Friday, February 6, 2015

February 6th - King of the Hammers!

Last year while here in 29 Palms I was made aware of a week long event nearby in Johnson Valley, called the King of the Hammers - it is the ultimate Desert Racing / Rock climbing fact that is how it got started - the Desert Racers challenged the Rock Climbers to a match race and the King of the Hammers was born!

There is racing all week - motorcycles, side by sides and then the ultimate challenge is the Ultras which was today and I was fortunate to be able to attend. These vehicles are custom built and can reach speed of over a 100 MPH and yet still have the ability to rock climb at 2 or 3 MPH. Amazing to watch!

I left early this morning for the 1 hour drive out into the desert and Johnson Valley. The cars were lined up at 6:00 am and the start was at 8:00 am - tons of traffic and a long line in, but was at my preferred location early enough to back the truck right up to the fence in one of the tougher rock climbing canyons - not early enough to get to one of the higher spots they were all taken, so my view was somewhat limited, but a great spot anyway! The race is 215 miles long and is a combination of flat (still rough sand) open desert and then three or 4 really tough rock climbing areas...and some real steep hill climbs.

It is amazing the "size of the town" that is created called Hammertown! Thousands of RV's tractor trailer and every off road vendor you can imagine!

Part of Hammertown from my viewpoint today!

A few of the spectators where we were!

The big screen in downtown Hammertown!

A few of the Racers!

Plenty of dust and dirt flying!

Traffic Jam on the rocks!

It was a great day with perfect weather, warm sunny with a cool breeze! These were all taken with my new lens and I love it even more!!!

Stay tuned for more activity with the camera, my fill-in job as manager ends on Monday and I will be out shooting much more while this weather holds!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

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