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December 2018 Lake Havasu & Parker Pictures & SPOT

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we're back!

 

here's a shot of us all at the top of the Talc Mine, will post more later.

 

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Cool pic! Mine, did you say Mine?!?!

smiles, ladybug

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Sunday (day 1)

 

i left Phoenix Sunday morning under neat cloud cover.

 

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not sure what this is, but it blew right past me while i was doing 85 near Wikieup.

 

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we all met at the Franconia Road exit off the I-40. i got there early and took a few photos to pass the time. i think this one is looking east at the Hualapai mountains.

 

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always so much trash near interstate exits :(

 

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it didn't take long for our entire (small) group to arrive and start airing down. Dick (elkpakr) was in his khaki Rubicon LJ, Adam (Rubicon 18) had his white Rubicon 2-door JK, and Mike (gearhead) was in his trusty red YJ.

 

heading north on the Warm Springs Wilderness Trail we could immediately see the plentiful colors of the Black Mountains.

 

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burros were a fairly common sight all 3 days.

 

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looking back at the group as we covered a brief stretch of decent trail... 90% of our route would turn out to be bone and/or gut jarring terrain!

 

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more colorful hills.

 

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not long and we were climbing a short spur trail up to a Talc Mine. a small lift and decent flex is needed by most drivers for this.

 

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the reward for reaching the top is an impressive view in every direction. this shot is looking north-west.

 

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and then towards the east - that's Dick below taking in the scene.

 

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Rubicon parking only!

 

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...but Mike got the VIP spot!

 

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we didn't find any adits and this looked to be all surface mining. there was a little structure nearby constructed of railroad ties and then covered with dirt, probably their dynamite shack.

 

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a little further up the main trail, we took a second spur and a short hike to some "footings" i had seen on satellite views. they turned out to just be large chunks of boulders ;) Ladybug, Dick says i'm winning the Moses title now because at least you keep them in the Jeeps instead of trodding through the desert on foot!

 

after another hour or so on the main bumpy trail, we arrived at the edge of the Warm Springs Wilderness. just in time to set up camp and search for firewood before the early winter sunset.

 

 

continued...

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Thanks for a great trip and good pictures. My guess is the "blow by" is a 1949 or so Chevrolet sedan.

Peace & Grace

Dick

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Great trip report! :)

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Monday (day 2)

 

we woke up to a brilliant sunrise on day 2!

 

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Mike stayed at camp while Dick, Adam and i hiked towards the alleged Warm Springs, loosely following the old road.

 

the hike was easy with no major elevation changes - but it's an ankle twister. i don't think there's a single square-foot of clear dirt in that boulder field of a trail! i read somewhere that the whole hike is only about a mile round-trip.

 

this was supposed to be a cool spring that we encountered first, though we couldn't see any running water in the dense thicket.

 

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as the path bends behind a small hill it soon becomes obvious where the first warm springs is. the water feeds a tiny grove of trees in an otherwise fairly barren landscape.

 

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"warm" springs was a little misleading... i'd call them tepid springs, or maybe room-temperature springs! the water was perhaps 70*. obviously much warmer than typical ground water, but certainly not warm to the touch.

 

i wouldn't drink this without good purification, there's quite a mess of burro poo!

 

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from here Mike & Adam headed back to our camp while i continued on to a second vegetation group i'd seen on the satellite map.

 

here's looking back towards those first warm springs.

 

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the road was hard to keep track of in spots, but as i descended a hill it became clear again as did the other springs' location.

 

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this third lush area was the largest. complete with some spectacularly overgrown palms, this was a true desert oasis!

 

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i could hear running water this time, so i went in for a closer look...

 

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this spring had an impressive little flow going on. it seemed to be the same temperature as the other one.

 

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partial walls of an old rock cabin still stand on the back side of the spring.

 

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what a view its occupants had!

 

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further down the hill, after the water had disappeared back into the thirsty desert, i found a number of short crumbling rock walls.

 

unlike the cemented walls of the cabin, these all seemed to be constructed simply from stacking and chinking. i'm guessing these were all made by settlers, but there was something reminiscent of Native American ruins in the way they seem to define multiple connected rooms.

 

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after taking a ton of photos, i looped back to our campsite via a large wash instead of returning on the old road. this did turn out to be the shorter/quicker way back, but i'd recommend having a GPS or you could easily go to far and completely miss the end of the 4x4 trail where we had camped.

 

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i made it back to camp not long after the other guys. we took a short breather then hit the Jeep trail again, continuing south-west on the main loop.

 

the previous day's trail had seemed incredibly bumpy, but we soon found out what a really rough trail could be like!

 

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this semi-graded path through a boulder field didn't have particularly impressive scenery either.

 

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after the bone bouncing rock path, we had a few miles of sand... but these trails were chewed up from high speed side-by-side traffic into a constant series of Jeep-bucking whoops. i gotta say, the western half of the Oatman Warm Springs Trail is not on my "must return to soon" list!

 

we aired-up so we could take highway and freeway down to the 95/I-40 junction for fuel. Adam had to leave since he only had Monday off from work.

 

the 3 remaining rigs airing-down at the Franconia Road exit again, this time on the south side.

 

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continued...

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Thanks for a great trip and good pictures. My guess is the "blow by" is a 1949 or so Chevrolet sedan.

Peace & Grace

Dick

I was going to say it looks like a 1950 Pontiac judging from the trunk emblem.

 

 

Nice photos Kbro thanks for sharing. Look forward to seeing the rest.

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Your "blow-by" car was 1952 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe, 4-dr Sedan. I'm guessing it likely had a non-original drivetrain.. ;)

 

PS: Enjoyed your pics... Thanks for sharing... ;)

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Monday Afternoon (day 2 continued)

 

heading south and slightly west, we ran the Scott's Well trail. the first part is easy desert road but as you enter into a valley things get tighter and it becomes a proper trail.

 

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we used 4-lo for an extended period crawling through the canyon. i'd still rate this on the easier end of "moderate" though - there was only one slightly tight spot.

 

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near the end of the trail is the abandoned mining area known as Scott's Well. there are some neatly stacked rock walls still partially standing and a few random bits of junk to look at, but the mine is almost entirely caved in at the entrance.

 

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after heading about a third of the way back out the same trail, we took a right and joined into the Crossman Peak trail.

 

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somewhere around the half-way spot on that trail we found a decent area to camp. we gathered firewood again and had a small fire down in a tiny wash. it was colder this night, probably around freezing, but we never did have more than a light breeze in terms of wind.

 

 

Tuesday (day 3)

 

the next morning i was up early enough to catch sunrise with the moon and morning star still up.

 

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right after we got started on the trail, Mike remarked over the CB about being able to see a sundog (a little spot of rainbow), which was a term i'd never heard before!

 

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the middle portion of the Crossman Peak trail gets a solid moderate rating, with one ledge near a peak that might even be considered difficult.

 

we used 4-low most of the morning, first climbing all around in the hills and then navigating some mild rock crawls in the canyons and washes below them.

 

the views as we crested a couple of the saddles were excellent.

 

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once clearly out of the mountains, we joined into a network of easy and well used trails. unfortunately these were also beaten up badly by high-speed Razer style rigs, which made for a bouncy ride again.

 

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Gearhead ditched us once we reached the intersection for the Mojave Wash loop trail, he wanted to get home a little earlier.

 

Dick and I took did the loop. we found that 15 MPH seemed to be the magic speed that would somewhat smooth-out the whoops, but it was still entirely too bouncy!

 

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at the middle point of the loop is a well constructed water well, corral, and metal tank.

 

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the Mojave wash loop eventually rejoins the Crossman Peak trail, only bypassing a mile or 2 of it.

 

the rest of the way was all wide open washes, finally dumping us out on highway 95 a little south of Lake Havasu City.

 

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Dick and i reached pavement right about noon. i forgot to bring sliced cheese for my lunches, so i improvised and had this awesome Cheeto-Turkey-Mayo-Flatbread sandwich while we aired up!

 

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this was a fun trip and i'm glad we were able to make it happen even though several people had to drop out last minute.

 

it was little cold both mornings, but we never did get the insane winds that were predicted. sunny days with temps in the 60's made for great wheeling weather overall!

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