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Smoothies, Sand & Showers

February 22, 2010

Cam used to love making smoothies when we lived in our house and had a blender. We had them daily, especially in the summer. We bought one of those bullets, like a little mini blender and we’ve been having great smoothies for breakfast on the road. Thanks to that little thing, and the solar power to get the energy. Packed with spinach, pineapple, lemon, banana, avocado, yogurt, flax,cabbage,whatever, a great start to the day.

We took in Death Valley National Park. If not for just wanting to see it, but also cause we had, what turned out to be six loads of laundry to do there but also to catch the elusive shower that had escaped us since leaving Trey’s last week. Like all other National Parks that we’ve been to, Death Valley is strikingly its own. Completely unlike any other place… unique. And big; 3.3 million acres. And hot. Highest average temperature in the world, and second highest temperature ever recorded(134, I think)… in the world, second only to the Sahara by two degrees. You don’t go in summer. (Except, we read, a sick ultramarathon through Badwater Basin in 120 degree July!) Shockingly rugged, with attitude it seems, are the 11K foot mountains on its west border and the 5K foot ones to the east and yet horridly vast with its near bare vegetation. We camped at 192′ below sea level and visited the Badwater Basin, 282′ below sea level. There was a sign high on the sheer rock face above the parking area marking sea level. “So if we were still at Trey’s, we’d be that far under water” Mazie Jane said. We stopped at Salt Creek and we’re lucky enough to see the Desert Hole Pupfish. A tiny little fish found nowhere else in the world and specially adapted to the high salt content of the water and the extreme heat. Water gets so scarce and disappears, so these guys hole up in the mud through the heat of the summer. Holt made a friend who went slack jawed after seeing his “pirate’s horse”. I knew the kid would when he said he liked pirates and horses. What boy anyway, wouldn’t love that thing? It’s a PIRATE’S HORSE. Complete with skull and cross bones on the saddle, sword sheath to the front, and some dudes treasure chest tied to the back of the saddle. The horse even wears a mask. It turns the kids’ crank.

We hit Mesquite Flats Dunes like happy puppies. It’s hard not to just take off running into the soft, rolling, one hundred and fifty foot sand hills. It’s extreme exposure to heights, with a net, or a bunch of sand that will catch you anyways. We went until there was more sand in our mouths than water in our bottle and after a good couple hours of throwing ourselves around in the sand, it was our right to showers. In the parking area we ran into a touring cyclist, Timmi, whom we’d met earlier at another camping area. He’s from Sweden and in the middle of a two month tour of Southern California. He’d been standing next to Belle no longer than a minute that Cam handed him a cool banana and pineapple smoothy. He couldn’t believe his luck. Real nice fellow and we’re glad our paths crossed. The kids really liked him and it’s true, kids will listen to people with accents. Timmi mentioned a hot springs back down the way so we headed out of the park and stopped at Tecopa Hot Springs. Eighteen bucks for a camping spot, hot pools and showers and bathrooms. Hard to beat after a day in the sand.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Leslie permalink
    February 27, 2010 1:49 am

    Love experiencing (sortof) your wonderful trip with you. Hope to see you soon. Hug Mazie and Holt for me!
    Love you all,

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