Desert Off-Road Trip April 2017

inv3ctiv3

Adventurer
So my GF and I left work a little early to try and beat traffic around LA to get to the Mojave National Preserve (which we did) as I have a little spot there that I like to camp at because it's very isolated, well when we got there it was taken which was surprising because it's way off the beaten path and I've never seen anyone there before now.....Oh well so we moved on further north into the park looking at other spots I have mapped out and holy crap the place was freakin packed we couldn't find anywhere! And our intention was to only sleep in Mojave and move on because Mojave doesn't interest me much, it's too crowded and just not that spectacular but alas we found a place to camp at the end of a small dirt road that backed up to the ecological study site. As we're sitting around the fire a white tacoma with a flippac comes up the road sees us and turns around no big deal, well about 30 minutes later he comes back and sets up. We woke up in the morning to someone circling around my truck which really startled my gf so I look outside and there is like 6 new trucks parked around our area with kids and dogs just going nuts barking and screaming so we packed up and left. Needless to say I won't be going back to Mojave probably ever again and is another big reason I almost always avoid national parks and preserves.





The action packer makes a perfect little bench seat to eat on the tailgate as well:



My gf also got me this awesome little camp sink/wash station which I got to use for the first time this trip, it has two big sides that hold water (one for soapy water and normal water and a center mesh section to dry dishes):





Exploring around our site before taking off on Saturday morning, and you may notice some of my photos have this weigh darker top or area in the photo and that was not intentional I brought a Sony A7Sii with a metabones lens adapter and it was giving me some really funky results.





After leaving Mojave we headed to Lake Havasu to do a little swimming and scout out a spot I mapped out to camp along the Colorado river and I managed to finally catch a desert iguana, these guys are normally very hard to actually catch by hand:





Now we didn't end up staying at the camp on the river because of wind, there were gusts of over 30mph and it just wasn't gonna be worth it so we headed south to an old favorite of mine. This is a spot that I've been to many times and will go to this exact spot when it's windy because it's in a wash that has high walls that protect you from the wind, we slept great this night! Not to mention there is never anyone around which is another reason I enjoy it so much.







This is my typical dinner cooking set up:



It's also great because the sandy bottom of the wash and high rock walls make for a great place to have a fire even in windy conditions:





We spent all of Sunday looking for snakes and lizards, we came across many different species but I didn't keep my camera on me so I either don't have any photos of them or just crappy cell phone pics (my bad).

Desert Spiny Lizard:



Baby Western Diamondback Rattlesnake:



Huge male Chuckwalla:



Desert Iguana:



Lots of flowers and cacti blooming so we spent the morning checking out all of that:









 

inv3ctiv3

Adventurer
We followed this road all the way into and over those mountains to the back side and then out back towards home and along the way we saw some pretty interesting stuff haha









We came across quite a few old abandoned/flipped vehicles actually



Once out of the wash we took an old mining road that lead up and over the mountain and the last section ended up being more tight and technical than we planned but it was an awesome drive that also takes you through some cool slot type canyons (sorry no flexy pics it was towards the end of the trip and we were just enjoying the drive) but I did end up messing up one of my F5's on a rocky off camber section :(







We saw a couple of these big nests, one had a huge hawk in it but couldn't tell exactly what kind:





Some arches off in the distance





Backside of the mountains





 

Rubicon85

Observer
Great pics and especially the reptile shots! Those were cool. Fun to find secret spots and camp areas but that sucks you were taken over by other dingbats, that takes some of the remoteness away... some people just don't get it:) Thanks for sharing! How was the weather and winds?
 

inv3ctiv3

Adventurer
Great pics and especially the reptile shots! Those were cool. Fun to find secret spots and camp areas but that sucks you were taken over by other dingbats, that takes some of the remoteness away... some people just don't get it:) Thanks for sharing! How was the weather and winds?
Thanks! We lucked out with weather the rest of the trip just that first night had crazy wind which is why we went to my trusty 'ol spot in the wash where we were below it but it was really warm in the day and cool at night which was great.
 

Ashton

Newbie
I'm seeing a lot of those bright night shots, is this aperture settings or is this some filter in photo shop? How is this achieved? It's a wonderful effect.
 

inv3ctiv3

Adventurer
Beautiful shots, especially your night shots!
I'm seeing a lot of those bright night shots, is this aperture settings or is this some filter in photo shop? How is this achieved? It's a wonderful effect.
Thanks guys! It's partly due to aperture and ISO, the shutter speeds weren't very long maybe 20 seconds tops but the A7SII has amazing ISO performance paired with an F2 Sony Batis lens it's makes easy work of night shots. Also having the moon in the right spot really helps too!
 

mjmcdowell

Explorer
Thanks guys! And I actually did make a little video but forgot to embed it due to the forum cap on media pieces here it is:

Great photos....... However that bumper sticker.... that is just not kool, I bet you are not old enough to remember the 60's/70's..... you might tick off an "Old Hippy" just saying.
 

inv3ctiv3

Adventurer
Great photos....... However that bumper sticker.... that is just not kool, I bet you are not old enough to remember the 60's/70's..... you might tick off an "Old Hippy" just saying.
I dunno what it is with this forum but every time I post something and people see that they get all bent out of shape so my advice to you is to not judge someone on a sticker when you have no idea what that sticker represents to me. I had an guy on here threaten me over it which is ************* hilarious, look at the photos, if you like them great if not move on.
 

Via

New member
Nice set up What kind of shelf are you using to support the camp stove off the spare tire swing out rack? Thank you.
Via
 

TCICapn

Member
I enjoy a little balance so - I love that sticker! Makes me laugh every time, so keep doing your thing haha.

Also, great pictures, vids, rig, and adventures! Thank you for posting them up. In fact, you helped inform me for a recent trip through Berdoo Canyon, Joshua Tree, and out Old Dale, so again thank you. Enjoyed the Death Valley write up as well but didn't make it out there...yet...
 
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