By Ric Jones
It was a good thing we rescheduled the run since this time the weather was great, not 97 degrees and 20-30 mph winds.
As of Friday night the vehicle count was four with a maybe. The maybe became a yes, and a yes became a no when Doug Francisco became ill at the last minute.
Before the run I went through two possible navigators until I ended up with Milly the wonder dog as my co-pilot. She did great with the GPS, and never got us lost.
Meeting at the Flying J in Barstow, were Mike and Carol Kelly, Bob Matula on his first run in several years due to health issures both personal and Jeep mechanical. We also had guests Matt and Laurie Gilham. Laurie had just arrived home at midnight on Friday night from Pennsylvania and they still made the run.
We left the Flying J right at 9:00 and proceeded north to Fort Irwin Road. We noted the number of white crosses along the road for the many soldiers that didn’t make it back to camp after a night on the town.
We left Ft. Irwin road at Copper City Road where we aired down.
My plan was to take Coolgardie Road to Black Canyon Rd., and see some sights along Black Canyon Road. Well that plan soon fell apart when I took a trail I thought was Coolgardie and it wasn’t. OK, no problem, I have a good GPS with Owlsheadgps trails loaded. I just told it to go to one of the waypoints I had set up, then all I had to do was follow the trail. It saved my bacon. With a spiderweb of trails in the area it was nice to see them on the GPS and also have their trail designation shown. If you haven’t looked into the program you SHOULD.
One of the trails took us through a valley with had to be the largest Joshua trees we have ever seen. Most of the trails we traveled were nice two track, not bladed roads. Along the way we encountered some sand and a fun first gear low range 100 yard long downhill.
My plan was to arrive at Inscription Canyon around noon and we hit it about 11:30. After wandering around checking out the petrogyphs, we had lunch. Matt and Laurie got the $.50 tour of the petroghyphs by the resident “expert”, explaining to them what the various glyphs meant, at least in his opinion.
After lunch we headed to the Husky Monument. It has been about 10 years since I have been to the monument and it has really grown. Originally it was a monument to a desert motorcycle racer who had died. They buried the wheels of his Husky motorcycle in cement and made it a monument. When I was last there there were two headstone-like monuments, now more than 30 of many different types.
After the monument we headed west on mostly bladed roads past Fremont Peak, ending up at HWY 395 and the end of the run.
I would like to thank the Kellys, Gilhams and Bob Matula for making it a fun day. For those that didn’t make it but indicted that you would like to do it in the future, I’ll either make it a club run or do a special run. The next time we will go in and out a different way and see some additional sites.