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Svengoolie

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Everything posted by Svengoolie

  1. No road work. I can tell it rained a lot. Mud washed over the road in a lot up places. The wash where some people camp is washed out. Big puddles in the road. The sand was really hard. My Jeep didn't sink in the sand. Mud washed over the entrance enough to bury the speed bumps. People can still drive in okay, it's just a bit rough.
  2. I may take a ride out there tomorrow. When it's paved, I'll feel a little better when I clean the RV after sitting much of the summer. Not expecting it to be paved. Maybe I'll see some stakes or painted ground. Or SOMETHING.
  3. I'll do another update around the 4th of July. Last time I was there mid-July it was over 120* I think once the road is paved, Dumont will become a summer tourist trap. Literally. People from Europe in a rental Hyundai headed to Death Valley will see the sand dunes, the paved road, will take a detour. "honey, this isn't that bed" as they drive across the firm ground. Then, the ground is NO longer firm. That Hyundai sedan will be buried. "Now what?"
  4. Yesterday evening I took a drive. No road work yet. No stakes, no equipment hanging out. There was one small camp with tents and I pulled out a stuck pickup from Utah. They were VERY glad to see me! It was breezy and about 100°. I'll go back for an update next month so check back. For those headed out, the road is a bit rough so if you have your camper, take it easy.
  5. I'm going to take a ride out there, not next weekend (going camping) but the next. I'll take pics and report what I see so check back. The road being paved is fine with me. Easier on the RV and trailer. Less dust in the air filter. Easier on the shocks and steering parts. As expensive as trucks and trailers are, anything we can do to extend the life... Be back in 2 weeks with a road report.
  6. In addition to the washboards, that fine dust gets into our refrigerator and furnace vents. Also the slide mechanisms. Can't be good for those. We can choose to visit Dumont on off-weekends should the crowds go too large. Most of the time, Dumont is pretty empty. Overall, this is a good thing. We can wash our equipment knowing it's not all in vain. However: I think more unknowing people in rental cars that like to explore, will be stuck in the dunes, especially in the summer. They'll see those inviting dunes in the distance and a pretty road leading to them. "Lets go check that out" as they are following Google maps to Vegas in the summer.
  7. I was out on Monday afternoon and the road wasn't bad. And whoever graded this week did a good job with the material they have to work with.
  8. Accordions don't do it for me. As the US sinks to 3rd world status...
  9. Backed up because of Covid is the new excuse for poor service.
  10. There are treatments available. But those take some effort and a little bit of money. Treating the road to Dumont does not buy votes so I don't expect anything. Spraying the road with Lignin sulfonate after grading will bind the dirt particles together. Lignin sulfonate is tree sap. A waste product from the wood industry. It stops the road from washboarding and eliminates the dust. The tree sap is mixed with a thinner (often salt water is used) and sprayed from a truck. The water evaporates and the tree sap is left behind. If you ever got pine sap on your hand, you remember how sticky and hard to remove it was. Back in Colorado, I helped people get their dirt roads treated. No one likes dust or washboards. The money for paving wasn't practical for a few rural ranches or homes. So when they came out to complain to me about the dust, I quietly (wink wink) told them to complain to the EPA, (but leave me out of it) I advised them about the health risks of breathing road dust. The term for airborne road dust is "fugitive dust" "Irritation to the eyes, nose and throat.  Respiratory distress, including coughing, difficulty in breathing and chest tightness.  Increased severity of bronchitis, asthma and emphysema.  Heart attacks and aggravated heart disease.  Premature death in individuals with serious lung or heart disease. Fugitive dust can also reduce visibility (i.e., cause hazy conditions) which can result in driving or work-site accidents." Fugitive dust is also called "PM" (Particulate matter) PM10 is the dust that is hazardous. 10 stands for 10 microns and smaller. That is the size that sticks in your lungs and causes health issues. CARB (california air resources board) issues grants to treat roads. I have NO IDEA what they are doing with the Dumont user fees collected, but I know it's not going back into Dumont.
  11. I'm a heavy equipment operator specializing in grading and maintaining dirt roads. I spent 20 years in the mountains of Colorado caring for gravel and dirt roads Anyway... Washboards. This is what makes washboards. You are moving along, on the throttle, and your tire hits a minor road imperfection. A small bump. Not even enough for you to notice. For a split second, your drive wheel gets light as it moves "up" after hitting the bump. As it moves up as a result of the bump, the weight is removed for just a moment.. As the weight is removed, the tire slips. it spins slightly. Then, while spinning, it lands on the road surface. takes out a small bite of dirt and deposits that dirt on top of the bump that caused the tire to slip in the first place. Now that bump, or high spot, it a little higher than it was, and the low spot where the tire landed is a little lower. After 10 vehicles, the divot, or low spot is noticeably lower. And when the tire hits the "end" of the low spot, it's another bump. The tire again looses traction for a moment and spins, then lands and takes out another bite of dirt. There are now two washboards. Multiply this by a thousand vehicles and there are whole sections of washboards. It's also called corrugation. What helps? Using 4WD even though it's not necessary spreads the torque from the engine across more tires will help any one tire from momentarily losing traction. Not allowing wheel spin is the key. This also applies to SXS's. If you noticed, SxS's really trash trails. People rarely use 4WD because they seem to do well in 2WD. Because of the knobby tires, they make huge funky washboards. I'm sure you have noticed on trails and in the sand too. Using 4WD will help keep things from getting as bumpy. Whoops are washboards that have grown. They are formed the same way.
  12. All three of us ended up a little sick from the heat. I was kind of dizzy and felt like I was going to barf. It's easy to see how people can die. We were RIDING in Jeeps and had water and Gatorade (even though it was kinda warm) Next time I do this I need to bring a better cooler with more ice.
  13. Even though the Jeeps are about 30 years old, the radiator is custom and hand made so no temp problems. It's a typical 4.0 automatic with a 15K trans cooler.
  14. My phone overheated and I had to keep it in the cooler. The cooler blew open and I didn't see it and everything melted and warmed up. I thought I was well prepared but it didn't go as smoothly as expected. There was no sign of recent visitors.
  15. The mailbox is down at the North Pole. I would have put it back up but it's too hot to touch without gloves.
  16. We opened the hoods and let them cool for 15 mins at the North Pole.
  17. That's the sand temp at the South Pole. ^^^^ This was the air temp. 120*
  18. Starting to feel better. Definitely got overheated. Felt sick and had the shakes when we were leaving. It was 120* at the South Pole and 122* at comp hill. Measured in the shade in the back of the Jeep. The sand temp was 166* at the South Pole. The sand has dark sand grains. Everywhere else it was in the 150's. It was too hot for me to walk around much. I was wearing flip flops and the temps at ground level was burning my feet. The dunes were sharp with witch's eyes all over so we stayed out and just cruised around. I did go up Banshee hill. Lots of soft spots.
  19. My Kid and I are headed to the "D" tomorrow. We'll take our old Jeeps with no AC. I'll record the air and sand temps. I'll post what changes to the sand that I find. Anyone is invited along although I don't expect any takers! Check back for pics and temps!
  20. I wonder what the attendance numbers were. I don't like to guess, but if I had to, I'd say near what the attendance was pre-downturn 2008. When it was time to leave, yes, total clusterfock! People around me were courteous though and we tried our best to take turns. Here's a few more pics. The last picture is our camp at the south pole during a group ride. I hope you post some pics, mine aren't very good.
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