Friday, October 30, 2009

Death Valley - Only for the Hardiest of Souls

Extremes ...Lowest place in the continental USA (282 feet below sea level), hottest recorded temperatures (124 degrees F, 48 degrees Celcius), known to humble the sturdiest of souls. And location of my personal greatest bicycle challenge...two days into incredible head winds, the first with winds so strong and grade so steep (9%) that three hours of individual bike pumps paced with straining by foot up the unbikeable gusty stretches settled us into a wind blown campsite just below the guard rails and out of sight of the road. The second day held the finish of the climb, then a pedal down hill into the wind and landing at Stovepipe Springs Village within the wraps of a near white-out sandstorm. Needless to say we got a room that night - our first of the bicycle journey. Quite a come back after our down time in LA.

Markos writes Oct 27th...Yesterday we climbed up a very high pass, it was so windy we had to walk for three hours. Today we woke up and it was still windy so we did our (school) work in the tent. Tomorrow we will go to Furnace Creek and go over a pass. Oct 29, It was very windy and sandy yesterday so we got a hotel. Today we walked in the sand dunes for two hours and got lots of prickers in our bare feet. We are going out of Death Valley tomorrow.

Tarn describes Death Valley...Oct 30 There was a big canyon and we didn't know what was in it. I thought there was lava in it. Dad told me there was not lava in it. My brother Markos thought there was water in it but there wasn't.

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