Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Broadwell Dry Lake

Broadwell Dry Lake (north of Ludlow, CA) was not entirely dry this weekend. The northern end was dry. [remember: click on pics to make them bigger]

On my previous trip to this lake bed, I drove right across it. Yes, there is a road (sorta) that crosses it. This time I took the alternate road around the lake. My plan was to drive the powerline road toward the southwest returning to I-40 around Pisgah (where you get off I-40 to visit the F-4 crash site).

Here's a photo of Broadwell Lake from the powerline road as I climbed into the nearby hills.

This is the least maintained powerline road that I've driven so far. Here's a shot of the shelf road heading up into the hills.

I decided to turn around at the bottom of the cool looking uphill section in the next photo. I really wanted to drive up that. So, down in the wash (below and to the left in the photo), the road was seriously washed out. On the ledge rising out of the wash, half the road was washed away leaving a 2 foot deep gully emptying off the side into the wash. (I really should have taken a photo)

There were 2 sets of tracks that went cross country around the washout. I walked that route and it was very steep (maybe 25 or 30 deg) and off camber with a loose surface of small rocks. For reference, worse than the hill in Last Chance Canyon. These did not look like the tracks of power utility trucks. They looked like jeep BFGs. I chose to turn around. In hindsight, I should have brought my large shovel (oddly, I didn't bring it on that trip but did on several recent trips). I could have made a usable route around the washout on the main road.

Another trip ... another lesson (or two).

The map route in blue is what I drove. The light green is the part I have yet to drive. Some day I want to drive the same powerline road to the north east, toward the old railroad stop named Sands, and on to Jackass Canyon at Old Dad Mountain. Maybe some off-roading enthusiast will join me on that adventure, since the sand is liable to be deep at any place named "Sands".

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