Friday, May 3, 2013

Salt Creek, Death Valley

This was just a short little walk around an interpretive trail.  It features something you don't see a lot of in Death Valley though ... water!

Here is one of the "100 feet below sea level" signs on the way there.  They have these signs on the highway at sea level and 100 feet below - I don't think they had one for 200 feet below, or if they did maybe it got stolen.

Yep, that's water all right!  We tasted it - just as advertised, it's salty!  In the spring this creek even has a salt-adapted fish that lives in it - they are there year-round but only come out and play in certain months, so we didn't see any.  We were there December 13.

Me on the boardwalk of the trail:

Oooo!  A sunbeam popped out for an instant, and Ed caught these next two photos:

And that was that; like I said, it was short.  Next we'll go visit the site of the old Borax works ...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mosaic Canyon, Death Valley

The weather was overcast on December 13, so these photos might look a little more dull than those on the other days, plus the rocks here were possibly a little more subdued in colour compared to some trails, but not texture.  The narrow mouth of this canyon fills with fast moving water after storms, and the rocks are worn very smooth.

It's another narrow trail:

I'll try not to show you too many photos, but I find the rocks just so darned interesting:

Another plucky desert survivor, this plant growing out of a rock crack:

The trail curves off again to the right into another narrows:

The canyon walls have several different rock formations, but I think it gets it's name, Mosaic Canyon, from these conglomerates:

Eventually the wash opened up here, but it narrows a bit more further down:

I thought these layered rocks were pretty cool too:

This is at the end of the trail, where the canyon ends at a wall that would be a waterfall after a storm.  Ed climbed up beside it and took this photo of me:

I think this is a little side canyon off the main trail, it didn't go anywhere:

Heading back along the same narrows near the mouth of the trail.  It's too bad I'm not in this photo for scale - it's narrow!

More cool rock, this time marble that has been shaped by the water:

And out the mouth of the canyon...

We returned to the car to find this determined and assertive raven pecking at the windshield:

We thought he'd buzz off once we approached, but instead he called in a reinforcement.  Eventually we had to just get in the car and hope the ravens didn't expect us to let them drive.

On the way down the road from the canyon, the light was doing amazing things, Ed got this photo with his zoom lens of the distant Mesquite sand dunes:

More beautiful light along the road:

Next stop, Salt Creek ...