Moth to flame visit, October 8-13, 2007
by 9th Life

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What am I teaching my offspring?
Interesting that our last explore was a year ago. Is there a pattern developing? The moon cooperated by being new, Tioga was open and there was still some flag left in our middle of the week probe.

(Sunday) Not ready to go and doing my usual nervous norvis thing. Easy directions; digs to Hwy. 49-140-120-6-375 and boom. Only 215 miles as the crow flies or 358 road miles, argh. Or at the speed of light it would take about 4 thousandth of a second.

(Monday) As usual I wasn't packed until noon and arrival in Rachel was dark 2145 and got room 5-1 again. The heater worked and there are enough videos to last until the end of time. It was comforting to have the "Duke" watching over us all night.

(Tuesday) Gadgets, cameras and scanners galore waiting in the 13 year old Ford with 178k miles and Wow, we were awakened by a sonic boom then it's over to the Inn for pancakes, souvenirs and some mountain timing with locals then South bound and down. Headed in Alamo direction to top up tank but made it to a wonderful little place called Ash Springs with petrol across the street.

Now we're headin to the obligatory Groom Lake Road visit and photos. I had a couple expectations for our trip. Find a tree to camp by, have an encounter with pucker value and no incarceration, hear something interesting on the radios, see something trippy or unusual. Last is to make it home without a tow truck. And it's a big YES to all. I also hope this is not construed as a confession. You don't know who might be reading this. I'll plead the 5th or insanity.

Groom Lake Road should be a must see on any pilgrimage to the big 51. I usually qualm about going into too much detail about our observations and vice versa but I haven't noticed a big drop in DLR patrons so here they are. At the end of GLR I turned around where everybody does and headed back a couple hundred feet out of cammo dude view to extract cameras and lenses which took a little while. Upon departure noticed the cammo dude was out of the vehicle with passenger door open, looking for us?

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There's a cow on the line
On with the mission to find a tree to camp by, eat MREs and watch ID4 and Tremors videos. "Camping" isn't what it used to be. It's after noon and we've been on Back Gate Road for a while with no trees in sight. The mountain to the south of us looks like there should be a tree somewhere up there and here is a likely dirt road. Found out later how close Bald Mountain was. Van had no problem with any of the dirt trails we explored and after a while there was a path going up a hill overlooking a valley with a view of the gate area. Found a great little tree to camp by.

We were out for about 5 minutes taking in the view when I noticed what was making the micro alert go crazy. Really caught my attention. P value was off scale and we were not done. While walking around noticed one of those silver balls along with some white posts kinda near us. A few hundred, I mean thousand feet? Wow, is that the border. Time to explore. My bad? By the time we got almost down to the road a big 4X rattled by with one of those little white antennas and a passenger that should have a cholesterol check. We were that close and it was obvious they were there to observe us. An extremely effective tactic. Although they were a ways away but pointed in our direction, we said see ya and be-bopped down hill with their con-trail following. The silver balls are not passive.

Later found out the road we were on led to Bald Mt. and is also the road that was next to an illegal tower on public land referred to in a forum post. I didn't see any towers. Our con-trails are now going in different directions and we still need to find camp. Wound up going east a couple of miles and found an abandoned mine site to pitch tarps at. No trees but I had the tarps sloping to the ground on both sides of the van for a break to the wind. The night provided a blacked-out low fly-by of a jet but the weirdest thing was the spotlight coming from BG Road for several hours. The biggest bummer during the night was the incessant wind tearing the tarps apart.

(Wednesday) Solar panels got all the batteries charged and now it's time to explore some more. On with the mission to find the perfect camp spot with a view of the valley. Kind of obsessed. I needed some time to set up my gear, configure and test scanner software, listen to the last of the flag and take star pictures. Mission accomplished.

(Thursday, Friday) Wound up going near a place called Tybo up at 6,000 feet with a great view of the valley and good radio reception. Drove through Base Camp a couple of times. All was quiet. P value 4. From the last campsite we could see contrails and hear the comms from flag players and others. Very cool.

(Saturday) After 5 days of wind burn and dehydration I was looking forward to hot water to wash hands and greasy nodules from Mickey Ds' people chow. We're headin home into the wind and wondering, Steve Fossett where are you? Lastly like our governator says, I'll be back. Can't wait for our next explore. Curiously yours, 9th Life.

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Near orb looking North
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Good view of the gate area
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Can't see me with Rachel in background
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Last camp site was wonderful
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Technogeek heaven got ears on
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Littlest device had the most to say

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