Sunday, December 16, 2007

Green Tortoise- Day Three- Ubehebe Crater

I awoke in the early hours of the morning with cold feet and a full bladder to the musical sound of a pack of coyotes passing near the camp. I resisted goin out in the cold as long as I could before making the walk to the bathroom. The brilliant, starry, night sky illuminated the landscape, making the trip worth it, even though the frigid toilet seat practically foiled the real purpose of the excursion. Back at the tent, I dug through my pack for extra fleece pants and another pair of socks and bundled back into my mummy sack, still in hat, gloves, and coat, with only a hole big enough for air. Finally, I got warm and woke again later only after the sun had risen and begun its warming work. After a breakfast of French toast and fruit, I washed dishes and then got ready for the day.

Ubehebe Crater
We drove about an hour to Ubehebe Crater. It was windy and cold at the top and I felt a little queasy after the ride, so I enjoyed the solitude on the bus while everyone else hiked, taking the opportunity to begin my primitive blogging on paper.
At our next stop, we hiked out onto the sand dunes and watched the sunset. The more adventurous ones in the group ran up one side of the dunes and tumbled end over end down the other.
When we got back to camp, dinner was ready. After eating and cleanup, a group of us walked to Furnace Creek Resort for a swim and a hot shower. The pool is fed by a hot spring and steam rises from its surface in the cold night. Later, warm and dry and wearing clean clothes, we went to the Corkscrew Saloon where I sipped Guinness and listened to the jukebox.
I foolishly got separated from the others on the walk back to camp and walked around for what seemed like much longer than the few minutes it really was before finally locating the camp. Tonight, I was dressed warmly enough and didn't get too cold.

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