Wednesday, April 22, 2009

99th Face(s)

Death Valley '09.
Every year my wife takes her science club students to DV for spring break and this year was no exception. Six high school students, Lynette and I, along with Amara and Kai and a long time friend and all around great guy, Mike and his wife, Rochelle and son, Nathan (who is about the same age as Kai) and their dog, Georgia made up our group.Students, Jacqueline, Adam, Katie, Olivia (center), Russell, and Melissa and Amara show their excitement as the trip begings.
Amara holds Kai's hand
The rock covered with green from spring rains on Pacheco Pass
After a long drive we arrive at our first campsite, Red Rock Canyon. Aptly named as shown.

The rock formation directly above our campsite in late evening and at dawn the next day.

The sun rises and we pack to hit the road and enter Death Valley.

We spent A LOT of time in the rented van but the students were great and came up with a lot of games to keep themselves and Amara entertained.

Exploring Mosaic Canyon near Stovepipe Wells campground where we camp for the next two nights.
The stars are plentiful out here, far from civilization.
Dawn at Stovepipe and moon begins to set.

The crew sleeps under the stars.
As breakfast is prepared, Georgia takes Amara for a walk.

Badwater, the lowest point in the western hemisphere. The white is salt from an ancient sea.

team zebra returns from a hike out on the salt
A titanothere skull, a relative of modern Rhinocerous from 37 million years ago at the DV museum.
Kai seems to be having a good time. Both Amara and Kai were exceptionally well behaved and had a good time overall. There was one major meltdown but that was all, thankfully.
Amara tries one of the eggs hidden for Easter.
And gets some rest in the van.
The kids get ready to hike down Ubehebe Creater.

Wild flowers at Ubehebe.

Scotty's Castle. I love this place and look forward to seeing it when I come. The engineering behind keeping a place like this cool and electified is a marvel considering it was completed in 1939.
Katie, Adam, Jacqueline, Russell, Olivia and Melissa lister to the guide.Some of the magnificent ironwork found at Scotty's.
Amara shows us her 'bungalo' during another vanride.
A sandstorm hits the valley on Tuesday afternoon.
We drive back to stovepipe through a wall of sand. The winds and sand consumed our tent and Mike's tent. Everything is covered in sand forcing our little band to find shelter and an impromtue visit to Aunt Debbie near Mojave that night. It occured to me and a few other on the trip that whenever I go to DV there is some crazy act of God. The first time I went, it snowed. The next, unusual rains and a flood. This time, a sand storm. I wonder will happen the next time should I go, a swarm of locusts? Hail of fire? Tidal wave? Nutty.

But sunny skies greet us the next day.
The group arrives home with smiles and memories. A fun trip! If you want any of these in a higher res, just ask. If you want to see much photos from a much much better photographer than myself, have a look at Mike's awesomeness and check out the slide show.

1 comment:

  1. Hi folks, looks like a great trip and no sand! Glad you all are home safe and sound. It looks like you had fun and saw some neat things. Liked the purple flowers and the crater. love and luck,