Sunday, January 22, 2012

Death Valley Day #3 (January 4, 2012)

Brutally cold. breakfast sandwiches.

Exciting drive to Ashton Canyon trailhead - dirt road that we almost couldn't find, very bumpy, fun!

Went through "more exciting alternative" entrance to Ashton Canyon with narrows and falls. Tried for 1 h to scale fall at end, Dave almost made it but was foiled by smooth slide along side at top (fall with big boulder/chockstone at top).

Found alternate route to top, Dave almost killed me by inadvertantly knocking over large stone down below. Dave tried to pull up bags, unsuccessful, almost lost thumb.

I climbed up, Dave climbed down, Dave almost killed by getting distracted and falling backward, orange pack broke fall, I tried to pull up one bag, unsuccessful, finally, he carried both bags up.

Broke Rocc's spool of cord in the process.

Hiked up and found Ashton Mine Camp - very cool - amazingly preserved buildings, refrigerator, beds, oven.

Ran into two other hikers - let them take picture of our map, they gave us tips. We found mine - Dave very happy.

Lunch - steak sandwiches.

Disappointed we couldn't explore more around mining area.

Headed back, saw coyotes on drive back!

Dinner - kung pao chicken, hot toddies, extremely hot fire, very warming.

Canyons are melancholy.

Inspired to learn to climb.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Death Valley Day #2

Got up at 4:30 am. woke up to coyotes howling in distance. Had a breakfast scramble with 6 eggs.

Hike up Fall Canyon. Loved the narrows.

Was like a cathedral and Richard Serra sculpture although those are probably trying to approproximate the canyons.

Mabel made it up a tough bypass around a dry waterfall.

Was a real climb by itself.

Had enough daylight to see the Mesquite dunes on the way back.

Paid for showers ($5 per person) at Death Valley Ranch in Furnace creek.
Pasta for dinner. Fire was especially warm.

60 degrees around dinner. Daytime was high 70s but was in the shade in the canyon for most of day. O/n 40s.

Death Valley Day #1

Dave and I spent 1 week camping and hiking in Death Valley. These are our notes and pictures.

Drive in, our car alone for a lot of the drive, otherwise, uneventful

Got in to campground around 11:30 am, the ranger was out to lunch. Saw roadrunner!

Set up camp quickly.
Headed to Badwater, saw the salt flats. Lowest point in the US.

Stopped by Devil's golf course. Salts but not quite flat.

Artist's Drive and palette. Nice to see, fancy road.

Checked out Visitor center and general store. Got the lowdown on Indian Pass, secret picture ranger books.

Had our custumary first night steak dinner. Very chilly. Cold beers not a great idea.

No one around!