AZ – Route 66 Jaunting

From Death Valley I headed toward southern Arizona in search of wildflowers. I found myself on Route 66 where I’d heard there were early wildflowers spotted near Oatman.

Not far outside Bullhead City I found a great dispersed campsite complete with flowers!

I had a front row view of the full moon rising over Boundary Cone.

And was treated to a grand sunset.

My room with a view starring sunrise over Boundary Peak.

With great morning light it was time to grab some photos like this one of Golden Evening-Primose.




I was also reminded it was time to add a comb and tweezers to my hiking kit. Oh cholla, you aren’t my friend.

Earlier I’d seen these which are possibly Desert Dandelion.

Desert Chicory

Have you heard of the Oatman Burros?

I was happy to find a few around ready to sit, lie, stand for a portrait session.

As promised I found some areas strewn with poppies; however recent rains and cooler temperatures kept them from being very photogenic.

The lupine looked happy.

As I continued my drive I saw several decorated bushes as well as memorial crosses. But as I approached the viewpoint at Sitgreaves Pass I came upon this scene. I met a guy who told me a bit about the area and was dropping off the ashes of his wife and grandpa. According to an online account, “Jackie Rowland, vice president of the Oatman Chamber of Commerce, said the grave markers actually are memorials to deceased people whose cremains are scattered at the site. Rowland says people have scattered ashes and erected memorials at the Black Mountains site for as long as she’s resided in the area. She said it’s not uncommon for friends of the deceased to hold quiet ceremonies, or folks throwing raucous “going-away parties” there. “We had one where there was a 21-gun salute,” she said.”  There were also pet memorials in evidence. Interestingly the human remains vessels aren’t always buried either.

Note: I’m cautiously traveling during the COVID-19 and taking extra precautions, as well as following State and CDC guidelines limiting exposure to myself and others. When I stopped in Kingman to grab groceries, WiFi and fuel, I was reminded of current status. I like many others feel conflicted about the correct response.

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 7-8, 2020


CA – Death Valley National Park, Zabriskie Point Trailhead (Badlands/Golden/Gower)

It’s hard to resist Zabriskie Point at sunrise. I first experienced it during my 2016 visit when I was in Death Valley for the Superbloom.

The plan was to hike an extended loop including Golden Canyon, Red Cathedral and Gower Gulch. Shortly after sunrise I was on the trail.

There are several smaller loops available. You can start from either the Zabriskie or Golden Canyon Trailheads.

Each junction is clearly marked making it difficult to get lost.

Early morning shadows near the beginning of the badlands trail.

I loved all the ridges and wrinkles.

There was a nice variety of geology to see along the route.

By the time I reached Gorman Gulch I was wishing I’d packed my umbrella. Even though it was only 11am, it was too warm for this winter acclimated body.

Basically you are walking through a sandy wash with plentiful reflection.

Bonus: found the first Phacelia of the season

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 3, 2020

Hike Details:


  • There is dispersed camping near Zabriskie Point. The Furnace Creek Visitor Center will provide you with a map detailing authorized areas and rules.
  • Don’t count on cell in the park. The Visitor Center includes sunrise and sunset times on their weather bulletin.
  • I was glad I hiked the direction I did as the sun was behind me and I think I enjoyed better lighting.
  • From the park’s website, download GPS tracks for many of the trails.
  • Ask about specific trails at the Visitor Center and they’ll provide you with a handout.



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