Death Valley, No one died.

A Great Adventure

What a great trip. No one in our group died, everyone made it out. Unfortunately I heard someone did die not too far from where we were hiking. Apparently they only took 16 oz of water with them for their hike. In 110+ degree heat, that is just not smart. Not to say we didn’t have are own share of troubles.

During our trip we did a lot of hiking. Some hikes are in mountains, some down valleys, and some up sand dunes. The views from the peaks were incredible, and hiking over 2000 feet elevation changes was a lot harder then I expected.
We also did some biking throughout the park. Not an easy task. Their are no flat roads, everything is going downhill or uphill. Biking by a sign stating “Lowest Elevation of California Highway” just reinforces the fact you have more up hills to go. One of the bike trips we did in 105-degree heat, and there is NO SHADE anywhere.
Throughout the trip we say a verity of wildlife. This included roadrunner’s (sadly they did not go *meep* *meep*) but on occasion they would race the truck down a road. We also say a ton of different lizards. One morning while tearing down the tent, we discovered a snake slithering out from underneath our tent. Jack Rabbits were pervasive, and at night seem to have a death wish while you were driving down the roads. One night while sleeping in some abandon cabin’s a mouse came and appeared to have a taste for toes! While camping at the eureka dunes we encounter kangaroo rats. A very strange rodent, it literally hops around, and doesn’t have a great fear of people. The one creature we encounter that did make us nervous, was a black widow spider. While camping at the dunes, during the night, they were everywhere. Including the outhouse! While we were enjoying the dunes we did get buzzed by fighter jets (I believe F-18’s) a few times. They would come sweeping into the valley and shoot out the other side.
Not to say everything went perfectly. We did get blisters, sunburns, burns, altitude sickness and various scrapes along the way. Some of our equipment did not survive the elements. We blew out one tire, punctured another tire. The tent took such extreme winds that parts broke, and became unusable. Our bike rack broke, a foot pump broke, and we lost one of the bike seats. But otherwise we never got stuck, we never ran out of water (we had 15 gallon of water), and we had a great time!

5 Responses to “Death Valley, No one died.”

  1. akuma Says:

    Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. Nifty Pictures 🙂

  2. gregh Says:

    Yeaj the trip was a blast. I think Pete is planning on putting all the pictures up somewhere (including the ones that are blurry and all black).

  3. pred Says:

    Really nice pictures here. You guys did a good job with the wildlife, and the scenery looks awesome… It sounds kind of like Easy Rider with you guys camping in random abandoned cabins and stuff.

    So how much water were you guys going thru, like a daily rate? Any water vs sports drink or juice experiments? What the food item you appreciated most while there?

  4. gregh Says:

    The water consumption is hard to calculate. We had 3 5-gallon water containers, we would seem to consume around a 5-gallon container a day. But we use this water for everything from drinking, to cleaning dishes etc.

    Everyone drank the sport drink, I personally drank more water the sports drink but I like water. I tended to prefer the sports drink when the water was warm. As far as food item, nother really stuck out, but the nature valley bars are always good quick snack.

  5. kowgod Says:

    Greg is right, the water thing is hard to calculate. To throw it off even more, when water was readily available, we used it rather liberally. For example, midway through our trip, after one of the hotter and more stressful days, we traveled up into the mountains to camp at cooler climes, and the campsite happened to have water cisterns. Let me tell you, that water was some of the tastiest I have ever had, and since it was so plentiful, we made the most of it, “showering” under the pumps, frequently washing hands, chugging straight from the pump, cooking more food than usual (including this devilishly beguiling freeze dried cheesecake!) etc, etc. All things we were very careful not to do when, say, in the middle of Eureka Valley where there was NO water and always the possibility of breaking down and being stranded for who knows how long.

    As for the gatorade, it always seemed to taste its best towards the end of a hike or whatever. When going out, we always carried our water packs, which no one in their right mind would ever put anything but water into since they are so hard to clean, especially on a trip. But in addition to the water packs, we also carried 2 bottles each. We usually made the bottles gatorade, and usually consumed those bottles last on the hike, probably when the body needed it most.

    I, personally, drank the gatorade whenever at camp (breakfast and dinner) just because we had enough powder to last a year, so, why not?

    All in all, cooking, cleaning, drinking, etc, we probably used about 45 gallons of water on the trip. Not to mention the gorging on diet pop and snapple when we hit up the general store 😉