January 1998 Trip Report

Pinkham Canyon Cruise

It was our first run of 1998 and it was also the first run for the Jeep I just bought. We all met at Burns Brothers in Indio.
It was a large group:

Pappy and Nancy, Wrangler
Diane and Sean, CJ7
Luis, CJ5
Loren, Wrangler
Keith, CJ7
Patty and Paul, Toyota P.U.
Russ, Terry and Michael, Wrangler
Bobbo (myself), CJ7
Lion, Cherokee
Big Top Bob, Wrangler
Knucklehead, CJ7
Jerry and Tracy, 4 Runner
Oreo, Wrangler
Andy, CJ5
Monetgo, TJ
Steve and Carol, Wrangler

That's 6 Wranglers, 4 CJ7's, 2 CJ5's and one each; Toyota P.U., Cherokee, 4 Runner and TJ. A total of 16 rigs. We made camp, and I went right to sleep. The next morning, we were up and out of camp early. A little too early for some of us. We explored, searched and maybe got a little lost. Diane had just the slightest trouble making it up one hill, but eventually triumphed. Patty was next, and got a little side hill while backing down… Twice that I saw! We regrouped in time for lunch and afterwards, began looking for a way to Eagle Mountain Mine. This meant that we needed to cross Joshua Tree National Park. We hit a short section of pavement and were immediately pulled off by the ranger. At first, I was impressed that Pappy would go to all the trouble to get us a police escort, but it turned out that the ranger didn't like the looks of our Christmas trees, which he insisted on calling "Exotic Plant Life". We didn't say much, but I'm sure we were all thinking the same two things: This is stupid, and I hope he lets us keep our trees. After threatening to make us put our trees in the closest dumpster (no option!), we were able to convince him to let us continue, seeing as how we were leaving the park right away.

Returning to dirt roads, it was time to look for camp. On the way, Keith had a little problem with his tire carrier, as in it fell off. We eventually found a little cabin, complete with wood burning stoves and a written invitation to spend the night. Now I pretty much had diner and went to bed, but I've heard tails of women fire walkers, Nancy having a new (liquid) hobby and Russ clearing the camp fire a few times. I guess I really missed it.

The next morning, we visited Eagle Mountain Mine (very briefly and from a distance) and headed back the way we came. Heading north towards 29 Palms, we did a little sight seeing and mine exploring and even found a mud hole to play in. The mud was so fun that Loren, Bob and Oreo had to clean out their ignition to get their Jeeps running again.

These rest of the trip home was uneventful, except: Luis ran out of gas and was towed to town by Montego,

There was a near miss on the freeway with one of the Jeeps, resulting in a turned around car and a very frightened driver, and Lion ran out of battery one block from home and was towed the rest of the way by Montego.