This morning began with universal dismay and disbelief over the results of the election. As Trump himself has said, “The system…is rigged.” So I was happy to see the graffito I spotted on the back of the sign at the trailhead for Mosaic Canyon:
Yes. A much better pursuit than bumming out about a moron occupying the White House.
We pursued that magic first with a hike up Mosaic Canyon. This canyon is narrow and twisty at the beginning…
But opens up the farther up-canyon you go.
And boulders of breccia in others.
Once we finished our hike, we took off by bicycle for a quick 25-mile ride from Stovepipe Wells to Furnace Creek. For me, bicycling is always magic!
Along the way, we passed these salt flats…
And visited the Harmony Borax Works site, which mined the salt flats for borax in the late 1880s. If you’ve heard of 20-mule teams, this is where it comes from–they pulled the double wagons of borax out of Death Valley.
Check out the brakes on the wagon:
Our next stop was the Furnace Creek Visitor’s Center, where we learned just how hot it was when we rode in…and how low we were: 190′ below sea level.
The visitor’s center boasts the official dark sky park plaque. We went to a “Death Valley by Moonlight” presentation later, and explored the magic of the night sky in the desert–and saw three shooting stars and our moon shadows.
Furnace Creek is much bigger and busier than Stovepipe Wells. It even boasts its own post office.
But for us, the big attraction was a warm spring-fed pool, where we all ended up after our arrival at Furnace Creek Ranch.
In the desert, the biggest magic is water.