El Paso Mountains Off Road Trip

Trip Report 20090327

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The Experience

We were invited by one of our fellow moggers to participate in an off road trip to the El Paso Mountains in Kern County. The trip was being "organized" by some of the VW Syncho van folks, but the guy in charge, John, also had a unimog. We were one of 3 mogs there and we had a great time "hanging with the boys".

The photos below are what we saw.

On our way to the site, we passed an accident scene on I-15. Firemen know their trucks and only the fellow in yellow has noticed our presence.

Once we arrived at the Sierra Trails RV park in Mojave, the other members of the group soon followed. Above is Alan's 406 mog.

Chuck's turbo-diesel powered Samurai.

Our 1300L with new 395/85R20 tires ready to hit the trail.

John's 404 with a 406 cab. It came from the factory this way, but he removed the bed.

One of the other group members had this nice, pumped-up jeep.

A nice Pinzgaur from San Diego.

On our way to the trail head, we had to pass close to Red Rock Canyon. Above, some examples of the rock formations in the area can be seen.

The rock beds in the area are steeply tilted and brightly colored.

Nice mud curtains can be seen on the cliff above.

The group stops at the trail head and prepares to air down.

Spring in the Mojave Desert is always colorful as the wild flowers are in bloom. Yellow was the predominant color, but there were white and purple flowers as well. Above is one of the yellow flowers.

Another example of the yellow flowers.

The third type of yellow flower.

Put them all together and you get a nice carpet of color on the desert floor. We saw plenty of motor homes camped along the trail with their "trail toys".

A view to the west as the group makes it way up into the El Paso Mountains.

There were a number of signs along the way and they tell the story.

As stated, there were plenty of tunnels, shafts and scratchings that we could see from the trail.

I did not expect this sign.

Lots of bikers were in the area as well enjoying the mild weather and sunshine.

The post office was not much to see, but it was surprising that it existed at all. Near as I could tell, there was no water anywhere in the area.

Further into the hills, we came upon this camp. Basically, it was a junk pile with a resident caretaker.

The group inspects the "artifacts".

A home-made churn drill.

An old air compressor used for powering air tools used for mining.

A had never heard of the "Fordson" brand of tractors.

A Kaiser Supersonic motor from a car.

Further into the hills, we were presented with some steep side trails. Above, on of the members of our group attacks the trail.

There were many shafts and tunnel in the area. From the abandoned head frame of this mine, you got an expansive view of the hills to the northwest.

The sign pretty much says it all. If you get too close, you will slide in and you will not like it.

Later in the day, we found our campsite on a saddle high in the hills. This was a reasonable site except that the saddle was exposed to the wind. Indeed, later that night, we experienced very high winds, perhaps gusts to 50 mph. Our camper was rocking, but we were generally comfortable.

Our site had a nice view of the canyon below the saddle. The evening was pretty mellow except for Alan's "Sobe Bomb" gasoline-in-the campfire trick.

Group photo of the team "the morning after". Author is on the right.

Next morning, we hit the trail again making our way out of the mountains. We discovered several trips ago, that using the ratchet straps over the top of the camper prevents the elevating top from "side rolling" on hills. It looks funky, but it works great.

The team descends a steep hill .

The area has many abandoned mines. Note the tailings pile on this mine in the photo above.

The lower sections of the El Paso mountains had great flowered areas.

Some of the areas were very dense with flowers.

I question the logic associated with using the billboard model, but I do have to admit it did catch my attention. The owner's wife perhaps?

We had a great time. The weather was a bit colder than I would have liked, but this is spring in the high desert and you get what you get. The high winds were a pain and it made driving home an exercise in care when on the road. If you come to this area, insure you are prepared for wide swings in temperature from night to day. Many thanks to the Team Synchro for inviting us to join their outing.

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