My life is an adventure, 2000 Suburban is the vessel


Space Monkey
Sand Dune DAY!

We went back to Amargosa Dunes to play around a little, this time I dropped the tire pressure in the Sub down to 10psi and had 6 people in it, holy cow, I was able to run some lines I never imagined possible in a 6,000lbs truck with 1,000lbs of people and gear in it.

10psi in the rear and 15psi up front, most of the day I ran in 2wd high, 2nd gear, torque converter locked.

Kids had a blast exploring the dunes and high marking in the side by side.

But the real reason why we went to the dunes today...

Was for a little sand skiing and sandboarding action.

Snowboarder is down while I just made it to the top.

My buddy had the crappiest skis with 400 extruded bases and was able to get a little more speed that I did with my sintered race bases.

Not too bad for a 200-300ft sand dune.

Easy way down.

Notice the drone, yeah, we got some videos. Working on editing them, will get them up soon.

Leeward face was way too steep for any sand rails or side by sides to even attempt so we had an entire face all to our selves.


Space Monkey
Day Trip: Colosseum Mine and Gorge

Colosseum Mine is one of the most interesting mines in the South West Desert and is relatively easily accessible. I have told my kids about this mine and we finally had a chance to visit it.

We headed south on I15 from Vegas, crossed state line into California and turned off onto Yates Well Rd.

We approached and drove past the Ivanpah Solar power plant.

Heliostat mirrors focus sunlight on receivers located on centralized solar power towers. Receivers generate steam to drive steam turbines.

Finally past the solar power plants and onto the BLM land and the trail.

The trail to the mine was easy going, we finally made it to the giant hole in the ground. If you zoom in you can see a Jeep coming up the left side of the image. Gold, Silver, Zinc, Copper, Lead and Arsenic were mined here. This mine was operational until July 10, 1992.

Sub at the waters edge inside the mine.

Panning to the left of the sub and following the road back up 1/4 way around the mine.

Boys playing near the water at the bottom of the mine.

240degree panorama from inside of the mine. You can barely make out the trucks on the other edge of the water.

Another view of the right side of the hole from the rim.

After leaving Colosseum Mine we continued on Colosseum Gorge Rd through the mountains and stumbled on the Green Mine Cabin.

Cabin was heavily infested with mice so I did not let the boys out to explore.

I liked the look of the degrading ceiling in the cabin.

We passed through several cattle grazing gates inside the BLM area.

Finally we reached Kingston Rd or Excelsior Mine Rd depending on which direction you are coming from and headed back to I15.

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Space Monkey
Day trip: International Car Forest of the Last Church

Another day trip with the kids to fulfill their adventures in exploring broken down cars in the desert.

Just outside Goldfiend NV is this car forest.

Somewhere in between a junk yard, car cemetery and an open air art exhibition, just like the Coldwell Open Air Museum International Car Forest of the Las Church has a way fancier name then it deserves.

This is the main attraction and probably the most photographed vehicle.

Cars are everywhere.

Some have tasteful art on them while others are graffitied.

My Sub fits in so good that it might just have to be donated to this place as it's final resting stop.

Art is a relative term here.

Boys exploring the Night Owl Van.

I told the kids that the aliens had a hard landing when they came to earth and could not get their cars out of the dirt to drive around our planet.

I was a little skeptical about walking close to this bus, does not look like its very secure.

Former Ghost Busters bus.

This setup was used as a stage and back drop for performances in the area.

The boys explored every vehicle here that did not have too much broken glass.

Driving the bus and other vehicles was the highlight and took up most of the day.

Cars are everywhere.

The art is so diverse that everything fits together very well.

Little one banging an old hose on the bed of the truck and contributing to the artistic nature of the area.

One of my favorite pieces.

There is even an area dedicated to motorcycles and bikes.

Up on top of the hill there are several more school buses and couple more acres of cars that are spaced farther apart than the main area we were in.

We continued up north to the world famous Clown Motel, I'll post pics of that later, reached my limit in this post.


Space Monkey
Central NV adventure: Clown Motel

After visiting the International Car Forest of the Last Church we headed north for another 20 minutes to see the legendary Clown Motel in Tonopah, NV.

The sun was setting and it was difficult to get a good picture of the truck at the entrance.

Every room is clown themed.

With advertising like this what weary traveler would not want to stay here?

The lobby is filled with clown figurines from all over the world.

Some are worth a lot, not that the owner is slightly obsessed.

Immediately next door to the Clown Motel is the Old Tonopah Cemetey. None of the rooms look directly onto the cemetery. This does add to the nostalgia and the charm of this roadside attraction.


Space Monkey
Day trip: Glimpse of the Mojave Rd

I was in the area and had a couple hours to kill, what better way to spend it than to explore a short section the legendary Mojave Rd.

Our first stop was the Mojave Cross, a monument erected to honor the memory of all the military dead of all the wars.

Apparently this monument has been re-dedicated recently.

In the parking area.

Cross dedication plaque and the cross itself.

Cima rail depot, more or less abandoned with a train for tourists to drive up to and take pictures.

Mojave Rd turn off from Cima Rd.

The original Mojave Rd ran from the Colorado River all the way to the Pacific coast, only this approximately 150 mile section remains inside the Mojave Preserve to remind us of a great example of an efficient transportation route before the railroads connected this country.

Mojave mailbox. Kids were sleeping in the back so I did not wake them up to see the frog garden 100ft past the mailbox.

New flag is flying high with a spare flag that one ExPo member left in the box to replace this one if it gets too badly damaged before Veteran's Day.

Mailbox and record book.

We turned off the Mojave Rd on to Aiken Mine Rd.

Lava tube parking area.

A very short walk up the trail there are stairs that take you into the lava tube itself.

Boys were scared to go into the tube at first however once I pulled flashlights out of my pocket they quickly scrambled down the stairs and into the lava tube.

We arrived to the lava tube a little late and did not get a chance to see the sun column.

Boys spent a solid thirty minutes running up and down the stairs before we were allowed to head to the next stop.

We continued up the road to Aiken Mine where we had a chance to play around and explore.

After the sun set the landscape felt very alien.

Aiken Cinder Mine was one of the largest cinder producers in the southwest, and most of the cinder used to build Las Vegas came from this mine. In 1990 the mine closed and most of the equipment was left as is where is.

Drive out was beautiful as the Joshua Tree forest was lit up by the Southwest Desert sunset.


Space Monkey
Day trip: Mojave Rd from Cima Rd to Afton

Mojave Rd is one of those world class overlanding destinations that just happens to be in my back yard, so I figure why not check it out. We decided to make a day-trip out it.

We checked the water level at the Mojave River water gauge near the legendary crossing, it read 3.96ft, that was good enough for me since my snorkel sits at around 6ft. Didn't really tell my 4Runner friends any details about the drive other than a mellow 2wd trail with pretty views.

Most rigs that run Mojave Rd start looking showroom pretty and clean, not this trio, we actually use our trucks off road weekly if not daily and start adventures like this already dusty from yesterday's trails.

Las Vegas gas $3.20 per gallon, California Gas $4.98 per gallon at Cima Rd. We stopped at the town of Cima to let the kids out and play on the train.

While the kids were exploring the train we aired down the tires and went over the game plan for the rest of the day.

We entered Mojave Rd off Cima Rd. (This is the picture I took when I was there two weeks ago, the sign has not changed)

This is the first time I have ever seen a USGS summit marker that was not buried in cement.

We made it to the Mojave mailbox.

Have to sign it to prove that we were here.

This is how far most people make it on the first day if they start at the Colorado River.

This dinosaur has traveled with us for the last week since we could not find a frog to leave at the Frog Monument this was the next best green ting.

Mojave Rd Frog Monument.

Desert humor.

Our addition fits in perfectly.

Boys are mesmerized by the sheer number of frogs here.

Not really sure what is going on here, but the next time I stop by I'll be sure to leave a Whiskey Tango Barbie doll.

Jeep monument, if I had solid axles on this trail I would want a monument for my vehicle too.


Kids playing with some left over Halloween decorations.

Lava Tube trailhead parking.

Kids really enjoyed climbing up and down the ladder into the Lava Tube.

This time we got to the Lava Tube early enough to get a glimpse of the light column or ray in this case inside the Lava Tube.



Space Monkey
Day trip: Mojave Rd from Cima Rd to Afton (part 2)

Crossing Soda Lake was uneventful and kinda fun especially since it was bone dry.

2015 4Runner looks like it fits in perfectly in this environment.

We made it to the Travelers Monument on the west side of Soda Dry Lake.

Kids went to work climbing all over the pile of rocks and exploring.

Pretty gold rock.

Kids spent nearly an hour playing on the monument.

Mojave River railroad bridge at the water crossing.

Water crossing is in the bushes all the way on the right side of the picture. Mojave River water station read 3.96 feet and highest water mark on the Sub was at approximately 32"

Mojave River water gauge at Afton

We made it across the water. I was so excited to see the water that I did not take any pictures of the crossing. We did get several videos but the lighting was poor and cloudy, sounds like we need to come back and get some better pictures and videos.

Suburban did great, both 2Runners did awesome. 1999 got approximately 4" of water in the cab due to old door seals.

We continued to I15, aired back up at the off-ramp and headed back home.


Space Monkey
First snowfall of the year in Las Vegas

We just got a little sprinkle of snow in the hills around Las Vegas, what better way to enjoy it then to find a trail and go for a drive.

At around 5,000ft we started to see some patches of snow.

6,000ft the snow covered the trail pretty well.

Not too bad for 30 minutes from downtown.

Top of this pass was at 6,500ft.

Another angle of the pass. Next snow will add to this and should make for a more enjoyable drive. It's very pleasant to get out and play in the snow again.


Space Monkey
Another trip to the North Pole.

Just like last year we packed the kids in and headed to the North Pole to see Santa on the Polar Express. Last year we journeyed to Ely Nevada, this year we went south to Williams Arizona, home of for Grand Canyon Railway.

First stop was a quaint little town of Seligman.

Kids needed this break from the car seats.

Go figure they went straight for the patty wagon first.

Long story short, a couple prisoners dug out of this jain and tunneled into the saloon next door, they were caught again.

Stove inside to keep the warden warm.

Inside, view of the cell.

Double stall outhouse just outside the jail.

Vintage nostalgia.

This tow truck actually ran not too long ago.

In case you needed to know exactly how many shots are in 10,000 gallons of moonshine.

They do not actually grill roadkill, I brought them a coyote and they refused to prepare it.

Finally made it to the rail depot.

And onto the polar express train.

By far the highlight of the day.

Great trip, highly recommended to anyone with kids and within a reasonable driving distance of Williams AZ. It was cold in the mountains with plenty of snow, we got there early and the kids spent an hour sledding and playing in the snow just outside town.

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New member
I'm quite impressed with what you have done to and where you have taken the Burn,,,well. Done. Lots of places to see around Vegas. Did you record the Alaska trip?? That would be very close to the top of my bucket list. In a Burb. Even better