Death Valley rally November 4-11 2018

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UTTransplant

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I understand the anxiousness of whether a spot will be available. We felt the same when we first came to the Encampment two years ago. However Sunset never fills. If the main part is full, they open up overflow areas. When those fill, they open up more! The place is absolutely huge, and even during busy Encampments (like 2 years ago) there were spots always available in the 4 or 5 overflow areas. Last year was much smaller with the uncertainties, and only two overflow areas were opened. The NPS campground with reservations (Furnace Creek) and the private campground with reservations (Fiddler?s) are probably already reserved, but there will be space in Sunset.

As for getting there early, Kevin and I will be arriving early, mostly because we love the place and partly to try to get a spot with enough space for folks to hang out. You really don?t need to come early to find a spot. Note that this isn?t like a rally where we will all be camped together. I bought a RV Forum flag at the Quartzsite rally so you will be able to find us. We will also post what site we are in when we get set up. I am sure we will be spread out through the campground, but that should be fine.
 

UTTransplant

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Latest updated attendee status:
Pam and Kevin Stalnaker    UTTransplant      Utah (but soon to be Iowa)      Confirmed
Vicki and Mark Shorter        shorts                Full timers somewhere            Maybe
Larry and Mary Ann N.        Larry N.            Westminster, CO                      Maybe
Wally Crow.                        Old_Crow                                                        Maybe
Lou Schneider.                    Lou Schneider    Pahrump, NV                          Maybe
Wendy and Mike                  Wendy.                                                          Maybe
Steve and Dee                    Steve N Dee.      Burbank, CA                          Maybe
Caryl and Bob                    Cadee2c            Fulltimers somewhere            Probable
Burnetta and Dwight            InVogue            Ventura, CA                          Probable
Bill and friend                      photog                                                          Maybe
John and Susan Beard          John Beard        NW Las Vegas, NV                Maybe
 

Lou Schneider

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FWIW, Sunset Campground was the original landing strip for Furnace Creek Ranch.  If you bring up the Google Maps satellite view, you can still see the outline of the runway.

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.4604551,-116.8645158,1169m/data=!3m1!1e3

The campground was newly opened when I was there with my family in the 1960s and camping was restricted to the runway itself, extending from the north overflow area through the east side of the present campground to the south overflow area.  Restrooms were provided by portable trailers in the center section.

Since then they've expanded the campground towards Furnace Creek Ranch (at the time you had to cross barren ground to get from the campground to Furnace Creek) and made the remaining parts of the runway into overflow areas.

If you pan west and look at the new airport, you can see like the Sunset Campground runway, it was originally built to handle large aircraft, probably as a WWII emergency landing strip, then shrunk to it's present small aircraft configuration.
 

UTTransplant

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Lou, thanks for that link. Fascinating. I always noticed the overflow areas were linear, and now I see they are part of the old runway. Also interesting that the orientation of the two runways are different.
 

ArdraF

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That satellite view is interesting, Lou.  I never realized there was a runway there!  Interesting background on it.

ArdraF
 

Larry N.

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Also interesting that the orientation of the two runways are different.

Runway orientations (or headings) are different by design, to allow landing when the wind is strong and not from a direction favorable for the primary runway, since aircraft normally land into the wind and the amount of crosswind they can handle is limited.
 

UTTransplant

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Larry N. said:
Runway orientations (or headings) are different by design, to allow landing when the wind is strong and not from a direction favorable for the primary runway, since aircraft normally land into the wind and the amount of crosswind they can handle is limited.
Understood. I am not a pilot, but I worked as an engineer for a major aerospace company in their displays and flight management system groups, among other areas. I would have thought both runways, the old one and the new one, would have been oriented in the same direction since I assume the winds haven?t changed. Maybe they oriented based on a compromise with terrain?
 

InVogue

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OK...Good info! I kinda figured we all would be in different area's and such but I guess I thought it was harder to get into Sunset, so that's good news too. I suppose I'll get there early just the same and maybe spend a few days in Pahrump before heading to Sunset. Thanks again for all the info. :)
 

Wendy

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We almost always stop in Pahrump a couple of days before going into Death Valley and after leaving to do laundry, clean the dust out of the coach and buy groceries. Oh, and gas up, fuel is EXPENSIVE in Death Valley.
 

Lou Schneider

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Wendy said:
We almost always stop in Pahrump a couple of days before going into Death Valley and after leaving to do laundry, clean the dust out of the coach and buy groceries. Oh, and gas up, fuel is EXPENSIVE in Death Valley.

Yeah, Pahrump gas and diesel is a good deal, about half what you'll pay in Death Valley and 20-30 cents per gallon lower than Las Vegas prices.  Cheaper real estate and less taxes here.  :)
 

Larry N.

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I would have thought both runways, the old one and the new one, would have been oriented in the same direction since I assume the winds haven?t changed. Maybe they oriented based on a compromise with terrain?

Take a look at it in Google Earth. I gave the explanation because I see two intersecting old runways and one new one, with one old one having the same heading (almost) as the new one and the other being angled 20? to 30? more westerly, so from your post I thought you might not understand the aircraft wind needs (guess you do, though). The new runway is just in the corner of Lou's picture, west of the highway and oasis, while looking at the whole thing in Google Earth the new one looks to be about the same heading as one old, while in Lou's picture there appears to be a very slight difference.
 

InVogue

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Just thought I'd check in to see if anything was NEW???  Made some connecting reservations leading up to this so all is well on my side. Safe travels everyone!!
 

UTTransplant

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We are still on! Kevin and I have our trip planned pretty well. We are starting from Iowa in late September, heading to Alabama for some warranty work on the coach then back up to Missouri to canoe the Current River with friends then to Oklahoma City to see family then continuing on I-40 West. We will be in Death Valley at least a few days before the rally starts getting things organized. We now have a big flagpole we can fly the RVForum flag from that will make us even easier to find. We will also probably be the only folks in Death Valley with a canoe!

Who else is interested? The 49ers Encampment is generally great fun. Note DVNP had their highest average temperature ever during July so make sure the generators are working in case the heat stays around. The average high temp is only 80 that time of year, but we all know how temperatures have been this year. I will keep an eye on the long range forecasts and give as much info as I can as we get closer. We did have a high in the mid 90s a few years ago. I will also let people know as soon as the 49ers information is out.
 

cadee2c

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Pam, it looks like we might be running into each other along the way. Ive had to delay leaving Minnesota until I can get things in order here. Looks like mid september. I will probably forget about Oregon and head down to Oklahoma, staying out at Kaw lake for a while, but popping down to Norman for a day or so. A quick stop in San Antonio for annual medical appointments at the end of October, then will head that way. Not sure when I will get there, but I will make it.
 

InVogue

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We will hit the IRV2 Rally in Pahrump mid Sept, then head over to Parker, AZ for about 5 weeks altogether(so we'll be use to the heat by then):), then head back over towards Death Valley. Probably get into Death Valley at least a couple days early, I think!!!  Hoping to make it to the Quartzsite event this year again but will wait and see.
 

Ken & Sheila

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I'm trying to work this into the schedule before we head to LA the then Surprise for the winter. Looks like fun.


ken

 

InVogue

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Hi again...forgive me for being paranoid but I was just reviewing the Encampment Website where it indicates Sunset Campground will be open for a 10 day period during the Encampment(Nov 3-13th)?.with this is mind, I guess I won't arrive until Nov 3rd???  We were planning for a couple days earlier unless I missed something along the way??
 

InVogue

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Well.....now that I look at the NPS Website, it looks like all is well at Sunset. OK....so I'll go on the assumption it will be open?
 

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