Well I wrote my trip report and I kinda got carried away so it's a little long winded, and it's my first one so bare with me
Our intended route is to take Saline Valley Rd to Teakettle Junction via Hidden Valley Rd then back south Racetrack Rd to Lippincott and back to SVR.
Friday the 3rd
We left Saugus around 615am, headed for Death Valley. It was a typical late start for my brother, Jimmy, and I as we planned on leaving before 530. By 1030 we arrived in Panamint Springs to top off our gas tank.
We were both starving since we skipped breakfast so we stopped by the neighboring café. Everything about this desolate stop looked/felt like something out of a movie - the atmosphere, climate, the buildings, the people. The gas station had no attendant, the building where I assumed an attendant would be was abandoned with nothing inside. After filling up we entered the café and the first room had a small bar and a couple of tables. There was an older, rugged male gambling with some automated game at the bar. The sole waitress showed her age, lacked a tooth and wore blue jeans with a white T-shirt with “mines bigger than yours” on it and a picture of two wiener dogs. When I asked her for my eggs to be basted she replied, “He ain’t gonna do that for you.” Haha. I loved this place and I’m not being sarcastic. Not long after a ranger walked in - at a glance he looked like the deputy from The Andy Griffith Show. It was great!
After filling our tank and our stomachs we headed for SVR. The washboard road was in relatively good condition, at least it felt that way once I aired down. We passed Cerro Gordo Rd and drove through Lee Flats. Approaching 6000ft we continued on Hidden Valley Rd. We ascended Hunter Mt, temperature dropped, Joshua trees disappeared and snow became more prevalent. No more than a couple miles on HVR we hit 7000ft. It was 1pm when we arrived at this 100yd stretch of ice. The ice covered trail dropped, flattened for about 60yds and went back up to a snowy trail. We contemplated the situation, techniques and strategies - the ice was more predominant than slush, using an axe we couldn’t break through to dirt, the driver side edge had possible traction but came too close to the cliff at some points and there wasn’t much to hook a winch to. None gave either of us enough confidence to tackle this. The risk was too high for traveling solo. With this changing our plans we decided to take SVR to Big Pine.