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!)