Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Welcome to Death Valley...

... where it is 70F during the day and 40F at night. It took us 6 hours to drive to Death Valley, thanks to the road closure on the South side. We had to drive around and enter from the West. Then our campground was all the way on the North end of the valley. It was out of the way, but a great little campsite!

We didn't have much daylight left on Thursday, but we managed to see Ubehebe Crater which was caused by volcanic activity in the Park a few hundred years ago. This was my favorite site in the Park. A short .5 mile hike uphill took us to a view of the smaller craters.

We also drove up to Scotty's Castle. This was a family's vacation home in the park and cost them 1.5 million to build in 1906. We arrived after the tours ended, but that's okay... taking tours of inside of houses is not my "thing."

The next day was a hiking day (I LOVE me a good hiking day :oD ). Our first hike was through Golden Canyon. And the walls of the canyon were a yellow-y color... I guess you could call it gold... or maybe there was gold discovered here. We don't know for sure because we didn't pay the 25 cents for the interpretive brochure. We made it 3 miles round trip to the Red Cathedral.

Our next hike was through a canyon that we hiked about 15 years ago called Mosaic Canyon. 15 years ago, we got there so late that we didn't make it to the end, and I really really wanted to make it to the end... it was such a beautiful interesting canyon. The walls and floor of this narrow canyon are made of smooth white marble. It opened up into a wash and ended at a dry waterfall... 4 mile round trip.

We also drove past a couple interesting spots... Artist Pallet where the hills are infused with soft watery colors (I took that description out of the tour book):

This is Salt Creek. There is actually running water in Death Valley and it's supposed to be full of Pup Fish... not a pup fish in sight...

After our 7+ mile hiking day, the next day was a driving day. We took a drive out to the Rhyolite Ghost Town in Nevada. My favorite building was the house built out of 30,000 bottles from the local saloons.

Our drive back to Death Valley was though a narrow one way trail. It's hard to see the majesty of the scenery from these shots. It was really breath-taking!

Here are a last few pics from the campground... and Jim's 62nd birthday! Happy Birthday, Jim!

Thanks for coming on our trip with us!


Mary said...

Loved looking at all your pictures. I can only image how beautiful it was there. Thanks for sharing this with me. I always enjoy seeing where you have been and what you have been doing.

BethieJ said...

Joni I LOVED all your photos, looks like you had a FABULOUS time in a VERY BEAUTIFUL place!! I LOVED that building made out of bottles too! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jim!!
Have a GREAT weekend!!!