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This is the first part of the First Day of a two-day transit of the Mojave Road from Fort Mojave, on the Colorado River (between present-day Needles, CA and Laughlin, NV) and Afton Canyon (near present-day Barstow, CA). Then there was an after party-party but you'll have to read on for that one.

The Mojave Trail was the principle transit point connecting the Mojave Indians to the Pacific Coast and existed long before the arrival of Europeans in the area. In 1776, Father Francisco Garces was the first man from the Old World to make use of this trail and he kept a journal of his exploits.

AIR2AIR, JESHUA, FJDAVE, MIR207, POKERDAWG, THERELAXER, NEVADAESH and UPHILL resolved to follow the same trail Father Garces trod over the last two days (October 20-21) in their state-of-the-art Toyota FJ Cruisers. The Mojave Road has been the site of Indian wars and sieges of US Army forts, shoot-outs over gold and cattle, a place for prehistoric man to record their thoughts on the rocks, a trail for mountain man Jedediah Smith to walk to the Pacific Ocean and much, much more. It's a trail through California's history and we were witness to that trip - but it wasn't just an inspection of history, it was FUN!


We met at the AVI Casino parking lot on the shores of the Colorado River on Saturday morning. Pictured above, FJDAVE, Oliver (Copilot to POKERDAWG), POKERDAWG, James (Copilot to AIR2AIR), THERELAXER and NEVADAESH discuss details of the trip.


Fifteen or so miles later where the Mojave Road crosses State Route 95, we found MIR207 in his built FJ looking for a bunch of itinerant FJ bums to hang with.


At Fort Piute, site of a siege, AIR2AIR stands on the ramparts that withstood a relentless attack by Mojave Indians until the siege was lifted by cavalry troops who force-marched from Fort Mojave. Sounds like the script from a Hollywood film, doesn't it?


MISSUPHILL (Emilie) hugs AIR2AIRJR at Ft. Piute.


JESHUA and MISSUPHILL explore the water source that provided the fort with essential water and before the fort was there, it supported Native American agriculture.


MIR207 stands on a cliff overlooking the creek that supported the Fort. It's an oasis in the middle of the Mojave that has sweet water 365 days a year.


THERELAXER relaxes at the fort (leg up) with MIR207, JESHUA and MRSRELAXER (Molly).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
First Day Part Two


While there is a LOT to see and do on the Mojave Road, there is still 140 miles of driving to to. Some stretches as with the picture above are open and can be run at higher, speed. Others require crawling speed.


Oliver and POKERDAWG run Dead-Man's Draw with impunity.


JESHUA demonstrates that he can walk faster than NEVADAESH can drive. He also shows considerable bravery since none of the rest of us would have turned our backs on NEVADAESH.


FJ's at rest. We stopped frequently to check things out. As previously mentioned, there is a lot to see and do.


The base of Indian hill is the site of a well of ancient origin. MANY petroglyphs were present and it was a good opportunity to explore.


The Scorpion climbs!

There is something special about having the opportunity to take the FJ out with my youngest daughter as my co-pilot. It brings the family dynamic into a fun sport with other fun people.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Second Day


The night was cold. Cold as a hooker's heart, cold as a stepmother's kiss, cold as a well digger's...feet. The wind gusted up to an estimated 60 mph and some of the tent's caught air like homesick angels. So by aclamation, we threw our gear into the rigs and headed out. (no breakfast - just TOO windy)

Note: THERELAXER, having set up a very relaxing set-up for himself in the form of an FJ mod was the only one among us who actually relaxed that night...


FJDAVE's 2x4 did very well in all but this particular spot where he had to come down a sharp hill and turn left very quickly. The two-wheel drive just didn't deliver the turning power and he ended up in the sand. MIR207 pitched in immediately, unlimbering his winch.



Recovery was a cinch with the winch!

MOJAVE ROAD MAIL BOX STICKER WARZ

Friends of the Mojave Road erected this mail box in 1983. There is a book in the box where passers-by are asked to record their names, the date of their passage and any comments. In addition to signing the box, some of our group decided to promote their favorite fjcruiserforums.com vendor by adding a sticker (also customary).



AIR2AIR promotes DeMello Offroad.



MIR207 favors Man-a-Fre

I would have added an All Pro sticker if I had one...

Meanwhile THERELAXER, who had strayed from the path (perhaps in search of a place to add nitrates to the desert soil) cried out, "FROGS!" (below)


Apparently there is also a tradition to leave a glass/plastic frog at a frog shrine near the mail box. The Mojave Road can be a strange and wondrous place.


At length we arrived at Soda Lake. That's salt on the ground, not snow.


The Soda Lake soda proved to be an irresistable lure to AIR2AIRJR.


MRSRELAXER and MISSUPHILL engage in a game of who can out-peace-sign the other.


The SCORPION looks on with non-commital inscrutibility.


MIR207's rig looks like it can eat anything else on the trail (which as a matter-of-fact, it can).


FJDAVE fords the Mojave River, followed closely by AIR2AIR.


MIR207's rig fords the river and emerges looking just a nasty as ever to spite the flooding.


MISSUPHILL drives a car off-road for the very first time, leading the motly crew out of Afton Canyon.


Here the trail ends -- or does it? There is an after-party, party (below).

WHAT did I learn about Forum members on this trip:

(1) MIR207 - Even if he's been awake for 72 hours straight, living on nothing by chocolate, moldy sandwiches and strong coffee, MIR207 will still carry on a conversation on the equasions necessary to predict the atmospheric ecology of Venus OR FJ Mods.

(2) AIR2AIR - The only food he brought were Ho-Ho's, Doritos and marshmellow snacky thingys, but he brought a 14 inch Newtonian telescope that allowed all of us to see the Galilean moons orbiting Jupiter at night -- and three dozen Roman candles to light up the night sky (before it got windy).

(3) NEVADAESH - The goodie king of the trip had everything from a space-age porta-pottie to a roll up camp table and a neat GPS. If you're on a run with him, leave your goodies behind because they won't be as cool.

(4) POKERDAWG - I know why he wins at cards. He brings his enforcer, Oliver along with him to smash any who would have a better hand into submission! He must be winning at something because his photographic equipment is just that far ahead of state-of-the-art.

(5) THERELAXER - The guy knows how to live. What else can I say. Everyone is cold and miserable but -- THERELAXER, while we're roasting hot dogs, chomping down a cold PB&J sandwich or eating cup-a-noodles, what is THERELAXER eating? What else, Filet Minion. That says it all. He knows how to live...he just does.

(6) JESHUA - He's quiet, he's not in your face, and he's a very capable, trustworthy guy that is ESSENTIAL to having along on any trip. I'm sorry (very sorry) that he didn't stay to enjoy the windy night -- sleeping in a tent (haha).

(7) FJDAVE - His 2WD did remarkably well until it was burried to the axels in the sand. Dave's son and co-pilot drove much of the trip, showing us all how it's done down-town. When something needs to be done, Dave is there helping, and making sure that things are "right".

The Co-Pilots were essential to the fun of the trip. My co-pilot was no exception.

Thanks Emilie!



140 trail miles in about 18 hours of driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Odessa Canyon/The Doran Loop (after party romp)

MIR207 led a few FJ's into Odessa Canyon on the Doran Loop, a notoriously rough and nasty stretch of trail as icing on the cake. Odessa Canyon is adjacent to the Calico Ghost Town near Barstow, CA.


SCORPION in Odessa Canyon.


SCORPION tries to crest the rock... but can't quite make it.


--Photo by FJDAVE--


The first trail carnage of the trip from (careless) backing up!

But wait! It's a tail-light guard SAVE!


Only slight damage to the skin of the beast and a chip off the plastic lens.
 

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Man Larry you were fast with those pics. OK, time to get mine up there.

Thank you so much for such a great trip. And a special thanks to Josh for keeping us out of trouble, and taking to the pictograms, and having to leave in the middle of the night...
 

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It looks like a great run and a great time, I wish I was there with you guy's. Nice pic's and write up Larry as always buddy. Keep the pics coming :D
 

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Woots, keep it coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yes pleez Mr Uphill!! I not only love viewing pics of FJs in action, but also love the pictures of scenery and activites the FJ brings you to. Hopefully one day I'll have a rig capable of joining one of your runs!! :roller:
FJ DAVE did it in a COMPLETELY stock 2x4. You don't need a "built" FJ to do the Mojave Road. As you'll note, he encountered one rough spot in some sand but there was a LOT of deep sand and he ripped right through it. The stock FJ is a very capable machine. It's fun to mod them up, but never discount what a stock FJ can do.
:grinbiginvert:
 

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Todd, how far were you able to jump Jason's FJ? More then 10 feet this time? :D
 

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repost from other thread so no one misses it.

I had a blast with you all on Saturday, some beautiful terrain and great people. I ran out of gas on the way home I new I shouldn't have given Todd my extra gas. Just joking Todd :) I got home fine took about 3 hrs so it wasn't to bad I almost fell a sleep while drive though. :indifferent:


Hope it went well today, I am wondering on how FJDave did in all the sand and water crossing.

Here are my pictures form Saturday, not much but they will do.
Picking up Mir at the 95


On the road to the first fort.


Emilie and Todd checking out the "whale" :D


checking out Indian Mount.


Todd's new home after his wife kicked him out


Uphill enjoying his time with his daughter


Setting up camp


Thanks for setting the run up Larry wish I had the time to stay over night and wheel on Sunday as well.
 

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Thanks for the kind words Larry.

But man I am wishing I could have stayed after see the pics from today and you guys did Odessa I love that trail. But kind of glad I missed the wind there isn't much worse then trying to sleep in a tent with 40-50 mph winds.

Glad you got through almost all of it with out any problems FJDave, plus it will be nice to have that base line of what can make the Mojave.


Josh, nice pics! That looks like a fantastic journey. How was the pace? I can't wait for others to post up.

btw, "whale"?
its a joke when I was leading the group to Indian Mnt. to show them the well and pictograph's I was questioned were I was taking them and I said over the CB to a "well & Indian graffiti site" well some one thought I said "whale" and it just went on form there.
 

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Larry, changed your gas cans? What was wrong with the old setup?
 

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The first trail carnage of the trip from (careless) backing up!
Awh, and we had the whole story worked out about the killer rock crawling we'd been doing and how the tail-light damage was from some gnarly, tight section... :)
 

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But kind of glad I missed the wind there isn't much worse then trying to sleep in a tent with 40-50 mph winds.
I totally couldn't sleep in my tent and was up at like the crack of dawn due to the wind. Had to get everyone up and going... Lazy, sleepy bums...

:)
 

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It if weren't for the fear of being lost, it might have been fun to go exploring at night.
 
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