Bikin' and Hikin' - Tuesday, 3/17/98
As usual, we headed out in the early morning for a hike, this time Mosaic
Canyon. Its a beautiful canyon, with some very narrow spots and steep
canyons. For a full description of the hike, read Hiking Death
Valley by Michel Digonnet (ISBN 0-9659178-0-0, $17.95), pages 399-404.
The whole hike was about 5 miles, with an elevation gain of about 1000
As we continued up the canyon, it got more and more narrow....
Eventually, we got to the first fall, 18 feet high and 1.4 miles up the
trail. Here's me looking down:
We found a path to get around the falls, and continued on:
We found this pair of glasses wedged in the ground. The last flash
flood must have washed the rocks and silt into the curve of the lenses.
This is the 25 foot falls, 1.7 miles from the trail head. We turned
around here. On the way down, Mom got stuck in one of the narrows:
On the way down, we explored one of the side canyons, and found some really
neat rock sculptures folks had built:
It was a great hike, and we had a great time!
After the hike, Dad and Trish and I drove up to Hell's
Trish and I rode from Hell's Gate, at 2262 feet above sea level, back to
Furnace Creek Ranch, only 21.8 miles away, at about 100 feet below
sea level. Before we came to Death Valley, I installed a drum brake
on Rolling Thunder, our tandem recumbent.
Its a good thing - the first half of the ride was quite steep downhill.
The drum brake is a drag brake - the braking tension is set using a shifter
level, and remains braking until the tension is released. We set
the tension, and it kept our acceleration down to a point that we only
had to use our hand brakes every once in a while.
Unfortunately, about 12 miles into the trip, we ran out of downward slope,
and a nasty headwind whipped up. We were happy to get back to the
Ranch 10 miles later. The last 10 miles were so slow that we only
averaged 17 miles per hour for the trip.
Later that day, Trish, Courtney, David, Melissa and I rode from the Ranch
to the Furnace Creek Airport. We were about to leave when we saw
a couple landing a powered paraglider. It was really cool!
After chatting with them for a while, we headed back to the Ranch.