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Trip Report -- Hiking with Friends from Boston and San Francisco; February 2009

Goldstrike Feb 14. Goldstrike Hot Springs, Lake Mead NRA. Day 1. Chris, Kathy, and Ben arrived the night before. Today we spent a nice day hiking down Goldstrike Canyon. We stopped at the springs to soak, then worked our way down the canyon to the Colorado River. We were happy to have our ropes along.
Fossil Feb 15. Fossil Canyon, Red Rock Canyon NCA. Day 2. We did a short hike at Red Rocks before Chris, Kathy, Ben, and I drove to Death Valley. Eric arrived later in the evening.
Grotto Feb 16. Grotto Canyon, Death Valley NP. Day 3. A rainy hike in a grand canyon. Teamwork helped a lot, but again, we were happy to have ropes along, especially on the wet rocks.
Stovepipe Feb 16. Stovepipe Sand Dunes, Death Valley NP. Day 3. After coming down from Grotto Canyon, we hiked out into the dunes. Lots of water and more rain.
Marble Feb 17. Marble Canyon, Death Valley NP. Day 4. A bright, sunny day for a grand hike in a great canyon with many narrows. Liz arrived in the evening and brought dinner from town.
Stretched Feb 18. Stretched Pebble Canyon, Death Valley NP. Day 5. Try as we might, we didn't get very far up this canyon. We were glad to have the ropes, but more climbing gear and rock shoes would have been nice. "Stretched Pebbles" might better be called "squished boulders." This area is slightly metamorphized conglomerate rock where the larger boulders were squished into flattended pancakes. The squished boulders line the rock walls and provide footsteps in some of the climbing areas.
Mill Feb 19. Greene & Detloff Mill Site, Death Valley NP. Day 6. A sunny day for a hike in the snow. Interesting mill site and grand views from atop a ridge, but there was too much snow for the off-trail traverse we had hoped to make into another canyon.
Gnome Feb 19. Gnome's Workshop, Death Valley NP. Day 6. In the evening, we hiked out into these salt and mud badlands near Mustard Canyon to a spring. Chris lost his wallet out there, so we hiked here again the next morning.
zink Feb 20. Zinc Hill, Death Valley NP. Day 7. Liz headed for home, and the rest of us headed to the west side of Panamint Valley to climb Zinc Hill. We climbed both summits because the lower one had better views and the higher one was the peak.
lemoigne Feb 21. Lemoigne Canyon, Death Valley NP. Day 8. Said to be the worst road in Death Valley, we drove the Lemoigne Road to the end and agreed. The hike up the narrow canyon to the mine site was great, Old John's place was hard to beleive (so small), and we searched in vain for ogres in this country of wild geology. The more modern tin building was an unwelcome intrusion in this historic area, but the woodrat in the stove provided plenty of entertainment.
corkscrew Feb 22. Corkscrew Canyon, Death Valley NP. Day 9. We did a moderate hike up a tight canyon in the badlands above Furnace Creek before heading for home.

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