January 27,2018 Bickel Camp Fundraiser

 

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Good Morning, 6:30 AM 28F degrees

Well I am heading back out to Bickel Camp, Burro Schmidt Tunnel and a ranger led hike into Nightmare Gulch in Red Rock Canyon State Park for a fundraiser to help offset expenses on the upkeep of Bickel Camp.

Bickel Camp is full of mining equipment on display at this historic 1930’s era mining camp. The camp is still there to be visited by the adventurist explorer. Luckily this has remained on the “Adopt-A-Cabin” program and there is a caretaker on site to help explain and protect the remaining historic artifacts. Donations to help preserve and maintain the site are appreciated. 2 of Walter Bickel’s granddaughters were there walking us around the camp and telling of the fun they had out here when they visited. They told us one story of Bickel finding a stranded motorist in the desert and helped him get unstuck, turned out it was Jimmy Durante. Another interesting fact was that both Bickel and Schmidt were in the service during WWII, living within sight of one another they had a strong friendship and even rigged up automobile headlights so they could send messages back and forth in Morris Code. And yes the light at Bickel Camp is still standing.

For a full history on this wonderful place to visit follow this LINK.

 

After wandering around the camp and being entertained by first hand stories from the granddaughters we all head the few miles down the trial to Burro Schmidt’s Tunnel to explore the hand-drilled tunnel nearly a half-mile long that was dug with a single 4-pound jackhammer, and dynamite.

For additional information see my previous post LINKED HERE.

 

Next up it was to find our way back to asphalt and turn south into Red Rock Canyon State Park and the hike into Nightmare Gulch. We all meet-up for a short lunch stop at a park rest area before heading out the dirt road to the trail head. Although we did not do the loop we drove as far as we could to the official trail head and took a 5-mile total out and back hike into the canyon. Led by 3 Bureau of Land Management rangers we were given lessons in history, geology and ecology of this area. It was a great hike and took most of the afternoon.

 

Leaving the trail head at about 4:30PM I still had a 3 hour drive home. Arriving home at 7:50 PM I was exhausted as I got up at 3AM to get there and meet someone at the turnoff to the Camp. This adventure was wonderful as I met new adventurers and discovered this magnificent canyon that I will return to to follow the entire loop trail.

2017 in review quite a better year

2016 was just a total joke of a year and I was glad it was over, 2017 has been much better and full of adventures.

January started off recuperating from an sudden illness that happened in mid-December and during this time I started planning a trip up to Vancouver, WA the end of February to visit family and purchase my new adventure vehicle, a 2017 Subaru Outback.

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A short trip exploring desert mines

Location

As a trip I have taken on my motorcycle before I wished to explore the El Paso Mountain area at a slower pace and take my larger camera with me. This happened a few weeks ago and I had such a fun time exploring I will return again as there are so many additional sights that I could not visit in one day.

 

The trails took me from Red Rock Canyon State Park through the El Paso Mountains finally exiting close to the old gold mining town of Garlock. This west to east trail can be traveled in either direction and has many side trails leading to other areas.

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A little day trip to Joshua Tree National Park

JT map

Park Map

At the end of May I decided to head out to Joshua Tree National Park to visit the Old Dale Mining District on BLM land that is located just outside the northeast portion of the park. Joshua Tree National Park is an environmental melting pot where 2 desert ecosystems meet, the Mojave Desert to the north and west and the Colorado Desert to the south and east. The Mojave Desert ecosystem consists of boulder stacks with pinyon pines, junipers and scrub oaks and the famous joshua tree. The Colorado Desert ecosystem in contrast consists of creosote, spidery ocotillo and jumping cholla cactus. Jumping cactus or teddy bear cactus got its name from the fact it tends to stick to anything within its range and is very painful to remove from the skin.

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2008 Mojave Trail Adventure Ride

Me on my Honda

Me on my Honda

Now for an adventure that is totally different. This 2-day trek was completed in October 2008.

We started this adventure at a friend’s house in Silver Lakes, CA and ride to Laughlin, NV on the Mojave Trail and then end back in Silver Lakes the next day after an overnight in Laughlin.

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