March 18-19, 2006
Once again the NV Chapter of the HummerXClub teamed up with their California cohorts for a fine, fun two days of wheeling. This time, it was the ominously named Death Valley. This multi-million acre national treasure boasts not only the lowest spot in the Western Hemisphere, but some of the most rugged and beautiful mountains and canyons in the world!
Many of the same drivers from the Mojave Road trip reunited for this run, and a few newcomers joined them. But it was strictly Hummers this time - eight H2s and two H3s.
Two runs were chosen. The first day would be a long one, from Furnace Creek through Badwater and beyond that through Mengel Pass and Goler Wash to Ballarat - then the long drive back to the wonderful accommodations at the Furnace Creek Ranch. This time the crew had a hearty breakfast at the Ranch before heading out and it was a good thing as they didn=t return until well after dark. The trail is challenging in spots and stunningly beautiful for its entire length.
Good spotting and good driving ensured a basically trouble free day and even the thunderstorm that was raging during breakfast broke to strangely beautiful cloudy skies for the run. Safely back at Furnace Creek Ranch, thirty hungry drivers and passengers gave the steakhouse a surprise final surge for the evening dining room !
Day two began again with a big breakfast in the café. Stomachs full, the crew headed out through a very pretty and easy Echo Canyon to the stark and difficult Funeral Mountains. The dry waterfalls are a serious challenge for any off road vehicle - and the Hummers just plain took them by storm. It was 4Low and locked and up they went, one after another, with the only carnage being to a mudflap on one of the hearty little H3s. Only one H2 had any real difficulty, and that was due to a new driver unfamiliar with how much to air down. But thank God for having a nurse along!
One driver - working his tail off stacking rocks for others - got a finger smashed up pretty good - and got it bandaged as professionally as possible by the lady who is now the "XClub NV Chapter Medic." This trail is difficult and demanding - and every rig met the challenge with alacrity.
The NV crew and the CA crew said their goodbyes and parted ways at the end of the trail...vowing to get together again. And soon!