Salsberry Peak, Epaulet Peak, Funeral Peak
By: Ron Jones
A good turnout of DPSers including seldom seen Al Campbell turned up in front of the cafe at Shoshone Saturday morning. They begin serving breakfast at 7:00 and about 7:30 we were on our way to Salsberry Pass. From there Elliot Snyder led the cars up Rhodes Wash about 4-1/2 miles west of Salsberry Pass. It is a good desert road even after recent heavy rains and leads to very near an abandoned mine on the slopes of colorful Salsberry Peak. We had about one mile and 1000 feet gain along an obvious north ridge to the summit, During our return to the cars the clouds rolled in creating a semi-white out condition for a short while. The peak is short, easy and very pretty.
Later in the afternoon we caravaned to the Greenwater Valley Road, now called Furnace Creek Road, and we traveled north under darkening skies to the dirt road which branches west at 2600 ft. The road heads west toward Epaulet Pk. to about 3400 feet leaving a 1500 foot climb. We drove to only 3000 feet and the skies opened up. First my VW van got mired in the mud, then Dick Banner's 4WD, then Elliot Snyder's 4WD and finally the last car in the caravan, Wes Shelberg's 4WD. We were all down to the frames and the rain continued. We dug, we used jacks, we placed wood panels, rocks and brush under the wheels, we pushed and we pulled but to no avail. After several hours work, just before darkness, we hitched up Dick Banner's tow rope to Wes's truck, got 12 people on the rope and we man-handled Wes out of what looked like the muddiest trench warfare of all time. Soon after we pulled Dick out with our 12 man mule team. By then it was dark and they drove out to the road in the event of continuing rain while the other two cars with passengers spent a festive night of merriment in the mud holes.
The next morning there was a nice breeze which began drying things out. Dick and Wes returned to near the scene (staying on firm ground) and brought the tow rope. Several hours later Elliot's and my car were free. It was a toss-up between Jack Grams or Dick Banner as to which had the thickest, most complete covering of mud. Dick may have been dirtier because Jack kept rinsing his hands in the mud puddles. Epaulet and Funeral were given up and most of the group drove to Tecopa for a free wash in the hot springs.
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