Join the thousands of Nessie
lovers around the world - be the first on your next Death
Valley safari to have a Badwater Nessie
t-shirt, mug or tote.
on the photo for link to our EHC WARE store on Cafe Press.
Becher, L.A. Daily News outdoor writer and photographer
went to Bodie with us in September. Read what he wrote about the trip. Click
the photo to link to the story.
birth of a new year is also the death of California campfire
permits issued in 2004. Visit your local land management agency (BLM,
NPS, USFS or State Parks) to renew your campfire permit for the
2005 calendar year.
the photo below to read more about Cerro Gordo.
on either graphic below to get there.
Ecological 4-Wheeling Adventures (ECO4WD) offers more than 20 exciting four wheel drive backcountry adventure tours, SUV excursions, 4WD classes and 4-wheeling trainings.
Their adventure tours range from one-day outings into Southern California's mountains and deserts to SUV mini-vacations in Death Valley, whale watching (4WD not required!) on the Baja peninsula and a 12-day, surprising luxurious expedition (no camping) into the uncharted depths of Mexico's Copper Canyon
(Barranca del Cobre). Their "clean and easy" eco-tour style is sensitive and responsible to the environment, your
family and your four wheel drive vehicle.
Don't have a 4X and want to
visit historic sites in Eastern California?
Capture the spirit of the past as it comes alive with true tales of pioneer families, prospectors, muleskinners, hero's and gunslingers. Listen to legends of lost gold, found wealth and superstitions.
Journey back in time with Terri Geissinger - Historian, Interpreter and Guide
Click on Terri's yellow van for Terri's
Ghost Town Tours or
contact Terri by clicking here:
is a new publication highlighting the history and legends
California and Nevada.
on the logo to
request subscription information.
Bring More Than Floodwaters
Cecile Page Vargo
She appears at least
once every hundred years or so throughout history and throughout various
places on earth, but there’s
little record and not many people around from those earlier time periods
to confirm her existence. Since the last quarter of the 1800’s the
sightings have been more frequent, particularly in Loch Ness, Scotland
and in Death Valley, California. First
sightings in Death Valley were by the ancient one’s and those were
recorded in the rocks near ancient hunting blinds and watering holes.
The white men that later came and saw the red man’s squiggly
“S” shaped marks etched in the rocks misinterpreted them as
rattle snakes, not sea serpents or monsters or overgrown reptilians.
Had Manly and his party of 49’ers been smarter about such
things they might have recognized the red man’s etchings for what they
really were, and recorded a few sightings of their own.
Since Scotland’s first recorded sightings were actually later
than 1849, it’s highly possible that between the time of the ancient
Indian carvings in the year 1000 AD, and 1871, the lake creature stayed
away from the lowest spots of the California desert.
of the Loch Ness Monster AKA Nessie, started in 565 A.D
with an account of Saint Columba rescuing a swimmer from a creature
in Loch Ness, Scotland. From
then on, various stories of such a creature emerged, but
all were virtually unrecorded until the 20th century.
In 1933 a new road was built along the Loch Ness lake
shore enabling people to visit the area in large numbers and
reports of sightings dramatically increased.
Most recently, Nessie was sighted, in of all places,
Badwater, Death Valley, California.
Annie--One of the Last Immortals of the West
Cecile Page Vargo
When she was born on
June 22nd, 1912,
her army surgeon father and Iroquois Indian mother dubbed her Mary
Elizabeth White. At 12 years old, Mary missed the fateful airplane
trip that killed her mother and sister because she was grounded for
riding a motorcycle around the army base where the family lived. Her
devilish behavior and disregard for what was considered acceptable
behavior of the day, was beginning to set tone for her future. From
her mother and sister’s death she learned that she was a survivor
because she was “a stinker.” When she decided a few years later
that she wanted to follow her fathers footsteps into the medical
field and become a doctor, she was told that women were not allowed
to be doctors, but she could pursue a career as a nurse instead. Not
one to compromise, Mary Elizabeth White chose to do things her way
or not at all.
Joshua tree grows near Panamint Annie's grave in the
Mary’s stubbornness and determination to do things her own
way led her to an early marriage at 15 years old, and the birth of
her first two children followed. The first child died in infancy,
the second she left with her husband in Boston
while she found a career driving bootleg liquor from Canada
When she tired of that she moved west and found herself cooking for
dudes at ranches in the states of Texas,
Tuberculosis, which she had contracted in her late teens, soon
forced her to even drier country. Mary Elizabeth White moved to the
lowest and driest part of the United States,
where she would earn a whole new name and identity.
Long soaks in the hot springs of Shoshone outside
Valley, seemed to provide the cure for the tuberculosis
that Mary struggled with in her youth. Once her health and beauty
was restored, Mary took to the surrounding barren hills in search of
the rich minerals they bore. The peace and beauty of the desert
struck her as she prowled the hills, with hammer, pick and shovel
from the wee hours of the morning until long after dark. The motto
of the old prospectors “Listen and the mountains will talk to you. They will tell you where gold is if you listen”, became
hers as well. When the mountains revealed their hidden wealth, Mary
learned to timber, blast and muck, as well as any man.
Her underground work was lit with candles she made herself
instead of spending money on kerosene. Other prospectors began
comparing her with the legendary woman prospector of the old days,
who also came from back east, prospected, left a child behind, and
was known as a rough gal. The Mary Elizabeth White originally from Washington
was fast disappearing, and a new Panamint Annie, was born.
We're still in the process of
revising our 2005 schedule.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
for current tour information.
Explore Historic California!
Not too many years ago, the family station wagon was the
magic carpet to adventure. Today, that family station wagon is likely to
be a four wheel drive sport utility vehicle or pick up truck. SUV's and
other 4x4's are one of the best selling classes of vehicles. Ironically,
industry statistics show that once purchased, few owners will dare to
drive their vehicles off the paved highway. Click your mouse through our
website and enjoy our armchair adventures and the histories behind them.
If you are interested in taking one of our guided tours with your
vehicle, please visit our ECOLOGICAL 4-WHEELING ADVENTURES.
Several years ago, we bought our first SUV. We went to a one-night class
at a local community college entitled "How to 4-Wheel Drive" by Harry Lewellyn.
The following weekend we attended the hands-on day tour. We liked what we were
doing so much that we began going out nearly every weekend and learned how to
negotiate a variety of dirt roads. Our spare time was spent doing research on
the history and ecology of our favorite areas. A one-day outing turned into 16
years of leading others on mini-vacations throughout Southern California and the
Our 4WD outings involve driving on easy to moderate dirt roads and are
ideally suited to novice and intermediate level drivers. All tours are suitable
for stock vehicles in good condition, although some tours do have vehicle size
Our tours are
operated under permits issued by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S.
Forest Service, and other authorities.
We share our knowledge of the backcountry over the CB radio with our
guests. We frequently stop to explore mining areas, old and new, and ponder the
rocks, plants and animals we may encounter. We'll occasionally visit an old
cabin or deserted mountain lookout.
California has a fascinating history, from geologic unrest and
prehistoric petroglyph scribes to the "Radium Queen of the Mojave" and the
"Human Mole of Black Mountain." Load up your 4X, fasten your seatbelts and get
ready to explore historic California.
Roger, Cecile and Marty