Telescope Peak/ Butte Valley/ Eureka Valley (whoops - try again!)

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Posted by The Desert Dryad on May 24, 2002 at 00:29:30:

Hello everyone -

Just got back to the Bay Area, after waking up at
the Eureka dunes this morning (whew!)... let me back up,

I departed the BAy Area for Death Valley Saturday morning, arriving at Thorndike campground (ugh. campground) in order to climb Telescope Peak Sunday.. for those of you DV dwellers who haven't and even slightly think you can make it up there - GO! The view is just simply spectacular. I was truly awed, and I've been up a few mountains in my time :)

The weather got a bit .. ok more than a bit, frisky and
brisky, as I was coming down the mountain, so instead
of staying at Thorndike again, I fled to lower (warmer) elevations, and decided to camp out .. ohhh somewhere along the Hanuapah canyon road. It did not get too cold, but boyyyy did that wind ever blow!

Woke up with the sun, to head the 'wimpy' way ;) into Butte Valley, via the Warm Springs route. Lovely drive, albeit the long way in. First time in Butte Valley - I will be back!! I got there early enough, and it was a Monday, to snag the Geologists' cabin. BEST little cabin in the whole park, I bet (though I have not seen them all). I arrived there just before a bit of rain came. Saw not a soul in the valley except for one lone red jeep (Sas, don't you drive a red.. nah, couldn'ta been you :) ) drive by and then back. Spent the afternoon attempting to walk to the Butte, and having the driving wind chase me back! Climbed around behind the cabin,trying to spot Russell camp (hah, realized not how well off the road that place is). Saw wild burros at the spring, at dusk :) . Explored around the area the next day..
Tried to make it up the Butte the direct frontal attack route, and got about 3/4 of the way and then got scared you-know-what-less :) and backed down.. it was fun to try, though...

then I left, to go all the way to, I thought, Cottonwood canyon, hoping (as my feet were tired still!) to do a 4 mile trek to the springs there.
Well, even though I ASKED a Ranger en route about the conditions of the Cottonwood road, I was not aware nor told, that the road was closed after the first 8 miles (you used to be able to go in ~17 miles??? total? Has this been the case for long, anyone know?). Very dissapointed :( .. at any rate, my other objective on this trip WAS fulfilled - not only did I camp out at
Eureka dunes, I apparently had the place to myself!
Oh, it was gorgeous, with that near full moon overhead!

I will try to post pictures as soon as I get them developed and scanned...

-The Desert Dryad

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