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Drones threaten safety and firefighting efforts

MuirNet - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 09:17

UNAUTHORIZED UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM FLIGHTS THREATEN FIREFIGHTER SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF WILDFIRE SUPPRESSION OPERATIONS

BOISE, IDAHO -- Federal, state, and local wildfire managers are cautioning individuals and organizations that unauthorized operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), often referred to as “drones,” within or near wildfires threatens the safety of both aerial and ground firefighters and hampers their ability to protect lives, property, and valuable natural and cultural resources.

Categories: Legislation

Proper Storage Maximizes Space, Minimizes Down Time

Badlands Off Road Adventures - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 00:00

Proper Storage Maximizes Space, Minimizes Down Time
Outstanding Camp Site!
(Click picture for a larger image.) Got a new vehicle - or new to you? After you put the lift on, bigger tires and rock sliders, you still have a major task ahead of you. How do you get all that stuff you want to take in the vehicle? Sure you can just make a big pile. The trick is how to organize it so it can be retrieved quickly (read that – move as little other stuff out of the way to put your hands on the item you want). And how can you store it safely and securely. Hit a big rock or flop your vehicle on the side, you want most (actually all!) of you gear to stay put.

We have a RULE: The more difficult and more remote the trip the more stuff you need to take. For a day trip to the local mountains, you may only need to throw in a cooler and a warm jacket. Your buddy can run into town and bring back tools and parts. For a longer camping trip or a difficult trip like the Rubicon, you need a lot of gear.

Gear Speaking of gear, we can have an impressive array of items to fit in if we plan to be self-sufficient, prepared for the abuse and risk to our vehicle; and be comfortable doing it. I suspect this is not even close to a complete list:

  1. Mechanic tools
  2. Winch kit
  3. Other Recovery items
  4. Spare parts and fluids,
  5. Camping gear
  6. Food and food preparation
  7. Cooler or refrigerator
  8. First Aid kit
  9. Fire Extinguisher
  10. Fire wood
  11. Comfort Camping stuff – shower, tent heater, and table
  12. Clothes
  13. Extra fuel & Water
  14. Radios, GPS, maps
  15. Sports equipment
Despite the fact that we are at the top of the food chain on available space (vs: motorcycles, mountain bikes, quads, backpackers), we can fill up the interior space very quickly. The problem quickly multiplies if you plan to bring someone else along. Seems they want to bring their own bag or two of stuff.

You can start with a concept well known to backpackers: Pack tools and gear that are small and compact. Understand, also, that you may have to give up some comfort. For example, can you get by without a mattress? Do you really need an onboard fridge or freezer? Actually yes! Do we really want to give up anything? Well not yet. Not until, we have blown through several iterations of “storage solutions” and proven we can’t have it all.

Outside Storage Another RULE: Anything that you can conveniently bolt on the outside of the vehicle, under the hood, or on the bumper is worth considering, because it saves space inside.

Under the hood, you ask? Sure! That’s a nice spot for an air compressor. This will not only save space inside your vehicle, it will also save setup time when you need the compressor. Certain tools, parts and fluids can be stored under the hood, as well. Be mindful of the warm temperature in there. Tape, hoses, and some fluids break down in extreme heat.

Just like lifts, tires, wheels, and armor there are a staggering number of options on the market from simple boxes to fully customized build in drawer systems.

If you have the money, now the time is ripe to finally decide on your rear bumper system. The right one can carry many items you want to get out of the interior space.

If you are not sure what you want, start with two simple items – a roof rack and a shelf.


A roof rack is a pleasure to have. Roof Rack A roof rack can get bulky, odd shaped, dirty items out of your interior space. Fire grate, BBQ, spare tire, pull pal, hi-lift, gas cans, and water cans all come to mind.

One drawback is that it can be difficult to lift and retrieve heavy objects. Bring a ladder. Get help if needed. I prefer to NOT put my Hi-lift jack on the roof rack. I will try anything to get my buddy to use his Hi-lift before attempting to bring mine off the roof rack.


This shelf is on 2x10's. Notice the orange tie downs. Shelf Next build a shelf to divide the usable space in half. Want a simple, quick and temporary solution? Place two 2x10 (or 2x8, 2x12) boards the full length of the space (tail gate to the back of the seats) and cover it with a sheet of plywood. Find a way to attach the 2x10 to the floor and glue carpet on the plywood.

Be sure and tell yourself that this is only a temporary solution. RULE: Temporary solutions tend to stick around for 5 years or more.

An unbelievable number of small bags containing heavy items can be stored under the height provided by a 2x10. This is the ideal place for tools, recovery gear, winch kit, spare parts, spare fluids, and 16 oz. propane bottles. Organize so you can retrieve your stuff easily and quickly. For example, pack the most commonly used items within reach. Lesser used items can be buried. This arrangement helps you to set up and break camp quickly and efficiently - see our article Break Camp Quickly and Efficiently .

Tie down your camping gear and other boxes on top of the shelf and you are good to go.

With a bit of thought, your shelf might even work to sleep inside the truck. Provided you don’t mind leaving a pile of gear outside at night for the bears.

Longer term, there are many manufacturers that offer products for purchase that are an improvement over this basic concept. The shelf will fit better, be lighter, and have trap doors or other unique ways to make use of space. They might even have built in drawers and sections that fold up and out of the way.

Mandatory Quick Access Make it a RULE to always have very and I mean very quick access to these five items.
  1. Shovel & Toilet paper
  2. First aid Kit
  3. Recovery Strap & D ring
  4. Go Bag
  5. Hammer (to setup your tent in the rain)

These bags store well underneath the shelf. They are small enough to dedicate each to a specific task. Bags The older design of military tool bags are a convenient and inexpensive way to store small heavy items – tools, D rings, chain, etc. If you can find one made out of nylon, grab several. Most I see today are cotton and only last a few years. They can be purchased in black, olive, brown, sand, and camo so you can use bag color to identify the one containing the gear you want. But use a sharpie to label them.

You can buy Velcro name tapes from Adventure Tool Company in Colorado. They have 20 plus labels available for about $4.00 each. I like the one labeled “MISC CRAP”. http://adventuretoolcompany.com/product/name-tapes

For a bit more investment you can buy almost any size and style of bag with the “MOLLIE” attachment system. Again these come mostly in Military colors.


Pelican Boxes come in all sizes. These are being used to store the camp kitchen. Boxes Boxes are a mainstay for packing. Use cardboard ones for a temporary solution. I favor cardboard, if the contents are only going to make the outbound trip with me. Once the contents are used up or distributed; I break the box down and gain space.

Buy Pelican boxes if you need moisture and dust protection. They can be placed on the roof or inside your vehicle. Or get the Rubbermaid Action Packer storage boxes for something more durable then cardboard. They come with handles that clamp the lid down and in sizes to match any need.

Build your own wooden boxes that meet your needs. You can buy custom boxes that provide security in addition to a sliding drawer -like the Tuffy security drawer boxes. Be careful if you go to the Tuffy site - they have a lot of cool items.

There are quite a few solutions for a “grub” or “chuck box" on the market also.

Effective Use As a RULE, I find it takes 3 trips to find the best way to pack my gear with any new storage solution. Each time I break camp and repack, I discover a better way to fit it all in. In fact, I get efficient enough to add more gear next time. My friend Montego made a suggestion many years ago. He said: on that day everything fits perfectly take a picture. Take a picture from the tail gate as packed. Unpack the first layer and take another picture. Unpack the next layer & take a picture. Now you have a record to recreate the perfect pack every time.

Your 4WD vehicle is more than just a vehicle. It is in fact one big storage bin. Like traditional storage containers, it has limitations. But it also has one distinct advantage: it can hold items on the outside. With proper planning, you can maximize the amount of gear you take, yet still manage all those supplies in a fast and efficient manner.

# # # #



______________________________________ End google Ad _____ -->
Palisade Glacier - Palisade Group of Mountains in Sierra Nevada Range
(Click picture for a larger image.) Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures Did you miss the previous article? Some Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)

Salton Sea, CA
(Click picture for a larger image.)

Here is a summary of upcoming events.
  1. August 11 Rubicon Trail Adventure

  2. Sept. 06 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  3. Sept. 07 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Mojave:
  4. Sept. 27 Sand & Dunes - Pismo:

  5. Oct. 04 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  6. Oct. 05 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Mojave:
  7. Oct. 06 Winching & Recovery - Mojave:
  8. Oct. 10 Getting Started Off-Road - San Diego area:
  9. Oct. 12 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Borrego Spgs:
  10. Oct. 13 Winching & Recovery - Borrego Spgs:
  11. Oct. 24 Death Valley Adventure

##########################
Sand Clinic September 27, 2014 If you have been waiting for the next Sand Driving Clinic, put it on your calendar for next month September 27th and sign up now. This day-long clinic will expose you to a variety of driving conditions and levels of difficulty. Driving on sand is challenging and different than dirt, so we’ll progress slowly as you learn the proper techniques. As your confidence grows, you will master increasingly more challenging dunes. Along the way you will be exposed to the beauty of SVRA and the thrill of the windswept dunes. This is a rare opportunity to cruise the only beach in California open to vehicles.
More details...



Register for the Sand Clinic using this link.

http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#SandPismo

########################## Death Valley October 24 - 27

This is a 4 day trip on the back roads in Death Valley. We will drive the Panamint Mountains, drive past Badwater Basin (lowest spot in North America), visit Chloride Ghost town, Titus Canyon, check out Ubehebe Crater, Teakettle junction, The Race Track & Lippencott Mine Road, camp at the Warm Springs and leave via Steal Pass up to the high meadows, then take Dedeckera Canyon down to the Eureka Sand Dunes. All four days will see some light to moderate 4-wheeling. Much of the trip is quite remote with random or no cell service. We don't plan to stop at tourist sights you can get to in a passenger car.
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/Deathvalley.html
August 2013 Off-Road Adventures Magazine: Death Valley Excursion by Denis Snow

You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Deathvalley


########################## Winch Clinic

In October, you have 2 chances to attend a Winch recovery Clinic - October 6th near Mojave CA and October 13th near Borrego Springs, CA. This one day clinic starts with the basics. If you are considering installing a powered winch on your vehicle, or have one already but need training to learn how to get the best from it and do it safely, you need to take this class. The one day course covers: safety related issues, basic operation of the winch, simple and complex riggings, stuck assessment, winch capability, and minimizing environmental impact. This is a hands on class. By the end of the day you will be safely rigging some complex recoveries. More Details...


You can register directly for the Mojave Clinic at: http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Winch

Or
for the Borrego Springs Clinic at:
http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#WinchBorrego


Winch Recovery Bandana & Winching DVD
Click for higher resolution image We have our new stock with many new colors (Red, Orange, Green, and Blue) on hand. The Bandana is packed full of useful information and is a quick reference in the field when no DVD player is available."

The Bandana layout follows the “Vehicle Recovery Plan” with pathways to more detail. A unique section of the Bandana, gives the steps for a “Winch Rigging Check: Walk through” so that you verify every element of the rigging before you commit to the pull. Stuff this in your recovery kit and you will always be ready!

Pick up or order the Winching DVD too! There is no substitute for hands on training. If you can, sign up for one of Badlands Off-Road Adventure’s Winching Clinics.

Warning – the Bandana and DVD are not a substitute for proper training and use of quality equipment that is used within the bounds of their safe working load. We advise you to use the information provided in both the Winching Recovery Bandana and the "Basic to Advanced Winching and Recovery DVD" at your own risk. We cannot control the quality and specifications of the equipment used and the methods actually employed.





Winch Recovery Bandana Order Button
Colors Orange Red Blue Natural Green Natural


Order a Basic to Advanced Winching & Recovery DVD too!


(Click picture for more details)



I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
http://www.4x4training.com
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.
#####
If you find this information valuable, please pass it on to a friend. You can forward them the email. If you received a forwarded copy of this newsletter and would like to subscribe for yourself, go to: www.4x4training.com/contacts.html and follow the instructions to join our mail list.
Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2014, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Categories: Badlands Off Road Adventures

Combination Of Self-Sufficiency, Generosity Ensure Successful 4 x 4 Experience

Badlands Off Road Adventures - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 00:00

Combination Of Self-Sufficiency, Generosity Ensure Successful 4 x 4 Experience
Photo by Chris Laskowski
(Click picture for a larger image.) Maybe you never caught a touchdown pass. Maybe you never rescued a damsel in distress but if you 4-wheel you can be a hero to someone. If that someone came ill prepared for the excursion you can stepped forward to help out with extra gear.

Four wheelers know that preparation is key. Each driver must account for his or her own needs. But the real gentlemen in our hobby go above and beyond: The try to anticipate what may occur and pack extra supplies accordingly.

All trips entail a certain amount of group dynamics. Personalities play a part, of course. But preparation--or the lack thereof--can be a factor, too. If the trip is short, you probably won’t have any issues. On a longer trip, something as simple as a shortage of basic gear can cause friction and conflicts. You and the others can minimize or eliminate these by packing extra gear.

Off-road tools and gear to pack When deciding what additional items to pack, think of basic needs. Space permitting, I suggest you bring extra gas, blankets (or a sleeping bag) and radios. Don’t worry about trying to pack for everyone. Even one extra blanket can come in handy.

If space is limited, focus on smaller items. Some of the more valuable ones include batteries, rope, band aids, aspirin, ibuprofen, tire plugs, tin foil, toilet paper, garbage bags, Ziploc bags, and tent stakes.

While gas is always in demand, you may not have extra room. If your vehicle holds only two containers and those are spoken for (one each for gas and water, for example), don’t sweat it. Concentrate on smaller items.

Having this extra gear has as much a physical effect as a psychological one. Drivers are more focused and less worried about their gas situation when the tank gets low. Therefore, I always recommend bringing an extra 5 gallons of gas, even if you don’t need it. The additional gas provides peace of mind, and adds a dimension to your excursion: You could take an unplanned side trip along the way.

Similarly, a cold, restless night can really spoil the trip for a participant. That person’s demeanor can affect the entire group. Your extra blanket or sleeping bag can make a big difference.

Bear in mind that four wheeling naturally requires a certain amount of self-sufficiency. You should put a lot of thought and preparation into each trip.

Should you divvy up the gear among your drivers? That may sound logical, but it can cause some serious problems.

First is that the group may have only one of a particular item (say, a stove). If that breaks or the owner gets separated from the group, the other drivers will be forced to compensate.

Another drawback is that everyone in the group then starts relying on the others for gear. As I mentioned above, four wheelers are naturally self-sufficient. If you’re going to participate, you must be able to handle your own basic needs. What would you do, for example, if you got separated or stranded?

Another possibility is that you have to bifurcate your group. Drivers with certain skills or interests go in one direction, while the rest remain on the established route. (In extreme cases—say, due to severe weather or other dangerous situations—you may need to split up your group.) If gear is divided up among the vehicles, each group is going to be short of a number of items.

Bring the gear even if you’re not skilled Some guys wonder whether they should bring a piece of equipment that they can’t use (or use very well) themselves. I always recommend that they do. Even if that person isn’t very adept with the tool, another driver may be. Having that piece of equipment on hand could mean the difference between a successful trip and one that ends early.

Due to the punishing nature of four wheeling, various parts can break on a vehicle during the trip. Someone with welding skills is a real asset to the group. You may not be skilled at welding, but you can still pack the necessary supplies.

Believe it or not, it is possible to weld with two 12v batteries and some jumper cables. (Eye and face protection are crucial, too.) Another useful tool is an axle nut socket. Got one laying around? Throw it in your vehicle before the next trip. If anyone breaks an axle along the way, you’ll be considered a hero.

While you cannot be responsible for anyone else’s careless attitude and you can’t possibly foresee every issue that may arise, you can mitigate many problems with a little more planning. Carrying some extra gear you can give or lend to a teammate can improve the 4 x 4 experience for everyone.

# # # #



______________________________________ End google Ad _____ -->
Mojave Desert
(Click picture for a larger image.) Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

Did you miss the previous article? Some Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)

Garfield Flats, NV
(Click picture for a larger image.)

Here is a summary of upcoming events.
  1. July 12 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  2. July 13 Basic to Advanced Winching Clinic
  3. July 19 Starting Rock Crawling - Lucerne Valley:
  4. July 26 Wine Safari Adventure

  5. August 02 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  6. August 03 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Mojave:
  7. August 04 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic - Mojave
  8. August 11 Rubicon Trail Adventure

##########################
Wine Safari July 26 We have a big event coming up in July - The Wine Safari! We let our Wine Master have the last two summers off but it is time for her to go back to work. The Wine Safari is just next month so put it on your calendar and sign up now.





Don't miss the Wine Safari. Click here for all details.
Our Wine Master will have a whole new bunch of bottles and some old favorites to taste. Make it a get-away weekend. Camp with us or stay in a local motel.




Register now.
http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#wine.

########################## Rubicon Trail Adventure August 11- 14, 2014
Since we are talking about big events and planning, you should consider, signing up for one of the Rock Crawling clinics. They are good practice and will help you shake down your rig for the Rubicon trip. There is one in June and one in July.

I would like to know if you are planning or thinking about going on the Rubicon.

Here are more details on the Rubicon trip



And here are the two rock classes.
  1. June 14 Starting Rock Crawling - Lucerne Valley:

  2. July 19 Starting Rock Crawling - Lucerne Valley:


Winch Recovery Bandana & Winching DVD
Click for higher resolution image We have our new stock with many new colors (Red, Orange, Green, and Blue) on hand. The Bandana is packed full of useful information and is a quick reference in the field when no DVD player is available."

The Bandana layout follows the “Vehicle Recovery Plan” with pathways to more detail. A unique section of the Bandana, gives the steps for a “Winch Rigging Check: Walk through” so that you verify every element of the rigging before you commit to the pull. Stuff this in your recovery kit and you will always be ready!

Pick up or order the Winching DVD too! There is no substitute for hands on training. If you can, sign up for one of Badlands Off-Road Adventure’s Winching Clinics.

Warning – the Bandana and DVD are not a substitute for proper training and use of quality equipment that is used within the bounds of their safe working load. We advise you to use the information provided in both the Winching Recovery Bandana and the "Basic to Advanced Winching and Recovery DVD" at your own risk. We cannot control the quality and specifications of the equipment used and the methods actually employed.





Winch Recovery Bandana Order Button
Colors Orange Red Blue Natural Green Natural


Order a Basic to Advanced Winching & Recovery DVD too!


(Click picture for more details)



I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
http://www.4x4training.com
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.
#####
If you find this information valuable, please pass it on to a friend. You can forward them the email. If you received a forwarded copy of this newsletter and would like to subscribe for yourself, go to: www.4x4training.com/contacts.html and follow the instructions to join our mail list.
Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2014, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Categories: Badlands Off Road Adventures

Western Governors Meet for Tough Topics

MuirNet - Mon, 06/09/2014 - 12:04

(06/09/14) CARSON CITY, Nev. - Water scarcity, extreme weather, oil and gas development and endangered species are among the tough topics at the Western Governors' Association meeting this week in Colorado Springs.

According to Land Tawney, executive director of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, declining populations of greater sage-grouse are intertwined with those issues. He said he believes keeping the species off the Endangered Species List can be accomplished. His group's new research shows that Wyoming got it right, with everyone sitting at the table to hash out pathways to move forward.

Categories: Legislation

Medieval Warm Period on the Northeastern Tibetan Plateau

MuirNet - Sat, 06/07/2014 - 13:15

Datsenko et al. (2014) write that the problems of current climate change, the establishment of reasons for it, and the development of scenarios of its further potential evolution are still the "focus of attention of climatologists," and so they proceed to describe their most recent foray into this controversial realm of research.

Categories: Legislation

FIRE STATISTICS DEBUNK ASSERTED LINK TO GLOBAL WARMING

MuirNet - Sun, 06/01/2014 - 14:45

California Governor Jerry Brown blamed global warming for recent wildfires in California, but objective data show a decline in wildfires as our planet modestly warms.

2013 was one of the quietest wildfire years in U.S. history, according to data from the federal government’s National Interagency Fire Center. The 47,000 wildfires last year may seem like a very large number – and it certainly gives global warming alarmists like Brown plenty of fodder for misleading claims – but the 47,000 wildfires was less than half the average number of wildfires that occurred each year in the 1960s and 1970s. Earth was cooling during the 1960s and 1970s when so many more wildfires occurred.

Categories: Legislation

Wallow Fire case study - multiple paths to fuel reduction in the wildland-urban interface

MuirNet - Sun, 06/01/2014 - 14:08

Alternative fuel treatments both reduced fire behavior, allowed for protection of homes

PORTLAND, Ore., May 30, 2014—Conservative fuel treatments designed to reduce fire severity while still providing forest cover and wildlife habitat worked equally as well as more intensive treatments in allowing for the protection of homes during the 2011 Wallow Fire, a study published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management has found. The distance into the treated area where fire severity was reduced varied, however, between these different thinning approaches where fuels were reduced. The findings suggest that there may be multiple paths to fuel treatment design around the wildland-urban interface (WUI).

Categories: Legislation

Checking out the Carson and Colorado RR Tunnel

Badlands Off Road Adventures - Thu, 05/15/2014 - 00:00

Checking out the Carson & Colorado RR Tunnel
View from the C&C railroad bed on Montgomery Pass.
(Click picture for a larger image.)
One of the great advantages four wheeling has over regular road trips is the ability to go places and see things that you can’t normally. Ghost towns, discontinued mines, remote campsites, mountain streams and meadows—among other scenic areas—are within our reach.

As part of my ongoing scouting, I’m always looking for new trails and destinations. Many of my excursions occur over several days, but I also seek shorter routes. One day, I crossed over the bed of the Carson and Colorado railroad. There was a marker and a brief history of the now ghost railroad. I became really fascinated by railroad history in general and C & C line in particular. I wanted to know how much of the railroad bed existed, old stations still stood, and how accessible they are today.

During various trips last year I travelled almost the entire length in Nevada and California. The old route offers an interesting lesson in railroad history because of its importance in the development and growth in the southwest.

This year I decided to organize a trip to one section I could not previously find: the tunnel cut through Montgomery Pass.

History of the Carson & Colorado railroad The C & C began operation in August 1883. Interestingly it was owned by the Virginia and Truckee RR (V&T) – a short line serving the Comstock mining district in the Carson City and Virginia City NV area. To save money, it was designed as a narrow gauge (3 ft. wide) railroad. Covering about 300 miles, the railroad ran from Mound House, Nev. to Keeler, Calif. Its primary function was to haul the vast minerals, mainly gold and silver, from the mines in Nevada. It also served the Ranchers and farmers hauling agriculture products to markets in the east.

The rail line climbed to more than 7,100 feet as it worked its way through Montgomery Pass. It is there that engineers cut the only tunnel to maintain about a 2% grade needed for the route. (It is that tunnel that is the focus of a recent expedition.)

The name C&C came from the original plan to build the railroad from the Carson River to the Colorado River.

Southern Pacific purchased the C & C railroad in 1900, and in 1905 converted 140 miles of track in Nevada to standard gauge. Most of that track was abandoned in the 1930s and ’40s. The final run on the narrow gauge track occurred on April 29, 1960.



First train through the Montgomery Pass tunnel
(Courtesy of Eastern California Museum) Route to the C & C railroad tunnel Thanks to Roger Mitchell’s guide book Great Basin SUV Trails Vol. II, I mapped out a route from Bishop, Calif., to the tunnel. [Note: you reach the start of the trail head from Tonopah, NV as well.] It proved to be just as interesting as I imagined. It’s a relatively short drive (as four wheeling goes), and the trail is in good shape.

The drive from Bishop to the trail head took about an hour. We drove US6 for about 50 miles to a point near [N37 58.338 W118 19.785] where the old railroad bed crosses the highway almost at the top of Montgomery Pass.

Although the trail is in pretty good shape, you definitely need a 4WD vehicle. Driving was smooth overall, though you need to use compression braking while changing grade in the mountain passes.


Deep cut through the mountains.
(Click picture for a larger image.)
I was continually amazed at the condition of the trail, especially over old washes. Engineers many years ago filled in and leveled those sections. The fill, 10-15 deep in places, was just as solid and stable as the day it was built. It’s a testament to their engineering and construction ability. Well-constructed fill.
(Click picture for a larger image.)
The north end of the tunnel is about 2.2 miles in. We were there in 45 minutes. There were some truly awesome views of the White Mountains and Sierra Nevada Mountains on the way in. The tunnel can no longer be safely entered. By traversing down a steep bypass, we dropped to the lower RR bed as it winds out of the south entrance on the mountain contours. A very short drive put us at the south entrance. We chose not turn retrace out path but follow the south bound RR bed until in came out again on the highway.

Total distance to and from the highway was about 4.5 miles. We averaged around 3 mph, so the railroad part of the trip took about 90 minutes. But that includes stops for picture taking and walking around. After returning to the highway, we headed back to Bishop. North Entrance to the C&C tunnel
(Click picture for a larger image.) South Entrance to the C&C tunnel
(Click picture for a larger image.)

The entire drive was approximately 150 miles, and took about [4.5 hours]. Most vehicles can make that with a tank of gas. Prepare as you would for any other drive in the remote areas. On your return to Bishop, stop at the C&C Railroad Museum in Laws, CA. (Laws a major station on the California section just east of Bishop.)

Driving the old railroad beds adds an interesting dimension to four wheeling. These old beds tie together so many historical places and events. The C & C tunnel near (Bishop/Montgomery Pass) offers a unique and fascinating look at railroad history in the southwest. I suggest you consider it the next time you’re looking for a day excursion when you are near Bishop, Calif., or Tonopah, Nev.

# # # #



______________________________________ End google Ad _____ -->
Mojave Desert
(Click picture for a larger image.) Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

Did you miss the previous article? Some Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)

Garfield Flats, NV
(Click picture for a larger image.)

Here is a quick summary of upcoming events.
  1. May 31 Tire Repair & Hi-Lift Mini Clinic - Hawthorne

  2. June 07 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  3. June 08 Day 2 Getting Started Clinic- Mojave:
  4. June 09 Basic to Advanced Winching & Recovery Clinic
  5. June 14 Starting Rock Crawling - Lucerne Valley:

  6. July 12 Getting Started Off-Road - LA area:
  7. July 13 Basic to Advanced Winching & Recovery Clinic
  8. July 19 Starting Rock Crawling - Lucerne Valley:
  9. July 26 Wine Safari Adventure

##########################
Wine Safari July 26 We have a big event coming up in July - The Wine Safari! We let our Wine Master have the last two summers off but it is time for her to go back to work. The Wine Safari is still a few months away but you need to start planning and put it on the calendar.





Don't miss the Wine Safari. Click here for all details.
Our Wine Master will have a whole new bunch of bottles and some old favorites to taste. Make it a get-away weekend. Camp with us or stay in a local motel.




Register now.
http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#wine.

########################## Rubicon Trail Adventure August 11- 14, 2014
Since we are talking about big events and planning, you should consider, signing up for one of the Rock Crawling clinics. They are good practice and will help you shake down your rig for the Rubicon trip. There is one in June and one in July.

I would like to know if you are planning or thinking about going on the Rubicon.

Here are more details on the Rubicon trip



And here are the two rock classes.
  1. June 14 Starting Rock Crawling - Lucerne Valley:

  2. July 19 Starting Rock Crawling - Lucerne Valley:


Winch Recovery Bandana & Winching DVD
Click for higher resolution image We have our new stock with many new colors (Red, Orange, Green, and Blue) on hand. The Bandana is packed full of useful information and is a quick reference in the field when no DVD player is available."

The Bandana layout follows the “Vehicle Recovery Plan” with pathways to more detail. A unique section of the Bandana, gives the steps for a “Winch Rigging Check: Walk through” so that you verify every element of the rigging before you commit to the pull. Stuff this in your recovery kit and you will always be ready!

Pick up or order the Winching DVD too! There is no substitute for hands on training. If you can, sign up for one of Badlands Off-Road Adventure’s Winching Clinics.

Warning – the Bandana and DVD are not a substitute for proper training and use of quality equipment that is used within the bounds of their safe working load. We advise you to use the information provided in both the Winching Recovery Bandana and the "Basic to Advanced Winching and Recovery DVD" at your own risk. We cannot control the quality and specifications of the equipment used and the methods actually employed.





Winch Recovery Bandana Order Button
Colors Orange Red Blue Natural Green Natural


Order a Basic to Advanced Winching & Recovery DVD too!


(Click picture for more details)



I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
http://www.4x4training.com
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.
#####
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Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2014, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Categories: Badlands Off Road Adventures

This Week's Net topic


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OAUSA 2014 Calendar & Ham Radio Test Dates


OAUSA will host 4 events this year.  At each event we conduct Amateur Radio testing for all levels.  When highlighted, you can click on the title below for specific information concerning both the event and the testing.

OAUSA Ham Radio Net


Our weekly Amateur Radio Net is held every Thursday evening at 7:30.  You may access the Net as follows:

  • Anywhere in the US via the Western Reflector at IRLP node 9251
  • In the Southern California area via the Keller Peak Repeater (KE6TZG) at 146.385, (+), 146.2
  • In the San Diego, CA area via the W6ZN Repeater at 449.300, 100.0, (-)
  • In the Portlad OR area via the W7RAT repeater at 440.400, 123.0 (-)
  • In the Orange County, CA area via the BARN System Repeater at 447.540, 100.0, (-)
  • In the Santa Rosa, CA area via the W6SON Repeater at 441.375, 123.0, (+)
  • In Las Vegas, NV via the N7ARR Repeater at 447.000 123(-)
  • In Pahrump, NV via the N7ARR Repeater at 449.750, 123, (-)
  • Via Echolink - connect to *World* (Ref: IRLP 9251)

All Amateurs are welcome.  If you would like your local repeater linked to the Nets, just drop us a line by using the contact us button at the top of this page.

 

View a list of upcoming Net Topics.