Death Valley to Taft

Part I - Echo Canyon

I've been wanting to do Death Valley for some time now and happened upon a group trip being planned by Andy. This trip was being planned for the end of October which was perfect for myself and my friend Tim. We both had time off scheduled for that time of the year. This would be Tim's first real 4WD trip with his newly built Amigo. Aside from a little body damage and a leaky it did just fine.

The plan was to stay in Death Valley for 3 or 4 days and then head to Bishop. We thought we would do Cerro Gordo along the way. That never happened. As a matter of fact, we only spent one day in Death Valley National Park. After that we spent the next 3 days in Panamint Valley. We made Base Camp at Ballarat. What a great place to camp!. We did Jail Canyon for the first trip. We did Pleasant Canyon and Middle Park the next day. Need to go back and do South Park and Goler Wash next. Lot's to explore around there. Then we headed off to Bishop. Once in Bishop we planned on revisiting Black Canyon which we did. There were a few other things we wanted to do there but time did not allow for it on this trip. On the way to Bishop we stopped in Darwin. What a town. It deserves a trip of it's own and I will do that next year. We also stopped in Keeler for a while... Need to spend a little more time there too...

By Friday the 28th we were supposed to be in Taft for a skydiving event so we left Bishop at 9am that morning. We didn't pull into Taft Airport untill about 5pm. But we made it all in one piece and set up camp for the 4th time since we left home. We partied with our Air Trash Skydiving Club friends that night and then skydived the next day. That evening we indoctrinated some new people into Air Trash and partied all over again. (my drinking friends have a skydiving problem)

On Sunday morning we packed up camp for the last time and regretfully headed home. We had a wonderfull time everywhere we went and I need to thank Andy and Charlie of for showing us Echo Canyon and Panamint Springs Resort.

Part 1 of this 10 day excursion begins with Tim and I leaving Perris, California at 2:30am October 22nd to meet up with Charlie and Andy at Panamint Springs Resort. We arrived at around 8am. Shortly after that we left for Furnace Creek in Death Valley. After topping off with gas at the new Chevron station to the tune of $3.39 a gallon, Tim and I proceded out of the station and headed up the highway to meet up with the rest of Andy's group. After a short delay by the Highway Patrol, we met up with Andy and Charlie and the rest of the group and headed up Echo Canyon. It was a great run but Tim and I had driven all night and decided to pass on the rest of the run up Arqueberry Point so we could go set up camp. We did that and passed out after only one beer.

The pictures and videos below start with the ones I took and end up with some of Charlie's and Andy's. Thanks to both for the great pics and a wonderfull time...

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Tim's Amigo and Jay's Jeep at Panamint Springs Resort. My Blazer and Charlie's Toyota at PSR. Jay, Mira and Logan (Modfan) entering Echo Canyon. The mill at the Inyo Mine.
The power plant for the mill. It's a 4 cylinder diesel engine. (I think) Tabby takes a break under the mill ruins. Ruins and some buildings that are still just barely standing. A different view of the mill.
This building won't be around much longer. Tim and Tabby in one of the buildings. Charlie enters a very short mine adit and finds a bat occupying the place. Photo of the bat. Charlie is waiving his flashlight trying to get the bat out of his way. Notice the shadow of the bat on the ground.
A storage dugout still in good shape. Group shot at the Inyo Mine during our lunch break. Charlie going up the falls at the north fork of Echo. Charlie going down the falls.
Eye Of The Needle. Close up of The Eye Of The Needle. Chris does the falls in the Mean Jeep. Is it really a Jeep? Pierre makes his first effort. He makes it on the second try with no problem.
Great video at ECHO Canyon Falls. Thanks to Andy and Charlie for the video. Thanks to Andy for this photo of my truck. Thanks to Andy for this photo of Tim's truck. Charlie's group photo taken while I was getting a ticket from the CHP in Death Valley.
Great colors up here. Thanks to Charlie for this and the next 8 photos. Tim heading up the canyon. Me outside of an adit taking a picture of Charlie inside the adit taking a picture of me. Tabby at my feet during lunch.
RUDY Chris' Truck (it floats over rocks) Chris' Truck floating the other way. Charlie's Toyota (EYESORE)
Andy's Rubicon I went to Death Valley and all I got was this stupid ticket!

Part II - Ballarat