Departure Date: 8.26.12 AZ, Vegas, Death Valley, CA

After several delays, we finally made it out of Phoenix and headed northwest to get out of the heat, to Vegas, nevertheless, on the road. The first night out was definitely not roughing it as, we made it to the palace of a house that our gracious friend, Bobby, currently resides.  However, we quickly suffered the first set back of the trip; we couldn't open the back to get our bags, since the Slee rear bumper part that opens it, fell off during the nights ride. While fixing it, we also found that the new exhaust that was installed 2 days before had melted several wires, including important brake lights and rear camera wires.

What it's supposed to look like
The resolution

A roll of electrical tape and a Leatherman (which I naturally lost immediately after) and we were sorted for the next days drive.  This may be the only time I've been to Vegas that I neither drank nor gambled, so not all was bad.

The following day we drove through Death Valley.  The car almost overheated and we had to drive for about an hour in in 115 F heat WITHOUT AC.  The dogs and the wife were not happy. We did however get some good photos and go offroad.

We spotted these

We finally made it to our first real nights camp at Lake Isabella, near the Sequoia National Forest. I bent the tent ladder while trying to open the tent for the first time (note: you must unlatch it first).  I'm really glad we are durability testing everything in North America first.

Lake Isabella