Much of the country is currently experiencing frigid weather, but Kelly and I have managed to essentially dodge the dangerously brutal cold. In fact, wandering around Joshua Tree National Park today, she and I momentarily forgot the Polar Vortex was even a thing.
Despite the government partial shutdown closing many areas of Death Valley National Park, Kelly and I did manage to find a few places that remain open and accessible for hiking.
The Mesquite Sand Dunes and Mosaic Canyon we’re easily accessed from our campground and brought us two contrasting experiences.
I’ve never been the off-roadding truck/Jeep type. Rather, I’ve always viewed my truck strictly as a ultitlity – something that carries me and my belongings safely from somewhere to somewhere else. Definately not a vehicle for pleasure.
This view of mine changed somewhat the other day when my buddy Gus convinced a few of us to go explore Death Valley’s Titus Canyon with him. It turns out, driving the trail was was pretty fun and I can see how people get hooked driving and exploring deep into a canyon. The canyon is absolutely stunning and my stock truck did just fine on the trails.
Kelly had a miserable time – way too much bouncing around he her.
The entire time I kept thinking to myself I would have much rather experienced the canyon from my mountain bike – doing so would have really been fun.
And, while the above photos Gus took are great, just image how cool they could have been had he captured me on my bike.
Anyone visiting Death Valley can expect to see military jets training overhead.
Those willing to hike to the top of Star Wars Canyon will be rewarded with the incredible vantage of viewing the planes from above as they descend into the canyon, rolling and twisting as they pass.
My friends and I sat at this point for hours watching.
Nevermind all the dirt she brings home or the 24 hours of sand in her poop, Lilly loves the ocean. For nearly two months, our daily walk passes by steps descending to the beach. Lilly know that once her paws reach the sand, only 50 yards separate her from the Pacific – the place she can chase sticks and dig. A mad dash to pure joy.
Every time we approach those steps, Lilly looks back at Kelly and me with hope that we will grant her wish – a chance to frolic on the beach. Far too often for her preference, and with no shortage of guilt on our part, we walk past the steps, continuing along an asphalt path.
As I begun preparing the trailer for travel mode earlier today, I could not help but find it disappointing on my part to deny Lilly one final visit to the beach. Today we are leaving the coast and I have no idea when we will be back, no real guess when Lilly will again taste the salt water. I do not know when I will have another opportunity to watch the sunset glitter over the water as she and I play fetch. Realistically it could a year, perhaps longer.
Of course I had to take her. It’s possible I had more fun that she did today.
Yesterday I flew from San Francisco to Los Angeles on business. About 50 minutes in duration, the trip is quick. Like many early morning flights, this route seem to be full of business travelers who, like myself, sit quietly tapping away on laptops before arriving to our final destination.
Often the views along this route are limited due to fog other marine layer cloud-cover reasons. However yesterday the clouds gave way and played nicely. Floating silently high above the horizon, the clouds gave way to expansive lines of sight.
I’ve flown this route many times and views like this are a rarity. Those of us who took a moment to look out the window, away from our laptop screens were rewarded.
On a whim, I decided to snap a picture. And then I did it again, and again, and again thereafter.