Mother Nature is full of surprises..the campers behind my house woke up to snow. Hopefully they were smart enough to pack lots of blankets for their adventure, or able to buy lots of hand/toe warmers in my store.
Meanwhile, inside the national park it was sorta impossible to see the canyon through the snow and fog. I grabbed the pictures below from NPS.
I assume that anyone who was waiting for May flowers will just have to wait longer..it’s cold and windy as I sit in McDonald’s typing this. A big tour bus full of Asian tourist arrived just as I came in to order food. I bet none of them expected this snow.
I finished my Pico guacamole chicken sandwich. They musta known I like guacamole because it was oozing out with every bite. Now I am sitting here downloading new books onto my tablet so that I can read later at home.
Now usually when you hear anyone say they will be home, you might assume that they will be with their family…people bonded by blood/genetics. Home for some people is the town they grew up in.
I found my home when I was in my 40’s. I unexpectedly found my niche in a far-away land known as the Grand Canyon National Park. In a way I even created a new family unit with my neighbors and co-workers. I had started moving around to different states so much that when I first traveled to the national park for my new job, I had no idea how long I would be there. I ended up being there for 5 straight years before taking a break and going to Alaska. Those 5 years were the longest that I had stayed anywhere for a very long time.
After my time in Alaska, I returned to the Grand Canyon twice for short stays. This year the park seems to be my safety net again. This time I will be working for a new company but I still get to enjoy the peace & quiet remote area of the park, which I love. I will be able to watch sunsets/sunrises without looking over a mob of heads. One of the most amazing sunsets I have ever witnessed was during a rainstorm in that remote area of the Grand Canyon.
A friend took that picture of me at Desert View, in the late Spring of 2014. I was enjoying the wide open space as far as the eyes could see. We were waiting for that evening’s sunset.
I can’t wait to see all the changes at the Watchtower, since another company has taken over it. Actually I have seen a couple pics on facebook but that’s not the same as seeing it in person. I took the picture above with my old tablet (that broke) and luckily had saved it on facebook.
There will be no television and no internet at all in this remote section of the park. I’m sure that nobody on their death bed has ever said, “geez I wish I had more time to watch television”. A few of my past co-workers did pay a yearly contract for dial-up internet when I was there in 2014. But my work contract is only until January 1, 2017, unless a spot opens up that allows me to stay longer. I am hoping a spot opens up because I’m petrified of driving in snow and car-camping in the parking lot during winter would get mighty-cold.
I stopped near Zabriskie Point to get these. There is actually a parking lot with a paved walk-around to get up and view over this point, and would you believe I have not gone up to see it yet. It’s probably about 4 miles away from my dorm, but I am usually in a hurry to get somewhere when I leave & to tired when I get back.
Yesterday I had to drive to the Vegas airport to pick up Kim’s youngest daughter. Now how ironic is it that this daughter has a couple nicknames and 1 of them being “Sunshine”. So this week we will have a Sunny and a Sunshine .
Now getting to the airport was a piece of cake, but leaving not so much. Even though I had lived in Vegas for 6 months before, I still got lost in construction & detours. I did not mind because I ended up in an area that I have never been to but wanted to see.
I ended up driving through “Red Canyon”. I remembered it was an ex-managers favorite spot around Vegas. An old co-worker and I used to think it was weird because well most people go to Vegas for gambling, celebrity shows, or restaurants. But my manager was sooo gung-ho about the outdoorsy nature life that she liked Red Canyon best.
I did not stop the truck to go exploring or take any photos myself. Sunshine #2 got some blurry pictures of the mountains while I was driving. We both loved all the colored rocks.
Funny because Sunshine #2, is from flat Florida which is the same state that my ex-managers lives now.
Seeing as I don’t have a picture of Red Canyon, below is a shot of a snow-capped mountain as we got closer to Pahrump. Course it might be slightly blurry because I was still driving.
Pahrump is an hour East of home & an hour West of Vegas (assuming long as you don’t get lost). Surprisingly gas was cheaper in Pahrump then it was in Vegas.
Seeing as Friday I had driven to the dentist and yesterday drove to Vegas, I was tired all day at work. It is now 9pm… past my bedtime. Ate a banana and crackers with peanut butter for late dinner/snack. So goodnight everyone.
My friend, Jeanette and I went down to the employee dining room for lunch, but had to check out the art show first. The above picture is Jeanette looking at some glass jewelry. Below is some other cool stuff that I liked.
The lady who made the brown & blue basket was going to give me a 10% discount just because I was from NH, and knew that the pic in the middle of her basket was the old man of the mountain.
There were more photographers here, but this was the only 1 that I noticed with a sign in their booth telling people not to take pictures of their stuff. Yes I took a few. I don’t plan on making copies of their photos to sell. I just like taking random shots of my day. And I say photography is a form of communication…which fits into “Freedom of speech”, so don’t tell me that I can’t do it or I will show you that I can.
I should of gotten a wide view shot of all the cars, motorcycles & people everywhere. I think today was the most crowded that I have seen this place so far. OMG, what a zoo.
Jeanette & I did not stick around long enough to hear the live music play outside the store. We came back to the dorm, so Jeanette could get ready to work the night shift. I don’t go back to work until Monday morning so I am spending the rest of my day doing laundry and organizing my dresser.
I took that shot yesterday from inside a moving car. Becca & I were driving around stovepipe & Ubehebe Crater…think this picture was near Devil’s Cornfield. I wasn’t all that impressed with that area and can’t figure out why some people are. We should have turned onto a different road before we even got to this spot. Becca had to turn back and stop in Stovepipe to ask directions.
This is Becca & her dog, Shay. We finally found the crater..which is behind Becca. Kim had been here before and hiked down into it. After seeing it, I think Kim must be a little crazy.
It got really windy when we stopped here, making it hard to walk around.
This crater was made from some volcano explosion years ago and I think that “Ubehebe” is an Indian word for basket. It’s a half mile across and about 600 feet deep. Well now I am satisfied that I can cross off another item on my list of places I wanted to see in Death Valley.
You would think I would know by now to move my fingers out of the way when trying to take pictures. Well I have other pics on my camera that I have not downloaded yet. It’s easier to post directly from my tablet so only pics that I take with that usually get on here.
Earlier this week Kim & I went riding around looking for the flowers that everyone was talking about. We found lots of them down past the Badwater_Basin. These yellow flowers are called “DESERT GOLD”. They are growing everywhere.
We also found a couple wild coyotes beside the road. Only 1 would come over to the truck, while the other one stayed across the road watching us. I still want a picture of a coyote and a roadrunner together. But have not had any luck with that yet.
And while walking around taking pics of flowers, some guests that recognized Kim, told us where to find the location of some old ruins.
We only rode down to mile #44, as we had to get back to the “ranch” to get a campfire going at some friend’s RV. Cooked baked potatoes in the campfire…I put Kim’s homemade chili on top of mine.
Who would of ever guessed that sooo many flowers could grow here. The pink flowered are called “DESERT FIVE SPOT”, I have not figured out what the cluster of purple flowers are called.
This is a very unique spot on the way towards Badwater_Basin. All those chunks you see on the ground are salt. Salt that goes 20 feet deep. Now Badwater_Basin also has salt covering the ground but nothing like this. Not sure if anyone has tried to replace their table salt with the salt found here. Who knows, even though this salt is dirty it might actually be better for you. (Can you see the snow on top of the mountain). 60 degrees outside when I took this shot and I still see snow. Gotta love Mother Nature.
In this picture, an international family was trying to get their dog to come back to them. I assume the dog had been riding a long time in the car and was just happy to be free. It was running all over the salt chunks on the ground. I did not stay long enough to see what it’s paws looked like when the dog was done exploring.
The first time I came out here, with Robert, I walked for a ways out onto the salt. I was a bit surprised that the ground was so hard. I guess I expected it to be more spongy.
A little closer look at the ground and you can see that there would be no way to play golf here…unless of course you really were the devil. Yes whoever named this spot in Death Valley had a sense of humor.
I love the view of all the mountains around this area. I was standing near the same spot that I took the first picture above…just looking the opposite direction.