Panamint Valley Days

November 7-9, 2014 | Near Trona
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By Dave Henry

In my last article, which seems like it was just a couple of days ago, I talked about some of the runs. This article I will try to give a brief description of a few more. Darwin Falls is an all-vehicle run down an easy dirt road to a small parking lot. From there it's about a 30-minute easy hike up to the waterfall. Unlike most of the falls in the area, this has real water. Be sure to wear good shoes or boots as you will have to go over some slippery rocks and cross the stream a couple of times to get to the falls.

We also have the full Darwin run that continues from the parking lot on up to China Gardens. This is a great place for lunch. You can sit under the Cottonwoods, have lunch, and watch the big Goldfish in the pond. There is also an old mill site there to occupy some of your time. From China Gardens, it's back to the road and on up to the town of Darwin. Darwin, like Johannesburg, is best described as a living ghost town.

The Isham Canyon run will be available on Friday and Saturday, as well as a Friday night run. Isham is limited to 20 vehicles that are locked front and rear, have a working winch, and minimum 33" tires. Although the run has been changed, vehicles with a long wheelbase and a hard top MUST BE AWARE that body damage is possible. All participants on this run are expected to help each other.

We will also be offering the Full Defense Mine run, which is limited to the first 40 vehicles that sign up. This run is so popular that in past events, we have had to an early bird run and followed that up with a later run. Either way, there are some difficult spots and stock vehicles could suffer body damage. Stock SUVs are not recommended for this run.

This run follows the Minietta Mine Road and two side canyons on its way to Stone Canyon until its closure at waterfall #1. This trail provides several rocky and scenic miles with optional challenges along the way. Zero Fall and Cummins Cutoff are two of the obstacles on this run that will test your ability. Once at the top, you have the option to take a guided mine tour of this old Tungsten Mine. Be sure to bring flashlights and please keep hold of small children at all times, as there are many ore chutes in the mine. Mine exploration is at your own risk. This mine has multi-levels, and if you choose to explore it all, it requires climbing several well built wooden ladders that bring you out about 200? above where you originally went in.

We also offer an express run to the Defense mine, which bypasses the canyons and take a direct route to the mine. This run is also limited to the first 40 vehicles to sign up. Stock SUVs are not recommended on this run. This run gives you plenty of time to explore the mine and run across the canyon to explore the ruins of Lookout City.

Panamint is a great place to take a staycation! It?s relatively close to L.A./O.C. and has hundreds, if not thousands, of places to explore. The nearby town of Trona is more than a wide spot in the road. How many small towns like Trona have four museums? That's right, there are four museums in Trona. There is the History House, the Trona Railway Museum and Caboose, the Argus Fire Station, where they are refurbishing a 1924 Stutz, and they have a 1938 Ahrens that is used in parades. To add one more, they also have the Guest House Museum. More info on these and other places of interest will be in your registration program.

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Bonnie Ferguson
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