OAUSA Net - 04/02/20 - Destination: The Bradshaw Trail (Gold Road to La Paz)

A preview of future nets
User avatar
KK6DYO
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 259
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:07 pm
Call Sign: KK6DYO

OAUSA Net - 04/02/20 - Destination: The Bradshaw Trail (Gold Road to La Paz)

#1

Post by KK6DYO » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:21 pm

Tonight's net will cover the Bradshaw Trail, a 70-mile offroad trail cutting across southern California from the Coachella Canal on the west to Highway 78 south of Blythe, California, on the east.

This trail is also know as The Gold Road to La Paz, La Paz being the old name of Ehrenberg, Arizona. Ehrenberg is circled in red in the map below, just to the east of the Colorado River. The current trail is shown as the black line.
BT1024.jpg
BT1024.jpg (272.14 KiB) Viewed 301 times

The Bradshaw Trail was created in 1862 by William Bradshaw to take miners and supplies from Los Angeles to La Paz, where gold was discovered in January 1862. Of course, to actually get to La Paz, you needed to take an expensive ferry run by Bradshaw.

Prior to Bradshaw's new route there were 3 ways to travel to La Paz. None of them were the shortest, fastest way to satisfy the miners eager to get to the gold fields.

1) The easiest and smoothest was by sailing along the coast from San Francisco, around the tip of the Baja and back north in the Gulf of California to Port Isabel at the mouth of the Colorado river. Then transfer to a river steamboat for the trip up river to La Paz. Heavy Mining equipment was sent this way.

2) Another possibility, was over the Cajon pass and using the Mojave Trail to the Colorado River at Fort Mojave. Then down the Colorado to La Paz. There was concern on this route of attacks by the Paiute Indians.

3) And there was the longer overland Butterfield route from San Bernardino to Beaumont, past Warner’s ranch and across the Borrego Valley. This route dumped them at Arizona City (aka Yuma). Then by steamboat up the Colorado to La Paz.


Map from 1865 showing La Paz Mining District and Bradshaw's Ferry just south of La Paz.
LaPazMining.jpg
LaPazMining.jpg (527.99 KiB) Viewed 300 times

While the gold boom was over by 1870, Bradshaw lived only until 1864, officially dying a suicide at age 38, while his trail has now lived on for another 158 years. There is some mystery surrounding Bradshaw's death, as he supposedly nearly decapitated himself with a drawknife.

The image below is of a map from 1875 showing the Bradsaw Trail, called here the "Inward Route". The route is essentially identical to the trail today.
InwardRoute1875.jpg
InwardRoute1875.jpg (565.38 KiB) Viewed 299 times

Note that Salton Sea not created until 1905 due to an engineering accident which resulted in the Colorado River flowing for two years through an irrigation channel, submerging the town of Salton. Bradshaw's ferry was finally replaced with a bridge in 1928 where Interstate 10 now crosses the Colorado River.


About half of the south side of the trail runs adjacent to the Chocolate Mountains Gunnery Range, established in the 1942.
BTArea1024.jpg
BTArea1024.jpg (165.32 KiB) Viewed 301 times

You'll frequently see these signs warning against entry into the range. More in a later post.
20161229 145210 v1.jpg
20161229 145210 v1.jpg (155.81 KiB) Viewed 300 times

Besides the gunnery range, the trail is surrounded by mountain ranges: Orocopia Mountains, Chuckwalla Mountaings, Little Chuckwalls Mountsins, and Palo Verde Mountains, each comprising a wilderness area.

While periodically graded by Riverside County, much of the trail consists of sandy stretches through which 4WD is a necessity. Between gradings, much of the trail turns into "washboard", so secure your equipment and your fillings, and let's go.
BT Speed.jpg
BT Speed.jpg (120.85 KiB) Viewed 248 times

Bradshaw Trail Map by Norton Allan in the December 1937 Magazine

Norton Allan was the map maker for the Desert Magazine. In stylized line drawings of landscapes, he perfected the ability to capture the sky or a mountain in a few lines. “From an editorial standpoint, our first lucky strike was Norton Allen, the artist,” wrote J. Wilson McKenney in his history of Desert Magazine, Desert Editor.
norton_allen_map2.jpeg
norton_allen_map2.jpeg (96.29 KiB) Viewed 234 times

User avatar
toms
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:50 am
Call Sign: KI6FHA
Location: Redondo Beach CA (5 miles south of LAX)
Contact:

Re: OAUSA Net - 04/02/20 - Destination: The Bradshaw Trail (Gold Road to La Paz)

#2

Post by toms » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:16 am

MAPS:
• AAA Imperial County Map and Riverside County for an overview;
• BLM Surface Management Desert Access Guides for
o Eagle Mountain;
o Salton Sea;
o Trigo Moutains; and
o Blythe.
You can order these maps from the BLM. They are $4.00 each.
https://www.blm.gov/media-center/public ... -maps-sale


Maps sII.jpg
Maps sII.jpg (303.41 KiB) Viewed 304 times



GUIDE BOOK:
Gold Road to La Paz – An Interpretive Guide to The Bradshaw Trail
By Delmer G. Ross

You can run the trail in either direction. The book is written for west to east travel.
If you plan to use the guide book for turn by turn direction, highlight the lines of directions before the trip all the way through the book. You might have to read two or 3 pages of information before you which way to turn at an intersection.

Amazon $$22.00 Hardcover
https://www.amazon.com/Gold-road-Paz-in ... =8-1-fkmr2
Gold Road to La Paz.jpg
Gold Road to La Paz.jpg (24.51 KiB) Viewed 306 times
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
tom@4x4training.com
http://www.4x4training.com

User avatar
toms
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:50 am
Call Sign: KI6FHA
Location: Redondo Beach CA (5 miles south of LAX)
Contact:

Re: OAUSA Net - 04/02/20 - Destination: The Bradshaw Trail (Gold Road to La Paz)

#3

Post by toms » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:17 am

Getting to the Trailhead

This can be a bit tricky. Basically, you are looking for the junction of the Coachella Canal Road and the Bradshaw Road. This waypoint on that intersection will help. N33 30.347 W115 45.997

From the guide book:
Turn east on Parkside Drive off State Highway 111. Parkside is opposite the entrance to the Salton Sea State Recreation Area Headquarters. In about 1.7 miles turn left onto Desert Aire Drive. Go under the power lines in another .4 miles. Turn right onto the Coachella Canal road. You will drive along the canal for about 7.7 miles. The Bradshaw Road is on your left.
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
tom@4x4training.com
http://www.4x4training.com

User avatar
toms
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:50 am
Call Sign: KI6FHA
Location: Redondo Beach CA (5 miles south of LAX)
Contact:

Re: OAUSA Net - 04/02/20 - Destination: The Bradshaw Trail (Gold Road to La Paz)

#4

Post by toms » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:23 am

Camp Sites

West End of Trail

There are a number of camp ground along the eastern shore of the Salton Sea in the Salton Sea Recreation Area. These can be a good camp site for the night before to gather everyone up before the start of the trail. Alternatively, if running the trail east to west, one of these camp grounds can be a nice stop to allow more time on the trail before heading home.

• Meca Beach CG
• Corvina Beach RV Park & CG
• Salt Creek Beach

About 3/4 of the way West to East

About 70 miles from the start on CA111, is another area that makes a good camp site, especially for a larger group. The waypoint is N33 28.752 W114 57.280.
With lots of exploring and stops to visit points of interest, 70 miles is a full day. This camp site is close to the eastern end of the trail, which provides plenty of time for exploring the next day.

Camp Site.JPG
Camp Site.JPG (380.47 KiB) Viewed 303 times
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
tom@4x4training.com
http://www.4x4training.com

User avatar
toms
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:50 am
Call Sign: KI6FHA
Location: Redondo Beach CA (5 miles south of LAX)
Contact:

Re: OAUSA Net - 04/02/20 - Destination: The Bradshaw Trail (Gold Road to La Paz)

#5

Post by toms » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:48 am

SIDE TRIP – Slab City

If you plan to stay at the Salton Sea camp sites, this is a side trip you could do the day before.

(From the camp grounds on the east side of the Salton Sea travel south on Hwy 111 to main street in Nyland. Turn left (away from the sea). When you cross the tracks, it becomes Beal road. Follow Beal as it makes a big bend to the left into Slab City. From Main St. and CA111 it is about 4+ miles.)

Slab City, also called The Slabs, is a largely snowbird community in Imperial County, California.
It is 100 miles northeast of San Diego and 169 miles southeast of Los Angeles within the California Badlands.

Slab City is used by recreational vehicle owners and squatters from across North America.

It took its name from concrete slabs that remained from the abandoned World War II Marine Corps barracks of Camp Dunlap.

Slab City.jpg
Slab City.jpg (297.15 KiB) Viewed 306 times
Several thousand campers, many of them retired, use the site during the winter months.
The "snowbirds" stay only for the winter before migrating north in spring to cooler climates.
The temperatures during summer are as high as 120 °F (49 °C);

There is a group of around 150 permanent residents who live in "The Slabs" year round.
• Some of these "Slabbers" derive their living from government programs and have been driven to "The Slabs" by poverty.
• Others have moved to "The Slabs" to learn how to live off the grid and be left alone.
• Still others have moved there to stretch their retirement income.

The site is both decommissioned and uncontrolled, and there is no charge for parking.
The site has no official electricity, running water, sewers, toilets or trash pickup service.[3]
Many residents use generators or solar panels to generate electricity.
The closest body of civilization with proper law enforcement is approximately four miles southwest in Niland where the residents often go to do basic shopping.
As a result, the site is described by its inhabitants and news outlets as a de facto enclave of anarchy.
Slab City Rules 1.jpg
Slab City Rules 1.jpg (288.42 KiB) Viewed 306 times
Slab City layout.jpg
Slab City layout.jpg (342.23 KiB) Viewed 306 times
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
tom@4x4training.com
http://www.4x4training.com

User avatar
toms
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:50 am
Call Sign: KI6FHA
Location: Redondo Beach CA (5 miles south of LAX)
Contact:

Re: OAUSA Net - 04/02/20 - Destination: The Bradshaw Trail (Gold Road to La Paz)

#6

Post by toms » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:49 am

Mountains

I believe in the western United States, a general understanding of the mountain ranges first, helps you fill in the details later. This is very much like learning the major freeways of a large city. As you learn the smaller road, you have a framework to related them.

Orocopia Mountains
The Orocopia Mountains is the first mountain range you encounter as you leave Mecca CA.
• The range runs in an east-west direction,
• Approximately 18 miles long.
• Is between the Salton Sea on the south and Joshua Tree NP on the north
• They are in the Colorado Desert section of the Sonoran Desert
• The terrain was shaped primarily by movements of the adjacent San Andreas Fault
• Oro Copia: Spanish, meaning “lots of gold”. The mountains took their name from the Orocopia Mining Company in the early 1900’s.

Chocolate Mountains
• stretch more than 60 miles in a northwest to southeast direction
• The Bradshaw Trail follows Salt wash which cut between the Orocopia Mountains on the left (north) and the Chocolate Mountains on the right (south).
• The Chocolate Mountains form the northeast boundary of the Salton Trough extending southeast as a narrow range for 80 miles from the Orocopia Mountains to the Colorado River valley so they will be on your right most of the trail.

We may never know exactly why they were named the Chocolate Mountains. However, they are brownish and at sunset you can imagine a pile of chocolate. That is good enough for me.

Chuckwalla Mountains
After you turn out of the salt wash and head east the Chuckwalla Mountains take over form the Orocopia Mountains on the left (north) side.
• They are in the transition zone between the Colorado Desert—Sonoran Desert and the Mojave Desert, climatically and vegetationally, in Riverside County of southern California.
• The mountain range runs about 40 miles in a generally northwest-to-southeast direction. It is bordered to the north by Interstate 10 and the town of Desert Center, and to the south by the Bradshaw Trail and the Chocolate Mountains Aerial Gunnery Range. The highest point is Black Butte, elevation 4,504 feet.
• The Chuckwalla Range is divided from the Little Chuckwalla Range by Graham Pass.
• The Orocopia Mountains are to the west, and Joshua Tree National Park to the northwest.
• The Chuckwalla Mountains are near the San Andreas Fault
• We can presume that the mountains were named for Chuckwallas. A large lizards found in the area.

Salton Sea
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
tom@4x4training.com
http://www.4x4training.com

User avatar
KK6DYO
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 259
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:07 pm
Call Sign: KK6DYO

Re: OAUSA Net - 04/02/20 - Destination: The Bradshaw Trail (Gold Road to La Paz)

#7

Post by KK6DYO » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:23 pm

Camping Areas

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) allows dispersed camping--up to 14 days at no charge--throughout the area surrounding the trail, except near the Mule Mountain Long Term Visitor Area at the east end of Bradshaw Trail.

Mule Mountain Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA)

There are two established campgrounds, Wiley's Well and Coon Hollow, about 2 miles apart along Wileys Well Road. Up to 14 days for $40. Tom Stienstra gives this area a scenic rating of 4 out of 5 in his book "California Camping". Open year round, but summer temperatures can hit 120 degrees.
20170129 101820 Mule LTVA.jpg
20170129 101820 Mule LTVA.jpg (228.81 KiB) Viewed 281 times
MuleMountainsArea.jpg
MuleMountainsArea.jpg (591.77 KiB) Viewed 277 times

Wiley's Well

Wiley's Well, with 14 sites, got its name from an obvious source:
20170129 102936 Wiley Well.jpg
20170129 102936 Wiley Well.jpg (491.86 KiB) Viewed 281 times

Wiley's Well campground behind the intersection of Wileys Well Road and The Bradshaw Trail.
20161228 104807 WWnBT.jpg
20161228 104807 WWnBT.jpg (235.51 KiB) Viewed 247 times

Coon Hollow

Coon Hollow, with 28 sites, got its name from the the preponderance of "coon-tailed rattlers" aka Western Diamondback, though the campground has been moved twice this this name was bestowed. Still, as with any desert area, caution is your friend.
CoonHollowCG.jpg
CoonHollowCG.jpg (71.56 KiB) Viewed 281 times

Dispersed Camping Area 33°23'07.6"N 114°59'41.0"W (33.385442, -114.994731)

There is a flat though rock strewn camping area, a bit secluded and out of the way that one of my compadres knew about. This one is located in the middle of the Geode Beds. Note: the trail is color coded by speed with yellow being around 15 mph and red being around 5 or less, so this was fairly slow going.
CampingArea1.jpg
CampingArea1.jpg (151.39 KiB) Viewed 295 times

Room for many vehicles.
20161228 155608 Camping.jpg
20161228 155608 Camping.jpg (225.89 KiB) Viewed 295 times

Always great to camp with Scott KM6HRM, who enjoys cooking, on this evening a wonderful jambalaya.
20161228 163229a Scott Cooking.jpg
20161228 163229a Scott Cooking.jpg (285.98 KiB) Viewed 295 times

And of course a great campfire with Terry, "Lucky" John KM6ROX, Scott, and another Scott out of view. We watched a fox come out of the hills to see what we were doing.
20161228 201524 Campfire.jpg
20161228 201524 Campfire.jpg (226.97 KiB) Viewed 295 times

User avatar
NotAMog
Global Moderator
Posts: 517
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:40 pm
Call Sign: KD6GCO

Re: OAUSA Net - 04/02/20 - Destination: The Bradshaw Trail (Gold Road to La Paz)

#8

Post by NotAMog » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:11 pm

Red Canyon

Red Canyon is a very picturesque side trip off of the Bradshaw Trail.
P1190040.jpg
P1190040.jpg (42.75 KiB) Viewed 294 times
Red Canyon Medium
P1190037.jpg
P1190037.jpg (33.1 KiB) Viewed 264 times
P1190041.jpg
P1190041.jpg (43.26 KiB) Viewed 264 times
Our group drove part way up Red Canyon and stopped for lunch. The trail continues on and eventually comes out at I10 near Chiraco Summit. Chiraco Summit has long been a landmark for people traveling along I10 as it's the top of the long climb heading east from Indio. It's also the location of the George Patton Museum.

The lower end of Red Canyon near the Bradshaw Trail is basically a straight sided wash with a number of interesting and spectacular geological features. It runs through the Orocopia Mountains Wilderness.

Here is a like to the BLM pamphlet showing the Red Canyon trail, Bradshaw trail, and other trails in the area -

https://www.blm.gov/download/file/fid/14381

More information on the Orocopia Mountains Wilderness may be found here -

https://www.blm.gov/visit/orocopia-mountains-wilderness
Last edited by NotAMog on Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bruce Berger
KD6GCO
'72 Pinzgauer 710M 2.6i
'91 Honda ST1100 197,000miles and counting :shock: (I hope to make it to at least half the places this bike has been)
'04 Tacoma / AT FlipPac Camper
'07 Moto Guzzi Norge - Corsa Red - The faster color :mrgreen:

User avatar
KK6DYO
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 259
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:07 pm
Call Sign: KK6DYO

Re: OAUSA Net - 04/02/20 - Destination: The Bradshaw Trail (Gold Road to La Paz)

#9

Post by KK6DYO » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:37 am

APRS Coverage


The cyan line represents the Bradshaw Trail while the red dots represent digipeater returns from location beaconing, showing quite good coverage.
Bradshaw Trail APRS Coverage.jpg
Bradshaw Trail APRS Coverage.jpg (431 KiB) Viewed 276 times

User avatar
toms
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:50 am
Call Sign: KI6FHA
Location: Redondo Beach CA (5 miles south of LAX)
Contact:

Re: OAUSA Net - 04/02/20 - Destination: The Bradshaw Trail (Gold Road to La Paz)

#10

Post by toms » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:29 pm

Kaiser Eagle Mountain Railroad
Eagle Mountain Railroad Bridge.JPG
Eagle Mountain Railroad Bridge.JPG (355.28 KiB) Viewed 274 times
The Eagle Mountain Railroad (EMRR) was a private railroad in California, owned by the Kaiser Steel Corporation, and is owned today by Kaiser Steel's successor, Kaiser Ventures, Inc. of Ontario, California.
The EMRR is 51 miles (82 km) long and is located in Riverside County, California. Constructed in 1947–1948, it was used until 1986 to haul iron ore from Kaiser's Eagle Mountain Mine in the Colorado Desert to an interchange with the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in the Coachella Valley. The last revenue train to operate over the line was on March 24, 1986.

The Eagle Mountain Railroad starts at a remote location called "Ferrum" (Latin for "iron") which is located adjacent to the Salton Sea in Riverside County, and terminates 51 miles (82 km) away at the Eagle Mountain Mine (also known as Iron Chief Mine).

Eagle Mountain Railroad.JPG
Eagle Mountain Railroad.JPG (291.85 KiB) Viewed 274 times
Kaiser Steel Corporation

incorporated on December 1, 1941, for the purpose of manufacturing steel in Southern California. The finished steel was needed to supply the various shipbuilding facilities controlled by Henry J. Kaiser on the west coast. These facilities were building ships for the British government and were using costly eastern steel that was in short supply.

After obtaining the $125 million needed, construction of the mill in Fontana, California, began. In August 1943, the first plate steel rolled off the production line at the Fontana Mill.

Kaiser Steel purchased the Vulcan Mine located near Kelso, California, which served as the primary source of ore until 1948. The Union Pacific Railroad transported the iron ore from Kelso to the Fontana Mill. This ore, however, was not of good enough quality to satisfy Kaiser and a better source was sought.

In 1944, Kaiser Steel purchased the large Eagle Mountain mining claim from the Southern Pacific Railroad and began development of the Eagle Mountain Mine after the end of World War II.

From the early 1960s until the early 1970s, two loaded 100-car trains left the mine each day, seven days a week. One train carried the iron ore needed for the Fontana Mill while the second train handled ore to Long Beach, California, where it was shipped to overseas steel mills.
From the early 1970s until the early 1980s, one 100-car train was dispatched to the Fontana Mill each and every day. By 1982, operations varied from three to five trains per week, with as few as 40 carloads per train. After a short suspension of operations in early 1985, trains were run once a week until the complete discontinuance of operation in March 1986.

20161229 144955 EM Railroad.jpg
20161229 144955 EM Railroad.jpg (264.86 KiB) Viewed 250 times
Eagle Mountain Railroad Bridge - note that panorama distorts bridge
20161229 152107 EMRR Bridge.jpg
20161229 152107 EMRR Bridge.jpg (213.32 KiB) Viewed 251 times
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
tom@4x4training.com
http://www.4x4training.com

Post Reply

Return to “OAUSA AMATEUR RADIO NET PREVIEW”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest