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Month: March 2016

Death Valley – Part One

Hello fellow world wide webbers!

Coming up is our impromptu visit to Death Valley!  I learned of the “superbloom” going on in Death Valley and since we’re only about five hours away, we decided run out there.  It was an opportunity to see something amazing that only comes around about every decade, so why not?  The following photo was taken when my truck was clean.  This is the first glimpse of the Death Valley area heading north on Highway 178.

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Ballarat is an old ghost town just outside of Death Valley.

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There wasn’t a whole lot left.  Just a few buildings,IMGP0856 IMGP0857

what looks like an old railroad cart,IMGP0859

and this awesome pickup.  I just love this photo!

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So good!  As old and cheap as my camera is, I just love the photos it takes!  IMGP0862

The following photo is the sunset at our first campsite.  We stayed at the Wildrose Campground.  Unfortunately, the most direct route was closed due to flooding back in October.  We had to take the detour that added about 50 miles or so to our trip.  But that was okay, we still made camp before dark and we got to see a section of the park we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

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These neat old houses were across the road from where the campsites are.  I’m not sure what their use was, but it makes for a really nice photo as the sun was going down.  I apologize for the smudges on the photo.  As much as I try to clean the lens I can’t seem to be rid of them.  IMGP0870

Wildrose is a very nice campground and I highly recommend it for tent campers or pickups with camper tops.  Vehicles longer then twenty-five feet are not allowed on both roads leading into Wildrose and for good reason :-).  It was very curvy and a little steep at times.  It was quiet, with plenty of space between campsites.  Biggest downside, is it is in a canyon so everything echoes off the walls and you can hear just about everything including quiet conversations from campers nowhere near your campsite!  It is at a higher elevation so it is a wise choice during the warmer months.  We enjoyed a lovely fire that evening:IMGP0878

Sunrise!  It is time to explore!

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Our first stop was the Charcoal Kilns.  Built in the late 1800’s by Chinamen, these large charcoal kilns stand at twenty-five feet tall and thirty feet in circumference.  I believe there are ten of them and they each hold up to four cords of wood.

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Please click on the photo below for a larger image and a better explanation then I can give.

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Truly amazing.

From there, we stopped in at Aguereberry’s old mining camp on our way back to the main road (Hwy 190).

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This was a very fun place to explore.  His old house was still pretty well intact considering how long it has been standing there, an old car, and a ton of areas where he used to do mining.  He mined in this area for over forty years.

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All of the mines are closed off for obvious reasons.  How exciting (and probably stupid) it would be to be able to run around in there!

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Peeking into one of the old mine entrances through the bars:

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I really like the next photo.  It puts the size of everything in a better perspective:

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Well, I’m going to wrap it up for this post!  I’ll have part two coming up here in a bit and I also have some photos from the USS Midway here in San Diego.  We plan on heading out to Ocotillo Wells and renting an ATV probably this week or the next, so I’m hoping we get to explore some areas of Anza-Borrego we haven’t been.  We’re also working on getting the garden in order so I’ll get some photos and stuff on that. I’m hoping to have everything squared away and planted by the weekend.  Stick around!

Pacific Crest Trail From S-22 To Highway 78

Buenos Dias!

All is well out here in good ‘ol southern California!  Although it has been a short time since my last post, I have many photos to share!  In this post, we’re going to check out the 24 mile hike between SR-22 and Highway 78 on the Pacific Crest Trail.  This is the same place I started last time except I’m heading south, in the opposite direction.
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100 mile mark for everyone heading in the opposite direction from the border of Mexico!
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An interesting cave:

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The following photo gives a general idea of what the area looks like.  The trail consists of seemingly endless switchbacks that made the trail nearly feel flat the entire way (with the exception of the end).

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The following photo is of a cactus getting ready to bloom.

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Unfortunately, water access is far and few in these parts.  In this section, one would have to leave the trail and walk aways down a hill to find some water.  It was also the only water stop for this entire stretch.  I may be wrong, but I also think it is just a water cache which is not a reliable source.  I think I saw some hikers camping out down there, which was really odd, because it was 10:15 in the morning!

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Everything is very green right now, making all the views very beautiful.

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I was very thankful for my hat!

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This is what was labeled as, “dry waterfall”.

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The end is in sight!  That’s Highway 78 down there. IMGP0843

Some pretty cacti starting to bloom.

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A fine example of an ocotillo plant.  It also had a few buds.

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This was a cactus near the end of my hike.  The last portion of this 24 mile section is a little steep compared to the rest of it but nothing too extreme.
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Jason picked me up and the junction of S-2 and Highway 78 and we were on our way!

Stay tuned!  I have some great photos from our recent trip to Death Valley, including some of the current “Super Bloom”!