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2007 Black FJC
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Afton Canyon has been mentioned in several of the threads on the Mojave Road here on the forum - and I'd just blasted through it on prior trips. Eight days ago, I did a slower run with the aid of a guide book that pointed out some interesting feature both in Afton, and just across the other side of the 15 freeway. The complete set of photo from this trip can be found on my photobucket account.

Orientation:

Afton Canyon and environs can be accessed off the 15 freeway, about 30 miles north of Barstow (and north of Calico), by taking the Afton Canyon Road exit. Here's the Google Maps link.

Some general information on Afton Canyon can be found on the Afton Canyon BLM page.

Guide Book:

The spots I visited and photographed were contained in Bill Mann's Guide to 50 Interesting and Mysterious Sites in the Mojave, volume 1 (aside: actually bought this back in 2007 from Bill Mann himself at the Pomona Offroad Show - autographed and all). All GPS coordinates are from the book. I found them to be pretty close, but not dead-on - will need to do common sense eyeballing, also.



North of the Freeway:

Crucification Bushes - 35deg, 6.283min N; 116deg, 27.133min W

Apparently a somewhat rare bush / tree in the California Mojave and more common in Arizona.




The area is a very nice and rather low traffic slice of the Mojave. The Crucification Bushes are located on a very small playa along with a bunch of other cool Mojave flora.




Bonnie Keebler Harris' Grave - 35deg, 7.118min N; 116deg, 27.05min W

Grave of a late 1800's traveler across the Mojave. Apparently the inscription that now is etched on a metal plaque was once written on a note in a amber bottle. The original bottle is in the BLM station in Barstow.




Monitor dumped in the desert (flat screen, no less):


South of the Freeway:

Indian Trail

Only a mile or so from the freeway, I'd never have noticed this were it not for the guide book. Roughly at right angles to the road are trails worn into the desert surface. I am told these are old foot trails that were used by local tribes to navigate across the Mojave.

























 

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2007 Black FJC
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Discussion Starter #2








 

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Very nice Mark. A friend and I was just talking about doing this. I haven't been there in a couple of years. How was the lake?
 

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2007 Black FJC
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Very nice Mark. A friend and I was just talking about doing this. I haven't been there in a couple of years. How was the lake?
As someone who's done White Rim in an afternoon, I normally blast through stuff. This day, we went like maybe 15 miles the whole day after we were off road. I never even made it close to the lake! :) The day was awesome, beautiful warm temperatures (like 75-85 through the day till sunset), dry, blue sky, good desert weather! Very few people there - we passed one pickup, one jeep, and maybe 6 ATV's (the ATV's right near the camp) the whole day. No body north of the freeway once you got past the freaky Ron Paul gas station.
 

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Yeah, this would be the perfect time of the year to visit. Nights won't be freezing and the day would be nice too. I'm so jealous! :D Glad to see you out and about tool :). So swamped right now, I can only enjoy reading other people's trips.
 

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2007 Black FJC
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Discussion Starter #6
So swamped right now, I can only enjoy reading other people's trips.
Was that way for a couple of years. Still only getting a weekend day every few weeks or so, but makes soooooo much difference. Reminds me why I got the FJ in the first place! :)
 

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I love Afton Canyon.

Thanks for the report. I wish that I would have joined you on this one, but life got in the way.
 

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As someone who's done White Rim in an afternoon, I normally blast through stuff. This day, we went like maybe 15 miles the whole day after we were off road. I never even made it close to the lake! :) The day was awesome, beautiful warm temperatures (like 75-85 through the day till sunset), dry, blue sky, good desert weather!
Mark, thanks for the report and great pics, brings back some nice memories. Taking ones time over trails you have done in the past gives a whole other perpective. We are heading back to DV/Golar Wash and east this weekend and really taking our time. There are so many places we want to see that we blasted right past previously. Taking our time and smelling the roses as the cliche says.

Gary
 

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2007 Black FJC
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Discussion Starter #9
I love Afton Canyon.

Thanks for the report. I wish that I would have joined you on this one, but life got in the way.
That and the fact that I planned this like 16 hours before setting off the following day :lol: Sorry for the super late notice :(

Mark, thanks for the report and great pics, brings back some nice memories. Taking ones time over trails you have done in the past gives a whole other perpective. We are heading back to DV/Golar Wash and east this weekend and really taking our time. There are so many places we want to see that we blasted right past previously. Taking our time and smelling the roses as the cliche says.

Gary
Yeah. I love the fast running on new runs. But then after you know the terrain, you're dead on, it does add a whole extra dimension to take it slow.

Also realizing more and more that I could never live somewhere where I'm more than an hour from the desert. Had my life's fill of wet and green from birth through 21. From here on out, it's the US South West or Australia.
 

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Looks like some great southwestern explorin'. :rocker:
 
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