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Old 09-13-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
WoodsChick OP
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Finding What I Was Searching For In The Desert...

It was time again for another foray into the desert. Our efforts got cut short on our trip in May when Eric broke his shoulder. We hadn't found any wild horses, we hadn't found the plane crash site, we hadn't found our way down into the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge...we just felt as though we had some unfinished business there.

This time we found everything we were searching for...and a few things we hadn't even thought to look for in the first place We both managed to make it home without any broken bones. I did, however, manage to sustain a small (but very painful) injury when I had a massive head-on collision with 5 bottles of wine, a hot springs, a fellow ADV'er, the Milky Way on a stunning moonless night, and one very hot candle

We should have known it would be an interesting trip when we had to drive around this plane in the middle of the road...




By the way, the guy talking to the pilot? That's Kurt. This is the only time I ever saw him when he actually had clothes on. He and Margot (also perennially naked) were from Bavaria and had bought a truck/camper and were spending the fall traveling around the west. They were delightful.

The trip began as most usually do, with a little decompression ritual at sunset. We didn't know it at the time, but 2 of the 4 items pictured below would play a big role in our trip...wine and bug spray.




The stars were incredible that night. The Milky Way spanned from horizon to horizon. No pesky clouds to obscure our view, nor moon to dilute from the brilliance. I was kicking myself in the butt for forgetting my ultra-cool travel telescope.

The next day we suited up and headed into the mountains to escape the mid-90's heat. Hey, what's up here?


A lot of steepy rockness, that's what...




There were some cool looking rocks at the top, though. I dig the face...




Who says there's no water in the desert? There's a ton of it coming from these springs in the hillside...




Still green...




More to come...



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Old 09-13-2010, 06:21 PM   #2
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Thumb

Very nice beginning....I love that country. It looks bleak from a distance & it is only when you get up close that you see the life and the beauty. Thanks for taking the time to bring us along. Nice pics by the way.

In......
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:50 PM   #3
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Oh Yeah...I'm in!!

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Old 09-13-2010, 08:06 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys!

You're absolutely right, WaywardSon; the beauty is always hidden. It takes some effort to find it but the rewards are great. I am absolutely smitten with the area




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Old 09-13-2010, 08:07 PM   #5
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We goofed around in the hills...




And went to see what we could find...






Hey, WoodsChick's coming to visit!






Hey, I still get SKF bearings down at the Bearing House...




I have a great collection of old bottles, most from the Bay Area, but I left this one for others to enjoy...




There was water dripping in the sink...




The teddy bear was a sad sight. These kinds of places always smell of crushed dreams...




Let's get outta here...




Can you see Eric at the bottom of the hill?




More to come...



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Old 09-13-2010, 09:01 PM   #6
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:18 PM   #7
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Looks like some of the golf courses out here
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:24 PM   #8
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We climbed down off the hillside...




We had a little conversation at a spot where the track split. I wanted to go higher, Eric wanted to go straight towards the top of the saddle, the scene of his broken shoulder a few months before. I knew we'd find what we were searching for if he would only listen, but I had no facts to back it up. No prior knowledge, no GPS waypoints, no "X marks the spot" maps, just clues put together from wandering around the mountains, looking at a few close-up photos and a little bit of binocular time. Well, that and a hunch. We went the way I wanted to go and this is what we found...





A B-24 Liberator crashed here in February of 1945, killing all 11 men on board. I was almost giddy with joy to have found it, but once I started walking around and seeing the devastation that was still there, it quickly turned into a somber experience...










There was just stuff everywhere...surprising after 65 years...








We were there for about 2 hours. We hiked up the hill and sat in the shade of the rocks and had our lunch of prosciutto, mozzarella, crackers, nectarines, dried mango and iced mint water. We were both reluctant to leave. What a peaceful place, so beautiful and quiet...and vast. Next time I'll bring a fresh flag with me...




More to come...



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Old 09-13-2010, 10:01 PM   #9
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Lookin good. Bring it.

It's good to see someone else found the B-24. Especially the old fashioned way like I found it. I'll never forget coming over the top of that last rise and seeing it. Victory.

I hope people leave the stuff where they find it. It almost looks like there are some more parts missing since I was there 2 years ago. It needs to be preserved so other people can appreciate the history of it.

I'm headed out to that area a week from Wednesday. I can't wait.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:27 PM   #10
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:05 PM   #11
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I pictured the crash site as brushier. Wow, pretty amazing.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:13 PM   #12
Baja Ho
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WoodsChick
Love your reports, thanks for posting.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:48 PM   #13
HardWorkingDog
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Found it! Keep it coming, although I wish I hadn't found this one so early...want to read it all at once .

Looks like E is healed up? Good.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:03 AM   #14
Lima Tango
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja Ho
WoodsChick
Love your reports, thanks for posting.
+1, and Subscribed.

And, I liked the leadoff photo: wine, rug, desert scenery, late afternoon light......

LT
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:08 AM   #15
Hodakaguy
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Great trip! Twice I've wanted to go scouting for the B24 when I was down in that area and both times I didn't end up having the time. Hopefully next summer I'll make it

Thanks for the pics.

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