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Thread: Death Valley Trip

  1. #9
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Here goes the long and drawn out story of my trip to Death Valley. Those of you who wish to skip ahead to the pictures and videos, feel free; this here is for the people wanting to read about the experience.

    Background
    This is the story of my trip to Death Valley that I took with my friends Brandon, Time, Sean, Jess, David (Jess's cousin,) and Trent (David's friend.) Neil was supposed to come too, but he's a bum and forgot that he'd made prior arrangements, so instead of taking his car, we took Brandon's mom's van.

    Day One (Jan 12)

    Brandon came over with Tim and we picked up his mom's van, we then played taxi and picked everyone else up. From here we went to Costco to get supplies. Supplies from Costco totaled just over $100. We spent the night at Brandon's (and thus I wasn't able to attend the NASC meeting.)

    Day Two (Jan 13)

    We woke up, got all of our things together and were off by 10:00. We arrived at Stovepipe Wells camp ground at around 6:00. Along the end of the trip we accidentally ended up on a black road, it was bumpy, winding, and a little creepy since it was dark. We were able to fumble through the dark to make a fire, set up camp, make food, and get everything together. This is where the fun starts.

    This first set of pictures is from a city outside of the desert, it was the largest of the last of civilization. (I need a map so I can remember the city's name! Yar!)


    Would you believe that this place actually has an airport!



    These following pictures are of a GIANT salt bed and some of the surrounding landscape. The sun was setting behind me and the moon was on the opposite horizon. While it made for a pretty cool shot, it made lighting difficult.







    Giant salt mound and processing plant. We also passed some large borax flats.

    The night that ensues can only be described as Hell. It all started when Tim got a headache and went to bed early. We all joined soon thereafter but found it difficult to sleep because of noisy neighbors and the bright moon out. We were all lying down in the tend (a quite large tent) when Timmy got up and fumbled for the zipper. When he had unzipped the door he toppled out and immediately threw up: but it was more than vomit. The torrential storms of South America during an el nino year have nothing on Tim, Niagra Falls has nothing on Tim, the floods that made Noah gather the animals on the Ark have nothing on Tim: it was a vomit to remember. Afterwards he felt much better.

    The whole camp had heard Tim return his meal and we could hear them talking about it for a while (which was quite funny, actually.) Everyone fell asleep, but it could not have been but a half hour later when we heard a terrible noise. It wasn't like any coyote we'd heard before, it was wailing and insane. Needless to say I woke up and was freaked out, but it wasn't until Tim sat BOLT upright and let out a shriek (he was sick, so no one holds him freaking out against him,) that I really became unnerved. Jess said “It was just a coyote,” and Tim collapsed back down as if he'd never been awake (he doesn't remember it) and everyone (save for me) fell back asleep.

    For the looongest time I could not get to sleep. Then Sean started snoring. Now I really couldn't get to sleep. After an hour or so I get fed up and upon whispering his name I put my hand on his shoulder to wake him... He FREAKS out, he jumps as if he'd been frightened and wasn't too happy. He then proceeded to deny snoring, and deny even ever having been asleep... Moments later, he was asleep and I was left shaken more than ever. It was very uncomfortable, I was just waiting for the next person to freak out and rip me out of half-slumber. Then the temperature dropped dramatically. LOL Awesome night, eh? I woke up verrrrry tired.
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  2. #10
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Day 3 (Jan 14)

    We met up with David and Trent and ate breakfast, a task which was made very difficult by the lack of tools, sanitation, and cooperation- but otherwise a successful breakfast (lol.) This was an awesome day.

    Probably not even a mile outside of the campgrounds there were the most awesome dunes I've ever seen. They were picturesque. For those of you who remember the first Star Wars movie to be released, the giant dunes up which you see people walking are these very dunes. The hike to the dunes wasn't too long, but then we continuously went up and down and up and down (with the up being very tiresome) to get to the biggest dune. This is where the dune surfing started: we had the boogie boards and the dunes, all we needed were the extra touches of creativity.





    The dunes were really amazing, and the climb up was worth the view.



    The walk up to get to the top of the big dune off of which we were sliding down was quite taxing as near the lip of the dune you would slip back about half of every step you tried to take.


    Taxing, indeed!


    After a good number of hours later we made our way back to the campgrounds where we rested and ate some lunch. As the day was not yet done, and a major sand storm was rolling out, we decided to head to the Ubehebe Crater and to Scotty's Castle. It was a 50 mile drive to the destinations and we didn't actually stop at Scotty's Castle, but it was well worth it!
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  3. #11
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    There were other warning signs advising caution around the edge of the crater due to high winds (around 50 mph!!). The normal high levels of wind combined with the fact that it was a very windy day made for an interesting experience up top!!


    Here's a view of the crater from up top. It's of volcanic origins (magma + body of water = big crater [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img] ) and is 770 feet deep. We went to the bottom.


    A view from inside the crater.




    Here at the bottom there was an interesting diversity of foliage, mostly consisting of larger shrubs while along the ridge desert holly was much more common.


    After having been climbing up dunes all day, getting back up out of the crater was no easy task!!


    The desert holly and other foliage growing along the ridge of the crater was WHITE. Normally desert holly is silver as a mechanism to prevent it from getting scorched in the sun, but the plants on the ridge were completely white (and still alive!)

    We made our way back to camp tired, soar, and happy. This was an awesome day and dinner was welcomed!

    Day 4 (Jan 15)

    We decided to leave on the 15th instead of the 16th because school started one the 17th and we all wanted a little time to rest at home. That didn't stop us from spending quite a bit of time exploring a large canyon.

    Just to get to the canyon be needed to drive out in to the middle of some salt flats and then all pile in to Trent's Jeep (and I mean PILE) for a couple miles to get neared to the canyon. We hiked several miles in to the canyon and saw lots of cool cacti and formations. Alas, sand from the sandstorms the previous night (which ended up blowing away our rain cover and breaking the stakes in 3 places) had left me with sand problems with my camera so I didn't bring it along (I need to actually send it in for repairs, but I'm not sure if it's the sand's fault.)

    We finally left towards home between 4:00 and 5:00. After the looooong drive home, we all were ready to crash: it was 3:00 in the morning. During the trip we'd experienced VERY cold during the night, VERY hot, sand storms, snow on the way back, and high winds along the roads... What more could ya ask for?!

    This was an awesome trip and an amazing experience, I hope to go camping in other areas with my friends and bringing you guys here more pictures (hopefully of a consistently higher quality.) There's lots of places to go, and lots of things to see, but no matter how many trips I go on with my friends (or anyone for that matter) I know that I wont forget my time in Death Valley. Absolutely beautiful.

    Sand boarding videos will be posted in a bit. If you would like to see the photos in their original resolution then eliminate the “_resized_med” part out of the file name; if you would like to see smaller versions, then replace the “med” with “small”. Feel free to browse the directory (at your own peril! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img] )

    Thanks to everyone who has read this!

    (p.s.) this's my 1100th post! wehee!)
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  4. #12

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    Thanks for have "bring" me in this remote land...at least with the mind [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    Giancarlo C. - Rome, Italy -

    www.carniplanta.com (just a photogallery at now)

  5. #13
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Thanks for have "bring" me in this remote land...at least with the mind [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    Well, that's great to hear! I'm glad that you enjoyed the photos. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] I was hoping to that sort of effect. I know it's nothing like taking the trip, but I was hoping to let people see a little bit what it's like, maybe inspire some other people to be adventurous as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]That's the fun of it.

    I'd like to try that. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] That second one...was that a 64 year old grandmother? It looks like a guy.
    Oh it was a LOT of fun! And yes, the 68 year old is a woman. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img] I love her shouting "this is fuuuuuuun" as she goes down.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I notice the mistake on the CD cleaner. It's supposed to be spelled skoool.LOL
    I drove thru Death Valley on a motorcycle back in 81. Been "a long strange trip" ever since. I was a college student at UCLA, and I use to take weekend trips all the time thru the California deserts.
    LOL! Well, that's really cool! How many trips would you say you've taken through the desert?
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  6. #14
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your pics Est. It's suprising that something at once bleak and desolate can also be so beautiful.
    ---Steve Allinger---

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  7. #15
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Those are awsome photos! Thank you so much for posting that...and the story of your trip. Since I can't go, its fun to see it through someone else's eyes and experiences. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

  8. #16
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    And now for the last installment: Videos!
    Some of these are incredibly huge. Furthermore, you'll need quicktime to view them. If I get a few people asking for it, I'll put a download for quicktime on the page.
    Furthermore I'm just going to be posting what I consider to be the best videos, everything can be found in the directory (original pictures and anything left unposted.)

    Jesse hurting himself. You can't go wrong with that. (one of the two 640x480 videos I tried. I decided to stick to the lower resolution for the rest.)

    Hahaha, I already posted this one, but it has Sean getting hurt AND mooned, so that can't suffer from being overposted. Wooh! Butts!

    David in a not-so-glorious run.

    (Jess drops an F-bomb in the middle of the next one I wanted to post... [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/confused.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] )

    Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Timmy flies like a boulder. (Thank you to PAK and her sig for giving me something to say to introduce this video. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img] )

    Another repost, but still one of the best.

    Two crazy kids going down at once. I wonder who the one on top is... >_> <_< >_> [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    SO! Due to some comments made by people in the videos *cough* JESS *cough* that's all. Like I said, for the rest of the videos, see the parent directory of all of the pictures and videos. I'll see if I can convince the guys to let me take a shot of them so everyone can know who's who in the videos. Thanks everyone!
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