Mojave Trail run 2017

Offroad VW based vehicles have problems/insights all their own. Not to mention the knowledge gained in VW durability.

Moderators: Leatherneck, rickosuave1987

User avatar
Leatherneck
Moderator
Posts: 16195
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:47 pm
Location: Way south of Seattle
Contact:

Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by Leatherneck » Fri May 12, 2017 11:00 am

From Mark Girdner. This year the plan is to mix it up a bit. I haven't calculated the miles yet but the Friday-Sunday leg will be longer than ever before (275 miles?). We will have access to fuel at Cima Road this year. Also, this year, aside from the outbound night run, most of the run will not follow the Mojave Road per se.

On the map, the blue is previous routes we've done, the green is the proposed route for this year.

Map1.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Leatherneck
Moderator
Posts: 16195
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:47 pm
Location: Way south of Seattle
Contact:

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by Leatherneck » Sun May 14, 2017 4:48 pm

Two more weeks and more of these pics, should have some video too.
IMG_1192.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
jt1967
Posts: 280
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:13 am
Location: Poway CA

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by jt1967 » Mon May 15, 2017 9:42 am

Dang it is going to suck to miss this trip

User avatar
Leatherneck
Moderator
Posts: 16195
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:47 pm
Location: Way south of Seattle
Contact:

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by Leatherneck » Mon May 15, 2017 7:34 pm

jt1967 wrote:
Mon May 15, 2017 9:42 am
Dang it is going to suck to miss this trip
That is a Bummer for sure, going to miss you on this one. I am downloading the maps on MotionX now. Been over the buggy, feel good about it. Man wish you could be there.

User avatar
TimS
Posts: 5713
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:11 am
Location: Pocatello, ID

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by TimS » Tue May 16, 2017 3:07 am

Looking forward to a complete report. Have fun!
Don’t ever yield your gift of dream; Your knack for gumption, too. For “It’s the crazy ones that have all the fun," if dreamers yearn to do.

User avatar
Class 11 streeter
Posts: 4057
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 3:01 am
Location: Antelope Valley, Ca

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by Class 11 streeter » Tue May 16, 2017 10:33 pm

TimS wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 3:07 am
Looking forward to a complete report. Have fun!
Me too! Pics and Video please! Lots of it!
So you think your project is taking forever eh? Well you've got nothing on me.....

User avatar
Leatherneck
Moderator
Posts: 16195
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:47 pm
Location: Way south of Seattle
Contact:

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by Leatherneck » Tue May 16, 2017 10:38 pm

Class 11 streeter wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 10:33 pm
TimS wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 3:07 am
Looking forward to a complete report. Have fun!
Me too! Pics and Video please! Lots of it!
Will do guys. Mark has been busy, here are some Cords if you want to punch any in.

Here are some coordinates for you:
Lat,Lon,Waypoint
34.901409,-116.883028,Peggy Sues
34.977222,-116.119085,Crucero Cutoff
34.996541,-116.182073,Downed Plane?
35.006064,-116.19661,Megaphone
35.014203,-114.642966,Avi
35.034456,-115.984843,Sands RR Crossing
35.040107,-115.944456,Trail To Sands
35.046751,-116.154851,Crucero Underpass
35.049802,-114.957359,Signal Hill Detour
35.072842,-116.414522,Afton Road
35.090341,-116.127668,RasorRd YvonneBlvd
35.102707,-114.774905,BalancingRock
35.107038,-115.052805,MR in Lanfair
35.112771,-114.829241,Highway 95
35.132664,-116.209121,Rasor Road
35.135366,-115.811054,Jackass Cnyn Entrance
35.138594,-115.186938,Lanfair Road TTRR
35.14829,-115.31747,Watson Drop-off
35.172243,-115.778132,MR at Aiken Mine Rd
35.183143,-115.664048,MR at Powerlines
35.220463,-115.460944,DV Mine
35.314712,-115.550681,Sunrise Rock
35.3606894,-115.5161287,Riley's Camp
35.441049,-115.673062,Cima at I-15
35.467309,-115.5286,Mt Pass
35.569482,-115.566176,Colosseum Mine

User avatar
dustymojave
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:08 am
Location: Lake LA, Mojave Desert, SoCal

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by dustymojave » Wed May 17, 2017 4:08 pm

So are you guys going West to East this time? The 1st coordinate I see in the list above is at Peggy Sue's. Good stop. My wife always insists we stop in there when we're going by. But then, the 4th coordinate is at the Avi Casino???? Or are they just in order of latitude as it looks like rather than order of arrival?
Richard
Lake LA, Mojave Desert, SoCal
Speed Kills!, but then...So does OLD AGE!!
A.R.T.S. OffRoad Race Tech Inspection
MDR / MORE / Glen Helen BajaCup Challenge
AKA: MojaveRacer208
'58 Baja with 815K Miles and counting

User avatar
Leatherneck
Moderator
Posts: 16195
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:47 pm
Location: Way south of Seattle
Contact:

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by Leatherneck » Wed May 17, 2017 6:11 pm

dustymojave wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 4:08 pm
So are you guys going West to East this time? The 1st coordinate I see in the list above is at Peggy Sue's. Good stop. My wife always insists we stop in there when we're going by. But then, the 4th coordinate is at the Avi Casino???? Or are they just in order of latitude as it looks like rather than order of arrival?
Peggy Sue's will be the last stop, leaving from the Avi casino after the crew arrives from Barstow via I40 and then heading northwest

User avatar
dustymojave
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:08 am
Location: Lake LA, Mojave Desert, SoCal

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by dustymojave » Thu May 18, 2017 12:58 am

Gotcha
Richard
Lake LA, Mojave Desert, SoCal
Speed Kills!, but then...So does OLD AGE!!
A.R.T.S. OffRoad Race Tech Inspection
MDR / MORE / Glen Helen BajaCup Challenge
AKA: MojaveRacer208
'58 Baja with 815K Miles and counting

User avatar
mgirdner
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 3:01 am
Location: Covina, Ca

Mojave Road 2017 - trip report

Post by mgirdner » Mon May 29, 2017 4:10 pm

(LONG! - Photos are at: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 377&type=3 )
Thursday, May 25
Some drove straight through to the Avi, some spent the night in Barstow at my Mom's house.

Friday, May 26
Dave Cundy arrived in the morning and we all got a prompt start only fifteen minutes behind schedule and headed to the east Barstow Starbucks -- keeping the tradition alive.
We were in and out in record time and east headed down I-40, seven cars in all: me (with Tim), Shayne, Bill, Wayne, Mano, Eric, and Dave C.
Surprisingly, we were also very quick on our Goff's gas stop. For the first time in my memory, we didn't have to work on cars there and were back on the road in no time.

At the Avi
We pulled into the Avi at 8:50 a.m. and met up with David E. (Leatherneck), Angie, Ed, James, David S. (Elco), Devin, Bob B. (MrsHocky), Sally, Bob W., and Jack.
Next up: gas and group photo then off to Beale's Crossing to start our dirt adventure.

From that point, we began our westward trek. A few miles into the run, my engine apparently went in to limp mode for some unknown reason. Merely restarting caused the problem to go away. I don't know what triggered it but it didn't happen again, thankfully.

Our first scheduled stop was the Balancing Rock then back on the MR and heading for the Fort Piute trail spur. As usual, we bypassed the short run up to Fort Piute and headed south to the new detour to the Fort Piute detour since the National Park Service has yet to repair the flood damage to the first detour.
By lunch, we had made it to the same abandoned mine system where we stopped last year and hung out for a bit. While there, Dave C. had to do a trail fix to his Manx. After that, we headed north to re-join the MR in Lanfair Valley. We were less than a mile from the Penny Can when Leatherneck blew-up a CV joint. He fixed that and we continued toward Cedar Canyon Road. Once there, Shayne had to reattach a rocker arm assembly and then we all scooted down the Watson Wash Drop-off and shot past the Rock Spring.

We then continued west on the Ceder Canyon Road portion of the MR then turned north up to the Death Valley mine remains to explore it again.
At that point, Leatherneck discovered he had a damaged valve-adjusting screw and Bill loaned him one from his spare parts. (Thanks Bill!)
Now we continued east to the metropolis of Cima then north to Sunrise Rock to see the Mojave Cross. Next, we made our way up to the Evening Star tin mine and then on to Riley's Camp: our stop for the night.

Riley's Camp
Riley's Camp was wonderful. There was plenty of room to spread out in the area and the cabin was in a LOT better condition than when I was there back in 2008.

Saturday, May 27
Today, after leaving Riley's Camp we quickly explored a few of the other cabins in the area and then tried to drive Kessler Peak Road around the southeast side of Kokoweef Mountain en route to I-15 at Mountain Pass. The road deteriorated near the top, however, and we opted to try an alternative route. Soon after changing to a more-northern approach, we met a guy on a SxS who turned out to be "Steve from Kokoweef" who said he was in charge of the Kokoweef Mine operation. I spent some five minutes talking with him and heard about several potential holes or entrances to the caverns beneath our feet that he was committed to find. He invited us to schedule a tour someday and I took down his phone number. He confirmed that our current track would, in fact, get us up to I-15 so we continued on.
Once to the freeway, Bill headed back home since he was exhausted from lack of sleep. The rest of us jumped on the freeway and headed northeast to the next exit. From there, we made our way north on what came to be know as "The Ugly Road's younger brother". From satellite images it appeared to be the most direct route to the Colosseum Mine.

Snake!
Just before finally connecting up with Colosseum Road, we stopped at a watering corral and tank. It was there that Sally accidentally discovered a sleepy rattle snake under the water tank and so we all gathered to investigate.

A little further up the trail we encountered three very light-colored burros.

Eventually, we found the right route up to the Colosseum Mine but before we got there, Leatherneck developed an oil leak that needed immediate attention. Poor Leatherneck! He was having more than his share of bad luck so far. Fortunately, he was always able to repair whatever fate was throwing at him.

In time, we arrived at the awesome Colosseum Mine -- a huge open pit mine with a winding road in its center that leads down the the pond in its belly.
We stopped here for lunch then continued on to see I could find another relative to "The Ugly Road". I succeeded. Once again, from space, I saw what looked like a route to the Cima Road gas station that was half as long as the marked trails on maps so off we went. Yuck! That was a mistake! We bounced around for what seemed hours before finally making our way to the Shell station at Cima Road and I-15.

The Shell station was so crowded it took a LONG time to get out of there. Finally, however, we started back south in search of the MR. Shortly afterward, Shayne stopped to re-torque his lug-nuts. Eventually, we ended up heading south on the same old pole-line road that we historically drive north on when we visit Kelso Depot. That pole-line road never disappoints: providing a fast, fun, and challenging route to the MR just east of Marl Springs.
Once on the MR, our next stop was the obligatory Mojave Road Mailbox and associated trinket shrines. Upon arrival, we saw that all the "survival supplies" had be removed from the mailbox. The box only contained the log book and a small map to what I call "the Fort Piute detour detour".

Leaving the mailbox we now continued down one of my favorite stretches of the MR: the run down to Kelbaker Road. So much fun!

No Alternate Exit.
My original plan was to leave the MR at this point and head down Jackass Canyon in search of the alternate eastern exit from the Mojave Preserve via a RR stop called "Sands". It is very sandy and always looks so intimidating. I'm 90% sure it's doable but this late in the day, and my level of exhaustion, I opted to, once again, save it for another day and continue around Seventeen Mile Point to see if, by chance, Brannigan Mine was available for our next camp site. Shockingly, Brannigan WAS empty so our dusty twelve cars crawled on up to luxurious desert resort and set up camp.

Like Riley's Camp, Brannigan was in better shape than I've ever seen it. The interior was very clean without the usual clutter. Bob W. and Jack checked into the Presidential Suite for the evening so they didn't have to unpack their tent.

Early in the evening, I invited everyone to gather around and watch me set up my little tent and then hang out at my little campsite where Wayne treated us all to some HOT links and burgers and regale us with his wild stories. Eventually, much to my disappointment, the group moved the part down to the bonfire and so I turned in for the night while the rest of the group took turns talking smack about how fast they were going to traverse the Mojave Sink wash tomorrow.

Sunday, May 28
This morning James helped me diagnose an intermittent water-temperature gauge problem I was having. Next he helped Elco fix his trans nose cone leaks and then we broke camp and headed back up the MR and Soda Dry Lake. Just before reaching the silt beds on the eastern shore of Soda, MrsHocky tried a little too hard to stay ahead of Shayne and his transmission said "No." He lost third and fourth gears and at that point, Elco, whose tranny problem had also returned, decided that the lure of beautiful Baker and the chance to get to ride in a AAA tow truck were to overpowering to resist. Both Ed and James opted to drop out, too, and escort MrsHocky and Elco back to their beloved gem that is Baker.
So, now were down to eight cars: seven ACVWs and my in my BFC.
We crossed the silt beds without incident and jammed up to the Traveler's Monument. From there, Leatherneck lead us to the southeastern entrance to the Mojave Sink wash.

Every which way but straight.

From there, I started out leading us through the twisty river bed with everyone staying right on my tail. Tim was doing his usual great job helping me navigate the rock cairns and posts but we apparently missed the one big hard-left turn and were off course. Pretty soon, we spy Shayne hauling down a course on our left like a man on a mission. We then tried to make a trajectory correction maneuver and plowed through a few dunes. Then it happened. My steering started to get mushy. It was very sloppy and took a lot of motion to get the wheels to react. I radioed that I was having problems and then my wheels spun to the right and I veered off the trail to a stop -- barely missing a huge bush.
Since Shayne was ahead of us, he kept going but the rest of the group stopped to help me out.
The problem turned out to be worn out splines on the union between my steering shaft the the rack and pinion. With a portable drill and bits that Mano had stashed in his car and a lot of ingenuity and effort by Leatherneck and Wayne, they were able to engineer a fix that got me rolling again. The three former Marines saved my bacon. Semper Fi!

We then continued up to Basin Road where we met back up with Shayne. From there we drove north up to I-15 where Bob W, Shayne, and Dave S. decided to take the asphalt from there back to Peggy Sues.

Down to five cars.
So, now, Wayne, Mano, Leatherneck, Eric, and me were determined to take the dirt from Basin Road to Yermo. Here, Wayne took the lead and we headed northwest along the side of I-15. This was one SANDY "trail" but Wayne did great winding his way through the dune-like route. And then we came to the big hill. Wayne looked at it and said it looked like a formidable challenge but was doable. After that, he charged right up it. Now it was Leatherneck's turn. His first attempt was unsuccessful but he kept working it and finally made it to the top. Now I'm starting to get worried. I was hot and tired, had limited rear view with my car stuffed with camping gear and was running with "trail-fixed" steering. Could I make it up? Should I try? Then when both Eric and Mano tried and failed to concur the hill and had to back back down the trail, we decided to try to cross UNDER I-15 and get to Afton Road on the other side of the freeway. Now Eric took point and lead us through the tunnel and up the other side of I-15. That too, was a bit of a challenge, but eventually we all made it to Afton Road. Once there, we all opted to jump on the freeway and take it up to on down to Peggy Sue's where Shayne and Bow W. were waiting.

All told, we ended up doing some 265 miles from the Avi to Peggy Sue's -- the hard way.

It was a great trip overall. I don't remember being on a more enjoyable run. Getting to do this kind of adventure with such a great group of friends is priceless.

Misc observations:
No Things this year!
One Honda-powered.
One Subaru-powered.
Three Ecotecs
Eight ACVWs
Nine Bajas
Three Meyer's Manx
One Rail
No tag-along Jeeps or other support vehicles
Last edited by mgirdner on Wed May 31, 2017 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lurking in Covina, CA since 2002
  • '69 Baja
  • '73 Thing
[/i][/color]

User avatar
TimS
Posts: 5713
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:11 am
Location: Pocatello, ID

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by TimS » Tue May 30, 2017 5:07 am

Very nice. Thanks for the report. Sounds like a great trip.
Don’t ever yield your gift of dream; Your knack for gumption, too. For “It’s the crazy ones that have all the fun," if dreamers yearn to do.

User avatar
Leatherneck
Moderator
Posts: 16195
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:47 pm
Location: Way south of Seattle
Contact:

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by Leatherneck » Tue May 30, 2017 10:41 pm

It was a blast, beat the heck out of the buggy,some rocky roads, whoops and more whoops and fast roads, then real fast roads, suspension eating downhill runs and horsepower eating uphill climbs. loose wash runs and dry lake bed ruts and holes. Well I still have my back in hop, got to get that under control. Came home with some interesting finds, Bent Shock bolt, trailing arm pivot bolt backed out and front brake pads with no pad left. I have lots of video I will get posted, some pictures but have these for now. Had a blast even with the breakdowns, I prepped and prepped obviously not good enough. If you get a chance, even a small one you really need to make this trip. Mark is a master at leading a fun run.

At it again
Tires off again.jpg
Hard landing and lack of double shear.
Bent shock bolt.jpg
Got it off finally
Bent bolt.jpg
Need to put a stop to this, literally.
Bolt backed out.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Ed ke6bnl
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 5:20 pm
Location: So. California high desert

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by Ed ke6bnl » Wed May 31, 2017 9:19 am

Fun riding with you, can I suggest that you double shear the shock bolt and that will not be an issue. On the trailing arm we have a steel piece that goes on the outside of the housing and welded to the frame takes the stress off the rear support tube.

Image

Image
Image
Agua Dulce, So.California
1968 2.2L Ecotec Power Baha Bug, king coils, etc.
1950 F1 street rod
1949 F1 stock V8 flathead
1948 F6 350 chevy/rest stock
1953 chevy 3100 AD for 85 S10 frame
1998.5 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins, p etc.

User avatar
CentralWAbaja
Posts: 3890
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:05 am
Location: 75 miles east of Seattle

Re: Mojave Trail run 2017

Post by CentralWAbaja » Wed May 31, 2017 10:59 am

What do you run for a bumpstop Leather? Is that bolt bent from the shock bottoming out or just compression loads before hitting the stops? If you do have a solid stop are you sure you are not coil-binding before the stops hit?
It is not Mickey Moused.....It's Desert Engineered!

Post Reply