Friday, January 17, 2014

The Valley – Part 9


The day after our Salt Springs and Mosaic Canyon explorations our neighbor, Pat, wanted to explore Salt Springs and Titus Canyon and asked us to tag along. 

Nicole took the re-visit opportunity to Salt Springs as the chance to catch a shot of the elusive Mountain Bluebirds she saw the day before.

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Their bright blue stands out amongst the reds and greens of the pickle weed.

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                                       Finally, a bit of success!

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                          These little peepers just wouldn’t sit still.

We then headed off to Titus Canyon.  Having just fallen in love with the variety in Mosaic Canyon, we can’t say that the somewhat repetitive Titus won us over.  But the weather was outstanding and the sky as blue as the birds we had just seen so we explored a bit anyhow.

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                       Another cool stone face.

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While Darlene and Pat headed off to explore a side trail Nicole took the opportunity to sit quietly and wait for nature to come to her.  With visions of Big Horn Sheep and Coyotes in her head she sat.  And she sat.  Then… all of a sudden… there it was… and it sat down… right beside her!

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                         Your eyes do not deceive you.  It is a fly.

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And he said, “Beggars can’t be choosers.  Go ahead and snap a few photos because this is about as wild as life is gonna get for you today.”

A week or so or more back we hitched a ride to the visitor center.  When we couldn’t find a ride back home it was time to start hoofing it.  On our way out the door Pat told us to “look for the yellow flowers”.  Our three mile walk back home ended and we still had not seen any flowers.  We assumed Pat was just being kind in keeping our minds occupied with a game of seek and find on our long walk.  Then on this day while we were out she breezed past the turn for our compound and said, “I’m taking you to see the flowers!”  There they were just blooming away on the side of the road.

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                        And they were loaded with more ‘wild life’.

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Shortly after arriving home we took a snack outside to continuing enjoying the amazing ‘winter’ weather we were having.  Guess who show up and sat on a tree in front of us for close to four full minutes…

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                                          A Mountain Bluebird.

Well, it has been a full month since we were last in town (read: since we last had internet service).  So, if you haven’t figured it out yet, this is one of only NINE posts (pages) that we put up all on the same day.  Click the word older at the bottom right just below this paragraph or check out the menu of posts at the upper right of your screen and be sure to start at The Valley – Part 1 to see our full adventures and photos from the last month.

We depart Death Valley in two weeks time.  New adventures await.  We’ll be in touch.

                               Meanwhile… it’s back to The Valley.

The Valley – Part 8


Once we got her wandering, Annie didn’t want to stop.  Next we were driving two miles down a dirt road to explore a canyon.

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         Little did we know that this mosaic of conglomerates from small

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             to large would become one of our favorite places in the park.

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          The hike begins in a narrow slot canyon filled with marbled walls.

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                          This is not the trail but it sure is more fun!

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                  Also not the trail.  Ditto on the more fun part though.

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                                           This IS the trail.

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                                                   So is this.

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                                                 This too.

                 We saw some really neat rock faces.

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                   One of our favorite parts about this area is all of the flowing curves.

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We also like how you can have conglomerate on one side, smooth marbled rock on the other

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                                                or a mixture of the two.

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                                       And then there is, of course, the color!

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The trail went on but the day was drawing to a close and the sun was sinking low in the sky.  We headed out knowing that we would surely have to return to Mosaic Canyon one day.

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                    Make a night of it and read the final chapter in… The Valley – Part 9

The Valley – Part 7


Annie was running like a champ so we moseyed a bit further on down the road to take in yet another unique characteristic of this extremely varied National Park.

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                                                      Mesquite Sand Dunes

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               Sand is cool and all but Nicole couldn’t help being distracted by these trees.

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    It’s a good thing Darlene remembered to take some shots of the dunes.

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It’s been a month since we were last in town (read: since we last had the internet).  So, there’s still more to see in… The Valley – Part 8!

The Valley – Part 6


Nicole did some work on Annie a few weeks back.  Well, that’s what she called it each time she crawled up under the van!

                         Perhaps it should just be called relaxing.

Truth be told, she accomplished quite a bit but that’s for another post (or two).  The reason we mention the work on Annie is that it necessitated a drive to circulate all of the new fluids, test out new parts and such.  So, we made the best of it and explored a bit more of what Death Valley National Park has to offer.

1 (8)                                  First stop was the Salt Springs boardwalk area.

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This is typically the image that comes to mind when most people think of Death Valley.

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                                       But that is not the case.

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    Still, after almost two months here it feels strange to see running water.

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                  The water level is typically lower in the winter time.

This is one of the locations in which the infamous Desert Pupfish lives.  They go upstream in the cold months, however.  These poor little tykes have only one year to squeeze all of their living into.  So, rather than hunt them down and disturb what time they had left

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                                   we settled for bird watching,

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                                        Pickle Weed in green

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                                                  and red

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                                               and Salt Grass.

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         If you visit Salt Springs, take the time to stop and stand quietly.

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The trickle of a running creek will be the only sound you hear.

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                                See where we went next in… The Valley – Part 7