Day 5: Dune Camp Down Day


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The objective of the day was to do nothing. We had been on the move continuously for 5 days, so we were looking forward to a down day of no particular required actions. Basically, we just hung around the camp. Some of the folks went to attempt a recovery on the buried Toyota. Once we gave up on that, we realized that we were less that a mile from the drug runner plane wreck. Kathleen stayed back in camp and baked bread from scratch and then baked it in the dutch oven.

Larry uses the umbrella that he brought. Seems pretty wimpy though. It would not have withstood the winds from the previous night.

Mike is kicking-back in the his rig.

Working on extracting the Toyota to tow it to the salvage yard.

Our efforts to extract the stuck truck and tow it out of the desert failed. There was no component of the vehicle that was reachable that was sufficiently robust to act as a pull-point for the extraction. The roof was not stock, but rather had been replaced as part of a post-rollover repair. The columns were only bondo and therefore it tore easily preventing further progress. The sands of the Altar will reclaim the vehicle in days.

Examining the plane wreck.

Inspecting the motor at the plane wreck.

A desert lilly in full bloom.

Looking east toward Los Pinacates over the high dunes of the Altar.

The team on the top of the highest dune in the vicinity. From the left: Mike, Ron, Robert, Dan, Kai, Matt, Nancy, Larry.

Bread explosion!! Kathleen decided to bake fresh bread from scratch in the dutch ovens. Once the dough is kneaded, it has to rise. The warm sun and the dark dutch oven provided the necessary low heat to allow the yeast to do it's thing. The energetic yeast blew the top off the dutch oven.

Baking bread in the dutch ovens with charcoal. We use a dead cookie sheet to keep the legs of the ovens from sinking in the sand.

The team is investigating the source of the front drive line noise on Dan's truck. Seems that he has bad CV needle bearings that will require replacement after the completion of the trip. This will also require him to drive mostly in 2 wheel drive to prevent breaking the joint.

The finished product of Kathleen's bread making efforts. Note the nice brown crust. Good job Kathleen!

We achieved our goal for the day which was doing nothing. Mission accomplished. Later in the day, we did hot showers for all. Happily, the mogs can haul sufficient water to allow such folly in the hard core desert. While a shower may seem like a foolish waste of water, it sure did feel great. Kathleen and I cooked salmon fillets for the group accompanied by orzo pasta, baked beans, fresh bread and hot cherry/apple cobbler from the dutch oven. The next day, we would head deeper in the dunes to prepare for our exit and travels to Guadalupe Canyon.


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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2007, all rights reserved.
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