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Salt Peter

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 #1 
Awesome news!
So how was DV on your most recent jaunt?
florida

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 #2 
Good to hear Geo Mitch!
I don't suppose that you found my shoe in there somewhere?
Hope to see you in December.
Spider

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 #3 
Hearing about the full extent of the damage, and then hearing that you all went back out there to prove that you and your rigs can't be broken is one true story of desert survival for me. 
It is humbling to see that we can't ever conquer nature, but be lucky and spend some amazing moments out there, only to hope to return from a wild place without damage. Which isn't granted.
Thanks for your update, it made me very, very happy!
Geo Mitch

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 #4 
Just an update on my van, bike and trailer.  Last year I got caught in a flash flood after going over Steel Pass on my way to the springs for my annul hot-weather trip.  The van was inundated with muddy water as was the bike and trailer.  I watched as flood waters washed over my van and motor cycle trailer for more than 2 hours.  There were rocks on top of the van and mud under the solar panel on the roof. There was water in the engine but no mud. There was mud in the transmission, transfer case and front differential.  The rear differential got water in it but I had installed a filter on the vent which prevented mud from entering the gear box.  Muddy water got into the front differential through the inner axle seals which were factory original from 1977 (should have replaced those years ago).  I had to rebuild the front axle after I got the van home in October, another 50 miles and I think the wheel bearings would have been screaming.  Muddy water got into the ventilation system so I had to take out the dash and all the heater ducting. Even the blower motor was half full of silt; I washed it out, blew it out with air and sprayed it with WD-40 - it works fine now.  The van was an all-winter project.  The wheel bearings in the trailer also had to be replaced.  Mud got into the bike engine above and below the piston.  I had the carb out of the bike and apart 6 times and found silt each time. Even the electrical switches were full of mud and had to be taken apart and cleaned.

I will admit it was a lot of work, but I like my van. The cost of the re-hab was about $1,300, I couldn't replace it for that.  I had some anxiety about going out there again this year alone but I had to do it.  The van and bike ran fine and so did the trailer.  Who said you can't undo a disaster?

Geo Mitch
Spider

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 #5 
I kinda like the mystery that surrounds the missing shoe story [wink]
It will go down as one of the epic Saline Valley tales, just like the story of "The Adventures and Miraculous Recovery of Geo Mitch's van".
Hi Desert Warrior

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 #6 
Come on Florida, you let the cat out of the bag.  So the coyote didn't take your shoe.  Now tell the real story.  Wondering minds want to know.  Please.
florida

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 #7 
I still hold out hope to find my lost shoe...if anyone finds a leather/fabric clog, please give it to George or Ria. Thanks.
Geo Mitch

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 #8 
Thanks Florida, it's nice to get my stuff back, but more importantly it's good to keep the place clean.
Geo Mitch
florida

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 #9 
I will add those items to my list of things to find and do my best.
Geo Mitch

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 #10 
When my van and motorcycle trailer got caught in the flash flood on August 31st I lost some things out of the trailer.  I had a plastic storage box with all my motorcycle riding gear and parts that was all washed way.  The box was held down with 2 bungie cords but got washed away anyway.  On my Christmas trip last month I was able to find some things when Dave (fill-in camp host) and I walked the wash between the upper warm spring and the site where my van got stuck.  We found the service manual and owners manual, still in the plastic bag I put it in.  They were half buried and still damp after almost 4 months but I have dried them out and can still read them.  We also found the goggles (not in great shape), one mirror, 2 1-gallon water jugs, a set of spokes, air cleaner still in original plastic wrapper, and the lid to the box.  Mike G. found my MSR fuel bottle I use for extra gas on longer rides about 3 miles down stream.  I am still missing a pair of riding gloves (blue and white), shin guards, 3 solar lights, 4 1-gallon water jugs (juice jugs) which were in cloth bags (the jugs we found were not in their bags), 2 cans of chain lube, 1 mirror, and a new fuel filter. There may be some other stuff that I have forgotten about.  I also lost some heavy items like the spare battery, chain, sprockets and tire irons, but these things are probably buried in the gravel forever.  If someone finds any of these things and would like to return them, you can leave them with Lee or someone who knows me, or give me a call (775) 849 0149, or drop them by my house in Washoe Valley on your way through.  It would be appreciated.

The van will be down there again but there is more work to be done.  I have rebuilt the front axle with all new bearings, seals, rotors and break pads, changed the oil in the transmission 3 times, changed all the gear oil and cleaned up the rear breaks.  I still have some minor electrical problems I am working through.  The motorcycle will run again (I hope) but I have not done much work on it yet.  I want to re-pack the bearings and clean the breaks on the trailer before I tow it again.  The van has some body damage but that has low priority and may not get fixed at all.
Some day you may be sitting the the Wizard pool and I will drive in. You will look at my van and say "how did that old beat-up thing get in here?" Well, it has been going there for 23 years, and it knows the way.
Thanks,
Geo Mitch
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