Troop 117 Long Beach

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Death Valley Troop Campout

Posted by Troop117LongBeach on March 5, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Our Death Valley Troop Campout was a sucess!

We had a total of 9 scouts, 2 sibs and 4 adults!

Thank you Matt Warner for being our Tour Guide. Matt planned our tour schedule that includeds some hikes and hit the best places to see in Death Valley

Thank you Mr. Lomax for volunteering to drive a third car which allowed us to bring more scouts, and baking us cookies Saturday night

And THANK YOU Eric S. for going out of your way to get your van fixed so we could make the trip and bring more scouts!

Our weekend was crammed pack with sightseeing and the boys came home tired but had a good time.

Here's what we did:

Friday

We left Friday afternoon about 2:30 and got up to our campground at Stovepipe Wells about 10pm. Luckily their was space so we didn't have to try another campground since all the campgrounds up there are first come, first serve. SInce it was late and we were tired from the long drive (at least the adults) we pitch camp and got to bed.

Saturday

Up early for breakfast which consisted of pancakes and turkey sausages.

We opted for pre-cooked pancakes instead of a box mix which would require a bowl simply because we weren't sure if we would have a limited our water supply for drinking and cleaning. Luckily since we got into Stovepipe, and didn't have to camp off site, it wasn't an issue.

However, we did learn that pre-cooked pancakes do not hold up well in a cooler-they get too soggy. Next time, if we are faced with limited water and the boys want pancakes, might opt for the shake and pour instead. Luckily we had lots of cereal too! Everyone liked to pre-cooked turkey sausages, easy to cook, easy to clean.

After breakfast Matt Warner took us on our first hike into Mosiac Canyon. The trailhead for this hike was right across the highway from Stovepipe Wells ups a grave/dirt bumpy and dusty back road.

The hike itself was very pleasant, easy going. The temperature was only in the mid 70's, very pleasant. The hike took us up through essentually a river wash that cuts through the sandstone. At one time there was even a road up through there, but had been washed away in a severe mud slide.  

A quick lunch of sanwhiches and we were off an a driving tour around the park. Our first stop was Rhyolite, the ruins of a small, once properous, mining town. Now the only thing that remains are some ruined buildings, lots of rusty tin cans and old mines (closed off for safety). Still, it was an interesting place to explore, poke and hike around in. We even came across an old grave site of Mona Belle who died in 1908 and apparentely was well loved from the collection of oddities placed upon her resting place. 

Next stop was Salt Creek, an easy going little loop walk along a raised board walk through a desert "salt" marsh. So off to find running water in Death Valley, yet still not suitable to drink. During the spring, fish can be found. This walk was very serene, peaceful, with the sound of running water under our feet as we walked and gentle breezes.

Afterwards, we hit the Sand Dunes, the highlight it seemed, for most of us. We spent a few hours hiking up and down the dunes, or in many cases rolling down them and generally just playing in the sand. The views from the top peaks were spectacular and the sunset was amazing.

We got back to our campsite a little after dark. While some of the boys got our fire going, Nathan and Steven got busy cooking up steak and baked potatoes for everyone (We pre baked the potatoes at home so it was just a matter of warming them up on the grill). Meanwhile, Mr. Lomax was busy making his "oven" out of a cardboard box and some tinfoil. After dinner, we had freash backed oatmeal and raisen cookies. Yum! 

We spent an enjoyable evening around the campfire, everyone with a full belly and tired for a busy day.

Sunday

We broke camp early after a quick breakfast and headed south.

Our first stop was Golden Canyon for another easy but beautiful hike.

We then took a scenic drive through Artist's Palate which showcases all the glorious colors found in death valley. The one way road was twisty in some places and some interesting "dips" that definitely warranted the "No vehicles over 25 feet sign"

We then hit Devil's Golf Course and bizarre landscape of rocky salt and mud lumps that look like something on an alien planet. 

Our last stop was Badwater, salt creek beds, a broad strip of pristne white against the dessert toupes and beiges. Badwater is the lowest place in the Western Hemisphere, some 260 feet? below sea level.

After a quick tailgate lunch, it was back on the road for the long ride home. 

We got back about 7pm and had the truck unloaded in record time. Thanks Matt and the boys for helping out with that!

All and all it was a terrific weekend. We couldn't have had better weather, mid 70's to low 80's and a still a little nippy at night in the 40's but perfect for visiting Death Valley.

Here's some PICS of our trip

 

Jackie's pics posted on facebook:

 

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.289232797808623&type=1


(Scouts, feel free to share your own thoughts on this trip. What you liked best, etc.)

 

 




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