Christmas In Ballarat

Part I - Christmas Eve and Day

The Pleasant Canyon / South Park Loop

Jay and his grandson Logan
  • Location - Ballarat
  • Goal - Pleasant Canyon / South Park Loop
  • Date - December 25 - 2005
  • Participants - 9 - Jay, Mira and Logan. Scott and Pam. Chris and Kelly. Larry and Tabby the Wonder Dog. Jim, Bob and Muie also accompanied us on a few runs.
  • Quote Of The Trip... "Hey those are some pretty big rocks.... especially that big one" Jay...

This trip was well advertised and we had many guests who came out to see us on different occasions. Lara, so sorry we missed you. We got your note. Thanks to Calepo for stopping by and dropping off some fire wood. Also thanks for the totally wrong info on the cabins in Goler being wide open. (just kidding) We dedicated the trip back in the dark to you... LOL! TC was with them and we got to see the Winch from hell...

We had a couple of bad weather days and nights but we hunkered down and made our ways through them. We were joined by one of Jay's exploring friends, Jim whom he had met one time at the Trona gas station. Funny how that works. They both have CJ7s. Bob (Blue Sky Jeeper) and his girlfriend Muie ventured out and did Defense Mine and Lookout City with us. I sliced the right front tire open on the way down from Lookout. Those rocks are very sharp. All in all we did Pleasant South Park Loop, Defense, and Lookout City. Oh, and everyone else did Jail Canyon on the first afternoon but I had to turn back due to a squeeky U joint. We fixed that the next morning. After the tire blew I only did Novac Camp as it was easy and close. I picked up another tire in Ridgecrest. The rest of the time I spent at the camp site either reading or holding my stuff from blowing away.

I'll let the pictures do the talking from now on. It was a great trip and I want to thank everyone who attended for a great time. Special thanks to Jay and Mira for doing such EXCELLENT SPOTTING for us all. Without Jay's spotting and driving skills we would have not been able to do the trails we did. I don't have a lot of the wheeling photos because I was so busy driving but the other trip reports have some.

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Jay get's caught off guard. I geek the camera. Camp is set up for Christmas. Another view of camp.
Light em up. Our solar power works to run the lights. Logan teaches us the true meaning of Christmas. Our group poses. Around the camp fire.
Larry takes a fall! We begin looking around at Claire Camp. First the mill workings. Huge gear. The place is falling apart.
Cyanide tank. A shop. Maybe another shop or office. Jay is more interested in Scott's Rubicon.
Cabin ruins. Another view of the mill. A chicken coop in the middle of ruins. This must be where some of the livestock were kept.
A view from the upper camp. A pen for animals. Corral? Building. Storage building.
Inside the storage building. A multi-story rats nest!. I love the choice of colors! What's your decorators number? A room with a view! Another nice view.
A full bathroom and it had a tub at one time. Swimming pool? Deisel powered water pump. Another view of this tank reveals it's close proximity to the cabin above. What was it used for?
Another view of the water pump. Not sure. Maybe the remains of a fire engine? A cabin. Fireplace in the cabin.
A safe that is missing the door. Getting late. We have a long ways to go. Inside the World Beater Cabin, Scott signs the guest register. Pam behind a nice heating stove.
Scott outside the World Beater Cabin with his Rubi. Rita's Cabin. Not as nice... Jay, Scott and Pam read the writing on the wall. The writing on the wall.
Kelly closes the door as we continue on our trek. Rogers Pass. View on the other side. Middle view.
View to the right. Chris! Did ya have to stand in front of my truck? End of Goler Wash from the right at Mengel Pass into Striped Butte Valley. Continuing on, the view just keeps getting better.
Inside Stone Cabin at Briggs Camp. The kitchen. Jay looks over the kitchen. The Satalite Stereo.
Dining area. The Rest Room. It's too perty to be called an out house. View on the way out. Jay starts dinner on his "Disc Wok BBQ" built by his brother in law as a Christmas gift.

Part II - Defense Mine & Lookout City