This trail run into Death Valley was the very first Project-JK over-nighter and fortunately, we were able to do it with our good friends Matt (doojer), his wife Heather and their son Nicholas.
Starting from Ridgecrest, we began our journey by making a quick stop over at the Trona Pinnacles. We then headed north past the town of Trona itself and then east across the Slate Range and into the Panamint Valley where Matt ended up getting his JK Sahara Unlimited stuck in a seriously deceivingly dry lake below. No joke, this thing looked totally dry but just beneath the surface, it was a slick and sticky mess of clay. Of course, once we got him yanked out of the muck, I took us across what I though was firmer ground and proceeded to get even more stuck than Matt. Now, maybe it's because Matt's JK Sahara doesn't have 4:1 low gears like my JK Rubicon Unlimited has or maybe it's the fact that he still has street tires, but when Matt tried to yank me out, he was left with wheels spinning and me digging in deeper. Fortunately for us, we did have our awesome new WARN PowerPlant and was able to pull ourselves out using Matt's JK Sahara Unlimited as an anchor.
Once free of the sticky stuff, we made our way over and up through Goler Wash, checked out the many mines along the way, fixed a flat on Matt's JK, stopped over at Barker Ranch (aka - the Charles Manson hideout) at night, setup camp a couple miles further east near Mengal Pass and was served a spectacular chicken dinner which was prepared by Heather.
The next morning, we had fun climbing up and over Mengal Pass, had lunch over at the old stone geologist cabin, stopped at the base of Striped Butte, got stuck in a traffic jam of Jeeps heading down to Warm Springs and eventually made our exit from Death Valley across Harry Wade Road. Need I say, these are the photos from our awesome trip and they should be in the order that I had just spoken of.
I'd like to thank Matt, Heather and Nicholas again for being such spur of the moment people, for the delicious dinner and for the great company. Hopefully more of you will be able to join us in the future.