Five of us hiked to the top of Telescope Peak in Death Valley National Park, the highest point in the park. From the top, you can see Mt. Whitney to the north, and Charleston Peak near Las Vegas, to the east. Telescope Peak is also notable for having one of the greatest vertical rises above local terrain of any mountain in the contiguous United States. Its summit rises 11,331 feet above the lowest point in Death Valley, Badwater Basin at −282 feet, in about 15 miles (a route we decided not to take).
Street art in Venice.
Carol and I had a free weekend day – something which rarely occurs. The right answer was to unfree it, by taking the Catalina Express from Marina del Rey to Avalon on Catalina Island, about 30 miles into the Pacific. We took the beach cruisers, so we could explore town. The Island Conservancy charges $50 to travel out of town, so staying in town was OK with us.
Debauchery in the high desert with a near-crash and a crash, Federal Penal Colony #52, a rattlesnake in our toy hauler, Cuddeback Dry Lake, the Husky Memorial and lunch in Randsburg (where Huell Howser dined). Four minutes of your life which you’ll never get back.
Carol and I, along with Steve and KT and Maddy and Ali, hiked the spectacular, high-elevation, 20 Lakes Basin Loop just east of Yosemite National Park. The loop is around five miles long with little elevation gain, passing numerous lakes along the trail. We went clockwise around the loop, then subsequently learned that anti-clockwise is a better way to go. The trail isn’t marked, so some light orienteering is required.
For the Fourth of July weekend, we made an annual pilgrimage to Mammoth Mountain for some world-class mountain biking. For good or bad, there was a boatload of snow on the mountain and the top half only worked with skis or snowboards. This forced us into lower-elevation riding, in Lower Rock Creek (win-win).
At least that’s what Greenpeace wants us to think.
Words of wisdom in downtown LA.
How to escape the summer heat: head to the High Sierras. We base-camped near the Hooker Meadow trailhead in the Sequoia National Forest, then wandered to Monache Meadow, Bald Mountain, and rode around the area on dirt bikes. And the best part was the extremely low concentration of humans.
Look for the boat, right about here.
The Dos Cabezas watertower.