Two Weeks in Death Valley!
Week 1: The Yearly SJSU Trip


Click on any picture to see it full-size.

2018 is the year that the family-and-friends trip is in the spring, as is the yearly SJSU Spring Break in Death Valley week. So like last time, I planned to do them back-to-back. I checked with my peeps, and nobody from the F&F trip was planning to come to the SJSU week...but Diana, Mike, Jerry and Sandie all wanted to come and stay in the motel in Beatty the next week, as did Jim, who is my camping and hiking buddy from the SJSU group.

And, I thought, I'll have all my camping stuff with me...so I asked if anyone wanted to stay for a couple of extra days and camp some more, and Mike said HELLZ YEAH!

So the plan was: Jim and I would leave Saturday, March 24 for the SJSU trip. On Friday, March 30, we would leave that group, go to Pahrump (the closest town with real grocery stores) for more supplies, then go to Beatty, where Diana and Mike from the Bay Area, and Jerry and Sandie from Southern California, would join us. We'd all stay at the Atomic in in Beatty til Wednesday morning April 4, when Diana and Jim would drive home, and Mike and I would camp the next two nights, driving home on Friday April 6.

I had a list of things I wanted to do over these two weeks: hike the newly-reopened Keane Wonder Mine, hike some of Surprise Canyon, rent a jeep and go up into the canyons off West Side Road, and go to Darwin Falls again.

So here's how the first week, with SJSU, went. And here's the second week.
And here's a note about the pictures.

Saturday, March 24
We left Jim's house at 8 am and drove south to Bakersfield, crossing the Sierras at Lake Isabella and Walker Pass. A nice and uneventful drive.
The hills on the 152 near the 5 were glowing green, so pretty. Birds in a tree where we stopped for a bit. And Jim took pictures on the 5 as we passed the SJSU vans, which had left about thirty minutes before us.
Two pictures going into the Kern River canyon, and then of Joshua trees in Walker Pass on the other side.
A cool old pickup truck, and more pics from Walker Pass.
Fragile Tostadas jammed in with all the other stuff, made me laugh. The other three pics are looking east from the 395.
The Sierras from the Olancha gas station. Bridget's pictures of one of the stops the vans made, looks like the 190 near Randsburg or Johannesburg. Yay! We're here! About one more hour to our campground...
This is Jim's traditional picture from the long flat stretch across Panamint Valley.

And the third one is Boudika, and looks back at Panamint Springs.

Beautiful hills on the way into the valley, the campground before anyone is there, and a scorpion's shed skin that was on one of the camp equipment containers.
Well, my truck was easy to get set up for camping! I'll go looking for flowers...it was really cold when we got in on Saturday, and we didn't see any flowers on our way. I went out into the wash beside the campground, and found quite a few belly flowers (flowers you have to get down low to see) but not very many for the end of March. Hm.
Desert Sunflower Phacelias Mojave Desertstar
Portrait of the Photographer as a Shadow More Phacelias and Mojave Desertstar
Mojave Desertstar. I really loved these. Scented Cryptantha Brown-eye Evening Primrose This is Stella, who knows a TON about plants and flowers, and was really great to hang around with.
Stella is waiting for the SJSU vans...and here they come!
The students are setting their tents up, and it's my night to make dinner...this is the cool pattern the olive oil makes on the pot of water for pasta.
Sunday, March 25
Sunday is kind of a settling-in-do-what-you-want day on this trip. The vans take the students to Pahrump to do their food shopping, and the afternoon is pretty open. Jim and I usually get out early, do the shopping for the week and then go hiking in the afternoon.

Now, this year was very different from the other times I've come here; this time, we had a five-person food group- me, Jim, Robbie the geologist and Bob the biologist, both of whom are faculty, and one more 'repeater', Bridget. 'Repeaters' are the people who are coming along for fun, rather than for course credit.

Of the five of us, Robbie and I were planning to cook three times (one of hers was Friday, after Jim and I would be gone.) Bob always cooks one night, and Bridget and Jim didn't want to cook but were happy doing most of the dishes. So we had agreed that I would cook Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday nights; Robbie would cook Sunday, Wednesday and Friday; and Bob would make his dinner on Monday.

The morning was beautiful but cold. EVERYONE needs power to charge their devices. And two views of the beautiful ranges of hills on the way through Ash Meadows to Pahrump.
The camp on Sunday morning, all the students are in Pahrump shopping.

After Jim and I got back from Pahrump (Sonic burgers for lunch, noms!) Kristen (The Camp Mom) and I took a book break. Yes, my hair is bright blue, I had it colored about a week before this trip. Just because.

Jim wanted to hike up to an old gold mine, Ashford Mine. I had done it last year and had offered to go again, because I knew he'd like it. So we took off around noon and drove about 40 miles south to the road. Here's his picture of Badwater, where we stopped briefly on the way.
The hills are on the way. Ashford Mill is across the highway from the dirt road to the trailhead. The third picture is looking across the main road to the bad washboard road to the trailhead, and the fourth looking back down the way we drove up. And I have to say, of all the skanky dirt roads I went on this two weeks, the road to the Ashford Mine trailhead was the WORST.
Creosote on the left, Lesser Mojavea on the right.

We started out on the right (only) trail; I knew we had to cross the wash, but when we did, we ended up on a trail I didn't recognize...it was a steep narrow trail, but went in the right direction. We decided to follow it and see where it led...

...which was VERY STEEPLY UPWARDS. And a lizard!

When we got to the top, I recognized the canyon...Bob said later that we must have gotten on a bighorn sheep trail, although it looked like a people trail to me. Anyway, we got there.

These dead bushes were all over the place, and they were actually very pretty! Another Scented Cryptantha. And now we're in the canyon.
Desert Sunflower Jim looking at the waxing moon I love my monochrome filter! The steep switchbacks at the end of the canyon...

And...Jim found a gold mine!

Ashford Mine was a gold mine in the early 1900s, again in the 1930s, and again in the 1950s. There's a lot of stuff left-buildings, appliances, piles of debris...it's pretty fun to poke through!

Big Mormon Trumpet

As you can see, there are several buildings left, and at least one of them is still safe to walk into...
...so of course we went all over the inside, taking silly pics and stuff. I found a long shelf with a bunch of artifacts people had left there from around the area, so I took a few pictures of them. I put the blue glass in the white porcelain sink with the sun on it, very pretty!
On the left is the back door of the structure, which leads to a cave in the hill where it looks like someone was living...

We also poked all around the outside of the camp too, and on the right are two pictures of me, my favorite pictures of this trip. Thanks, Jim!

This was one of the actual mines, with mesh over it to keep the careless people out. The ladder goes WAAAY down...although I bet it was nice and cool down there, compared to the heat up top during summer. Today? not so hot, you notice I'm in jeans and a tshirt...

Scented Cryptantha.

My night to cook!

That was fun! But now it's time to go...

Maybe a Desert Sunflower?

Me picking my way down a dry waterfall, Desert Tobacco, Jim looking all rugged and outdoorsy, and more cool black and white stuff. Just because.
And back up the steep trail... And back down the steep trail... A creosote gall Jim has stopped to do his GPS/photo stuff
Yup, it's me! An anomalous rock Boudika waits patiently for us Me and my truck!
On the way back the hills are beautiful. Gravel Ghost with a beetle in it Dinner time! Robbie's night to cook. The after-dinner 'what the week is going to be like' presentation, with guys fussing over the laptop and projector. They got it working pretty fast.
Monday, March 26
And now the week starts! For me, at 6:30 in the morning when Jim shakes my truck to wake me up...but he always makes sure the water is hot first. Thank you Jim!

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday there are three different groups that go out, and each van switches between them so the students (and repeaters who want to join them) get to all the different day classes. Today I planned to go to Ash Meadows in the group with Bob Clement the biologist and Merav Vonshak the entomologist. I was taking Bryce and Fran and my cookgroup buddy Bridget along with me. I drove and they swapped off in the jump seats and shotgun in my truck.

But first...here's the branch that the wind blew down on Bridget's tent Sunday night, and the duct tape that fixed it. Luckily, it put a small hole in her tent in two places but not in her air mattress or her sleeping bag, both much harder to fix.
Ash Meadows is a big National Wildlife Refuge; there are several roads through it, a beautiful (and relatively new) visitor's center, lots of places to stop and look at things, and is generally awesome. There is also The Devil's Hole, which I'll describe later.
Ash Meadows is on the road to Pahrump, the same way that Jim and I went on Sunday morning. Our first stop was by the Amargosa River, which actually had water in it. In the fourth picture above you can see me, towards the right, with a pink hat on. It was so cold I had my thick hoodie and my pink knitted hat. It was COLD COLD COLD. Pretty much all day. No flowers, hardly any wildlife. Just cold. Meh.
Catching insects in the river and around it. Merav has a bottle with a nymph in it.
And after a bit we leave the Amargosa River (which is dry most of the year) for Jackrabbit Spring, which is year-round.
Bob is telling us about Jackrabbit Spring, which is actually on private land, although people are welcome to visit it. And here it is...and it's STILL DAMN COLD. Some kind of flowers from last year. Jackrabbit Spring again. There are pupfish here...
As you can see. This is desert mistletoe, which is a parasite on Mesquite trees.
And...did I mention how COLD it was? And the wind went right through me...one of the perks of not being a student taking this week for credit is that I can bail, which I did; I went back to Boudika and read for half an hour and stayed warm. Then they all came back and we scoured the ground beyond my truck for the Ash Meadows Milkvetch, which literally only grows right here in this spot. And is pretty as well.
Merav is showing galls with insects in them, and there's the bush they came from. Then we went to Point of Rocks, and there was bird poop on the fence boards with seeds sprouting from it!
I'm looking at an arrow-weed plant, and there is a small arrow-weed tree in the second picture. The third and fourth are pupfish, the bright blue ones are the males.
The last time I was here, three or four years ago, the place was full of flowers and lizards and birds and insects...today, not so much. It's still pretty cold, and nothing much is blooming.
Desert Holly, Hopsage and two interesting trees.
Another view of the mountains. Still no flowers. But here is the group from my truck, Bridget, Fran, me and Bryce, having our lunch. See how bundled up we are? And then...is that? Yes, it's a lizard! There is life at Point of Rocks!
Then we went to Devil's Hole (the third picture) to see where the pupfish live...the hole is so deep and so far back that you can't actually see the pupfish from where the platform is, but they were there. There's a pupfishcam in the visitor's center!
Then we went to Crystal Reservoir, which is a man-made lake that was supposed to be the centerpiece of a huge desert city like Vegas...except when the Devil's Hole pupfish was discovered they halted the construction and made that little bit of land part of Death Valley NP. But the reservoir is pretty!

The water comes from Coyote Spring, near the visitor's center, and is quite a strong stream. There were ducks and coots, and Merav scooped up a dragonfly larvae in one of her jars for us all to see.

Our last stop was at the Ash Meadows Visitor's Center, which is pretty awesome. There's a half-mile boardwalk out behind it that goes by Coyote Spring, which pumps out hundreds of gallons of water per minute. There are pupfish there, yet another variety from the others we've seen today. I walked around the boardwalk, where it was marginally warmer, and enjoyed the light and water and plants.
And it was time to go back to Cow Creek. It was Bob's turn to cook, and he makes one thing: Jamoke. I asked him for the recipe, and this is his answer, verbatim:

Nothing secret about it. 10% taste, 90% cholesterol. Amounts up to your liking and expected survivors (guests). Elbow macaroni (or other pasta, or mixed). Bacon, white onions. Stewed tomatoes. Fry bacon and onions until the onions are soft and the bacon is still not crisp. You can pour off some of the bacon grease to increase the percentage of survivors. Once the pasta is soft, pour off the water, add the bacon and onions and put in as many cans of tomatoes as needed. I like stewed best, but diced, Italian style, chipotle style or any mix of them works well. I think I used all three in DV. I add garlic salt, pepper and parsley flakes. Any other spices you like are fine also. Mix and reheat. Since there is not a very strict formula, there is plenty of room for experimentation. Cooked ground beef might be good. Probably lean, the bacon grease content is probably sufficient without the hamburger grease. Mushrooms? Small amounts of other vegetables - corn, peas, garbanzos? No one will know, until the autopsies, what you actually put in it. Hard to say what fine wine might go well with it. Possibly Thunderbird or Ripple.

It was damn good, is all I have to say.

After dinner, those of us who were still ambulatory went out with Merav hunting scorpions. My camera didn't like trying to take these pictures, this is the best I got; it was hiding behind a rock and that's where my camera wanted to focus.
Tuesday, March 27
On Tuesday, I went out with Rod the Botanist. Bridget, Ally and Stella came along in my truck as well. Our first stop was south of Zabriskie Point, along the main road.
Here is the first place we stopped, and Merav found a harvestman (related to Daddy Longlegs) under a rock. The third picture is the old mining town of Ryan, on the way to Dante's View.
Most years, Rod takes us to Dante's View, we get out and look at the views and the plants and flowers, then we stop every thousand feet or so all the way down (Dante's View is at about 5600 ft.) This year, since Dante's View was closed, we turned north at the Greenwater road and went up in the hills.
There was an old mine where we stopped, which was pretty cool.
And these are the views back the way we came and across the valley.
There weren't many flowers, but there were a lot of spiderwebs.
Even without flowers, there were many interesting plants. And you notice that I'm still wearing my hoodie and pink hat, it's still damn cold.

We got back in the two vehicles and drove down the dirt road, almost to the main road, to where there were straw chollas and other plants that had not been at the higher elevation.

One of the straw chollas had two cactus wren nests in it, very cool!

Desert Holly

Little spider

Big wolf spider

Our last stop of the morning was in the wash on the east side of the road between Dante's View road and Zabriskie Point...and, amazingly enough, it started getting WARM. It was about 11 am, and we were all taking off hats and jackets and LOVING the sun.
We all went back to Furnace Creek, which had half of the buildings torn down and being rebuilt. I dropped Fran and Bryce off at their car, and I went back to the campground for a shower and some quiet relaxing. I read, played dominoes with Kristen the Camp Mom, and had a great afternoon.
I also went to Furnace Creek to get ice and call Doug, since my cell phone did not work at all in DV. I never noticed the campground name before! And with the big general store being torn down, this is the makeshift store they had open, in the Golf Shop. Hey, there was ice and Blue Bunny ice cream, I was not going to complain!
Bridget went with the group that afternoon to the salt flats, and these are her pictures. The first flower is a phacelia, the second is a desert five-spot, and I think the insect in the spoon is a caddis-fly larva, but that one I'm not sure about. I love the salt crystals in the footprint!
The Tornado
So after I had gotten back from the morning's excursion, and had showered, I was putting things in my truck, and getting other things out, like lunch food. There were several bags and such on the tailgate of my truck. Suddenly, a high wind SLAMMED into me from behind, and I leaned over and covered all my stuff that was lying around loose to keep it from being blown away. For about ten seconds, which is a LONG TIME when you're thinking, WTF? and Oh, no, not again!. Then the wind died down and all was well.

Stan and Kristen had been walking around the camp discussing That Which Must Be Done, and Stan was behind the trailer where Bryce and Fran's tent was. In the lee of the trailer, up against it. Their tent was a big pop-up, with two full size cots and all their stuff in it, and heavy poles. Stan said the wind literally came down, picked their tent up, ripped out the six or eight stakes holding it down (not to mention the cots and all their stuff), lifted it and dropped it ten feet to the side.

They got back later that day and were completely flabbergasted that that could happen...good thing Stan had seen it, nobody would have believed it otherwise...it was a tiny localized tornado, and I had felt just a bit of it fifty feet away at my truck. You gotta love Death Valley, it never gets boring.

I made Pumpkin Chili for dinner, Robbie holds court, and some of the students are roasting marshmallows for somemores over their cookstoves!
Wednesday, March 28
There is always a day during the SJSU trip that I go off for an adventure on my own, and today is the day! There is a canyon called Surprise Canyon that leads to an old ghost town called Panamint City. This is outside the very tiny town of Ballarat, which Jim and I had visited a couple of years ago.

The thing is, everything I read about this hike was contradictory. The descriptions of the 6 mile drive from Ballarat ranged from 'almost smooth enough for a passenger car' to '4x4 hell road'. Likewise, the hike (which is about 6.5 miles up the canyon, and a couple of miles of which is actually in the streambed with no trail) had descriptions from 'a fun day hike' to 'we nearly died of exhaustion, you HAVE to spend the night halfway, it's too hard!'. I'm not joking, this is the range of information on the hiking websites.

I figured that most of the difference had to do with the time of year and how much water was in the stream, and also whether or not the road had recently been graded. So, as I often do, I thought, let's just go and see. I figured that I'd try to get to Chris Wicht Camp, which is the trailhead and the end of the 6 mile road; if I got there, I'd try the hike, and turn around if anything got too hellish. My goal was to hike to the point where it became streambed with no trail, and see how it all looked, planning to come back another day to do the whole thing.

And not to give anything away, but I did exactly what I had planned and had a great time!

Morning was beautiful! Desert Sunflower The view from just beyond Towne Pass looking out of Death Valley Across the Panamint Valley toward Panamint Springs.
And the sign is not a lie! Not five minutes later, I came across a small herd of adorable burros along the road.

Yellow Cups

Ballarat. A few buildings and some stuff for the tourists, including a really sad general store. The old post office and a very wierd sign that I didn't stop to take a picture of. The guy who was running the general store, Brett, is behind me. I'm lovin' Merino, a pit bull mix who was here with her artist mom (who took the picture.) They were so nice! And who can resist a skull wired up to the porch?
And this...is the terrible terrible road. It was fine. The road Jim and I took to hike Ashford mine was WAY worse. There were bad parts of this road, but nothing that made me even hesitate to let Boudika take me where I wanted to go. Such a good truck!
And here I am at Chris Wicht camp, easy peasy. The area that is the trailhead is pretty big; there's room for many cars, and there is a lot of stuff left over from old buildings and mining equipment. Which I spent quite a bit of time looking at and taking pictures of. It was a lot of fun!

maybe Sweetbush?

again, maybe Sweetbush

And then I was done taking pictures...including this fine lizard...and it was time to hike.

Probably Desert Sunflower

And here's the trailhead! I didn't mention, but as soon as I got to the parking lot, I could hear the stream running down beside it, between the parking lot and the hill on the other side from the old buildings and stuff. That's what I was going to be walking up beside and through! Unlike the previous three days, it was hot and sunny, and the water was lovely.
I opened the box that holds the trail register and this little guy ran out and onto the back of the box.
And on this beautiful day I'm walking along, all by myself, enjoying this chuckling stream, with sunlight and green plants and really interesting rocks. It was WONDERFUL.
The rocks on each side were getting narrower and steeper, and then I hit a place where it looked like the trail followed the stream...but it was just the channel through the reeds. And there were frogs...I couldn't see them, but I could hear them!
This was on the trail description I read; one of several pieces of construction equipment that had been WASHED DOWN THE CANYON by flooding...

Selfie!

Bee!

...But inside it's delicious!

So I got here, and took pictures and a selfie...it was obviously the place where one had to start walking in the streambed. I'd hiked about 1 3/4 miles, and wasn't at all tired, but hiking alone is no time to go up a streambed by yourself.

Then I thought, well, I could go a LITTLE way up...and I tried to go up that little staircase, that was about 5 feet high...and see where it's covered with algae? Yup, I slipped and fell forward on my hands. Now, that was no problem...I didn't fall far, and I caught myself just fine; I got a little wet but it was hot, so yay.

Then I looked down at my camera...which I wear around my neck, and which had either been briefly dipped into the water, or seriously splashed. Uh oh. The viewfinder was nasty, and I had no idea if anything else had gotten wet...

Aaaand...most of the pictures I took on the way back were, shall we say, interesting. I kept a few. The zoom worked fine, so those were okay.
But damn.
This is the nice artist lady, her dog Merino, and the wool art she was working on. Here's her Etsy page.

Then a very sad wet picture of the general store, and one of the great signpost at the 'intersection' where two dirt roads come together...and I was gone.

And off I went, with my camera face down on the front seat in the sun to dry out (this is important). I stopped in Panamint Springs for ice cream (yum!) and then drove back to Cow Creek through Towne Pass.
I got home, relaxed a bit, then went up the hill behind Cow Creek to the village where the rangers and families live. At the end of the road is...the Furnace Creek branch of the Inyo County Free Library. No kidding, it's open from 4:30 to 8:30 pm on Wednesdays and 9-12 am on Saturdays...I've tried to get there before but the time never worked out.
As one walks in the front door and turns to the left, these bookshelves are on the left, with the reference desk right there. The second picture is what's beyond the reference desk. The empty shelves are waiting for a rotating bestseller collection to arrive the next day. There were two nice ladies, one a library assistant in charge of the branch, and the other (I think) a volunteer. They were great! This is the tiny children's room, and the Dr. Seuss pictures on the wall were from a program they did in early March (Dr. Seuss' birthday, March 2) where they had sixteen people, which is VERY good for such a small branch! and what a fun craft, too!
And the last room is the nonfiction/dvd/study room. A very nice little library!

And here is Robbie making a delicious dinner with Jim looking on...

But wait! you might be saying...you drove down to Death Valley with Jim, and went hiking with him Sunday, but we haven't seen him since...where has he been?

A good question! Jim took off with a bunch of the Repeaters to go camping in Mesquite Springs; I wanted to stay with the group, so I didn't go. They had a great time! They got a tour of Ubehebe Crater from Rosalba, who is connected with the DV group and visits, but spends most of her time studying the crater for NASA/SETI; they went to a party at a Scotty's Castle volunteer's house, and Rosalba cooked an amazing dinner for everyone, and they partied late into the night. The next day they got a guided tour of (closed) Scotty's Castle from one of the volunteers, and they got to go places NOBODY gets to go. They also went to the bottom of the Keane Wonder Mine trail. A good time was had by all!

And also on Wednesday, Bridget went with Robbie for the day of geology; they went down Badwater Road, around through Jubilee Pass, and ended up at the Vitrophere a few miles outside Shoshone. Here are some of her pics:

The first two are Mushroom Rock, and then they went to the Devil's Golf Course; the salt crystals are amazing there.

Bridget took these at Badwater. The puzzle is a fault map of DV, and that's Bridget herself at the Badwater sign.
Some beautiful rocks, the Amargosa Chaos, and the museum in Shoshone.
The vitruphere outside Shoshone...it's a layer of a certain kind of obsidian, with other layers around it. She had a fun day!
Thursday, March 29
Breakfast time! And here are Stan, and Kristen the Camp Mom. Stan is wearing his 'off duty' uniform. In the second picture he is issuing orders to the troops. We were forced to genuflect and speak respectfully. Time to go!
The vans went off to Ubehebe Crater first thing in the morning. Jim and I hung out for an hour or two, then went to Mesquite Dunes to meet them; we got there way early, so we went out in the dunes for an hour before they showed up. Bridget went with them, these are the pics she took looking down the trail inside the crater.
Here we are at the Mesquite Dunes, which are lovely sand dunes where you can see all kinds of animal tracks, mesquite and creosote bushes, and beautiful desert iguanas. This is also where I found out that the water that had gotten in my camera the previous day, that I turned my camera on its face to let it dry...had run into the main lens and I had a water spot there, at the bottom of every single damn picture I took from then on that I didn't use the zoom on. So from this point on, almost all the pictures have the water spot cropped out of them...
Jim took some excellent pics of lizard, insect and snake prints!
And this was the day that, after all the cold weather over the weekend, all the flowers showed up! there had been some coming out Wednesday, but Thursday was when I really noticed a lot of them.
Brown-eye evening primrose, blooming creosote bush and popcorn flowers.
I had been looking for giant, 18 inch desert iguanas on the sand under the bushes and not seeing any; the students, when they came, saw them right away...the iguanas were tiny, about 4-5 inches long, and on the branches of the bushes! The first two pictures show one, with an arrow in the second picture pointing to the lovely reptile. Another picture of lizard tracks, and a close-up of one that I came upon another student taking a picture of. If you can't find something, look around til you see someone taking a picture and that's where it'll be...
Then we went to Mosaic Canyon and hiked up it to the Augen, the eye-shaped fold in the rock...
Bob The Augen Beautiful rocks The students
Narrow canyon Bob, Bridget and Rod Rod sliding down the rock on his butt My turn! Wheeee!
The Cottonwood mountains, the sand dunes and the Devil's Corn Field, which is actually arrow-weed, just like what we saw at Ash Meadows Point of Rocks. Then we went to Salt Creek to see the pupfish.
The last pic is of two gentlemen pupfish having a rather spirited altercation. I think it probably ended with pistols at sunset...

Then we went back to camp for dinner and decompressing.

Every time I looked at the charging station there was more stuff plugged into it! And the sunset was lovely...
...as was the nearly full moon in the trees.
Windy and Grant being their awesome selves, Robbie and Jim clowning around, and Grant and Jim giving the evening presentation about Rhyolite and mining, which is where the group was going to go in the morning.

It was a lovely week.

Friday, March 30
Friday morning. Jim and I got up with everyone else, saw them off, then left Cow Creek, wistfully but excited about new adventures!
And the vans pulled out at 8 am for Rhyolite and Titus Canyon.

And the campground is quiet and empty...

Some of Bridget's pics from Friday...these are from Rhyolite and Titus Canyon
But what about Jim and Jo and the Beatty segment of the trip? Here's the page for the second week!
This page is not only my pictures, but Bridget and Jim were kind enough to share theirs with me too. Sometimes I said whose pictures are which, sometimes I didn't because I was writing a lot...but you can tell by scrolling over them; Bridget's pics have a b at the end after the number, and Jim's have a j. Thanks, guys! your photos are awesome. Oh, and Bridget used both her smartphone and a camera, a Canon, I think; Jim used his phone, his video recorder and his fancy ipad that had gps and stuff. I used my poor old beat up Panasonic Lumix ZS-50, which goes through hell and still takes good pictures...as you will see in the above narrative.