Lake Lucero, the long way (from Dune Drive)
- 22.48 mi
- The route we took was very, very boring. Fortunately, the majority of Alkali Flat was dry and was relatively easy walking. We reached terrain that looked identical to what we saw at Lake Lucero much sooner than Lake Lucero proper.
- I brought over 4 L of water, which after climbing a few dunes too many found was too much. I dropped it off at a landmark, GPS way-pointed it, and decided I'd pick it up on the way back. This worked out well (probably not so much if I hadn't found it again).
- We started off south of where we were supposed to (a parking lot south of Alkali Flat), and because of that I never got a compass alignment. We consistently head too far south and had to correct (you can see that in the GPS track), adding probably another 2–3 mi more than we needed to. Completely my fault—I am not a good navigator, apparently.
- We did not see the Cooperative Use Boundary marked on the way out. We did on the way back in.
- At Lake Lucero, we did not reach either the waypoint you or I had set (I had GPS problems). But we were in the middle of what the USGS's NHD considers "Lake Lucero", and as far as we needed to tell everything looked the same—good enough for me.
- Leaving at 7:35 am, we reached Lake Lucero at 11:45 am. We probably could have shaved an hour off if we weren't wandering around (again, my fault).
- I had a lot of problems with my phone-as-a-GPS—for some reason, the entire morning I could not get a GPS lock, even though I could see 10+ satellites. Moral: don't trust technology, and get an accurate compass heading ASAP.
- On the way back, I was finally able to get a GPS lock and we did a very good job following the route I planned back (probably because I was very paranoid about it).