AMARGOSA RIVER HIKE, "LOST THING MOUNTAIN (1,529')," AND A LAS VEGAS VISIT March 28-30, 1998
The scheduled DPS trip was to be a double list completion on Clark Mountain (7,929'). Early Saturday, I came to blowing snow at Mountain Pass on Interstate 15. The small group reconvened in Baker, CA, and we had a pleasant breakfast.
The leaders decided to go north on CA 127 to enjoy better weather, and set up a nicer camp, and party site. With all of the food, we chose to celebrate anyway! Remote washes and hills made for pleasant walking and wildflower photography. This year was said to be one of the best blooms in Death Valley.
I stayed by a flower field, doing some photography, while the others went looking for a good campsite. My little subcompact is not very good for washboarded dirt roads.
Our party site was along the banks of the Amargosa River. This is a perennial stream, of sorts, that makes a gentle canyon near the Dumont Dunes. We had barbecues set up, with chicken, and tables for the other goodies.
A nice, leisurely hike in the hills to the south passed the afternoon. We hiked up a wash, then looped around and surmounted a hill, taking in the views.
I took many pictures of entire slopes carpeted with golds and yellows. It was good to be able to see this banner year, brought on by heavier rains this season.
The weather here held, and I enjoyed recording the skies. We had a nice feast, although subdued.
The next day, we were back on I-15, but only one peak climber would tag along with me to climb a small hill off the Kelbaker Road. Reaching the top, a register declared this as "Lost Thing Mtn." There was a good stand of white and pink flowers seen (photo, above) on our descent.
After our short hike, I chose to head on east on I-15. Passing by the then snowy Clark Mountain, I saw that our call was good.
Having driven all this way, I decided to really see Las Vegas, only about 90 miles further. There is a lot new in this town.
First, though, I motored into Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. New snow had fallen, making for unique photo ops (photo, right).
Then, I went back into town and began to see the sights. I saw the Star Trek Experience, caught the IMAX "Everest" movie, and toured Caesar's Palace and mall. I felt comfortable taking photos since all the other tourists were, too. Going out at night, I toured more of the Strip.
After having obtained lodging, the next day, I took the fast ride to the top of the Stratosphere Tower, and again toured the Strip, before making another long drive home.
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