Saying goodbye to Death Valley.
We woke Friday to a windy morning. I had heard some tent flapping throughout the night but I generally sleep like a rock so I wasn't bothered much by it. Josh on the other had head every little thing and I thought for sure he was going to destroy the mish-mash windchimes hanging at the cabin!
We enjoyed some breakfast and did some exploring around the cabin now that it was light out. The views of the canyon were awesome and I can see why someone would want to live here like Russel did. The cabin itself looked like a shack with boards and corrugated steel hammered into place, but it was a perfect group cabin with several rooms, a fully stocked kitchen with icebox and even a solar shower. We signed the guestbook and decided to leave a can of veggie chili as payment for our stay. Spending the night at this cabin made us realize if it wasn't for the many volunteers who maintain this and other structures the Forest Service would just let them fall into nothingness.
Back on the road we headed back to the Geologist's Cabin to return the book Bob had lent us. He was long gone so we were able to spend some time there and it was clear this was the finest cabin of the bunch - and the most popular! I'm hoping on our next visit we get the chance to stay there.
Further down the trail we passed more wildflowers and varying landscapes. Suddenly a giant yellow square appeared from behind a rock - it was a sportsmobile - parked rather oddly between a rock wall and another boulder. It really would take some work to get this thing into this position, but after looking around and seeing the shades were up and it was locked up tight we carried on and hoped the people who belonged to it were ok and just out for a hike or something.
Soon we came upon another vehicle, but this time there was a person with it! A very nice BMW dual-sport and a friendly young man from Nevada who was sweating his ass off but having fun and enjoying the day regardless. Just around the corner from him was Warm Springs, an old mining camp from the 1940's. We were once again amazed by what we saw: the buildings were in great condition, surrounded by lush vegetation and a spring running down the hill. The main house even had a swimming pool with diving board! This was another area visitors were welcome to camp in.
After running around the springs for a bit we realized it was almost noon so we set out to finish the trail and find food. The remainder of the trail was smooth and fast; soon we were linked back up with the West Side Highway. We had planned to take the Harry Wade exit route out of the park but we'd had enough dirt - tired and ready to go home we aired up the tires and said goodbye to Death Valley.
We made our way to Shoshone, Ca and had lunch at the Crowbar. This place is awesome!! The food was excellent, we highly recommend the french fries!
We looked over the maps at lunch and decided we had enough time to split the trip up a bit and spend the night in Lake Havasu. We cut through the Mojave Preserve again, this time down a different road with a different view. Death Valley was certainly the most interesting and surprising place we have been in a long time if not ever, and I can't wait to go back and see all the things we missed!