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Thank you to everybody who made it out to our Red Rock Canyon run! We all got the opportunity to stretch our rigs out and visit some pretty cool sites.

We started off later than we should've but a few off us were running behind. Tacoeng and myself arrived at the trailhead around 9:45. There were already a few trucks waiting for us. Thanks for being on time and I'm sorry you had to wait around for the rest of us. Dawson 5 had let us know his morning wasn't going going as planned and he would be late as well. We ended up heading out just after 10:30. Last Chance Canyon changes a bit from year to year based on the amount of rainfall the area gets. You can even do a quick search on Youtube to see the flash flood effects on the wash. We definitely had a mild-to-wild representation in our group. Being in a stock 80 series, I had to be extra mindful of tire placement and clearance. Dawson had his newly SAC'd Tacoma and was enjoying all the fun the area had to offer!

The first obstacle in the "v-notch". A few years ago, a big storm filled this with sand and dirt. It's not much of an obstacle for the "small" rigs but Dawson showed us how a big guy can still get twisted up in there. He must've had a good spotter. :p Nice driving, Dawson! Mike and I tried to get his long-travel Tacoma through there but it was no place for a wide stanced IFS. The rest of us took the bypass which still offers a bit of a climb. In between the main obstacles, the wash is strewn with rocks here and there; some bigger than others. There's even a graded "high road" to bypass anything you don't feel comfortable tackling just yet.

As we approached the first big climb, I noticed just how much work had been done to preserve the more delicate areas of the canyon. The steel bars and barbed wire had been replaced with wood posts and beams. The climb was not marked off so we proceeded up. Everybody made easy work of it except for me and Pablo. Dawson helped me out a lot and I only came out of it with a dented exhaust tip. My street tires weren't having anything to do with the climb but the front and rear lockers took care of that. Pablo was a different story. His open/open Tacoma didn't let him come up. He would have to wait up the trail a bit for us to complete the loop. A little bit further up the trail and I would see my first carnage in the cruiser. I had loosened up a rock that came down on my driver's side and continued to scratch me up and I continued. Further yet and Dawson found himself drifting off the trail and got himself into some loose stuff. Mike turned around and winched him back onto the trail. We had gotten to a point in the trail that seemed to be fenced off. I thought this was very peculiar having just come up the main obstacle that wasn't blocked. A portion of the fence was missing and there were a couple ATVs coming through from the other direction. Me and Angelo decided to check it out while the rest of the group headed back the other way. After a short recon, the trail continues on the other side just like it had previously. It wraps up and around and is bordered on one side with the same post and beam fence. And when I came to the intersection were you turn right to travel back to the main wash, an entrance had been formed with a trail marker and sign. So, I'm still not quite sure what to make of it yet. But we joined up with the group and kept going.

The next obstacle is easier as it's just an up-and-over. It has a couple different lines that are "beaten" into it. One of us decided to stray from the beaten path which led to a confusion between the driver and Mike&Daisy, who were spotting everybody up. If you aren't familiar with the spotters, just let us know what your intentions are and whether or not you need us to help you out. It helps keep everyone calm and avoid any misunderstandings. We all made it over just fine and continued on toward our lunch spot, the Holly Cleanser Mine. This site had also been worked on to prevent any more deterioration. Several rods with barbed wire were blocking anyone from parking their trucks in the mines. I imagine there's a safety element to it, as well. But, there were some pretty cool photo opportunities in the past. It was getting a little late and I made the decision to skip the visit to the Dutch Cleanser Mine in order to make it out to the other sites.

We made our way to the post office site and the "claim" cabins through Bonanza Gulch. These are always neat to visit every year. It connects you with a completely different time and lets your imagination run around with what the area looked like back then. And then you get to Bickel Camp! Here, you get to see first hand what someone was doing with their life as a miner. All the machinery, parts, equipment and creativity he had to make it happen are displayed throughout the camp. It's a very fascinating site and definitely worth the visit. You can even get a personal tour from the on-site caretaker. After more than a few group photos (thank you Amy), we went over to our last stop. . . Burro Schmidt's Tunnel. This miner's goal was to create a shorter, easier path to travel to the valley on the other side. A few years after starting, a road had been made(Last Chance Canyon Rd.) but his persistence keep him going. With no reason whatsoever, he completed the 1/2 mile tunnel in 38 years. In it's entire existence, the tunnel has served none but one function. . . . . a tourist attraction. The site has been covered by both Ripley's Believe It Or Not and California's Gold with Huell Howser. Give it a look!

After a short trip down EP15 and EP100, we were back on the highway airing up. I didn't bother airing down, so I said my good-bye and headed out. It's always nice to see different people come together to have a fun day off the paved roads. We all helped each other out and had a blast. I believe the only carnage of the day was my tailpipe and set of scratches. And having experienced what can really go wrong on the trail, that's not bad at all! Thanks again to everybody who made it out!



- See you out on the trails!
 

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Last Chance Canyon

Some pics from the run
































 
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