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High Black Rock Desert May 27-29, 2000

Written by Carrol Bryant

On Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend the club met at Carl’s Jr. in Roseville for a 3 day trip to the Black Rock Desert and High Rock Canyon. As usual our 7am departure time got delayed to 8:30 and we finally hit the freeway with 10 vehicles.

The trip over the Sierras was uneventful and we finally regrouped at Wadsworth for a gas stop before turning north to Gerlach - 80 miles north of I-80. We made our last stop at Empire and Gerlach for fuel and supplies.

We entered the playa shortly above Gerlach and made the high speed run 30 miles across the dry lake bed to Black Rock Point which would be our base camp for the weekend. Saturday afternoon was spent relaxing in camp and searching out any shade available. The blender came out for some strawberry daiquiris and more relaxing. The kids found a rattle snake & we educated them of the danger.

After a great breakfast Sunday morning we hit the road in search of the High Rock Canyon. We missed the exit off the playa, and after some back tracking, found the dusty road north some 40 miles to Soldier Meadows.

Entering the canyon we passed several vehicles stopped at places we wanted to see. With 10 vehicles we had to find a place big enough for all of us to pull over so we went through to find a spot for lunch. We could stop and explore on the way back. After lunch we reversed direction and stopped in the canyon to explore some caves and check out the petroglyphs. The kids had a blast climbing the rocks and exploring the caves. They even saw a couple scorpions in one of the caves.

Back at Solider Meadows we regrouped where Ron Stilwell and John Garcia volunteered to go to town for ice and fuel. They would meet us back at camp after we had a swim in the pool at Hot Creek. After Ron missed the turn back to the dirt road we wondered if we would ever see them again!!

Back down the dusty road we entered the playa and it was a race back to camp. Close to the edge of the playa it got rough and wet in spots. The Medleys found the mud and almost got stuck and John Edwards hit a bump so hard he lost two water jugs off his Jeep.

Back at base camp, everyone started cooking. After dinner and cocktails we finished the evening with a roaring camp fire from all the wood everyone packed along. (God knows there are no trees there!) Monday morning after breakfast Steve Roy and I surprised everyone with a Tech Inspection. I haven’t heard the official results yet but I believe everyone needed improvement somewhere!

With everyone packed, around 11:00 we were back on the playa and heading home. With a stop in the middle for a group photo, Weedwacker was spinning donuts and put his truck up on 2 wheels. A quick recovery move brought it back on all 4. Rolling again we could see the paved road and John Garcia was in the lead. I saw a dust cloud and saw he was spinning donuts also. A second dust cloud cleared and I could see him again. All 4 wheels were pointing up! (OOPS)

A mad dash was made to his location as we scrambled to see if he was hurt. He was OK but his dogs (2) were buried under is gear and carpet kit. We quickly unloaded the back of his truck to rescue them and then had to pry a door open to get John out. A winch was used to upright the truck and after the shattered windshield was removed we used a hi lift to jack the roof up so he could drive it. The Medley’s, in the meantime, where trying to find a restroom and managed to bury the 4 Runner and tent trailer to the axles in mud! Needless to say, "Rollover John" did not have the Boo Boo Bell for long.

After this 2 hour delay we were rolling again and saw some antelope below Empire in the same place we saw them on the way up.

Some where below Nixon, NV we saw a motorhome parked along side the road and about 1/2 mile later saw someone walking. I started slowing down and asked on the radio to check what this guy needed. Ron Stillwell happened to be the one closest to him and it turned out he ran out of fuel. We did our good deed and gave him a ride back and some fuel. It turns out his wife was in the motorhome and very happy we happened along.

We gave no names, but somehow they tracked us down and sent me an e-mail thanking us. Her e-mail really touched me and I’ve passed it along to the club. I’m proud of you guys!!!!

A final stop in Truckee for pizza we arrived home around 10pm.

Members attending Black Rock Desert May 27-29, 2000:
Steve Childress & guest
Steve, Cathy, Chris & Josh Medley & Marcie
Carrol & Linda Bryant
Alan, Daniel and Anthony Buzzurro
Geoff, Penny, Emily & Spencer Ford
John Edwards & his cousins Brian & Marilyn
Ron Stilwell
Steve Roy
Rich Currie & Tina Roy
John Garcia

 - Had a few wine coolers?
 - Had a movie star dog with them?
 - Wanted to put an empty propane bottle in the fire?
 - Towed a trailer & still needed more room?
 - Got interviewed around the camp fire?
 - Are known as the "Highway Angels"?


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