Submitted by Mike Whittington on Sun, 04/22/2018 - 20:09
Run:Isham Canyon Run
Panamint Valley April 20-22, 2018 Report prepared by M. Whittington Participants: Bob Marshall Dwayne Wilson Ric Freymond Skip Perkins Chad, Joanna and Nash Oellien Mike and Laura Whittington Prospective Member: Mike, Kristy, Hanna and Caitlin Demers Most of the group arrived Thursday afternoon and evening. Upon arrival, we found a nice cool evening with a light breeze and beautiful night view of the nearby town of Trona. Ric arrived much earlier in the afternoon. He told me when he arrived the wind was howling and it even rained a bit. On Friday morning at 9:00 sharp, everyone except Skip and the Oelliens (they would all arrive later in the day) headed out for Isham Canyon and points beyond. As always, Isham, while relatively short, is a lot of fun. There is plenty of challenging obstacles and many body grabbing wait-a-minute spots. We all made it through without incident except minor taillight damage on Mike D.’s JK Unlimited and Dwayne’s plastic fender. The waterfall just before the squeeze at the end of the trail was extra challenging this year as it seemed a bit taller this time and more undercut from the many vehicles that did the trail before us. The only vehicles that made it over the top without assistance were Mike D’s JK and Bob Marshall. (Bob was extra proud of himself over this one and we never heard the end of it). At the top of Isham, after lunch, the group headed down the hill towards Panamint Valley and across to Golar Wash. Golar was extra cool this time; there was a decent stream flowing through a good portion of the canyon. We stopped at Barker Ranch and spent some time looking at the house and surrounding area. The metal chair imbedded in concrete at the top of the hill was gone. Why would someone take it??? After Golar Wash we headed towards Ballarat and back to camp just in time for Happy Hour and another beautiful evening around the campfire. Skip had already arrived and Oelliens showed up later that night. On Saturday, the whole group headed down the highway for our next destination: Defense Mine. It has been a few years since I have been to the mine. I don’t remember the “road” in being so rocky. Once we entered the canyon leading up to Defense Mine, there was no road…just a rocky wash. Most of us did Cumin’s Cut-Off (some less informed people call in Cummins Cut-Off). If you’ve never had the opportunity to go through Defense Mine and if you don’t have a problem with tight spaces, heights, ladders, dust, absolute darkness, you have to go! This place is soooo cool. I could not fathom how or why anybody would want to blast, dig, muck out solid rock. It must have been really profitable to be a miner. Our next stop was Look Out City. The only thing left is a few rock half collapsed buildings and a modern day plaque to tell the story. The view of Panamint Valley was spectacular. Back at camp, as usual, out came the grub and Ric’s famous Margaritas followed by the usual BS session around the campfire. Another great day and beautiful night with a crystal clear sky. Sunday morning and it was time to break camp, say our goodbyes and head for home. Thanks for making it a great trip everybody. Laura and I had a fantastic time. Next year….