Panamint Valley Days

This year I was able to attend my 1st PVD Nov 7-9. Richard Beard was the trail lead and his friend Anton & Anton’s brother were already set up in the Panamint Valley camping out in the desert on BLM land that CA Assoc. uses for their 23rd annual PVD. I arrived just before dark & set up my tent right away. Rich brought me over a nice hot dinner that the other Rich, Anton’s brother had just cooked up. After dinner we had our rigs safety inspected & then signed up for Friday runs. We all decided to sign up for the Jail Canyon run. It was a nice drive in and above a desert wash in Death Valley National Park and ended at an old mining area where we walked up a creek to the actual mine. Lots of neat mining equipment was still around & you could even walk back into the mine. Friday afternoon I made a drive into Panamint Springs to take a shower & buy some more water for our camp. When I returned to the camping area Carlos & his family had arrived & were camped near us. We had another nice dinner together & campfire & Sierra & Alpine & I went for a night hike in the desert.

Sat Sierra & Alpine & I enjoyed the company of Anton riding in the Bronco with us on the “Back door to Darwin” trip. Rich B & Anton’s brother Rich also went on the tour, along with about 40 other rigs. Scenic day trip up to another couple of mine sites & then into Darwin where we were greeted by locals & had live music & bake sale goodies.

Sat evening we had signed up for the group meal & after that attended raffle drawing but only one of us (Rich M) won any of the drawings. He won about 150$ worth of cash & prises. During the drawing a very strong wind came up & when we returned to our site my tent was about halfway bent over & would have blown away if I hadn’t followed Rich’s suggestion to buy very big heavy metal tent stakes. Rich & Anton had to remove Rich’s tent fly to keep it from ripping off. We retreated to Rich M’s RV to visit before going to bed in the howling wind. It was windy but still 68 out at 10PM. Early the next morning most everyone was up and packing up quickly to beat the incoming storm. It started to rain right after I put the last of my gear into my Bronco. Rich had called road info and found that chains were required on 395 so he decided to leave via the S route that I had taken going through Trona. The wind was blowing at 40-50MPH (I checked on web when I got home). Wind ripped my drivers side wiper loose on the Tehachapi Pass (Hwy 58). Rich & Anton & I had breakfast in Tehachapi and then with some help (loan of a step & consultation with Rich) I moved passenger side wiper to drivers side & we all headed back to bay area.

I really enjoyed the trip. It was fun to get down to the desert again & have the chance to choose from a wide range of trips. It was nice to see so many family groups from grandparents to a nursing baby and their dogs and at least one cat all out enjoying a fun trip together. Everyone seemed friendly & helpful too.

I especially appreciated Richard’s encouraging people to go and being trail boss for Ed4 group and choosing a nice site to camp. I also enjoyed meeting & visiting with Richard’s friend and his brother & being treated to meals too. Alpine & Sierra enjoyed meeting everyone they did & their dogs & the cat too. Loro