Nothing really beats sleeping under the stars in the desert.. with my boo (or Nugget, whichever you prefer)!
After arriving on a plane at 1:00 AM local time in Las Vegas this morning (4/13), Emily and I picked up our rental car and drove out of town to one of the many many free camping spots on the BLM land to the West of Vegas.
During my unexpected month back East in NYC, I started working part-time as a coach at the Cliffs climbing gym in Long Island City, I formally applied for my NY state guiding license, and I attended the most beautiful celebration of any one person’s life that I have ever been a part of.
Emily spoke both kindly and fiercely of the boy she has helped turn into a man at his service. Aidan Silitch, you will be missed, dearly.
(Here’s a link to a webpage dedicated to Aidan if you’d like to see a memorial to his amazing life).
During the past month, Emily and I were plotting my return to the rugged West, only this time, Emily gets to march step by step beside me!!
I’ll keep this post short and sweet, mostly so that I can keep the adventure alive! Lot’s to do.
We initially had planned to check out Red Rocks conservation area this morning on our way to Death Valley. We ended up deciding not to back track so that we could make sure we got to Death Valley soon enough to be ready to start a 3-day backpacking loop of Cottonwood and Marble Canyons early tomorrow morning.
Ironically enough, we stopped in the small town of Shoshone and got sidetracked almost immediately, in the best way possible. The nice lady in the museum asked us what our plans were, and ended up giving us the wonderful suggestion of checking out the Amargosa Wilderness (just a little bit out of the way to the South).
As we are always up for an adventure, and we did build in some extra time for ourselves, we ended up heading that direction after getting one last cooked meal at the cafe in Shoshone.
Just about an hour later, we were driving by a super sweet vehicle recreation area that took the form of giant sand dunes. Dune buggies and dirt bikes were EVERYWHERE. I always wondered where people drove those things at..
A little while later, we passed through Baker off into the Mojave National Preserve. This place was BEAUTIFUL.
The roads almost gave us some trouble 😛 (though, we were apparently too preoccupied with keeping the vehicle upright to document with pictures hahaha)
After a couple of hours driving past cinder cones and over lava flows, and through dense Joshua Tree forests, we are now on our way back North towards Death Valley where we hope to camp out tonight on the side of some dirt road somewhere.
Over the following 3 days, we plan to resume with our plan to backpack the canyon loop in Death Valley. That will be followed by sleeping a few nights at elevation (8-10k feet or so) either in the Panamint Range in Death Valley or over at Sequoia National Park. Then, we’ll try our fitness on the Mountaineers Route up Whitney, taking the Mount Whitney Trail down for a nice 3 day mountaineering adventure in the frigid cold at the top of the contiguous 48. Finally, we’ll head back to Red Rocks Conservation area for 3 or so days of gorgeous, world-class, rock climbing before heading home on April 25th.
There is not much cell service where we’ll be for the next few days, sooooo.. till next time!