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My Expedition Vehicle & Trailer

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Coyote Flats - Expedition Trailer At 10,000'

This 2019 trip covered about six days at high altitude in the mountains above Bishop, California.

The 4Runner and trailer were fully loaded for a great adventure!

The views around Coyote Flats are always expansive and breathtaking.

Wildflowers of all manner added blankets of color to the meadows and mountainsides

The heavy snows of the winter and spring are still melting and feeding the lush grasses and summer wildflowers

Camp Teotwaki was set up with a beautiful alpine lake backdrop.

On a number of mornings I had a simple breakfast of hot tea, hot oatmeal, yogurt and fruit.

Looking back at the camp on the far right shore

Desert Dan drove his 4Runner up to join me for a couple of days and it was great to share a campfire with him! He brought the wood for Saturday night's fire.

On the way to Green Lake there were enormous, elongated bands of snow still clinging to the mountainsides. Many of them were tinged with the pink algae that grows inside summer snow.

A truly wonderful view of Green Lake from the overview trail, one of the longer and more scenic 4x4 trails.

On the way back from Green Lake, Dan and I spotted a solidly built but little used camp site featuring a sort of stone oven.

That's Dan's mountain dog, Cody right behind him.

Here is my African Outback expedition roof rack set up for this trip with the optional 1/3 length rail, ARB awning, two Scepter gas cans, bridging ladders, shovel and Hi Lift Jack.

The new front view camera worked great on this trip! Now I can easily see what is close in and hidden by the hood.

Selector switch for Front or Rear camera at any time I need the view.

Dinners were always something to look forward to after long days of exploring. A few samples of what I prepared -

Trader Ming's Kung Pao Chicken

 Add a great view to a great dinner!

Sometimes a mother duck and her six ducklings swam out for dinner too

 A sweet dessert to round out dinner was available on the menu.

I went hiking and scouted out wood for Sunday night's camp fire. Here is what I brought back.

Here it is processed, cut to size and stacked. I left a little of it behind for the next camper.
Nothing like a roaring campfire to combat dropping temperatures.

I enjoy investigating old mining sites and there were a couple at Coyote Flats I planned to check out.

The first was in use on and off up until the 1990's and it was possible to visit the old cabin as well as the mine site itself. 

The cabin featured a mix of local hand hewn timber and corrugated steel construction built between and incorporating living trees

It also featured the standard rusty coil spring bed platform so often seen in these old cabins.

The mine had very large tailings (piles of waste rock) so the tunnels must have gone pretty far into the mountain.

At the entryway was some interesting rock that must have attracted the miners to choose the location.

Although the mine's portal was collapsed the leftover materials in their resource yard had some interesting sights.

Sitting on top of the shed was this rock sample

Next to the shed was this odd contraption made of various bits of other machines.
This metal arm looks to have been heated and reformed by hand but the purpose of this machine is a mystery.
 Tops down view

The second mine was a little further away and I almost missed finding it. After examining a topo map Dan suggested trying one particular trail and there the mine was!

It too had its portal damaged but the rock retaining walls were very well placed and still performed a great job of holding back the dirt.

A view from uphill

Dan and Cody are scampering uphill to see more of the numerous adits.

We also spotted this welded steel frame that had the nitials "WTH" stamped on top.

There was a great view from up there too!

This second abandoned mining site also featured a very large but mostly collapsed ore bin.
There were some colorful rocks here too.

Thanks for joining me on this longer edition of my annual trip to Coyote Flats! I hope you enjoyed all of the pictures and my story.

Until next time, be safe and get out into the wide open spaces!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Star Wars Canyon, Eureka Sand Dunes, Alabama Hills and a Secret Site!

This adventure was planned to allow spending some time in my favorite spots along Highway 395 as well as a chance at grabbing some great photos.

Great scenery in all directions at Star Wars Canyon! A nice coating of snow on Telescope Peak.

Here is a F-18 rolling into a high speed run through the canyon. See the flames of the jet exhaust? This guy was shredding the sky!

It is always great to spot an aircraft that is a bit out of the ordinary here. This USAF T-38 twin seat jet was definitely a highlight.

More F-18 passes with the spring snow in the background.

On this F-18 I captured some shots where I could spot the pilot's white helmet.

As much as I loved watching the jets it was time to head out to the magnificent Eureka Sand Dunes!

The distant Sierra Nevada mountains look amazing while fully blanketed in snow!

The Eureka Sand Dunes are always a bit deceiving as to their true height,

Once on top you are treated to some amazing sights of naturally occurring curves and stark desert landscapes


The water is just over the next dune, right?

Next, let's go on a cross country trek and take a peek at a secret spot left behind by the earliest explorers and settlers of Death Valley.

There is more hiking ahead in the Alabama Hills!

This  arch and other rounded boulders are as old as the Sierras but have endured millions of years of harsh erosion. Biotite monzogranite is the what most of the boulders and arches are composed of.  The hiking paths and camp sites offer inviting vistas and endless jumbles of weathered rock.

The Alabama Hills have a very long history serving as the backdrop for countless Hollywood movies. Be sure to stop in Lone Pine and visit the Museum Of Western Film History to learn more about the many movies and see a fascinating array of props, equipment and costumes. Be sure to drop some extra cash in the donation box to keep this great museum in business!

The movie Tremors was filmed in the Alabama Hills
Countless western films were also acted out in the Hills.

Thanks for catching up with me on this latest adventure! Be sure to come out and enjoy this wonderful part of California as much as I did.