March 4, 2017

We walked up the Golden Canyon today in Death Valley.

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I got all the way to the Red Cathedral:

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But I couldn't take the final steep incline over slippery gravel, with a sharp drop off to one side, so I didn't make it to the highest lookout, where Meade took these 2 pictures:

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28 comments:

Earnest Prole said...

My favorite place. If you're looking for adventure, head for the Racetrack and then down into Saline Valley and over to Eureka Valley, presuming you have four-wheel drive and a man with balls.

Meade said...

Earnest, I'm trying to keep her, not kill her.

DKWalser said...

Death Valley is spectacular. Some call it beautiful. I think the better term is striking. Beautiful is inviting. It's peaceful. Death Valley captures the imagination like a train wreck. It's not inviting nor peaceful, but you cannot take your eyes off of it.

Quaestor said...

One of my favorite sci-fi flicks from my childhood was the unfortunately titled Robinson Crusoe on Mars. It starts out as an engrossing survival saga of an astronaut forced to crash land on the Red Planet who by sheer luck and ingenuity solves the problems of air, water, food, and astronomic scale isolation. It holds up quite well considering the state of planetary science before the Viking missions. Once the astronaut's bodily needs are secure the plot then abruptly evolves into an adventure potboiler involving interstellar slavers and a humanoid alien who appears to be a descendant of the Mayans. The location work was done entirely in Death Valley, and I am quite sure that your second photo shows one of the most evocative landscapes used in that film.

chickelit said...

Any desert wildflowers?

Quaestor said...

Correction, make that the third photo.

madAsHell said...

...and though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I fear no evil for my rod, and my staff they comfort me.

Quaestor said...

Any desert wildflowers?

It may be too late for them. Desert flora usually operate their reproductive apperati at high speed during the brief instances of rain. In the case of Death Valley that mostly in February. Even by early March there's usually only morning dew rather than rainfall.

Michael K said...

Many years ago (about 1960) I spent some time at Panamint City on the west side of the valley. You could see much of the same geography but from the other side. Since then, a flood has wiped out the jeep trail we used and nobody goes there anymore.

In about 1893, there were 12,000 people living in Panamint City. The only access was the canyon we used and which is no long passable. There were robbers so the silver smelter cast ingots that weight a ton so the robbers couldn't carry them off.

There is still gold in those mountains. At one time I knew four guys who had a gold mine up there and they would go up weekends and run the mine and sluice box. It was a hobby.

Quaestor said...

Just after posting my last comment a Barred Owl perched near my window blasted out his “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” territorial call.

Spring is about to spring.

rcocean said...

Death Valley is at its best at 100 degrees - and no tourists.

Earnest Prole said...

I'm trying to keep her, not kill her.

Respect

Big Mike said...

Ha! I was right about where you were going after Zion. Did you go see the sailing stones? How about Scotty's castle?

traditionalguy said...

Nice rocks.

Last time we were in Death Valley it was 114F in August, and our only thoughts were getting the hell out of there before the car overheated and broke down.

As far as I am concerned the Twenty Mule Team guys can keep it.

David said...

Prudence is underrated. Congratulations.

cf said...

michael k said

"Many years ago (about 1960) I spent some time at Panamint City on the west side of the valley. You could see much of the same geography but from the other side. Since then, a flood has wiped out the jeep trail we used and nobody goes there anymore."

this post is making me remember that side of the Panamints also, around 1979, oh the dry wash me and my archeologist partner camped at, with an easy walk up to the level where the pinyons grew. The wash was filled with hundreds of the same exact rock engraving. over and over, the people of this wash carved a circle with a line through it. over and over, deep and deeper, hundreds of them. Some were so old they were fully repatinated with burnt sienna desert varnish. some were so fresh they seemed like they were carved yesterday, scraped to raw bright beige.

when we drove home after 4 days, every time i blinked my eyes, in that split second of darkness, the circle with the line through it filled my view. the image would not let me go.

and my dreams later explained more to me on it, like a person who had no speech suddenly getting to say his truth, my dreams grabbed this image like a lost precious treasure and cradled it and sang it back to me.

but it has been so long ago now, and looking at google maps, i realize i did not pay enough attention to the details of which canyon, which turn off, and from what you say, who knows what is left for me to find it again.

ahhh, the moment. then. now. yay.

Earnest Prole said...

the people of this wash carved a circle with a line through it. over and over, deep and deeper, hundreds of them

I've seen the same in Saline Valley -- I hope I won't ruin your memories by telling you this petroglyph image is sexual.

Old Camera Guy said...

I read the headline as, "We woke up in the Golden Valley today in Death Valley."

That's some road trip you got there, blackout-drinking your way across the southwest. And waking up in Death Valley can't be healthy, you know? I mean, that's the last thing a Vegas mobster sees before he gets a shovel in the face. Jaltcoh needs to do an intervention, stat!

Then I dug out my glasses and re-read it.

Never mind.

Have fun, you crazy kids!

n said...

Ann, you're a winner! The first goal for us 60-somethings is ... Don't get injured! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Oops. Broke my rule about !

n said...

David said...
Prudence is underrated. Congratulations.

"The seven attributes are sometimes grouped as four cardinal virtues (prudence, temperance, fortitude, justice) and three heavenly graces (faith, hope, charity). Although prudence itself does not perform any actions, and is concerned solely with knowledge, all virtues had to be regulated by it. Distinguishing when acts are courageous, as opposed to reckless or cowardly, for instance, is an act of prudence, and for this reason it is classified as a cardinal (pivotal) virtue." Mr. Google

It's Lent. I'm Catholic.

harryo said...

I hope you picked-up a souvenir box of 20 Mule Team Borax. It makes your clothes clean and smell like kittens in a satchel.

Yancey Ward said...

I have been exactly where Meade appears to have been standing during a California trip about 15 years ago. Like you, I did it in the late Winter (mid March is memory serves). Such a stark landscape, literally unlike anything I had ever been in up to that point. I have always meant to go back, but have never gotten around to it.

urbane legend said...

DKWalser said...
Death Valley is spectacular. Some call it beautiful. I think the better term is striking. Beautiful is inviting. It's peaceful. Death Valley captures the imagination like a train wreck. It's not inviting nor peaceful, but you cannot take your eyes off of it.

Excellent explanation.

n said...

Distinguishing when acts are courageous, as opposed to reckless or cowardly, for instance, is an act of prudence, and for this reason it is classified as a cardinal (pivotal) virtue." Mr. Google

Examined beforehand, yes. But an apparently reckless act which succeeds to accomplish some uplifting purpose will certainly be viewed as courageous afterward.

urbane legend said...

Especially if it involves puppies.

MadTownGuy said...

"But I couldn't take the final steep incline over slippery gravel, with a sharp drop off to one side, so I didn't make it to the highest lookout, where Meade took these 2 pictures"

Be careful out there. I was walking on an unmaintained path along the lower side of a cliff in the Grand Canyon back in the Seventies with some friends, out to a spectacular view at the end of the ridge. On the way back I was walking behind them when my left foot hit some loose gravel and immediately I was sliding toward the next dropoff, about 100 feet downslope. Tried scrambling on all fours which didn't slow me down...then, providentially, the idea popped on my head to lie flat and use friction plus whatever I could hold onto so as to come to a stop. It worked! My travel companions had no idea it had even happened until I caught up with them as it came about so quickly.

Fritz said...

Now that you've been to the lowest place in the continental US, may I suggest the highest? Mt. Whitney is within view, and there is a reasonable two day hike to the summit. One, if you're extremely fit.

madAsHell said...

From the "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" wikipedia.....
Exterior locations were shot mostly at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park, California.[2]

Yes, I've seen the movie more than once.

BJM said...

Are the white brown-eye evening primroses (Chylismia claviformis) in bloom? The Desert Sunflower (Geraea canescens) carpets the valley in yellow in early March too. Your timing is perfect for the start of an amazing wildflower show.

They say last year was a super bloom year, but any year is worth the trip. We last visited Death Valley and the Mojave in late February 2005 and it was spectacular.