Death Valley 2012

In less than two years, I have made four journeys to Death Valley. This six day road trip would prove to be just as rewarding as the others. I saw some new sites and revisited ones I had enjoyed in the past. Each time is different.

I spent the first night in Baker and left at first light. Scenic route 127 heading north in Death Valley.

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With a detour to Tecopa Hot Springs

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and thru Shoshone on my way to Death Valley

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The next morning, I set out for Ubehebe Crater. The weather was similar to my last visit. 70 during the day, 48 at night, blue skies and no wind.

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The photos do not convey that this crater is a half mile wide and 500 feet deep with a smaller crater another half mile away.

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Scotty's Castle was a short ride from the crater. I had been here last year to walk the grounds and take photos. Having been in the construction industry for thirty five years, I was interested in taking their "Underground Tour" which highlighted all the "behind the scenes and under the ground activities". Nearly all the systems (water, sewerage, electricity, heat, laundry etc) were run by a 200 gallon per minute spring which was a mile from the castle.

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Heading back to camp, dinner and sunset.

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One of my favorite rides in Death Valley is Titus Canyon. I usually stop at the old mining town of Ryolite to walk around and wonder what it was like "in the day".


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Heading into Titus Canyon. Death valley has had very little rain in the past few months so the canon is open.

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Entering the canyon, the rock formations and the forces that created them boggle the mind.


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Leaving the canyon, the floor of Death Valley opens up.


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The many colors of DV.


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Early morning fog. I am not sure if this is a common sight.


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The sand dunes outside of Stovepipe Wells.


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Darwin Falls. I do not know the history, but had read that the water runs year round. What's another seventy miles and a one and a half hour hike on a beautiful day? Everyone that gets to the trail head asks the same question, " is there really water and a waterfall"?.

The trail is flat and easy for the first half mile and then wet, muddy and rocky for the reminder. Trying to balance on small logs so as not to fall in the muck, scrabble up and down over rocks and bend under low tree branches, I wondered if this was worth it.


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And yes it is…


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The ride back to the campground is one of those special motorcycling days - sunny, warm, curving. Your mind contains neither a thought nor care and you could just ride, and ride, and ride for hours….