Sunday, April 1, 2012

Death Valley, Day #8 (January 9, 2012)

Last day. Packed up camp. Our trusty little tent outlasted the huge one we got for Bar Harbor.

Drove up to Dantes Peak overlooking the valley.

Stopped by the Sierra Nevada range on the drive home. Mount Whitney in the distance. Next trip?

Back to civilization.

Death Valley, Day #7

Skipped breakfast, back to trailhead of Ashford Canyon but this time to Scotty's canyon. Longer hike than expected to canyon mouth. Mildly interesting, somewhat monotonous hike until we reached Scotty's holdout! Dripping water near grotto - v. cool. Hiked around grotto

Found some running water!

Saw 2nd grotto guarded by v. large, mean mesquite tree/bush also blocking way to small fall and chockstone, dave wanted to bushwach through, mabel wouldn't allow. Had lunch, some leftover pasta, stayed v. quiet hoping animals would come by bubbling spring, but none did, suspected birds were alerting other animals. The only wildlife we saw were ants and a lizard.

Hiked back down, triumphant.

Took west side road then warm spring road. Saw talc mine, then large pit of Warm Spring Mine. Saw really cool large more modern mine blocked by grate.

Warm Spring Camp - creepy, empty buildings, picnic table with warm ashes! sign in book showed couple had stayed there the night before. Swimming pool. Large stream, verdant, lush greenery.

Hiked in back of camp, one spring from cliff, bubbling, amazing, 2nd spring also seeping from cliff but with large pool and veritable stream emerging, pipes, amazing!!!

Saw tumbleweed on the drive back.

Eerie moon.

Pasta with curry for dinner. Firewood steaming (too green), campfire from burning fire starters.

Death Valley, Day #6 (January 7, 2012)

Woke up, had Jetboil in the tent ready to go, wondered why we didn't do this earlier, coffee and oatmeal in our sleeping bags.

Hiked up to the peak of White Top Mountain several yards away from the campsite, funny joshua trees, weather/plate tectonic station, saw sunrise, hiked back, Mabel and Dave petted joshua tree.

Broke down camp, tried to hike to Rest spring, tricked by wrong trailhead, found right trailhead, found water in desert for first time! pool of water in small cave verified by throwing small stone in.

Grandstand parking lot, hiked up to Ubehebe Peak - 36 switchbacks, saddle, hiked around nameless peak from north face to west side, saddle, formidable Ubehebe peak.

Challenging, dangerous hike, Mabel had meltdown, Dave helped her get through it, spectacular views of 2 valleys, never had views like this before, triumphant pictures.

Mabel anxious about hike down, somehow survived, got a little lost on nameless peak and had to hike over boulders, knees really hurt down switchbacks, grateful, v. grateful to be back at car and alive, abandoned side trip to copper mines, will save for another day.

Two hour drive back to furnace creek, saw desert rabbit in campsite, desert storm! big tent half collapsed, sand all over inside, unseasonably warm, strong winds, broke down big tent, set up small tent, cooked dinner in veranda because of sand, campfire a bust, little tent strong and secure. For dinner, pasta with 3 cheese, pepper, trader joe's parmesan, and dab of olive oil, delicious.