Rachel, Basecamp and Project Faultless, Oct. 26, 2006
by 9th life

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Welcome miscreants
Let me explain the delay in posting. Mostly paranoia. What should we call this? How we had a real adventure or aren't I getting too old for this stuff? My curiosity has and does get the better of my common sense. As of this posting We're still alive.

Too many complications to be able to go to the last Red flag. But then! Spur of the moment ability to have a few days of vacation, loaded van, grabbed kid, east bound and down. The logistics of this trip. 210 miles one way as the crow flies, 16 MPG and 10,000 foot Tioga Pass. Not good doing checklist AFTER departure. I was over prepared as usual. Still camera w/lots of film and lenses, digital and a video camera, numerous scanners and 2 laptops with data logging software. Batteries, cables, connecters, night vision etc.

10-26-06 departure heading to Project Faultless area and a night or two of camping. Elderly FORD van was getting customary mileage heading east on Hwy 6 bypassed turnoff to Rachel. Sun was setting when in the distance we saw a big dust cloud coming from base camp? Distances and time are hard to evaluate. A while later we got adjacent to base camp and continued east but going into an area I've never been to before with no photons and little fuel, I turned around.

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Looks like fun
Now we're west bound and down when kid sees lights or strobes. Really? Stopped to look and WOW! Paratroopers evening jump to base camp. Took pictures. Didn't linger too long. Gas gauge is approaching the RED zone rapidly but here's 375 finally and only 60 some odd miles to Rachel but it's 7:00 PM on a Thursday night. Will we be camping on the side of the road? More insanely long distances along with engine sputtering, now I can see city (?) lights on the horizon. But how far?

Well, we coasted into the inn at dark :30 and it was OPEN! Bed and free videos, Heavenly, only beef was the heater in our room was blowing 47 degree air.

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Souvenir gas
AM, sputtered over to get some souvenir gas and other trading trinkets then a hot breakfast and some more souvenirs from the Inn then "Hi-yo Silver" we're on the road again. Can't wait until my wife sees the CC receipts. Not.

Next stop base camp. All kinds of activity and silly me stopped to look. At my maps that is. I thought I was being observed and only a few minutes later a vehicle approached us on my kids side of the van. Very pleasant encounter with the two occupants. They asked if we needed any assistance and I asked how to access the valley beyond. They said go 12 miles east and there'll be a sign. Which we did. Took some miles to recuperate from that encounter. Even if a small part of what people have posted on this site about base camp is true, what a rush. Didn't know I still had any adrenalin. We were right there. They are training and flying actively.

GPS in hand got us to the area of my greatest curiosity, Project Faultless and it's adjacent features. Too cool. We camped nearby, ate MREs and talked about what we would do if we met a Graboid. Scanner traffic was spectacular and logged. Night sky was photographed. Geigers were clicking. Geocaches were found. This was a very wonderful visit. And it was just an exploratory for the next Flag. I'll be back, Ninth Life.

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Wonder what's on top?
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I've been hotter

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Night shots, looking towards Las Vegas (top)
and north at Alpha Centary (right)
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