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Tag: talc mine

Finishing Slit Canyon | Left, Again #3

Camped at the mouth of Johnson Canyon on the alluvial fan, we were a little worried that the wind would pick up overnight, but thankfully it was a very calm, and temperatures were once again quite pleasant. There were a few more clouds in the sky this morning, but they'd burn off by 8:30am. I wandered around on the desert pavement waiting for sunrise, while my companion snuggled down under the covers for a few more minutes of warmth- her favorite time of the "night," I think. Spring is coming. First of the flowers. Silly creosote, still decorated for Christmas…

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Finally Hiking Hungry Bill's | Left, Again #2

Except for the burro that decided to "eee-aww, eee-aww, eee-aww" in the middle of the night a little ways up canyon from our camp site, Galena Canyon was one of the most pleasant nights I've experienced in Death Valley in recent memory. The level of the tent was just right; there was just the tiniest bit of a breeze to keep air moving; and temperatures were extremely pleasant in the low 40s °F. I was well rested when my alarm went off just before sunrise, and soon I was poking around the mining area that we'd discovered the previous evening.…

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Better to be Lucky | Left, Again #1

With the Tacoma stored in Las Vegas and a 6:00am flight, we headed out the door a little after 4:00am for a 45-minute light rail ride to the airport. In high spirits - the trip south would only take two-and-a-half hours - our discussion focused on what hike we should tackle when we arrived in Death Valley a few minutes after lunchtime. Train tickets purchased, we headed to the platform to wait for the next train. Unfortunately, we'd neglected to research when the trains started running, and only as we were waiting did we discover that the first train wouldn't…

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Big Mine, Small Dunes | Inyo East #3

It was 2:00am when the light pitter patter of rain woke both @mrs.turbodb and me from our cozy sleep in the mouth of canyon on the eastern escarpment of the Inyo Mountains. "Guess I waited too long to go pee," she said. "Me too," I replied. It was the first time - in more than 80 nights in the park - I've ever experienced rain at night in Death Valley. Of course, while the whole bathroom thing was inconvenient, my biggest hope was that the rain would tail off reasonably quickly, allowing the tent to dry off before we had…

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Tramways and Waterfalls, Cascading Down Canyons | Inyo East #2

Nestled into the mouth of an unnamed canyon of the eastern Inyo Mountains, sleep came quickly after climbing into the tent a little after 8:00pm. For five hours, everything was great - temperatures were perfect, in the low 40s °F, a gentle breeze cascaded down the canyon, and clear skies eliminated any anxiety about putting the tent away wet in the morning. Then, as if to remind us that conditions should never be taken for granted in the desert, the wind picked up. As though a switch had been flipped, gusts up to 40mph seemed to appear out of nowhere.…

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It's Mine, Mine, Mine - All Mines! | Lipstick #4

Hoping for a repeat of the previous morning, I was up early to capture a sunrise that never materialized. With few clouds in the sky - especially above the eastern horizon - there was nothing for the sun to highlight as it made its daily appearance just before 7:00am. Even without a fiery sky, the Ibex Hills gave our camp site a lot of color. What did you contain, rusty can? Having gotten a taste of some really nice talc mines the previous day, our final day in the park was going to be a whirlwind of the same. Before…

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Two Dunes Down | Lipstick #3

It was another pleasant night at the southern end of Death Valley National Park. We slept soundly, a light breeze wafting through the tent as the moon passed by overhead. Clouds built slowly and morning brought the brightest sunrise of the trip - an opportunity I took full advantage of with the Ibex Dunes rising in the distance. As I climbed down the ladder, I was a little excited to see the color starting in the sky. There was potential here, for sure! A few minutes later, and boom, color everywhere! Below, the dunes reflected the warm orange glow in…

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Eye of the Storm | Back for More #4

I've found no place in all my exploration of Death Valley National Park that I like more than waking up to a view of Striped Butte. You can imagine then - sleeping in our tents less than a mile away - that I had more than one alarm set in order to ensure my alertness when as the sun began to illuminate the sky. With the skies clear after an evening of rain, and before the sun even crested the horizon, I soaked in one of my favorite sights in the world. I spent nearly an hour hopping around behind,…

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Our First Time to Hunter Mountain and Hidden Valley | Loose Ends #3

Our spirits still high having hiked Funeral Slot Canyon and from our encounter with the F-16 as we climbed past Father Crowley Point, we turned off onto Saline Valley Road, just a little after 3:45pm. It was 45 minutes before sunset, and with quite a few miles to go before we reached the area we wanted to camp, which - to this point - I'd only narrowed down to somewhere on Hunter Mountain. While airing down, I saw a spec in the distance. A bird, I thought initially, turning to tend to the next tire. But something in my brain…

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Full Circle | Death Valley Connections #4

It had been 9:00pm or so by the time I'd finally climbed up into the tent to head to bed, and I'd hoped that my second connection of the trip would show up as I slept - the plan, to spend the following day (today) together exploring a few interesting areas around Eureka Valley. Hoping to make that connection easier, I'd left my APRS on in the truck, and I'd also left a couple paper plates attached to creosote bushes along the road in hopes that they'd be spotted by the amazingly bright lights that I knew this fellow explorer…

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Room Canyon and...Water Crossings? | Hiking Death Valley #2

The night passed much more peacefully than the one before and we slept extremely well on our new Exped Megamat Duo 10 - a great fit in the @cascadia tents Mt. Shasta, and significantly more comfortable than the foam mattress. Hoping for a dramatic sunrise, I was up early to explore camp. In the end, given our location in the pass - there wasn't much color in the sky, the weather seemed to be holding and the temps were warmer than the day before, and I was happy to explore the hilly area around camp to see what secrets it held.…

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