Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

We had a great time spending my b'day and the holidays in the desert - Death Valley and Zion National Parks and Valley of Fire State Park. This was my second trip to Death Valley - I really fell in love with it this time and can't wait to return in the spring.

We ended up in Las Vegas the evening of 12/24 and decided to spend the night in a real bed after car camping in the Element the previous couple of nights - definitely my weirdest Christmas venue ever, but what a hoot to walk the Strip with those of "heathenish tendencies" on Christmas Eve! :p Christmas Day we journeyed to Valley of Fire to gawk at the rocks and petroglyphs. I risked minor injury to get this photo; obviously this artwork was done before boulders fell to partially obscure "Batwoman."

In Zion I had to do Angel's Landing again, a bit of ice adding to the adrenaline rush. We also had an extra special hike to Court of the Patriarchs and to Observation Point...
Sublimely beautiful rocks everywhere. This is in Valley of Fire State Park, only ~40 minutes outside Vegas. The campgrounds there rivaled Joshua Tree's.
As we were leaving the Park, we spotted about a dozen very healthy appearing bighorn sheep who allowed us multiple photographs before becoming bored with the silly humans.

Oodles of amazing 3000+ year-old petroglyphs.
One of the 10 charcoal kilns at Death Valley's Wildrose Peak trailhead. Although they haven't been used since the late 19th century, they still smelled of smoke. We hiked only a couple of miles up the trail to stretch our legs but will be back in the spring to climb the peak (Telescope too!)

Running the Artists Palette loop in gorgeous 70 degree temps in SHORTS the day before Christmas. After living through 30+ years of Vermont winters, I just find that to be such a treat. (And no, I'm definitely not training for Badwater.)
Weird stuff in the desert. This is near the ghost town of Rhyolite which we visited just before driving through the spectacular Titus Canyon.
More art...
Here's to a happy and healthy 2008!

3 comments:

Hart said...

hey sue! i just read the article on you in trail runner mag. it's very good.. congrats. it's about time the amazingly talented woman in ultrarunning start to get recognized!

Jamie said...

Happy belated birthday! Cool sheep. Strange artwork. I can't imagine hiking/running at night with my headlamp suddenly coming across the figures in that last picture.

Sam said...

Sue, Great pics of the desert. We have a trip planned out there in April at full moon, hoping we'll catch a good desert bloom.

Have a great new year, and lots of adventures.

Sam