Quick Winter Getaway, 12.17
For the first time in years I took the week between Christmas and New Years off. It was time to get a few nights of camping in, ultimately ending up in Vegas to attend a wedding with Beth. Christmas Day I had everything loaded and ready, so the next morning I was on the road about 6AM.
First destination was the Trona Pinnacles. The pinnacles are located outside the southern edge of Death Valley, below the Coso mountains and are Tufa formations. Its a great photo spot. I made good time getting there and set up camp in one of the flats in-between the formations. Nice temps during the day and it dipped into the low 30's the next morning. Absolutely no wind, which was a real treat - it can really howl out there. Shot some scenics, some fun Legos, a few work photos and then started up a campfire in a piece of new gear...
I kept the camp setup to a minimum this trip as each stop was only one night. Camp gear stowed in a medium Zarges case, my Little Green Chuckbox, and the OZ Tent RV2 with cot/sleeping bag. Plus camera gear, potty and two 5.11 hard cases full of Legos (stay tuned...).
Trona Pinnacles generally don't disappoint for nice photos...
Up and out early the next morning as I had a longer drive this day. First destination is a spot called Fossil Falls, its up along the 395 right near Red Cone. Its a (now dry) riverbed that is all lava rock that the river used to run through, so its this beautifully sculpted smooth and sharp texture. I shot a few Lego shots there, but didn't pack a real camera on that hike, so will have to get back at a future date for 'real' photos.
After that stop, I backtracked back down the 395 to head out past Las Vegas to see the Valley of Fire State Park. It was my first time there and definitely won't be the last. It was a bit more of a drive so I arrived just in time to set up camp and watch the sun go down. This was the one formal campground night, and it is a really nice campground with toilets/showers/shade/table/tentpad.
I'll be going back there to camp again with Beth as I really didn't get enough time there, let alone the photo opportunities. Would be a nice place to stay a couple nights.
I was up at the crack of dawn the next morning, it was high to mid 30's and I was excited to hit my next and last camping destination - Little Finland.
"Little Finland" has nothing European about it, its named after the Geologic formations and erosion features that are distinct (and abundant) in this small area. Located out down the Gold Butte Scenic Route, its a long way out there. This was my second trip there and its definitely too far to go for a one-night stay (lesson learned). Aside from this little area, there are petroglyphs to find as well as visiting the "Devil's Throat", something right out of the next Netflix thriller series for sure.
God bless this spot. The reddest earth I've ever seen.
And even more so as the sun sets...
And some experimenting with time lapse video (and discovering the limitations of the Go Pro Hero5).
Just prior to this trip I purchased the small "Fold A Flame" from its creator Colby. Its a nice solution for a campfire where you need a fire pan and/or want to sport the coolest overlanding gear (you decide ;) Whole unit packs down to less than and inch thick.
It was chilly that night, and it was time to make tracks, but I did stop by a nice little feature known as the Whitney Pockets for a roadside breakfast, some Lego shots and a few scenics thrown in for good measure..
Along the way on this trip I captured some nice textures here and there. Always love finding those details..
Oh, and the Little Green Chuckbox is getting its trip notes filled out...
And as a parting shot, after meeting up with Beth in Vegas and attended the wedding we spent a day in Zion NP and on our drive home stopped by the Seven Magic Mountains art installation just outside of Vegas and (along with a crowd of people) enjoyed this colorful piece.