For more years than I can remember, Cindy and I have been kicking off a new year of wheeling by heading out to the Mojave Desert, during the first weekend of January and do so with old friends and new alike. This year, we decided to change things up a bit and did so by taking our friends out to a different part of the Mojave and just for fun, throw in a few optional rocks to play on. Along the way, we would get to see some of the oldest living anything on the face of the planet, stand in the center of an old WWII bombing target, ponder the mystery of a 50' concrete boat in the middle of a desert and try to decipher the cryptic writings left behind by people who lived in the area, a long time ago. The following are highlight photos from all the cool stuff we saw and all the fun we had on the 2018 WAYALIFE New Year's Kick Off Run - we hope you enjoy.
Before the Fun Run
Getting ready to head out. Being that we had just been out wheeling, Moby was pretty much loaded up with tools and supplies.
Packing up some essentials and for old time sake, decided to make it American Honey. Okay, more accurately, Bee Stings which is American Honey mixed with some 101.
I suppose it was a good thing we hadn't washed Moby before the trip especially being that we saw some rain as we left home. With any luck, the wet stuff would stay up north for the weekend.
Breaking up our drive by taking a break at one of our favorite stops along the 395.
After being on the highway for the better part of the day - we finally arrived at our home for the night.
As luck would have it, some of our friends were already here.
Starting off the evening with some tasty vodka tonics compliments of Tony and Steph.
Check it out - they even got limes that had #WAYALIFE stamped on them :thumb:
After moving over to our room which was a bit bigger, Moochie poured up some of the liquid gold.
To a hell of a good time to come - CHEERS!!
But wait - there's more - CHEERS AGAIN!!
With a few drinks in our system, it was time to head down and swamp one the local eating establishments.
What a surprise - after dinner drinks? CHEERS!!
WAYALIFE New Year's Kick Off Run
What a bummer!! The morning of our New Year's Kick Off Run didn't exactly start the way any of us would have preferred. It was bad enough that someone slashed Adam's rear window and stole his box of fluids but after seeing some gear oil under Tony's Jeep, I noticed his trussed and sleeved front axle housing was cracked just past the c-gusset.
Fortunately, Tony's folks lived near by and he was able to drive and leave his Jeep there. He and Steph then jumped into Moochie's Jeep and joined us out at the meet point.
Pick a sticker - any sticker and memorize the number that's on the back of it.
Tom is excited to be 24.
Getting in a quick drivers meeting before heading out.
On the move at last and with all the colored Jeeps in the front of the pack.
Some dark clouds up ahead but so far, no rain.
Off of pavement and time to air down!
There was a reason why we stopped to air down where we did and before heading out on the trail, I lead every out to an area just on the other side of the road.
About 11,700 years ago, a single Creosote bush began growing in this remote part of the Mojave Desert. As the bush began to die, new bushes or clones of the original began sprouting up from the edges of its roots. Today, this ring of bushes known as King Clone measures almost 70 feet in diameter and is recognized as being one of the oldest living organisms on the planet.
Like standing inside a time machine.
Back in our Jeeps and heading out to have some fun!
Working our way across the dusty desert
And, here we are - our first stop of the day.
I couldn't tell you who put it out here, how it got here or why it's out here but I can tell you that for at least the last 30 years or more, this crazy 50' concrete sail boat has been sitting out here, upside down like a stone dolphin and this is what we brought everyone out to see.
On the move again, we blasted our way across Soggy Dry Lake.
After rendezvousing in the middle of the playa, we lined up to take a group shot.
To the 2018 WAYALIFE New Year's Kick Off Run - WOOT WOOT!!
Getting back into our Jeeps, we made a short drive just past the ancient shores of Soggy Dry Lake and made another stop.
Back during WWII, a series of circular targets measuring 600 feet in diameter were made in the Lucerne Valley and used for bombing practice.
Standing on top of the bullseye and sharing with everyone why we stopped here.
Bits and pieces of practice bombs can still be found scattered throughout the area and here I'm holding a piece of the spotting charge detonator.
Everyone looking around for bomb bits.
The rings of the target were made out of asphalt and you can just make out one of the inner rings here.
On the move again.
Much like the King Clone, Mojave Yuccas grow much in the same way in that they tend to clone themselves and grow in rings. Our next stop was over at the Upper Johnson Valley Yucca Ring Preserve and it is here that you can find impressive specimens that have been around for about 2,100 years.