Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More Road Trip Pics: Sandy Locals

I love the smell of Death Valley in the morning (but that's just because an afternoon in Death Valley in July would be unbearably hot):



The mountain shade was nice while it lasted but the road often veered out into the furnace:



Speaking of which, a nerdy aside: We had already taken the highest paved road in the US when we were at Mt. Evans:



We were now on taking the lowest paved road to the basement of the western hemisphere. Kinda cool, eh? Anyhoo...

This spot was pretty wild (and aptly named):



Here's a closer look at what that sign is talking about. Try putting your way out of this nightmare:



The white crust is ancient sea salt:



My brother even tasted the salt (and I didn't even have to dare him too). According to him it tasted like highly concentrated "super-salt." I was relieved to find a sign that also said it was non-toxic. He keeps us so entertained.

And once again he had all the luck getting snapshots of critters:



If you look closely you might notice that coyote has extra legs. It's actually three coyotes in that shot who were all jumping around and wrestling with each other. There's two nipping at each other there with a third hiding behind the tree ready to pounce them both.

And here we come to the nerdy zenith (or should that be nadir in this case?) of this particular visit:



Here's a zoomed in picture of that sign up there that looks like an iddy biddy white blotch:



Woo hoo! We even made it while there was still some shade left:



We hiked out there a ways... but there really wasn't much to see. Was hoping to find one of those geological survey official marker things but no such luck. We felt compelled not to hunt too long though as the shade line was quickly retreating away from us the further out we got... meaning far more time in the sun on the way back than on the way out with every minute we stayed out there.

Our next stop for sandy environments with lots of sea salt would be far more pleasant:



The surfers would certainly agree:



Speaking of which, there was a surfing competition in town with all sorts of tv cameras and crowds watching:



One of the wilder moments, not caught with our cameras, was when one of the surfers ended up going through the peer (successfully) after staying on a wave heading towards it longer than probably expected.

The competition brought out tons of exhibit and marketing booths:



The coolest side show was the motorcycle jumping though:



It drew out a heck of a crowd for all the right reasons. These guys were nuts!



If you look closer you can see he's not even touching the bike in that picture:



He grabbed it back at the last second and got back on to successfully complete the jump. Pretty wild.

After hanging out in Long Beach and our little venture down to the OC (the above pictures) we headed closer to LA. More updates to come...

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