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Published: November 14th 2009
167 miles today with at least 60% of it off road! It’s hard to believe that something like that can be done in So. Cal. As we were driving today Kari and I counted up the total vehicles that we had seen while running trails and we came up with a grand total of 5. If the idea of overland travel is to go by isolated routes, I think we were successful. Today while traveling we saw 2. Well actually we were passed by 4 dirt bikes at one point…but they only count as one, right?
It was good that we got an decent start around 7:45, we fueled up, grabbed MickyD for breakfast and headed to the other side of the lake to hit the trail. About 2 miles in we saw a sign that said a gate was coming so we headed back to the Discovery Station to consult with the ranger only to find it was closed on Wed. After ad bit of talking through possible routes we decided to head east and drop down into the desert, a half mile later we noticed another ranger station, so I asked the gent there if he knew about road closures and found out that if we went a bit round about we could take our desired path down to Hesperia. Game ON! We circled out to Big Pine Flat, and then out Coxey Road, a great drive and lots of wonderful views. We had stopped for a look at a vista when nature called. Since we were in the middle of nowhere and had seen no one the middle of the road was as good a place as any to answer it. (for this story, all parties shall remain ummmm…unidentified) Like many things, nature calling can be contagious and this was the case this time as well. No sooner than one of us started the attempt, the other of us said, “I hear motorcycles.” “Naaa,” said the other “that’s just the wind.” “No, its motorcycles, you might want to get going...lol” “Hush! I can’t pee when I’m being rushed!” “you better hurry…snicker.” “Stop it! I’m trying!” “Giggle” Needless to say JUST as the person got “reassembled” the bikes rounded the crested the hill.
We wandered along westward until we were on the final mountain/huge hill above the Mojave River area and stopped at the junction of two trails. One a fire road trail, and the other that, though numbered, was listed on the map as “jeep trail”. When your wife says “We have been on lots of fire roads, lets take the jeep trail!” you may want to rethink things. Imaging going straight down a ridiculously steep, narrow, trail with loose rocks and sand, toss in a cliff on one side, and couch sized rock drop offs too narrow to get through without doing body work later…then do that 3 times and you will get a general idea. Opie just crept along with no complaint and somehow we miraculously passed through unscathed! We took pictures and hope you enjoy them, they were taken mostly from inside Opie as it was just too difficult for Kari to get out without tumbling down the mountain. Once down and our hearts were settled, we rewarded ourselves with crossing the Mojave River! (Ok…it was only 20 feet wide or so but what fun!)
On to the asphalt and over to nearby Devore, air up the tires, and then we headed up through Lone Pine Canyon to Wrightwood and then on to Littlerock, Palmdale, then west on Palmdale blvd. At Lake Hughes road we went left for a 100yrd or so and then back off road on Sawmill road. This is a fire road type of trail with vistas that look mainly south over hundreds of miles of land. What a fantastic road! There are a couple of camp grounds up there as well if you are so inclined. You run the ridgeline almost to the 5 fwy making for a So Cal overland path that’s well worth taking.
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