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Big Jeff

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 #76 
Silver Bob wrote

Well, that's clearly bullshit.

Maybe we could leave out the "BS" part next time.   That is what the ranger told me right or wrong.

Silver Bob I too wish to thank you for taking your time and money to investigate the access conditions to the Springs.   Any and all information can be helpful to find answers and solutions to problems and challenges we encounter.   In fact Sam's post on 9/1 ended up fitting right into the time line presented here and showed what flash floods are capable of (as if your pictures of the canyon at Willow Creek didn't do the job, thanks again).   And Driver's post of 9/2 confirmed by Salt Peter narrowed the location.  Ride's post of 9/3 validates severe weather in the area and Uncle Oiler's post provides info on the NO Road situation from the South, but the "i think it happened Monday" line is confusing.  Finally Lysdexic's post solves some of the Van mystery.   What this all tells us is the roads in the valley, as we knew them, are probably gone, but people with proper vehicles and the skills to use them will find a way in.
Lysdexic

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 #77 
The stuck rig belongs to Mitch (the Geologist). Happened Saturday, caught in a flash flood with a broken drag link, couldn't get it out of the wash before the water came down. 5 miles up from the Springs towards Steel Pass.
butterfly

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 #78 
We want to head in on the 19th. Let us know how your voyage of discovery goes please.
Tito

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 #79 
Good Luck Silver Bob!!!  Can't wait to see what you Find out there!
Salt Peter

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 #80 
That is gonna be a busy weekend for sure. Thanks in advance for the recon. Hope you get a soak at least.
Sam D.

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 #81 
SilverBob, thanks for the upcoming reconnaissance trip. Please take a measuring tape with you.
We're particularly interested in the depths of water crossings and washouts/ditches and height of the large rocks on the road. Your vehicle can climb Mt Everest but ours are stock SUV's. If you take pictures, may I ask you to place a bucket or something of known length into perspective please? Many cameras reduce the depth so deep trenches look like piece of cake.

Many thanks in advance.
Myion

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Posts: 15
 #82 
Silver, that sounds like a fun weekend. Looking forward to the verdict on things, We are starting a plan to trek out the second half of Oct. 

Looking at that van, looks like its had some work done to it, it isn't necessarily 2wd , also guessing that the person who guessed someone else pulled them out is probably accurate, otherwise they would probably have pulled the dirt-bike out and taken that wherever they needed to go...

That all being said... getting your rig like that would still be an unhappy day.
SilverBob

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 #83 
More good info!  Thanks, Uncle Oiler.  My guess is that the latest storm must have hit just after the ranger's trip.  That being the case, it also hit after Sam D. posted the pictures of the stuck van.  Things change quickly this time of year!

My curiosity is getting the best of me. I'll plan a trip to the springs next weekend (Sept 13-15th).  We'll try to get in the north on Friday, explore Steele Pass on Saturday, then exit the south on Sunday.  If time allows, we'll check out Lippencott on the way out.  If things are as bad as it sounds, that should be a full weekend!

Report with pictures to follow.
uncle oiler

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 #84 
excerpts from a text received 8-31-13  "The south from the bottom of the grade to the dunes is completely gone washed out the whole way and from the turn up to the springs to the bat pole there is absolutely no road left. just used the GPS like a boat on the water. it was still wet.i think it happened monday. took me 5 hrs from the pavement." ....Sad to say, I consider this info accurate,as this voyager is a well seasoned saliner......good luck to all.
SilverBob

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 #85 
Wow! Lots to cover here.  First, Big Jeff wrote,

" ...I talked with a contact at DeVa this morning and they said that they talked with Lee about Five days ago, Lee said he had not seen anybody in fifty days."...

Well, that's clearly bullshit.  Mark, Debbie, Ken and I were at the springs on August 3rd.  In fact, Mark and I helped Lee re-install his wind generator while we were there.  Lee's girlfriend, Kay, was also in camp at that time.  It seems that Lee was able to get out the North Pass two days before we arrived, pick up Kay, and return via the South Pass.  He wouldn't tell me how he got out, (although I'm pretty sure I know) but I do know that he didn't get through the washout the same way we did.

Second, I've been advised that a Ranger named Jacob Tung drove to the springs via Steele Pass in a Dodge Ram 4x4 pickup within the last week.  He made it to the springs and back to Furnace Creek in a day.  I doubt that he could have done that on "impassable" roads. 

Ranger Tung made no mention of the stuck van in the pictures above.  I've been completely unable find any confirmation of its existence anywhere.  Call me skeptical. 

I've also learned that the NPS will be delivering a new truck for Lee to use in the very near future, if it hasn't happened already. Why do they feel that they need to do this?  I don't know, other than to say that the folks who make these decisions never leave their offices in F.C.  They rely on the info they receive from their sources, usually Lee and occasionally a ranger.  If the sources were to "overstate" the seriousness of the road conditions, what's the worst that could happen?  Maybe the road would be shown as "impassable" on the Morning Report to keep tourists out, and the Camp Host could get a new truck to ensure his safety.  Win/Win.
Mr.T

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Posts: 40
 #86 
Check the pic #2 out closer.  That doesn't look like a marker light location, too low.  And the normal left rear marker light is red in the pic, an amber marker lamp that low and rearward would be out of place.  Maybe the orange rectangle is a reflective sticker, or an accident while editing -- notice the plates are edited out.

Edit: Further speculation...  That van with a trailer probably could not make it through Dedeckera and Steel Pass -- Doubting it made it from that direction, on it's way in.  It's also stuck headed up the wash, toward Steel Pass.
winks

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 #87 
Speculation is problematic. In pic #2 it appears that the van still has electrical power. A marker light is glowing brightly. What this tells us is anyones guess.
Mr.T

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 #88 
I'd bet the van (in the post #1 picture) got stuck before the storm.  It does look like the trail in the wash above the natural spring that eventually heads up to Steel Pass.  The odds of a 2WD van making it out that trail, even without a trailer on a good day, are not very good.
Big Jeff

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 #89 
Well Lee might have got lucky not to have seen unone, but on the hand, depending on where you camp, you might only see Lee at the Crystal Pool at 5pm.
Salt Peter

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 #90 
Good post Big Jeff.
I guess most of us think Lee has been there long enough and seen so much over the time that he is untouchable. Good to know that Lee was in contact with someone outside the area. He must be aware of the situation with that van. If he doesn't then maybe there were two vehicles and the 2nd took the people from the van out via Steel or through the springs. The "un" stated he/she was out there I believe within the past 50 days but the "un" is questionable at best.
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