Carlsbad, NM

Carlsbad, NM

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day Two

Thanks Monica for doing our first blog post. We are back out of Death Valley now (barely), staying in Lone Pine, Cal. for the night and now have cell and internet service. That was one of the highlights yesterday - besides no cell phone or cell service, the place where we stayed (Pantamint) had no TV service either. It was great. But the main highlight for us yesterday was when we stumbled upon the Trona Pinnacles. These are numerous columns of calcium carbonate and other types of rock rising over 100 feet from the desert. We had to drive 6 miles off the road on a bumpy path to get to them. They are actually ancient sea beds and were once 600 feet under water. Several movies like Star Trek V and The Planet of the Apes have been filmed there. We regressed (or maybe progressed) in years as we ran around them and climbed on some of the smaller ones, all the while shirtless in 106 degree heat and in total isolation.

Monica mentioned the good deeds from yesterday. Today was difficult because we maybe saw fewer than 50 people all together. Not too many people flock to Death Valley as tourists, but we loved it. The scenery is spectacular and the novelty of the heat is pretty neat - it's actually painful when getting out of the car sometimes. You can see the temperature at 1:00 in the afternoon from the picture Pee Wee took of the dashboard gauges in our rental car. A few minutes earlier I felt like running - you can see a picture Pee Wee took of me running towards him after he dropped me off and then drove a half mile up the road. Hey, how many times will I have the opportunity to run in that kind of heat? Besides it was only 119 when I reached the car.

You can also see the gas price at a gas pump where we stayed last night. Gas stations can be an hour or more apart, so the managers kind of take advantage of those who are running low. We didn't have to pay that though - we followed the advice of a kind lady at a visitor center not too far out of L.A. who told us to fill up and to never go below 3/4 of a tank.

It was a neat feeling when we stood at Badwater in Death Valley - the lowest point in the country at 282 feet below sea level. Seeing pictures and hearing stories about it made it pretty awesome to actually be there. Now we're staying near Mt. Whitney - the highest peak in California at over 14,000 feet - quite a contrast in a 12 hour period.

We had an interesting experience this morning - we hiked a mile to the Falls at Pantamint - parts of it were through very narrow paths with boulders on each side, and other parts we had to balance ourselves while we forded tiny streams on long narrow fallen wooden branches. On the way back we were very surpirsed to see two other people walking in the other direction toward the falls. We didn't expect to see anyone because there just arent't many people in the area. They were two women maybe in their forties - we spoke to one of them - the other kind of stood back - I think Pee Wee might have scared her. When we got back to our car we saw theirs. It was painted with advertizing for "" and had bumper stickers showing that WickedCampers is worldwide. Someone please research that and let us know what it's all about.

That's about it for Day Two. Now that we're around more humans we hope to pick it up in the good deed department. Tomorrow we may be heading for the Sequoia National Park or Yosemite, we'll see.

1 comment:

Coach Harsh said...

Got to spend the night in Death Valley with my crazy family when I was 10 in a pop-up camper. Needless to say it was very difficult to sleep that night. My dad slept outside on a picnic table. At least he tried to sleep out there.