Sunday, November 25, 2012

Death Valley '49ers 63rd Encampment 2012

 Lets try and get back into more Blog posting as we have more travels to share. 
Our plan was to head back to Pahrump Nevada from Las Vegas after adding more solar to our coach to visit family and then to Death Valley.
We made plans to go to the Death Valley '49ers Encampment as first timers and see what was going on.  The Pre-Encampment was Nov. 3rd through the 6th and the Encampment was the 7th through the 11th.  We arrived the 2nd of November with plans to stay and dry camp for 9 days in Death Valley.  The only problem with the first 4 days was that it was in the mid 90s during the day and a little cooler at night; it got kind of hot in the coach in the afternoon.  We now understand why they call it Furnace Creek Campground.  We had to turn on the generator and the AC on one or two afternoons to get a little cool air.  Don't know how people used to live and work in this environment.
We had a grand time with, by our estimate, over 700 rigs.  There was lots of Western music playing on various stages during the day and into the night with some great entertainers.
We did some hikes, starting out with this one up the Mosaic Canyon, where Dick got this picture of Jackie starting up the dry wash.


We got to a point where the wash took a 90deg. turn with all the rocks washed away leaving nothing but solid marble to walk on.

A better view of the transition between the solid (cement like rocks) and the marble full of striations from the running water over the years.

Back at the National Park where we stayed, it was at the base of the hills and Dick was able to get this shot from the camp at sunset with a man and child walking down the ridge line with the setting sun on the hill behind.

Another day we joined up with 20 other 4wd vehicles for a 4X4 tour of Wood Canyon.  We met at Stovepipe Wells and headed out with our tour leader Chuck Knight who has spent over 30 years traveling and researching Death Valley.
He took us to spots along the road where there were Indian petroglyphs, old mines, and mills.  Here is one of the stops on the way South.


At a mine the remains of all the junk that was brought up there during the years of operation as still there.

We left the mine and started heading up a old narrow wash that was a real challenge for our Jeep Liberty with low clearance, but we made it to the top at over 6000 feet.  We started at about 285 feet below sea level that can be seen at the bottom of Death Valley in this picture.
This is where we all stopped and had lunch and it was a comfortable 70deg. at this elevation.

Another day another hike, this time we met near the south end of the park and 4 wheeled up about 2 miles where we parked and headed off.  Again Chuck was leading as he has been up this area several times before.  It was a tough hike and one of those days that got very hot.

Just an interesting plant that Dick had to get a shot of.  It was dead like most everything in the wash.

As you can see it was very steep at times and lots of loose rocks with no real trail.

We got about 3/4 the way up and decided to head back because the heat was getting to us and there was no place to bring in a helicopter to haul us out.  Three of us decided to head back and on the way we ran across this little guy about 5" wide blocking our path.  Dick convinced the tarantula to move to the side for us or get squished; he/she moved.

We found another way to get back to the jeep and it was a little easier but we were keeping our fingers crossed that we would not get lost.
On the way back to camp we ran across this coyote looking for a handout.  Sorry fella we had lunch before we pulled out and ate it all.   Besides this is a National Park and you can't feed the animals.

Another trip to Stovepipe Wells to catch the evening sun on the sand dunes.

The man in this photo sped into the parking lot, jumped out of his car and ran out to try and get his own pictures.  I got you in mine.

The purpose of the Death Valley '49ers Non-Profit Organization is to promote understanding and appreciation of Death Valley and its history.   It was fun to see this piece of history going down the road; one of the original 20 mule teams, not sure about the mules but the two freight and one water wagons are original.

To be continued...

1 comment:

picinichml said...

that spider is terrifying!