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Archive for April, 2010

After several years of visiting Death Valley during winter break, I told my husband that we were doing the trip at spring break. I was tired of cold and dark. I wanted warm and sunny. The trip wasn’t as warm as I would have liked, given that we were chased out of Humboldt County by snowstorms. We stayed just ahead of the chain restrictions and road closings on our way to sunny weather. Warm weather lagged behind the sun, but eventually kicked in. The trip was nice, but way too short. Maybe another month would do.

Heavy snow on Berry Summit, 40 miles east of Arcata. Barely got through without chains.

Kinda scary.

Snow and fog on Lassen Plateau, west of Susanville.

Sun-kissed snow on hills around Carson City, NV, the following morning.

Barbie says hi from the motel room.

When we started the day, we had three passes to go over that required chains. We drove slowly and checked for updates. The restrictions were lifted one at a time as we approached each pass.

The turn to Sonora Pass (closed), just before Devil’s Gate Pass.

View of the Sierras from Bridgeport.

Mono Lake from the viewpoint on Conway Summit.

Mono Lake and Inyo Craters.

Folded rocks in the “narrows” on the road to Eureka Valley.

The road to Eureka Valley and Eureka Dunes.

Down to Eureka Valley.

Dust clouds from small dune field near Eureka Dunes. It was a very windy day after the big storm.

Almost to Eureka Dunes. They are the tallest dunes in California and probably the entire country.

The barbie gang pile out of the car and drag out their couch.

The gang in front of the Last Chance Range.

Getting rowdy on the couch.

Last Chance Range.

Eureka Dunes with barbies for scale. The fences are actually restoration attempts to stablize the sand. Sandboarding has become a popular sport among the environmentally insensitive. They are destroying the ecosystem of the dunes.

Multi-hued limestones of the Last Chance Range.

A view of the dunes from their east side.

Steve finds some ripple marks in the rocks of the Last Chance Range.

Dunes with our rental car for scale.

The barbie party moves to the dunes.

Some of the girls want to roll down the dunes.

Hanky panky on the couch.

Last Chance Range and my footsteps on the dunes.

Our campsite between the dunes and the mountains.

Last Chance Range and footprints again.

Roll down the hill!

Woohoo!

Weird dolly in sand.

Weird dolly in sand.

Dunes with weird dolly for scale.

Still rolling!

Here comes Steve.

Our tent and the Last Chance Range.

Dunes in late afternoon.

Tent again. It’s a Springbar. Best cabin tent in the world. Made in the USA.

People climbing the dunes to watch the sunset.

I’ve been up there. It is way cool.

My new favorite picture of Steve.

Cool hills west of the dunes. I think it is pediment capped by lava flows and then dissected.

Getting ready to leave for Death Valley.

Mount Whitney.

Mount Whitney and Sierras, Alabama Hills, Steve, and bridge over the Owens River.

Steve.

Mount Whitney and Alabama Hills again. Many westerns were filmed in the Alabama Hills. I think some old Star Trek episodes were filmed there too (I’m pretty sure the episode with the Gorn was filmed there).

On Highway 190 to Death Valley.

Panamint Valley.

Down into Panamint Valley. Telescope Peak is tallest mountain in Death Valley, in the Panamint Range.

Almost down. We will be staying at Panamint Springs Resort, on the west side of Panamint Valley.

Green grass growing because of leak in pipe, on the trail to Darwin Falls. The falls are about 3 miles west of Panamint Springs Resort. The resort pipes its water all the way from the falls.

What happens when you add water to the desert.

Water from the falls.

Darwin Falls.

Close-up of the falls.

Early spring wildflowers on the way back to the car.

Aguereberry Point, the viewpoint on the west side of Death Valley, in the Panamint Range.

Great view from the point. The viewpoint on the east side of Death Valley is called Dante’s View. If you go to both viewpoints, you can see virtually all of Death Valley.

View toward southern Death Valley.

Another southern view.

Badwater “lake” just visible on other side of the valley.

Looking down at alluvial fans to the north.

Looking south to Telescope Peak.

From here we can see the whole world.

Pete Aguereberry spent 40 years living nearby and mining for gold.

View of Mt. Charleston in Nevada.

Pete’s mine at Harrisburg (Pete’s home and mine WERE Harrisburg).

The main mine entrance. I got to go in many years ago, but access is now limited during bat breeding season.

I’m very fond of old mines. I do not have claustrophobia.

Part of Pete’s rail system that took his carts of ore to his crushing mill.

Cashier Mill, where Pete crushed his ore.

Endangered Death Valley pupfish at Salt Creek.

Salt Creek.

Boardwalk at Salt Creek.

My “kiosk” on the hill behind Furnace Creek Inn.

King’s Pool at Point of Rocks in Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge east of Death Valley.

Pupfish and algae in King’s Pool.

One of the pathways on the nature walk around Point of Rocks/King’s Pool.

King’s Pool again. Ash Meadows Refuge is a beautiful, spring-fed oasis that was slated to be a subdivision before it was saved by those evil enviro-nazis who go around ruining the money dreams of asshole developers.

Artwork on one of the bridges.

Artwork on a bench at the picnic area.

The famous opera house in Amargosa, just west of the refuge.

We spent our last night at the park in lovely Greenwater Valley, east of Death Valley.

The barbies piled out again and got ready to have a party.

Spring green in Greenwater Valley.

Party time.

Couch party.

Blanket party.

An uninvited guest lurks in the bushes.

No wonder he wasn’t invited. What a perv!

More lurkers in the bushes.

Spying on the party.

Our campsite.

Early evening light in Greenwater Valley.

Sunrise.

More sunrise.

Still more sunrise.

Morning light on the mountains.

What a beautiful valley!

Morning coffee while we pack up.

Somebody wake up the party people.

Passed out on the couch.

A bit of morning hanky panky.

Packed and ready to leave.

Back to Death Valley on our way to the western exit of the park.

One last stop in southern Death Valley to admire spring green and first few flowers.

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