals of used motor oil, ATF, kerosene, etc. at these towns, we can with filtering and separating, use it to replace the fuel it took to get there. With tanks on the trailer we can stay a day ahead and only have to collect once every two days. Therefore, the ability to NOT buy fuel.
Lean on me
Not long into the morning we come to some of those"challenges". This section dropped into a wash, turned and followed it for about 100', then climbed out . . . up a badly eroded track on the other side. That part was going to lean us to the side a good bit. Yesterday Tuff did a few "off" angle drops into some of the washes that made this one look like it's on flat ground. After the second one we had to pause for some meltdown time . . . you know, when you do something that you just "CAN'T believe you did and you're still OK" kind of meltdown.
This morning I drove some of the more challenging parts.
Our next challenge showed up soon after . . . a section of track that was eaten away on the down hill side and too steep on the uphill. We've done enough of leaning the "She Beast" and wouldn't, if we didn't need to!
So . . . the other option was to rebuild the road.
Crossing the Wash
Later that day, after crossing through the pass and working our way down into more sandy terrain, we came to a wash that had really flowed sometime this past fall. The bank on the other side was bumper high to the "little Draggin' ".
The usual thing to do would be to breakdown the side so that it was more of a ramp . . . I thought I'd just try to climb it.