By Denis & Sandi Inman
The forecast was for rain, but we didn’t get any precipitation until we were breaking for lunch at Crystal Spring off of Excelsior Mine Road and no significant rain until were were almost back in town at about 3:30. Brian, Jim, Jeremy and I attended the 6:50 drivers meeting and proceeded South on Homestead and across the dry lake at 7:00. Mesquite Valley Road took us to Western Talc Road where we explored the side trails and mines in that vicinity.
At one of the mines we found a trail going generally East that looked like it could be interesting. When we approached a narrow twisty canyon, we got out and investigated the route on foot. We determined it was passable and pressed on. I was the first to reach a tricky obstacle and started down it without a spotter. Immediately I found myself teetering on only my left front and right rear tires with the possibility of rolling onto my side, doing major body damage against the rock wall to my right.
I was relieved to hear Jim scrambling down the slope shouting WOAH! WOAH! He was preaching to the choir, because I wasn’t planning on doing anything but staying put until we had a plan for my next move. Jim determined that by backing up a couple feet, I could move a tire width farther to the right on the rock under my left front and then the right front would have a boulder to land on next to the deep gravel pit where it would have ended up using my original line.
It was decided that we would each use a spotter until all of us had negotiated the obstacle and moved on. Our next goal was to explore Porcupine Tanks, but we were unsuccessful as the feature on the map is about 3 miles into the wilderness area and no corridor was provided to reach our planned destination. From there, the ramblers decided to scout the side trails and excavations along Excelsior Mine Road. At noon, we stopped for lunch at Crystal Spring and ate inside our Jeeps due to varying degrees of light rain.
After stopping for a break at Horse Springs Camp, we went up the hill to investigate Pioneer Mine before heading back towards Pahrump on Mesquite Valley Road. We reconnoitered a good trail that took us up to above 5300′. Unfortunately, there was not much room at the top for 4 Wranglers to reverse course, but we managed. Also, we were concerned it might start snowing at any minute.
We arrived back in town after approximately 8 and a half hours of exploring while covering just over 100 miles of trails. Everyone said they had a good time and it was an excellent run for a small group of daring adventurers.