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dunefreak

Dumont entrance road updates

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The road in was about 95% good. When I got there about 11am today the crossing was still very bumpy. Upon leaving the dozer operator was doing his best to get the crossing leveled out.

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The entrance road is in rough shape, but they are grading it right now. Also expect approximately 30 minute delays going south on HWY127 (from Tecopa or Shoshone) at the Inyo/ San Bernardino county line due to construction.

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Yes, just as you crest the pass and you go down into the valley where you can start to see the dunes in the distance. That "Fireworks Prohibited"is right there too.

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The new road grader is in, sorry about the bad pictures my cell phone does not take the best pics. Pete if you can fix the upside down one I'd appreciate it.

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Fixed. Thanks for the pics and update, Jon. So for those that don't know, could you fill us in on the story behind this contraption and how it will benefit us the duners? Is this to replace the grader or to be used in addition to it?

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Pete,I can fill you in. I found this was being used in the Midwest to grade a lot of farm roads that they just couldn't keep up with using your typical grader. This machine is capable of being towed behind a 1 ton truck (preferably with a manual tranny to absorb shock). The operator can control the blades by hydraulics from the cab of the truck. It is designed to grab the dirt/gravel etc from the build up on the side of the road and replace it onto the actual road and has steel diggers that will remove high spots.As the machine is pulled it smooths the side debris back into it and it is smoothed out by the back of the machine. This should keep the road in a more manageable condition instead of bringing a road grader operator from needles and the grader from Barstow just prior to the big weekends. This piece of machinery was purchased through a grant and the BLM finally got it. I am sure there will be a learning curve but it should result in a smoother road in a more consistent manner than before.

I am proud to say this was my last recommendation before leaving the sub-group and with John's help we were able to persuade the BLM management to go for the grant and buy the machine. I am very proud of the things that myself and John were able to do with the sub-group from the widening of the river crossing to the grader. I hope we spent your fee demo dollars wisely and I left the dunes in the best condition that the situation would allow.

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It will be able to be pulled by a 1 ton truck so we don't have to bring someone from out of the area to run the grader. The piece on the side can bring in material from the edge of the road. The wheels lift up and the blades at the front smooth out the wind ripples. It will take some time for the people running it to get the hang of it but hopefully by next season the road will be much nicer. We are still waiting for the truck to be set up to pull it. nothing is fast with the Govt.

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So in the end this was purchased to save the government more money or to keep the road maintained more frequently? As I have heard, there is money left over every year as it is.

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I think that the road will be able to be maintained much more often. The BLM needs to end the year with a surplus so there is sartup money for the next season.

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Pete, also the amount of money left over each year for start-up costs has gone down dramatically. This is due to less use and I think more than a few who take their chances by not paying the fee. The grader will do both, save the fee demo money and make the road smoother for everybody. Thanks John for the pictures.

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WOW is all I can say! It's been well over two years (three seasons) since I was last at Dumont and the improvement in the access road is beyond description. Used to empty the cabinets and bounce the toys around even driving it very slow. Now driving the posted 25mph is a pleasure and very smooth. Dust is still hella bad but short of spraying the road down with used motor oil it's always gonna be bad. Oh wait, we don't spray the roads down anymore. Showing my age!

Definitely rates an A. I'm curious as to when it was groomed last? I didn't see the equipment in the pictures at the dunes anywhere.

Now if they can just fix Kelbaker Road. It was a strong F-. Huge holes everywhere and quite the hazard to drive. Ranger at Kelso today said the repairs are from Kelso to Baker but that doesn't address the same road conditions from Kelso to National Trails Hiway. Surely with all of this land grabbing that Feinstein and her ilk have been doing they would want the roads pristine so that all of their butterfly hugging BMW driving voting pool don't damage their cars.

Rant off, outstanding job on the access road. Best I have seen it since 2003.

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The pics were taken at the BLM Barstow Field Office. The Road Groomer can be pulled on public highways just like a trailer so we can save on transportation costs as well as not needing a high cost Operator. This was not bought with fee demo dollars and will be able to be used throughout the Barstow Desert District.

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I would say it was a B- over Christmas week, but Dumont got soaked with rain on Weds night, all day Thursday and part of Friday, so going out was actually better then going in, minus the puddles.

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I give the road a freakin capital D...

There's at least 2 feet of gravel on the sides and it's a pot hole washboard mess!

 

 

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