|With a strong "Pineapple Express" storm predicted for California I
had a great idea - why not go see Death Valley in the rain? This is
the lowest, hottest, and driest spot in the Western Hemisphere - but
not when we were there :)
|First we hiked up to Darwin Falls - we didn't make it to the main
waterfall as we kind-of cliffed out and I didn't feel comfortable
scrambling with T. But we did make it to the narrow part of the
canyon and this small waterfall.
|We stayed at Panamint Springs Campground the first night. In the morning
it began to sprinkle and so we drove over to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and
then down to the Salt Creek Trail where we looked for pupfish. Then it
was on to Furnace Creek where we ate lunch and toured the visitor center
and museum and then headed south to Badwater.
|After playing in the rain at Badwater T took a nap while I drove south. I
checked out the campgrounds in Shoshone and Tecopa but wasn't really
thrilled with them. So we ended up driving further south and camped on
BLM land. In the morning we hiked along another Salt Creek!
|Then we drove south into Mojave National Preserve - there the fog and the
clouds were absolutely enchanting! We stopped at Kelso Depot to tour the
visitor center and watch a very fast and loud train go by!
|Then we headed south towards home and congratulated ourselves on
another successful and unique road/camping/hiking trip. Since it had
been the week after the holiday and during a winter rain storm there
were very few people on the roads, nobody on the trails, and the
campgrounds were empty. Well, almost… On Monday when we drove
north to Panamint Springs we passed this trailer on the way. On
Tuesday we drove east to Furnace Creek and saw it at the visitor
center. Wednesday we drove south to Kelso Depot and guess who we
saw yet again? Funny that we did this big circle with so many possible
turns and detours and yet there was the trailer at every one :)