Day 2 – Tonopah to Warm Springs Camp

Saturday Dec. 25th, 2021

Tonopah – Shoshone (174 mi – 2:45 hrs)
Shoshone – Warm Springs Camp (45 mi – 1.5 hrs) 

CAMPING Warm Springs Camp

Totals: 218 mi – 4.5 hrs

Merry Christmas from Tonopah!

We got a slow start, after an amazing breakfast at the Mizpah Hotel. It was like 10 degrees outside so warming up the Jeeps before we start was definitely needed. We packed the gear and Kahleesi up and made sure our tanks were topped off  (Good Lord Look at the cost of fuel in CA!) and pushed further south. The plan today as you can see from the itenary above is to make it into Death Valley National Park, and overnight boondock/overland style at Warm Springs Mining Camp in the south of the park.

If all goes according to plan, we should have an easy day of only 4 hours driving time and set-up camp before the sunset. Well, that was the plan, however it took much longer than 4 hours, and added to that was the fact that Lance had gone to the trouble to map everything out in Gaia GPS before we left the house, but he never downloaded the mappings to his navigation system (iPad) and realized the mistake soon after loosing cell service. So we would be flying blind today and a chunk of tomorrow. Sure we had paper maps, but those don’t really provide much feedback if you interpret the map wrong (not that ever happens to us).

So the first 3+ hours was on paved roads, we fueled in the desolate village of Shoshone on Hwy 127 and made our way into the park up over a pass and back down into the valley finally finding out trail (Jubilee Pass Rd), aired down and started our trek into Warm Springs Mining Camp. Now Lance had forgotten all the research done before the trip (obviously rattled by forgetting to download our course), and Mandi was certain there were some old outbuildings at the camp. After a good 2 hours we had reached what Lance thought were the remnants of the mine (not the camp) and as the sun was dropping fast decided to look for a campsite, and found what looked to be a good one up and off the main road on a ledge where some mining remnants remained…

Then the wind started rearing up, the temps had gone from a blistering 60+ degrees to near freezing in maybe 30 mins. So we decided to get camp set-up quickly as we weren’t sure we could stay outside very long. Strike 1 – we attempted setting up our 270 awning, but the winds kept getting worse, and as quickly as we set it up we decided to put it away and just get our tent up.

Strike 2 – we managed to fight the wind and get the tent up and even had it tied off on all four sides, and as I put Kahleesi into the tent I watched the wind wreak havoc, Kahleesi was shivering both of cold and fear that our tent would soon launch into orbit. So I called it, take the tent down we’d be sleeping in our Jeeps tonight. Unfortunately we were in a canyon up high and the winds were not letting up so wehad to deicide to either go further up canyon or back down. We chose down and worked our way back to a fork at the base and then found a “sunken” area of path that would give us some protection from the gale force winds – this was not in the brochure!

Strike 3 – It was a good thing we had slept well the night before as this night would not allow much sleep, but we lived through the adventure, waking multiple times to run the rigs and heat them back up, tomorrow was a better day it has to be better than this right?

Mandi caught a little bit of video holding her phone out the window before things got ugly…

Death Valley - Day 2