Day Twenty-one, Date Saturday, March 21, 2009, Time
Time in Saddle: ~3 hours
Distance for the Day: 12 miles: From Death Valley To Southern Pahrump
Accumulated Trip Distance: 859.85
Altitudes: Starting/Ending -145'/4253’, Highest: 4253’, Accumulated: ??
Speeds: Avg: ?? mph, Max: ?? mph
Weather: Mostly cool with high overcast, becoming partly cloudy, windy, and cold.
Got up at 6am, ready to go by 8am; went to see Stovepipe Wells Village, Golden Canyon (impressive – narrow, high-walled canyon), Artist’s Drive (beautiful – so colorful [earth tones, of course]), Natural Bridge (cool – earth carving at its finest), and Badwater (momentous – the lowest point in the US), before exiting the park and heading back to Pahrump to return the truck at 3pm. I re-filled the gas tank ($45 – my treat), cleaned the windows and mirrors, and called Alan so he could come down and pick it up. Thanks, so much, Alan and wife! Dishonest people do not trust others. Your willingness to help perfect strangers, and your faith in the goodness and honesty of your fellow humans is a true testament to your own innate goodness.
After we said our farewells, Cati (pronounced, CAT ee), Eusebio (aka “Louis”) and I continued our journey to get as far as the remaining daylight would allow us to go towards our next goal: Las Vegas. The weather by this time was looking like rain, of all things, but it seemed to stay more to the mountains, and we were still in the high desert flatlands. Just before sunset, we found a side road that led to a large, government-owned gravel pit(?) off of the Old Spanish Trail Highway, where we found a nice spot, away from the traffic, and out of view of every and anyone. We set up camp, ate our store-bought sandwiches (mine + Gatorade = $8), and went to bed. Cati was very concerned for me because of snakes in the desert. She pointed to a hole in the ground near where I set up my sleeping gear, so I took a few rocks, covered the hole, and smiled. She did not look at all convinced, but I assured her that it was too cold for snakes to be wandering around in the night, especially because it really was fairly cold and windy. We all hit the hay at 8:30pm, and weren’t bothered by inclement weather, traffic noise, or snakes the whole night.