Jan 17, 2021
It was a warm night and morning so we got out of bed earlier than normal. As we were leaving camp a Park Ranger drove by. We stopped her and told her about the vandalism we witnessed at the Racetrack. I gave her the pictures and video and she was glad to have this evidence. She said she would keep us updated on the progress of the case.
We decided to make it an easy day. We back-tracked to Father Crowley Point. This is an overview above Rainbow Canyon, also known as Star Wars Canyon. This is the canyon that military flights will do their low-level training fights. If you are lucky you can look down on the jets as they weave through the canyon.
We hung out at a private overlook for much of the day, but we were not lucky enough to see a jet. However, at around 3 pm, we were able to see a pair of Osprey aircrafts fly over the canyon wall and down the canyon. Not as good as some of the YouTube videos of “Star Wars Canyon Flights” but it was better than not seeing anything.
We came down the mountain from the overlook at 4 pm and were back in our same camp from the night before by 4:30 pm. We made dinner and watched a movie later in the evening.
Jan 18, 2021
Beehive Charcoal Ovens
In the morning we drove over the mountain to the next valley. We found some water at one of the closed campgrounds and then drove up Emigrant Canyon and then up Wildrose Canyon. In Wildrose Canyon there are 10 charcoal kilns that were build in 1877. They call them beehive ovens, because of the shape. They were excellent condition and we were able to explore then, but it was pretty windy and cold, so we didn’t stay long.
It was a long drive back down the canyons and to the main road. Once on the main road it was a 20 minute drive to Stovepipe Wells Village. We filled up the gas tank with $3.81/gal gas. Most things there were closed, but we did visit the gift shop so Eva could get her national park patch for Death Valley. We stayed there for a few hours as this was the first cell phone access for we’ve had in 5 days. We called the kids, took care of a few bill payments and ate lunch.
From the village area we drove 10 miles out in the desert to Cottonwood and Marble Canyons to find a camping spot. We found a nice sandy spot next to the cliffs to spend the night. We set up the shower and got cleaned up before cooking dinner. It was pretty calm until it got dark outside. Then the wind kicked up and kept blowing all night. I am glad we were in the van verses being in a tent. We stayed nice and cozy as we ate dinner, read and watched a movie.