So the first ever meeting in the flesh and the metal of The Nissan Path forum happened in the ghost town of Rhyolite
, just in between Beatty NV and the eastern border of Death Valley National Park
There was Ragpaoa and his wife up from San Diego in their white V8 with roof rack and extra fuel on top. NVSteve in his blue pathie with his friend Paul riding shotgun drove all the way down from Salt Lake City. The local GuinnessJim from Las Vegas with blue truck stuffed to the roof with his friends, one human and 4 of the large canine variety. And my two kids and I, Sera 9 and Mischa 10, in our red '06 SE down from San Jose CA.
The first leg of our journey was Titus Canyon road
, a well groomed one way dirt road that twists it's way through a minor mining district
and down a very narrow and deep canyon
wash into Death Valley
That's the best shots I've got of the canyon proper, I fubared the settings on my camera so lost a bunch. Anybody have some more better ones?
After exiting Titus Canyon I rotated out of the lead and convinced the others to join me in washing our rear windows so we could finally test and lay to rest the question of if the wing on my truck
does anything more than decrease my gas mileage
We traversed the valley and headed back up into the mountains to the west of DV towards the ghost town of Skidoo
, and as you can see from the next shot it sure was dusty when not leading the pack!
This is all that's left of Skidoo, once with a post office and supporting the local gold mines for 10 years it's now just the smallest pile of remenents.
It is however not entirely uninhabited...
We then proceeded to move up the mountain a little more to explore the mines around Skidoo.
After Skidoo we moved down the road a bit to Aguereberry Pt
, a spectacular 6433 foot elevation overlook of Death Valley.
Also now having driven about 20 miles off road in the dust, the results were in for the wing
, check it out!
As you can see, while both are certainly dusty and dirty, that funky clumping which was happening to one degree or another on all 3 of the other trucks wasn't appearing on my rear window. Success!
As the light was starting to get low in the sky we took a group shot and then headed off to our final destination.
Those are the "Charcoal Kilns
" where they used to road charcoal from the scrub pine trees in the area for use in a near by smelter. They are hollow on the inside and perfectly shaped to make the coolest echo chamber =P.
At this point the sun was setting and unfortunately it was time we started going our seperate ways. While NVSteve had dinner waiting for him back at the Furnace Creek
camp ground and GuinnessJim had 4 dogs which would devour his interior if left unattended, Ragpaoa and I, after a quick sprint up to the Telescope Peak Trail Head
to throw some snowballs with the kids, headed out West to the Panamint Valley and up to the resturant at the Panamint Springs Resort
Per usual the food was far above par for a little middle-of-nowhere resturant, and their endless beer list continues to be an amazing delight. Ragpaoa said he was heading south to Palm Springs the next day, so we went over cool places to see in the Mojave Desert along the way, hopefully he's got a story or two to share from there. Parting ways one last time Ragpaoa headed East towards his motel in Amargosa, and we headed south towards our beds for the night in Ridgecrest.
The next morning was cold and windy, and while driving back home west on 178 through the Lake Isabella area we had snow of all things and a good amount of rain. We made it home to SJ in record time though, only 6:45 including all our rest stops along the way.
Thanks for coming for all those that came, was great fun to meet everybody in person, check out the various trucks and exercise them a bit. And for all those of you who could have come but didn't, ha! Be jealous of all the cool pictures and come next time!