A major perk of camping in the back country is the vivid display of the night sky. Void of city light pollution you can see the Milky Way and an array of stars and planets. Star gazers can get to know these heavenly bodies by using a star chart – either manual or as a cell phone app. Read more
The winner for our “Ghost Towns of Death Valley” DVD is, drum roll please…….
Tammy Gillett, pictured here with her dog buddy, Kate. Tammy exclaimed, “I am delighted to win the DVD and I plan to watch it tonight!” She just recently subscribed and has been, “enjoying reading the camping stories.” Thank you Tammy and to all of our subscribers for entering our drawing.
I am giving away a “Ghost Towns of Death Valley” DVD to the lucky winner of my 1st blog contest. Enter to win by simply making a comment on one of my posts or subscribe to my newsletter.
Ghost Towns of Death Valley is a 44 minute account that explores the western boom towns of Death Valley, illustrated with rare early film footage, vintage photos, and the breathtaking scenery of Death Valley National Park.
I will announce the winner on *January 13, 2018!
Answering the call of nature is an integral part of wilderness camping and requires some heightened awareness of your surroundings.
We dig a hole designated for this purpose when we camp and choose an area free of cactus, bristle poppy, rattlesnake hideouts, and water courses. As we have gotten older we have purchased a “throne” that fits nicely above the hole to support the buttocks and save the knees.
While hiking a lovely trail with wildflowers and pines in the Sierras, the call of nature urged me to pull of the trail to take care of business (no hole digging for #1). I found a suitable spot and dropped my drawers while taking in the scenery and listening to the lazy drone of insects. Upon completion of my task I pulled up my pants and zipped only to discover that I had “captured” a wasp in between my underwear and jeans. The wasp protested by stinging me at least 6 times before I could quickly get my britches off to see what had set them on fire.
While camping in the arid regions your skin and hair need extra care so you don’t feel like a dried out piece of jerky by the time you get back to civilization. Guys can benefit from most of these “beauty” tips as well as the gals. Here is my list of top ten items to bring:
A favorite “short cut” into Death Valley from the west side of the Panamint Range is to go across Goler Wash. Be sure to check road conditions before entering as one year we found so many rock falls it took the joy out of driving it.
From the rocky road into Goler we were able to gain access to the Barker Ranch, infamous for once being a hideout for the notorious Manson gang in 1969.
The serene beauty of the area where this ranch is located belies the heinous deeds of Charles Manson and his gang who used it to hide from the pursuit of lawmen after their murder of five people, including Sharon Tate and Abigail Folger. The Barker Ranch is where the group was apprehended by Inyo County Sheriffs. You can read the story as an insider law enforcement account in the book Desert Shadows. Ironically my hubby worked where Manson was incarcerated for a portion of serving his life sentence.
Camping – a word that evokes different things for different people.
I was not raised a camper, but married an avid camper who shared his love of exploring the back country with me. I first got to know Pres on a rock climbing trip while camping with friends in Joshua Tree National Park. We started as newly-weds with framed packs on our backs and Pivettas on our feet. Our camping equipment grew into a large tent and cookstove for a family of five. Read more