Thursday, June 20, 2013

Goshutes Hawkwatch Backpack 6/18- 6/19/2013

                                 South from the top

Location: To get to the trailhead for Hawk Watch in the Goshutes take Highway 93A 15 miles south of West Wendover to a Highway Maintenance Station on your right. Turn right onto dirt road. Follow signs with binoculars to the trailhead. In the past a passenger car would have been able to make it but in mid June the road was considerably more rough and rocky. For more information consult my June 10, 2011 post.

I was not going to leave before I did this hike again. On a clear day it is possible to see over 20 different mountain ranges from the top. Highlights include: The Stansbury Mountains to the east, Deep Creek Mountains to the southeast, and Ruby Mountains far to the west. It is also a great place to escape the Wendover heat  during the summer.  Hikers and backpackers need to carry enough water because there is none available in the range. I would suggest backpacking because the light  gets extraordinary before sunset and sunsrise. The trail to the top is three miles one way with an elevation gain of 1800 feet.  Scientists band and count hawks from late August through December. If you want to visit inquire on the Hawk Watch website.

                   Sun going down to the west. Dolly Varden range in the foreground.

                               Pilot Peak with cool tree late in the day
                 Looking northeast early on June 19.

                    East from the summit

Deseret Peak, Western Utah June 16, 2013

                          Looking south from the top

Location: The Stansbury Mountains are located in Western Utah near Tooele. The three main trailheads are at North Willow, South Willow and West Canyon. To get to the Deseret Peak trailhead take Route 138 off of I-180 to Grantsville, Utah. In Grantsville turn onto South Willow Road. For more detailed instructions please consult my posts on South Willow Lake (9-18-2010) and Deseret Peak (8/24/2011).

Later this month I am moving to Tucson, Arizona. Before I go I wanted to re-experience three hikes which highlight the beauty of Western Utah and Eastern Nevada. This loop was chosen because of its stunning scenery and wildflowers. (Trails involved in the loop: Mill Fork to the top, then the Crest Trail to Pockets Fork, down the Pockets Fork to The South Willow Lake Trail and finally back to the trailhead on the South Willow Lake Trail). Today the trails were easy to follow with some snow in the upper part of Mill Fork and in the Pockets Fork. There were no clouds so I would suggest carrying a sun hat and plenty of water. A map is also an essential item. Remember it is easier to burn in higher elevations. Hiking time: 6.5 hours, total distance approximately 8 miles, 3000 feet elevation gain to top.

              Looking north up the Stansbury Mountains with the Great Salt Lake in the distance.

                           East from the top

                              Another view east

                                     Alpine flowers with scenery

                               Me on top

                           Profusion  of wildflowers

                                  Looking toward Grantsville

                                            Alpine wildflowers

West Wendover, Nevada Car Show June 15, 2013

In mid June the Peppermill Casino hosted their annual car show. This year the show had a wide variety of  classic cars plus more contemporary cars. Activities included a burnout competition and a Poker Run.  On this blog I have included pictures of some of my favorite cars including a 1913 Ford old and a 57 Chevy.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rock Summit Toano Mountains Eastern Nevada June 2, 2013


                                 Desert lizard

              In early June I returned to the Toano Mountains in eastern Nevada to summit a rock outcrop. I  returned without my dog Nevada because the upper part of the mountain has some rock scrambling.

Location and General Information: This small desert mountain is one of many unnamed summits in Nevada. Drive I-80 west of West Wendover, Nevada, over Silver zone Pass to the Shafter Exit. Turn right and follow the dirt road to the north. The peak I am summiting is in front of you with a large strip of green in the middle. It looks like a tooth molar. Please consult Google Maps or the National Map, located at the USGS website, to see aerial photographs of the area.
                There is no trail to the top however, a strip of vegetation does extend from the bottom to a knoll between the two summits. From the knoll a small strip of shrubs extends to the top of the peak to the right. See last photo on post to see route. During the summer watch out for rattlesnakes on the rocks. Remember to carry water and wear a hat because the sun is extremely intense. The hike requires basic route finding skills. Do not attempt if you are not a confident hiker.

                                                    Looking north from the summit

                               Pilot Peak with desert vegetation

                         Me at the summit with my great desert hat

Looking north with Pilot Range to the right

                     The route in red to the top. The rock summit to the left is much harder to summit.



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Memorial Day Tribute 379th Bomber Group May 2013

                               B-17 taking off; notice the K on the tail

This post is a tribute to the 379th Bomber Group who fought in World War II.
 History before the war:
    The 379th Bomb Group was activated in November26, 1942, at Gowen Field in Idaho. Squadrons in the 379th consisted of the 524th, 525th, 526th and 527th.  In early December the group transferred to Wendover Airfield for heavy bomber training. The group trained in Wendover until April 1943 when they moved east for final processing. The 379th was one of 12 heavy bomber groups assigned to the 8th Air Force. Each group had their own code letter painted on the B-17 tail stabilizer. B-17s in the 379th were assigned the letter K.

World War II:
      The 379th Group flew their sorties (bombing runs) from Kimbolton, England. B-17 crews bombed a number of targets including German U-boats, railroad terminals, factories, enemy aircraft and troop movements. While in the European Theatre the 379th distinguished themselves from other bomber groups within the 8th Air Force. For example, among the 8th Air Force the group had the highest success rate of bombs hitting targets and they dropped the greatest tonnage of bombs. While on bombing runs the group developed the 12 plane squadron formation and lost the fewest number of aircraft. The group fought until July 12, 1945, when they were deactivated in Morocco.(Information from Images from Google.


                                Veteran of the 379th Bomber Group
                                                                   One of the crew