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Salt Peter

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 #46 
Bring Betsy back out west, rent a Farbees Jeep or buy yourself a 4x4 and come out to the Springs. You were so close to a desert paradise yet unable to reach it. Let me know when you do make another trip and I'll welcome you to the valley. Saline is a treat to be savored over at least a weekend if not more. The springs will help you wind down. Thank you for your service and welcome to SPA.
James Sel

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 #47 
Thanks for your service to our country David, it mattered. thx
uhrdavid
 #48 
"I think the guy needs his ass kicked.  Stupidity should be much more painful than a $9000 bill.  And if Betsy is still his girlfriend, she has problems too!"

"
He may have a good heart but he risks damaging it from lack of oxygen by having his head so far up his ASS."

Salt Peter, I respect the opinions that you have expressed, and the way in which you chose to express them, but the above statements are the vitriol that I was talking about. Of course, I was the one that made horrible decisions, and yes I did in fact endanger someone that I care deeply about, and thus I expect for people to remark about the stupidity of such decisions. What is harder for me to stomach is the personal attacks and blind hatred. Of course, I take it far to personally, but don't have any problem saying that most of the people that have slandered me here and on other threads would not say the same things to my face, which is why I remark that they are "hiding behind their computer screens." Clearly, when I posted about my experience, I knew that people would judge my actions as stupid, but I don't believe in hiding my experiences, even the ones that make me look bad. I have posted about my experiences in the Army, both in Afghanistan and Iraq. I have talked about troubles I have had in Colombia, and about life in Australia. I talk about my views on gay marriage and presidential elections, and none of those posts have gotten nearly as much personal slander as the day that I got stranded in Death Valley. This has gotten me worked up... Once again, thanks for your response.
Salt Peter

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 #49 
Vegasnaturist...

Lippencott has a bad reputation. It has some narrow places, even a washout that still gives me a pucker. Fortunately I've safely traveled that route several times and learned more about it. After driving some places in southwest Colorado Lippencott isn't as scary as the stories make it out to be. You will be good to go. Enjoy and let us know more about your trip.
Salt Peter

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 #50 
uhrdavid...

If you had only jeopardized yourself it would be one thing but you took someone you care for and put them in a precarious position. Death Valley didn't get its name for being kind to unprepared travelers. Frankly I am surprised the Camry got you to the point on Lippencott it did and anywhere beyond that point. I've seen street vehicles heading up Lippencott with mostly bald tires and little water on board seeking the same goal as yourself. I sternly advised them not to proceed. I would have told you the same thing. In 2006 I fell in love with Death Valley while on a trip with a friend in a capable 4x4 and with a second vehicle. They knew the area so I was at ease with going on the trip. We had ample supplies. After that I began studying Death Valley and it's history. Travels began. Since then I have seen other vehicles all over which have experienced difficulties of some sort or another. One to note was a large SUV with three flat tires on Ubehebe Mine Road on the way to the Racetrack. Luckily a friend I knew was also on the road and able to reach the rangers with HAM radio and call for help. The family had little water. They were unprepared just as you were.

You have come to this forum and think that people are harsh or judgmental or "spewing vitriolic statements". We know the valley and the threats. I'm sure at one time or another all of us have had troubles on the roads. I would guess most were prepared in one way or another. We aren't hiding behind computer screens. This is a form of communication and someone shared your story. Commentary followed. It's part of life. Should we pussyfoot around the situation you put yourself in? Should we say how sorry we are for you? No. I may be coming across as harsh but I am actually glad you came forth and shared more of your experience. I do feel you have overdramatised your story. You're well versed and it makes for a good read. If you would like to meet members from this forum and discuss trials and tribulations of life you can most likely find us in Saline.

My suggestion to you is if you choose to take on adventures please become familiar with where you are going and be prepared. We really don't want to read about your or anyone else's demise in the valley or anywhere else for that matter. Be safe.
VegasNaturist

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 #51 
...and to think I was concerned about attempting Lippincott with a (soon to be lifted) Wrangler Rubicon, during daylight, with other Jeepers, survival food and water, and a SPOT? Guess I'm just a chicken...

John
uhrdavid
 #52 
BTW, Silverbob, just one minor correction I will make about your comment. Yes, there was a sign. It said "Road Closed Proceed at Own Risk." You're correct in asserting that it should have dissuaded me from taking this route, or should have at least clued me in to the condition of the road ahead, but clearly I found a way to rationalize continuing in my own mind.
uhrdavid
 #53 

Samjust, you are absolutely correct. I definitely did not give enough credit to the Sheriff's department in my post. They were definitely the heroes in this situation. I do not take anything about this situation lightly, nor was the monetary situation the "biggest" or most important lesson of the day. It was just the lingering aftermath that I was dealing with when I posted that blog, so I did make mention of it. The other lessons that I learned were apparent and were discussed throughout the post(s). Miller's towing were more than professional, and they went above and beyond, even allowing me to stay back and take care of my girlfriend, while they went out and retrieved the car. If you cannot tell, I am the "idiot," who apparently needs my ass kicked, for making a horrible mistake in a place that I have never been to before. 

Some of you are very judgmental people, who sit behind your computer screens, spewing vitriolic statements directed toward people you have never, and will never meet. I may have made (several) mistakes on this part of our adventure, but that's part of life, and my life in particular. Sometimes I make ill-advised, knee-jerk decisions, and I have to face the consequences. Deciding to drive through Death Valley at 1am was not smart. Deciding to blindly follow the GPS down a dirt road was even stupider. Deciding, against my better judgment not to turn around, several times was the biggest mistake. But, to be clear, the only regret that I have in this situation is that I needlessly put my girlfriend in danger. I did as much research as I could from the car, on my phone. It was obviously not sufficient. BTW, to the angry soul who thinks that Betsy has problems, because she hasn't seen fit to leave me yet, I just want you to know that her and I are happier than ever, still living out our adventure together, making mistakes every single day.

This was a terrible ordeal, in the midst of an amazing road trip around the country. We started in Minnesota, and drove through S. Dakota, N. Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, on our way to California. Death Valley was our last stop in CA before heading through Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Wisconsin. After this happened, we picked ourselves up and drove the rest of the way on our trip, in the same busted up rental car, and continued to have an amazing time along the way (Capped off by seeing Sir Paul McCartney and Tom Petty, live in concert). And, just in case you are wondering, Betsy and I will continue to plan trips, have adventures, and make mistakes, just hopefully not the same ones we've already made. You angry people can sit behind your computers and judge from your home.

Don't forget to judge this misstep we took in Colombia. We just can't do anything right, can we?
http://davidsworlddotorg.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=941&action=edit

Big Jeff

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 #54 

Winks
You are the wise sage.   When I was in high school I drove into Mr. Burkharts driveway at 3 AM and he wasn't too happy so I let his daughter out and hauled ass outta there.

winks

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 #55 
There are many stories like this. Some end better than others. When I was a kid I drove into places I shouldn't have. I grew up and learned. I was lucky. Those of us who have learned from their mistakes are lucky. It is easy to judge from a position of knowledge and experience. We were all clueless at one time.
But in the end, Darwin wins.
Big Jeff

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 #56 
WTF!
First of all I can't believe I read the whole thing, but I couldn't resist reading how stupid this guy was.   The fact that he put his hopefully ex girl friend in grave danger is criminal.   He may have a good heart but he risks damaging it from lack of oxygen by having his head so far up his ASS.   At one point in the story I thought he might come clean in the end and admit to everyone that this was a huge mistake and advise people not to follow such a foolish path, but his major concern was that insurance issue.   I hope everyone who is considering travel off road reads this story and gets something more out of it than he did on their ill fated journey.  To not have the proper skills and equipment can lead to life threatening situations.   I wonder why the girl wasn't medically assessed for her heat related condition.   As for Millers
towing they were just doing their job, are state regulated, charge by the mile ( big bucks when they hit the dirt) and probably have compassion.
samjust

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 #57 
One important omission, I left out the role the Inyo County Sheriffs Dept. played. Without them it could have been a very different out come.
samjust

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 #58 
The gentleman appears to have a good heart in my opinion. The one thing that I found disconcerting is apparently the only lesson he admits to is that he needs to make sure he has enough insurance the next time he rents a car. Water? Who needs it. As long has you have a GPS and a cell phone.

The pictures of the bottom of the Toyota show you really don't need skid plates when you have the bottom of the car to protect you.

One more thing. I think it speaks well of " Miller's Towing".
SilverBob

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 #59 
I think the guy needs his ass kicked.  Stupidity should be much more painful than a $9000 bill.  And if Betsy is still his girlfriend, she has problems too!

Did you notice that he conveniently left out the part about driving past the "Road Closed" sign that we all know has been there for at least 14 years?

samjust

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 #60 
Ran across this today. What do you think?

http://davidsworld.org/2013/06/27/stranded-in-death-valley-part-i-of-iii/
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