Woke early on Saturday, knowing that we had a full day ahead of us. The color of the desert when the sun is rising is something one has to experience. It’s never easy to leave a epic camping spot, but it’s easier to set forth knowing a new location awaits. So off we set.
Into Beatty for gas and supplies
After getting gas, resupplying with snacks and beverages, we set off towards Ryholite and the art museum.
After getting out of the rat race through Titus Canyon, we shot up north to Scotty’s Castle. We never made it in, as the place was packed and we had some serious dirt miles to cover to get to our camp spot in Saline Valley. In route, we did stop by Ubehebe Crater to snap a couple pictures before setting off into the back-country.
Directly leaving the Ubehebe Creator, you turn off onto a dirt trail not many of the pavement dwellers dare to face. It’s a brutal trek to the Race Track, but even so it’s nice to get back to being off the beaten path and experiencing what most cannot.
Stopped at Teakettle Junction to add our own, have lunch and relax a few after a long and brutal drive to keep within our time frame. Goal was to make it down Lippincott before the sunset.
And off to Lippincott. Normally this wouldn’t be any kind of a worry, but we were unsure of the wheelbase on the Superduty combined with some of the tighter sections. We put my Tacoma in front, and the Bronco in the back in the event we needed to use straps or things got sketchy. Turns out, it did just fine with room to spare. The road was in good shape considering it isn’t maintained. What a fun drive and epic views into Saline Valley!
Perfect timing! Dropping into the valley floor as the sun set. Destination for tonight’s camp was the Hot Springs.
Heading down Saline Valley Rd we saw a van on the side of the road. Stopped to make sure everyone was ok and if they needed anything. Ended picking up a nail and had a flat. Let them use our patch kit and air compressor, and about 15 minutes later they were back in business. Leaving the springs Sunday morning, we saw the van again, this time with what looked like a busted balljoint. Made sure they were OK and had help coming before continuing on our way.
We arrived at the hot springs a little after dark. The road leading into the place was a piece of paradise after miles of washboard and rock sections. Sandy wash with small, nicely spaced whoops made for a killer way to end the days journey. Driving into the springs at night was a bit confusing, it took us a while to decide what to do and where to camp, it was after all Valentines weekend at a clothing optional retreat. There was an abundance of nudity. Nothing says you’ve made it to the hippy hole like a group jumping out of the bushes in front of your vehicle to show full spread of things you don’t entirely want to see.
We were tired. Set up camp, the girls made a killer dinner, and we wasted away around log hog while staring off into the stars. Bed was calling.