What a Trip The Mammoth to Phelan 350


Well-known member
Apr 1, 2022
May 2021

I met @Do Dah in Adelanto on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 and we topped off fuel.

We hit the highway on a 90+ degree afternoon. My Turboyota was sputtering and missing above 3200rpms and running abnormally hot, so we stopped in Inyokern to top off fuel and add coolant.

There was some faint popping on deceleration that I thought could be caused by lean condition, so I richened up the fuel mixture by turning the AFM counter clockwise 2 notches.

Since my chinee turbo has been blowing some oil into the boost tubes, I thought that maybe the missing and hesitation could have been caused by burning oil, fouled plugs, and possibly a clogged catalytic converter. I unbolted one of the V-band clamps and loosened another and twisted the exhaust out of the way about 2 feet past the turbo. I secured the dangling exhaust with baling wire and we rolled onto the 395.

Fuckity fuck fuck, that wasn’t the problem, so we drove the rest of the way with my truck now LOUDLY running like shit.

Arrived in Mammoth at 725PM
My pavement commute: 308 miles
Do dah’s pavement commute: 375 miles

Dinner was served when we got there! We partook of a delectable fire-grilled taco feast on @dose and Fianna’s patio:

After the taco feast, we decided to replace the Turboyota’s fuel pump and fuel filter because I had the spare parts and had decided the sputtering and missing was probably a fuel delivery issue. We started crushing Keystone Lights and everyone pit crewed around my truck. @Do Dah made quick work of the fuel pump, but I was having a bitch of a time with the fuel filter. Do Dah finally got the stubborn banjo bolt off with a conglomeration of extensions and Universal joints from under the truck.



Test drove the truck and the new fuel pump and filter fixed the sputtering and missing problem! Great success!
We proceeded to drink beer until 1AM.

Friday morning Fianna prepared a fantastic breakfast and we rolled out at 9AM sharp.

Day 1 vehicle lineup:
1. Ian: King/Total Chaos 4th gen 4x4 4Runner

2. James/Brandi: Class 11, bitches!

3. @Do Dah /Shannan: 2WD Total Chaos &
Deaver F67 equipped 4Runner with Swayaways and Radflos bro

4. @dose /Fianna: Dusty’s Total Chaos & linked 4x4 Tacoma with Kings, bro

5.My Turboyota with mismatched paint & tires but Kings, bro!

Hit the dirt about a half mile from Dusty’s house. Trails twisted and snaked through the trees and treated us to some fun medium sized whoops. Dusty planned a badass route through some super awesome trails. Everyone was all smiles!

Crossed the 395 and headed East toward Hot Creek.







Hot creek:

After crossing the Hot Creek, we went up a long windy uphill trail(3S148) through the sagebrush that was completely destroyed by golf cart chatter. Fuck that chattery road. And fuck rhinos and RZRs.

The long sandy uphills on 2S164 got my toyota piping hot, so we stopped to add coolant and enjoy refreshments as we took in the gorgeous views.


Outskirts of Bishop on Casa Diablo Rd
Day 1 Continued:

Rolled into Bishop, got fuel and enjoyed a delicious lunch at Mountain Rambler Brewery—highly recommend the Double IPA and Reuben sandwich.

Outside Bishop:


Dusty jumped in the Class 11 with James

We didn’t plan on stopping at Warm Spring, but the place is so goddamn inviting! James and I donned our boxers and scared off the silly overlanders that had recently extricated themselves from the silt to the South.




After Warm spring, Dusty led because 4x4. We avoided as much silt as possible, drove through the bushes, and smashed toward Lone Pine. I took the lead after the silt was behind us and promptly destroyed a fucking heavy TriAce 35x10.5R15 race tire.

What a beautiful spot to come to the realization that I’m a few hundred miles from home, no longer have a spare, and nobody shares my 5on5.5” bolt pattern. I have no idea what I hit, but it was certainly sharp.


Brandi chillin’ while we talk shit and change my fucked tire.

Do Dah coming in hot!


There were quite a few closed cattle gates. If they are closed, make sure you close them after you go through, kids!

I’m so fucking stoked on this bug!! James maintained an impressive pace in that thing.



James getting fucking filthy in the bug!

Cool mining/processing structure outside Kearsarge.

Notice I’m adding water. Again. I pretty much topped that bitch off every time we fucking stopped. Hood pins suck dick. Next truck I build will have hood hinges.

@dose ‘s truck is waaaaay wider than narrow gauge!

Day 1 Concluded:

We arrived at our planned camp spot near Lone Pine and were pleased to find it devoid of unpleasant overlanders. James and Brandi were exceedingly filthy by this point:



Setup camp and started crushing beers. I’m still totally digging the roof top tent.

I’m on my second vintage Coleman ice chest this season. The first one lasted 3000 miles or so...


Hello DoDah, Shannan, & yours truly




Picked up chinee take out and had a veritable feast. We all ate way too much, and there was still food leftover for breakfast.

Enjoyed a kickass fire, tons of laughs, plenty of beers and great company. Per usual, I’m working on breaking my fucking chair.

Day 1 totals:

Dirt miles: 135

Smiles & high fives: 69000

Carnage: 1 tire

Gallons of coolant added to my truck: 1.5

Beers: many + 10 once we were at camp. Everyone else posted similar numbers

Tools used: dezert jack, 7/8” socket & breaker bar

Times I missed the correct trail: 4

Burns from my stupid exhaust: 1 (per usual, I fucking burn myself every goddamn trip)
Quoted from @dose

“Excellent write up so far. Ryan didn’t mention that I was already drinking by the time he and Do Dah showed up Thursday night.
Somehow I was still coherent enough to grill the carne Asada but zero help in the late night truck repairs.
Since Do Dah and Ryan had had the fuel system handled I just kept bringing them beers and finding places in his truck to stash nuts and washers.”

And don’t forget my co dog snoops. She handled the dirt miles and was fun to have on the trip.
Day 2

Sun crested the mountains at 6:54AM and everyone started stirring. It was much colder than we had expected—forecast was for a low of 57, but it felt like high 40’s, so a few people were on the chilly side and had trouble sleeping.

@Do Dah showing that you don’t need a $69 trash receptacle to be a good camper and a conscientious custodian of the outdoors.

While everyone ate breakfast, I pulled my thermostat to try and remedy my overheating woes.

Cut the fucking thermostat apart.
2 trips in the Owens river valley, 2 thermostat deletes...

We stayed on the East side of the 395 from Lone Pine to Olancha/Grant. We passed Diaz Lake, did a couple stream crossings (without snorkels!!), and only had to jump on the 395 for a little less than 2 miles. Part of the trail near Cartago is on a raised section of old narrow gauge railroad. It’s A little sketchy for my 83” wide truck in a couple areas, but overall super fun.

Owens lake in the distance

Cartago in the background

Dusty stopped to check out the Rock Cabin on Jack Henry Rd.

Probably my favorite dezert section of the entire trip. Fun, fast floaty roads, beautiful Joshua Trees and rock formations, and nice weather at 5500ft.



Fossil Falls

Our trucks stand out a little bit in a parking lot full of financed SUVs...

After fossil falls, we crossed the highway and continued south on the west side of the 395.

We stopped for a wellness check after Dusty kerschmacked a washout at 60MPH sending a wall of sand over the hood. All good! Just a beautified skidplate. I was close enough behind them to get a pretty good view of the sky wheelie. I believe the radio call went something like this:

Me: “Holy fuck!! Are you guys alright?!!!”
Fianna: “Damn, yeah... that was gnarly”

James and Brandi heading North on their way back to Mammoth

We stopped for Lunch and beers at Indian Wells Brewing Company, then continued South toward Randsburg.

At the South side of Iron Canyon:


I topped off fuel in Johannesburg, then we hit pavement for a few miles before we hit the dirt again just South of Atolia.

Crossed paths with @charlie brown while I was stopped by the 395 waiting for @dose and @Do Dah . He texted to make sure we were okay and to see if we needed anything. What a solid dude!!

We took the gas line rd on the East side of the 395 from Atolia all the way to Kramer Junction. Shortly after we crossed the 58, we jumped over to the West side of the 395 and took EM5223 to EM4699 South all the way into Adelanto

Video screen shot of Dusty keeping pace with traffic on the 395. Our dust clouds were wafting onto the 395 which was pretty funny!! We kept pace with the highway traffic for about 50 miles.

Went through trash-riddled Adelanto and stopped for a coolant top off and a celebratory beer in Phelan. It was windy as fuck.


Jenna pole danced the entire 350 miles!

Do Dah and I headed south in the dirt all the way to the 138/15 junction in the Cajon Pass and Dusty and Fianna headed back to Mammoth.

Total dirt miles day 2: 215
Coolant added: 1.5 gallons
Beers: I probably had 6?
Tools used: needle nose pliers, dikes, 12mm socket and ratchet

Notes & final thoughts: We fairly effortlessly threw down the 215 dirt miles on Saturday and still stopped and relaxed at some cool spots. We bypassed the rough section we did October 2020 that took us through Cuddeback and Lockhart—I expected it to be even more fucked out from the goddamn golf carts than it was in October. It’s pretty cool that you can get from the high dezert all the way to Mammoth (and beyond) touching less than 10 miles of pavement. Also, what a great assemblage of people! We had a fucking blast! When we were getting drunk at Dusty’s, we decided that we were gonna play musical trucks and take turns riding and driving each other’s vehicles. That didn’t happen other than when Dusty rode in the Class 11 and Fianna drove Brandi in the Tacoma. Introspectively, it could be my no-fucks-given driving that left me passengerless...
Another eloquent quote from @dose

“The overheating wasn't a big deal at all, we stopped every 35-45 minutes anyway so somebody could pee, grab something from the cooler or check out a site anyway. Topped of the turboyota with water and we were good to go.
I really enjoyed watching the other vehicles in front of me or in the mirrors since we kept changing leads.

Do Dahs 4 runner was killing it and I had to drive hard just to keep up with him, If he was behind me we would call out large hits on the radio and then watch in my mirror him smashing though it with ease.

The turboyota ghosted us if he was in front but when he followed Ryan usually drove 5-10' behind me. On the windy roads was awesome to watch him toss the truck around like a dog wagging its tail. Equally entertaining to watch his 8' wide truck mowing down the bushes in the tight sections.

The 11 bug was the best!!! James was straight getting it. All 93" of wheelbase pitching it into corners full tilt on the rpms like a fat kid on a 125.
People underestimate bugs and he has no problems keeping up. James and Brandi get the Ironman/Ironwoman award for this trip.”
Awesome trip report! Thank you for sharing. Do you have routes / GPS files you can share? Thanks!