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XPBC

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 #46 

No gas in Trona.  Stove Pipe Wells $4.35 Panamint Springs Resort $5.48 over Thanksgiving weekend.  Olancha $3.93 on the way home.  Hope this helps some plan their way in.

Major Tom

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 #47 

It is too bad the scouts stopped doing that. By the time I arrived in the valley in 1980, the tradition appeared to be the provenance of the occaisional volunteer. There were often broken bottles by the side of the road, and some folks assumed thoughtless people were using them for target practice. In fact, and by direct observation, it was the weather and extreme conditions that caused the glass to break over time. I used to stop and pick up broken glass and replace bottles while I was camp host. Then a BLM Ranger (Stormo) arrived on the scene in the mid-80s with a new sense of order and how things should be, declaring the water caches to be litter and would be removed. I tried to explain to him why they were there, and their importance. He insisted that people who drove out into this environment were prepared, and I attempted to beg to differ. That summer I polled folks who arrived at the springs if they had extra water. Usually not. Their emergency water was often their block of ice. Otherwise it was apparent that they were prepared to subsist on beer and soda. I always sent them off with a gallon of water in an empty bleach bottle just in case. I shared the results of my polling with the Ranger, but in time Stormo prevailed and the water bottles all disappeared, and that was that.

Justin Time

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 #48 
Yes.
Know why they were there ?

Around 1969 a group of collage students DIED from exposure and no water after their car broke down or became stuck on the Saline Vally road.  
The INYO County Search and Rescue decided to put water caches each mile along the main road.
This was how I came to have my first exposure to Saline Valley.
With the joint cooperation of the ICS&R, Inyo Road Department, BLM and the Boy Scouts, the water caches came to be.   The road department laid out locations, and then the ICS&R, and Boys Scouts changed the bottles with new sanitized bottles and water.

My first trip to the springs was Easter of 1969 as a Boy Scout 50 mile hike. We started at the Wacoba Springs turn off (North Saline Road) to Wacoba spring the first night. From there, we started changing out water bottles.  In groups of two we (Scouts) leapfrogged each other. The process was strait forward, dig up the bottles, replace with new sanitized bottles, bury and mark the cache.
The old water bottles were emptied, washed, sanitized with bleach, and then filled with chlorinated water and caped.

Years later, maybe the late 70s or early 80s I met several people that had cause to use that water.  I recall for both radiator and drinking due to vehicle problems.  In each instance the water made the difference in survival and self rescue.  All but one returned to replace the cache that they had used.

I made three hikes in to the springs, changing water bottles each time.  I look back with pride that we played a small role and made a difference in someone's survival.  I cherish my Saline Valley BSA 50 mile patches.  I should dig them out and put them on my "Saline Jacket"; they're really cool.

Justin Barton.


Major Tom

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 #49 

remember when we had water bottles cached along the road for emergencies? BLM took them all out, and the tradition disappeared. They thought it was litter

Justin Time

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 #50 

Thank you Tom.

Natural selection comes to mind.  

In all seriousness.  This just perturbs me.  

The desert is not for the unprepared tourist !!   GPS has lead people to there Death.    One Has to understand the dangers of there environment no mater where they are, know where there going and be prepared for a Bad Day !

DVNP has to take responsibility and make sure there "Guests" understand the desert can and will kill them if there not prepared and held accountable when they wander following official park maps that do not clearly state the extreme potential of danger.   

There needs to be unmistakable signage that states "Well Provisioned 4wd High Clearance Vehicles Only" on all accesses to remote areas.

DVNP is not a comfy fuzzy place,  its the desert for crying out loud!


Justin Barton
Bishop, CA.


 


Major Tom

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 #51 
This story deserves to be shared. They were found because they stayed with their car, and didnt go wandering off on foot. Nice they found the second best place to be in Saline Valley! Kudos to Lee for  helping to save the day, too.

http://pvtimes.com/news/lost-and-found-in-death-valley/
2 soakn fools

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 #52 
That's what I thought Chuck, we just want to travel in and have a look around. We have heard so much about the place. Gonna have to make the trip!
Stuck Chuck

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 #53 
Hey 2 soakn,

I would not do Lippincott up hill with 2WD unless you have a posi rear end. Some parts are steep, may be slippery.

You can do 2WD downhill. Also, the road is narly and rough in spots.
2 soakn fools

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 #54 
Thanks Mad Dog... I am feeling a little better about going in, however I realize we will just have to wait and  watch the weather. Isn't Lipenoctt really steep?


Mad Dog Kenny

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 #55 
Hey Soakers,
You should be ok going down South Pass and if you can't make it back up you can always go out Lipencott as long as you have the clearance. But again, take all the gear suggested by the others. Major Tom stated he went out that way a few weeks ago so he'll have a better idea what shape Lipenoctt is in. Enjoy, Mad Dog
2 soakn fools

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 #56 
Awesome advice and thank you. The van has everything imaginable just not 4wd, and we don't fancy the getting stuck part. Unfortunately if we want to visit the valley we have to do it in April (Spring Break) or in Autumn. What if we travel with another vehicle that does have 4wd? insureance like? Which direction in would be the better bet? or can these things be predicted? 
Stuck Chuck

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 #57 

With the amount of snow that's been there, the south may be muddy and slick in early April. If you have to venture with a 2WD van, bring a tow rope so the next guy can pull you out if you're stuck. Bring chains; Plenty of food and water, live by the scout motto "Be Prepared".

Major Tom

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 #58 
As has been mentioned elsewhere, tire chains are cheap insurance. A good spare, a second spare is better, slime tire repair in a can at the very least. A good jack, and shovel. Always bring extra water along. If your vehicle breaks down and you cant remedy the situation, stay with the vehicle and wait for the next car to come by. Never cut across country.
2 soakn fools

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 #59 
Never been in to the valley.... I hear that I may make the trip in a non  4x4 vehicle. We have a chev van, w/ non directional truck tires and good clearance. Any suggestions? We'd be heading in the first weekend in April.
Major Tom

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 #60 
It may be overkill, but when I drove a wrecker up in Colorado, I had a chevy axle with the splines ground to a point, and a big sledge to hammer it into the ground, and this made a pretty effective deadman when there were no trees handy. (Often the case up on Lizard Head Pass). Having said that, I dont carry one anymore, and have never missed not having it. Yes, if you're gonna have a come along, have a big one! A winch and snatch block would be my choice.
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