After our hikes in Arizona,we traveled on to California stopping first to raft on Lake Havasu on the CA-AZ border,then journeying on thru the Mojave desert to Death Valley National Park.
Rafting on Lake Havasu
I was in a tube and towed the raft behind me as I swam in the lake.
My Subaru in the vastness of the Mojave desert
traveling along CA SR 127
I was impressed by this little church sitting alone in the desert. Fitting name since John the Baptist preached in the desert.
ruins of a mill which supported mining operations in Death Valley
Coyote by the roadside in Death Valley. He hung around a bit,so I tossed him a few dog biscuits which he promptly devoured!
Devil`s Golf Course
salt deposits from an ancient lakebed form this surreal landscape in Death Valley
Exploring the moon of an alien world
the landscape of the devil`s golf course was otherworldly so I used my imagination with a photo program to create this image. the "planet" in the background was actually spectral refraction from a droplet on my lens in another photo. the astronaut is Buzz Aldrin from a NASA Apollo 11 photo.
Moon of an alien world
closeup of the devil`s golf course
wes and I walked out on it a bit but the terrain was rough and uneven which made for very difficult walking
Devil`s Golf Course
Devil`s Golf Course
mountain viewpoint high above the desert floor of Death Valley. elevation here was a bit over 5000 ft.
Can you hear me now?
my verizon cell phone works even in the wilds of death valley
rugged mountain landscape of dante`s viewpoint. one could imagine an old testament prophet wandering around up here!
formed by a volcanic eruption long ago,Ubehebe Crater sits in the desert of Death Valley. a long rubbly trail descended to the crater floor from the rim.
Hiker on rim
in the center can be seen a hiker on the crater rim. this gives some idea of the size of the crater.
myself hiking on Ubehebe floor
hiking the rim trail
a long trail wound thru the desert terrain circling ubehebe and a few smaller craters nearby
Ubehebe Rim hiking
steep slope leading down into ubehebe crater. part of the rim trail can be seen in the background.
Wesley on the rim of Ubehebe crater
it is a long way down to the crater floor. the narrow trail leading down can be seen on the far wall.
view from Ubehebe rim to floor
Wesley on crater rim
the trail circling the rim can be seen on the far side
Little Hebe crater
little hebe is a smaller volcanic crater in the vicinity. the trail also branched off around this crater.
this is a mansion built by Albert Johnson,a wealthy industrialist in the early 20th century. He used a nearby waterfall to provide hydroelectric power and even air condition the mansion by evaporative cooling. Scotty was his eccentric caretaker.
these interesting structures lie at the end of a remote road in Death Valley. They were designed to be filled with pine logs from the surrounding forest which were then burned to produce charcoal to power mine furnaces. this remote section of death valley is at a higher elevation thus it is cooler and has forested areas.
Ascending Wildrose Peak
Wildrose peak is the 2nd highest summit in Death Valley at a tad over 9000 ft. A four mile trail climbs to the summit with great views along the way. the trailhead starts by the charcoal kilns
charcoal kilns at sunset
on our first attempt,we didn`t reach the summit due to a late start. we turned around and reached the trailhead at sunset intending to start earlier the next day for the summit.
Wesley exits one of the kilns in evening shadow
death valley sunset
sunset along the road as we headed back from the trailhead to the wildrose campground
my gps marks the summit of wildrose peak. we returned the naxt day and made the summit.
Wesley on Wildrose Summit
Wes relaxes in the shelter of a rock windbreak at the summit
Wesley by the USGS summit marker
124 summit marker.jpg 2012-10-08
Cairn marking Wildrose summit
Relaxing on the summit
Beginning the hike back down
in a nearby section of Death Valley is the ghost mining town of Skidoo. the town flourished in the early 1900`s during one of California`s gold rushes. Many old mines and mine structures are scattered throughout the area.
Skidoo miner`s cabin
just imagine living here in the solitude of the desert!
the gravel road leading back to Skidoo from the main road was over 20 miles long. one section had narrow hairpin turns with steep dropoffs. luckily nobody was coming the other way!
Skidoo mine tunnel
Skidoo mine shaft
this shaft seemed to go back a long way. one could imagine descending deep into the bowels of the earth or perhaps the netherworld of hell!
rotting mill structure which served the area mines
exploring the skidoo mill
one had to be careful as a few stairs were missing and a narrow plank bridge had to be negotiated from the surrounding cliff.
Pool at Furnace Creek
Death Valley actually has a resort hotel named Furnace Creek. I purchased a $5 pool pass to relax after a hot day of hiking at skidoo.
my eyes were closed just after hitting the water following a jump