Spring Time in Saline Valley, April 2010
Page - 2: Campout

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I spent five days camping in the Saline Valley in April 2010. Lows were in the 40s, the highs were in the eighties. The sky was mostly cloudless. The wind was fairly calm until the last two nights.

Tuesday

I arrived a day after the other campers and set up my tent, canopy, and kitchen.

Palm Spring

Palm Spring The camp is at an elevation of 1,490 feet.

Palm Spring Non-native palms have been planted at Palm Spring. The oldest palms are a bit over 25 years old.

Peace Sign Cinder Cone A nearby volcanic cinder cone has been marked with a peace sign for over a quarter of a century.

Palm Spring The palms that the spring was named for are the ones on the right.

Wednesday

Palm Spring The most prominent peaks of the Inyo Range are New York Butte (10,686 feet), Mount Inyo (10,975 feet), and Keynot Peak (11,106 feet).

Palm Spring

Palm Spring

Palm Spring

Palm Spring

Palm Spring

Palm Spring

Palm Spring

Palm Spring

Palm Spring A large rock wind break has been built on the side of the fire pit facing the prevailing wind.

Palm Spring

Raven Ravens are the most common flyers in the area.

Peace Sign Cinder Cone The cinder cone is a relatively young geologic feature of the area.

Eureka-Sailne Corridor Looking up the Eureka-Sailne Corridor toward Steele Pass.

Basalt Flow A volcanic basalt lavea flow was extruded from the Saline Range.

Palm Spring

Palm Spring

Palm Spring

Eureka-Saline Corridor The mountains to the east are nearly devoid of vegetation. The tallest peak in the range, at 8,674 feet tall, is called Dry Mountain.

Rock Art There are a few examples of rock art around the camp.

Rock Art

Peace Sign Cinder Cone

Saline Valley The Nelson Range can be seen across the valley on a clear afternoon.

Headward Erosion The mountains south of camp are so young that headward erosion has not yet reached the top of the slope.

Thursday

Big Pine Expedition

Two days after my arrival, a couple of campers departed for home. We escorted them out of the valley through the North Pass to Big Pine.

Bat Pole

Bat Pole

Bat Pole

Bat Pole

McElvoy Canyon McElvoy Canyon is home to a pleasant fern grotto fed by springs.

McElvoy Canyon

Warm Spring Road The junction with Warm Spring Road.

Inyo Mountains

North Pass Road The Saline Valley Byway leads to Willow Creek and the North Pass.

Willow Creek

Willow Creek Willow Creek is an old mining facility. It was the home of Turtle Jim and his Burros.

Willow Creek

Willow Creek Willow Creek has carved a deep ravine.

Willow Creek

North Pass Road A long, straight grade leads to the North Pass.

North Pass Road

North Pass Road

Marble Canyon

Marble Canyon Marble Canyon was home to several gold mines. The mines tapped placer deposits in the accumulated river sediment. DeLornme Topo USA identifies this part of the canyon as Jackass Canyon. Higher up it is labeled Opal Canyon.

Marble Canyon The head frame behind the cabin housed a winch for access to a gold mine shaft.

Marble Canyon This cabin is at an elevation of about 6,000 feet.

Marble Canyon

Marble Canyon In March 1988, this cabin was decorated with a string of Christmas lights.

Marble Canyon The cabin has an oil drum converted in to a wood burning stove.

Marble Canyon head frame Head frame

Panoramic view of Marble Canyon Panoramic view of the Switchbacks lead up from Marble Canyon to the North Pass.

Marble Canyon We had lunch at the Country Kitchen Restaurant in Big Pine. Then we fueled up and got ice for the return trip into the valley.

Sailne Valley Road Sign The sign marking the entrance to the Saline Valley Road has seen better days.

North Pass Road It's a race to see if we can beat the shadow of the Inyo Mountains to camp.

North Pass Road

Friday

Windy Nights

High winds blew through the valley on Thursday night, bringing in dusty air from the Owens Valley that obscured the view of the distant mountains.

360-degree panorama of Palm Spring Camp 360-degree panorama of Palm Spring Camp.

AAA Mapping Unit The American Automobile Association sent a mapping unit through camp and then on up the Eureka Corridor to Steele Pass.

Saturday

Outbound

The wind blew again on Friday night, but it came from a different direction. The wind cleared out a lot of the dusty air, so visibility was a little better as we departed from the valley on Saturday.

Panamint Valley The Panamint Valley was still filled with dusty haze.

South Pass

South Pass Exiting the South Pass.

Lee Flat Cruising across Lee Flat.

We stopped for a late lunch at the Ranch House Cafe in Olancha.


More Saline Valley April 2010 Displays

Saline Valley April 2010 Page 1 Page 1: Driving into the valley

In the Wild, April 6 - 10, 2010 Airplanes in the Wild


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