Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

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Tuesday was to be an "inbetween" day, with no real goal or destination apart from making it to Mahogany Flats campground in preparation for tomorrow's hike to Telescope Peak.

As such, I took my time in checking out at my motel in Beatty, NV. Then, I headed east into Death Valley National Park again, past Stovepipe Wells where I phoned home to confirm that I was indeed still alive & kicking.

Just outside of Stovepipe Wells, a short dirt road goes into Mosaic Canyon, where in turn a scenic trail heats up into the canyon for one or two miles.

One of the narrower parts of Mosaic Canyon in Death Valley National Park The canyon narrows down fairly soon, then widens again, before narrowing down and widening again; all within the first mile and a half. This is as far as I went, and according to the sign at the start of the trail, a dry waterfall should block any further progress after 1,5 to 2 miles anyway. There's no real reason why I didn't venture to the very end of it, apart from the heat and the lack of anything new to see.

The logical place for lunch would have been Stovepipe Wells again, but I decided to head out to Panamint Springs instead, where I had a large double Hamburger with cheese, more fries than I could handle, but just a measly can of Coke.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on the roads leading to the 8000+ feet Mahogany Flats campground, taking Wildrose Rd, Wood Canyon Rd, and then Charcoal Kiln Rd. I arrived at the Charcoal Kilns just after the sun set behind the mountains and hid the kilns in the shadows - and thus didn't take any photographs.

The last few miles of the road are suggested for 4WD high clearance only, but just like in March I was able to handle them just fine with my low-clearance 2WD, using caution, zig-zagging around a few potholes, and never going faster than 5mph-10mph in first gear.

Seeing how part of the valley was still illuminated by the sun, this would have been a good photo opportunity, if it hadn't been for the many trees obstructing the view in all directions.

Instead, I just got as comfortable as possible in the trunk of the car, and slept as soon as it was dark (which must have been sometime between 6pm and 7pm).

Campground Accommodation: Mahogany Flats campground (Death Valley National Park): $0

Written on November 3rd 2002 at 12:45 at some random corridor at Amsterdam Airport, after erring around for half an hour in search of a power outlet.