The Lucerne Caruthers Primm Afton 400

Turboyota

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2022
Messages
573
December 11-13, 2020

Trucks: 4
1. My Turboyota
2. @Motiracer38
3. @GahnRacing with axle pros Alec co-dog
4. @Kellyex1450 with his son co-dog

Children fathered by the 4 drivers: 11
(Chill on the pullout game, Gahnracing)

Total dirt miles: 380

Met at Cougar Buttes at 7:30AM on a beautiful overcast and brisk dezert morning. Gahnracing and Motiracer38 camped there Thursday night, Kelly1450 and I drove in that morning.
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Turnoff from the power line rd to the Silver Cliffs Mine and the Silver Bell Mine. Notice the 90lbs of eucalyptus firewood precariously perched atop my spare tire/bumper...
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After some fun bush bashing up a random wash, Motiracer led us to the Silver Cliffs Mine.

Bushes and small trees run over: dozens
Shittalking on the radio about Motiracer’s road: significant
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There are a couple vertical shafts that have been closed with generous helpings of steel. It took 7 seconds to hear a rock hit the bottom of this one. Vertical Depth is 376ft.
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Headed across the valley to the Silver Bell Mine. Motiracer took the lead for this section and actually found a road.
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We crossed the 40 at the Lavic Lake volcanic field and blasted East to Ludlow for a fuel top-off.
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Somewhere on this road before the dunes, we helped a dude in a rental car get unstuck. Apparently there is no photographic evidence of that endeavor...

Next stop was Kelso Dunes for some beers. My tire carrier was determined to foil my plan of having a raging hardwood fire. Cracks and torn steel were apparent after 80 miles of abuse, so we transferred the 90~ish pounds of firewood to the bed of Kelly’s sleeper ‘yota.
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Somewhere in the Providence Mountains I stopped and talked to a hunter who had great success with quail and chukar. Any other hunters up in this bitch...?
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Around this point, Kelly radioed that he had broken a leaf spring. Uh oh!

We flipped a bitch through the bushes and went back to drink beer and help Kelly.

Me: “Damn dude, sorry my firewood broke your spring!
Kelly: “I preran the entire Baja 500 on these springs and it’s the second time I’ve broken one.”
(Kelly ran an explorer leaf pack in the back of his Toyota.)

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Kelly solicited the services of his newly-installed winch and pulled the axle and spring forward, effectively wedging it into the forward spring hanger.
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Driver’s side rear is a little wonky in this pic:
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All tuned up and made it 6~ish miles to Essex rd. Transferred the firewood to truck #3 for the day.
Kelly said the truck drove predictable with the axle winched forward, so he decided to hit pavement and cautiously head home.
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To be continued...
 
Map:
Total miles start-to-finish: 406
Dirt miles: 380

We bypassed my planned approach into Primm because of the (cancelled) race.
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Day 1 Continued:

Hole-In-The-Wall
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Hiked part of the Rings Loop Trail through Banshee Canyon. Brian and Alec really classed that place up.

Random hiker chick keeping exaggerated social distance as we laughed, yelled, cussed, and spilled beer down the rings course: “I could hear you guys all the way from the top of the canyon”

Us: “Alright”

Later on after we finished the rings hike, we were back at the trucks talking about shitting ourselves. We treated her to that classy and intellectual conversation as well.

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Hot damn, I’m photogenic!
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My planned circuitous route up to Mojave Trail was a bust because of a “no motorized vehicles” sign in close proximity to a ranch house, so we took Black Canyon Rd up to Cedar Canyon rd and jumped on the Mojave Trail at the narrow Joshua Tree section. I love that part of the trail.
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Had a beer at the rock house
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Rolled into Caruthers Canyon and passed a couple full camp sites. I was delighted to find the site I wanted vacant!
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Obligatory FOSTERS, AUSTRALIAN FOR BEER!!! Picture. Patrik is the only dude I know that likes fosters as much as I do, or at all for that matter.
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That concludes day 1.
Here are the day 1 stats:
———————————————
Beers: around 30 for me. We got pretty shellacked.

9mm desk pops at midnight that Alec treated our camping neighbors to: 4

Stumbles/falls at the fire: 2(Patrik & me)
Firewood burned: all of it
Dinner: steaks, burgers, soup, and beers
Laughs: innumerable
Aluminum pots melted in the fire: 1
Temperature in the morning: high 20’s

Zero degree extreme cold-weather sleeping bag cost: $90–worth every fucking penny.

Quarts of oil added: 1 each for Patrick and myself

Tools used: none
Day 1 mileage: 144
 
Day 2:

The New York Mountains area is beautiful, and there are some cool lightly traveled trails.

Castle mountains in the distance:
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Goldome mill. The “Art” on the walls has meticulous accent cutouts. All done with an angle grinder. Someone put some TIME into that graffiti...
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Arrived in Primm just in time to see all the dejected racers departing. Grabbed the most expensive gas station beer I have ever purchased—$25 for an 18-pack of Coors light—and got disappointing, yet filling, burritos from Qdoba.
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After filling our coolers, bellies, and tanks, we headed East to the Colosseum Mine. The power line rd out of Primm is full of rocks, sand and Golf Cart chop. Every mile I drive in that shit, it makes me hate RZRs more. My shocks are tuned really well for the chop, but it still sucks donkey dick. Fuck those things and the degenerates who destroy the trails with them.

Sorry, I digress.

The colosseum mine is immense. Pictures don’t do it’s size justice. The road down to the bottom is blocked with massive boulders, so we hiked down.
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Trail out of the mine was super cool:
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We jumped on Kingston rd for a few miles of pavement and then then took dirt to Francis Spring Rd and crossed the 15 at Halloran Springs. There was a huge hole on a rutted rockk downhill section. Of course we all fucking hit it. Beaumont’s steering wheel experienced the same phenomenon as mine on the Bradshaw Trail trip: inexplicable permanent rotation and resultant non-centeredness.

Turns out, Patrik is as photogenic as I am!
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We jumped on the old Mojave road at Kelbaker Rd and blasted toward the dry Soda Lake and the travelers monument.
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Fueled up at Rasor rd, scavenged for firewood, and made camp in Basin at the mouth of Afton Canyon. Around this point it became apparent that GahnRacing had broken a 35 Spline rear axle because he got stuck with 1-wheel drive in the sand. Noooo biiiiiiiig deeeeeaaalllllll, he locked the hubs and rolled out of his minor predicament.
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Notice the unstrapped firewood that luckily wedged itself between Patrik’s cooler and light bar.
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Made another awesome fire, cooked more steaks, burgers, and soup, and proceeded to get really hammered again.
Alec keeping the fire tuned:
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Did some target practice with my ridiculously expensive .45 self-defense ammo because Patrik and Alec are peer-pressuring assholes, and I have an ego to uphold, and had a nice warm sleep in my BROverlanding tent.

That concludes day 2.
Day 2 mileage: 155
Beers: 32
Laughs: tons
Times I half caught, half dragged inebriated Patrik out of the fire: 1
 
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Day 3

Woke up to a beautifully clear and crisp dezert morning
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Took @GahnRacing and Alec into Afton canyon. The “deep” water crossing had been filled with 6” rocks and is now less than a foot deep.
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Checked out the newly refurbished trestle by the campground. New grating, new timbers and new hardware. Fancy.
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Motiracer38 treading lightly:
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The obligatory under-trestle Afton canyon pics
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And some graffiti that made me chuckle:
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The trail on the south side of the tracks from Basin to Crucero was fast and fun. We all hit at least 69mph... we busted a SouthWest at Crucero and headed for the Mojave Megaphone. Megaphone can be seen atop the middle hill.
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Alec making it look easy
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Drinking the last beer that was in my cooler. No fucking problem, we will buy more in Ludlow... more on that later
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Crossing the dry lake on Crucero rd
She still had more!
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Got gas in Ludlow again. They don’t sell beer at that Chevron. What in the actual FUCK??

Patrik: “I don’t usually leave Yelp reviews, but fuck that place for not selling beer”

We took the gas line road north of the 40 over to pisgah, and the fucking railroad crossing was blocked by a train. No problem, we will wait until the oncoming train passes, and surely that fucking behemoth will move...

Nope. We waited for like an hour.
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5 trains later, with no beer, we decided to start heading west along the tracks toward Newberry springs. After a few miles, I found a culvert that we could fit through, so we crossed under the tracks and headed back to pisgah crater.

The power line road that connects pisgah to camp rock road is super fun! I wish we had an airtime calculator, because there were a solid 69 3ft jumps at 800ft intervals. Smiles were broad.

We stopped at the petroglyphs off canyon route south of the Rodman mountains wilderness area.
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My tire-carrier bumper was looking unhealthy at this point:
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End of the dirt at camp rock road. We were all able to do 70 through the whoops on the power line rd near Cougar Buttes. That was satisfying!
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Beers: 3. Fuck you, Ludlow chevron.
Miles: 107
 
Wow this is an epic run. Now I want to go do it lol.
Dude, it’s a really good trip. Lots of cool shit to see, widely varying terrain and scenery, remote locations, and loop style so you’re not 400 fucking miles from home at the start or finish.
 
Some excellent discussion and commentary was spurred by
@Mullen

Mullen: “Did I miss the thread where you invited your fellow desert aficionados or did you decide that you would rather post after the trip to make us all jealous? Asking for a friend.”


My retort:

Mullen, please note that none of this is targeted at you, and my intent is not to chastise anyone, exclude anybody, or talk shit.

Here is my perspective

1. When I planned my winter and spring trips for 2020/2021 all the usual suspects were like: “fuck yeah, bro, I’m fucking down bro!” So I have like a dozen dudes 100% committed to going. I think 12 trucks is like 4-6 too many for long distance runs. I realize that people drop out because of family, work, faggotry, poorly-planned truck prep schedules, bitchy wives/GFs, fatassery, incompetence, sickness, finances, etc. So 6 guys will typically show up, which is about perfect.

2. I set a pace and daily mileage goals that are not particularly safe for uncaged trucks. I know everyone is skilled and a fucking badass driver and will drive within their vehicle’s limits and their skill level yada yada yada. All that sensible shit goes out the window after a dozen beers. Testosterone and adrenaline are fucking truck destroyers. (Beer is also a truck destroyer in my experience. Fuck, bringing a trailer is a truck destroyer for me too...)

3. Unproven, unsorted, unprepped trucks cut everyone else’s trip short. Coming up with ingenious dezert fixes is fun, but not as fun as reaching cool destinations and having time to enjoy them.

4. Large group get-togethers are super fun and I have had a blast at the DR meets (and DR MEATS—thank you DMC Elliot and Caleb) that I’ve attended. I think meeting places like Johnson valley, Barstow, and Ocotillo are better suited to large groups.

5. Wow that was long-winded
 
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Dude, it’s a really good trip. Lots of cool shit to see, widely varying terrain and scenery, remote locations, and loop style so you’re not 400 fucking miles from home at the start or finish.
Which I really like. Ive been thinking of doing something similar for a long time now. Now that ive seen you do it im going to have to map out a run for when it cools down.
 
Some excellent discussion and commentary was spurred by
@Mullen

Mullen: “Did I miss the thread where you invited your fellow desert aficionados or did you decide that you would rather post after the trip to make us all jealous? Asking for a friend.”


My retort:

Mullen, please note that none of this is targeted at you, and my intent is not to chastise anyone, exclude anybody, or talk shit.

Here is my perspective

1. When I planned my winter and spring trips for 2020/2021 all the usual suspects were like: “fuck yeah, bro, I’m fucking down bro!” So I have like a dozen dudes 100% committed to going. I think 12 trucks is like 4-6 too many for long distance runs. I realize that people drop out because of family, work, faggotry, poorly-planned truck prep schedules, bitchy wives/GFs, fatassery, incompetence, sickness, finances, etc. So 6 guys will typically show up, which is about perfect.

2. I set a pace and daily mileage goals that are not particularly safe for uncaged trucks. I know everyone is skilled and a fucking badass driver and will drive within their vehicle’s limits and their skill level yada yada yada. All that sensible shit goes out the window after a dozen beers. Testosterone and adrenaline are fucking truck destroyers. (Beer is also a truck destroyer in my experience. Fuck, bringing a trailer is a truck destroyer for me too...)

3. Unproven, unsorted, unprepped trucks cut everyone else’s trip short. Coming up with ingenious dezert fixes is fun, but not as fun as reaching cool destinations and having time to enjoy them.

4. Large group get-togethers are super fun and I have had a blast at the DR meets (and DR MEATS—thank you DMC Elliot and Caleb) that I’ve attended. I think meeting places like Johnson valley, Barstow, and Ocotillo are better suited to large groups.

5. Wow that was long-winded
You fucking nailed it. Back when I was a jeeper fag my dad and I would plan single or multiple day trips to some considerably "challenging trails" 8 people would commit... my dad and I would be the only 2 that actually went. In the event others would join on a day trip almost always somebody's unprepped slapped together POS would break down on the first trail and fuck the whole day up.
 
breaking a $ 40 pick-a-part leaf spring on this trip led me down the "logical" rabbit hole to link my truck, and linking my truck led me to do mid travel on the front of my truck and the mid travel on the front led me to want to buy another project and start all over. All for one $ 40 junkyard leaf spring. Logic.
 
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