Are we There yet?

Back in radio contact with the latest trip report. After leaving Sin City Team Road trip headed west into the Valley Of Death. (Into the Valley Of Death rode the three hundred?) Playing the role of boring tourists from wisconsin we first hit the Devil’s golf course, Bad Water, Devil’s corn Field, and Stove Pipe Wells. These minor distractions were minorly? distracting but were not, much to Cathy’s dismay, interesting enough to keep me from taking our, not at all 4×4, Ford Edge 12 miles up a rough dirt road into Marble Canyon to do what I’ve been trying to do for the last 10 years. Winter camp overnight in Death Valley.

Why has it taken me ten years to accomplish this seemingly minor goal you might ask? Because every year since the kids were too old to go to Disney World on Spring Break I’ve been trying to find someplace else warm to take the family. Someplace that you can drive to. Why someplace that you can drive to? Because it would be cheap. And I’m a Dad. Hence cheap. But, as you can imagine, trying to sell the wonderful wonders of camping in the beautiful barren wonderfully wonderful desert wasteland, excitingly called Death Valley, was a tough sell to two teenagers, and a not really into camping wife. (kind of got lost there) So I was forced part with many of my hard earned shekels (I’m Irish and that’s almost like being Scottish) and take the family to warn tropical islands until they had the good sense to move out and leave poor Cathy alone with me and my crazy ideas of what’s fun.

I drove our poor city dwelling not Jeep as far into the rough rocky canyon as I dared, and as far as Cathy would let me, (the high clearance of my Suburban would have definitely come in handy) found a suitable site for which to make camp and set up my trusty Kelty tent on a big flat rock. After that I cooked us up two, surprisingly good tasting, dehydrated meals opened a good box of red wine and enjoyed the total silence you can only find in the high desert. Finally made it!!

IMG_9991

 

DSC_0720

The next morning we got up, brewed some coffee, climbed small mountain, had some oatmeal then packed up camp. Cathy was surprised that she hadn’t frozen in the night, fallen down a abandoned mine shaft, or been eaten by bears but she wasn’t taking any chances. While we were packing up the car I heard a roaring sound that is unmistakeable. FIGHTERS! Looking up I was treated to the sight of three F-16s hauling the mail and dragging thick contrails behind them. This was the start of a fantastic day of jet watching. It was pretty amazing but it did make appreciating the sights of Death Valley difficult because every time Cathy was pointing out some natural wonder to me I was staring at the sky watching two F-15s claw at each other or a giant fur ball being painted in the sky as the fighters looped and dove over the desert.

IMG_0005

I did manage to drive the 28 mile Titus? Canyon road that took us through some pretty rough roads, past two ghost towns, abandoned mines, and finally a tight squeeze before spitting us out.

IMG_0009

After that it was time to beat feet and head east for home, you can’t stay on vacation forever after all. Plus we had about 30 some hours of driving to look forward to. I hope we brought enough books on tape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *