Nearing the End
Sadly, today is our last day in the desert – tomorrow we are departing this lovely place we’ve come to like a lot. We have an appointment early Saturday morning in Los Banos, some 430 miles to the north. In order to break the drive into more manageable chunks, we’ve decided to begin the trek in the morning. My guess is we’ll drive at least half way, perhaps a bit more … there is no rush, so the day will end whenever it feels right doing so.
In an attempt to squeeze one last gasp of fun into our time here today, we wandered into the eastern portion of the park to checkout the Vista del Malpais area.
The road in from the highway follows the desert floor along a series of short washouts before approaching serious steep descents into a wash section. We drove into the modest wash sections, but decided not to push our luck with the more serious off-road sections. Unlike the recreational off-roading commonplace to the area, we need the truck to pull our home … getting stuck or risking damage is simply out of the question.
No matter, we hiked into the canyon floor with Lilly.
As you make your way into the more pronounced sections of the wash floor, the sand is quite thick and the walls become more and more vertical around you. From what I could tell, it would be quite accessible hiking in the bad-land off-shoots anywhere along the way.
The place is very cool and I definitely would have loved to have a more capable 4×4 vehicle to use for deeper exploration. Maybe some day.
Once we returned back to camp, a few departure preparations were completed before Kelly and I had dinner with Tim & Amanda one final time.
We drank some champagne (which was originally intended for New Year’s Eve but never consumed) and a potluck style array of eats. It’s been great spending some extended time with and getting to know more about the Watsons – they are both good eggs for sure. A super casual evening in the company of really nice people.