This was written (in part and in long-hand) on February 20th. That was three days before my birthday. And not only was I going to wear my birthday-suit all day, I was gonna turn 67. I know, I can’t believe it either. And to celebrate my advanced age, The Wife and I were going to Death Valley. How appropriate.
But why go to DEATH Valley? Isn’t that grim, a touch morbid? Hell no! Death Valley is 100 miles east of Lone Pine California – my favorite Eastern Sierra fishing spot, and four hours away from the coastal town I live in north of Los Angeles. Thing is, fishing season doesn’t open till March 1st. But we needed to get the heck outta Ventura where it’s been cold and foggy, and enjoy some desert warmth. The California deserts are spectacular during late February – early March, with moderate temperatures and wildflowers (when we’re not suffering through a drought like this year).
So here’s some photos we took of our little trip. Above is the type of rig they used to haul borax out of the valley, drawn by a team of twenty mules. You’ll remember borax as the laundry detergent; 20 Mule Team Borax, that sponsored the TV show “Death Valley Days”, hosted by Ronald Reagan before he went insane and became President of the United States, and took on the Evil Empire. They made Chinese laborers dig up this stuff in 120 degree heat. A nice introduction to capitalism, to which they’ve grown very fond of in recent years.
This is a shot taken on Artists Drive (had to do that one). Interesting colors. It’s kinda like having nature to your hallucinating for ya.
Here’s a picture of yours truly standing on the lowest point in North America. How low can you go? Not much lower than this. I’m used to living at sea level, and you can tell the effect being 282 feet below that is takin’ on me. No wonder I look like an old fart who’s falling apart (tore-up, from the floor up). I look nothing like that in real life, and don’t need a sign to lean on to stand erect.
What would a trip to Lone Pine be without a stop in Mojave at the Chronically Inclined medical marijuana dispensary. It’s right on the way, and you never know when some ailment or another might flare up on ya when out in the wilderness, and some herbal relief could come in handy. A must for every hikers first-aide kit.