Closed

Death Valley related discussion
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Candace_66
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Re: Closed

Post by Candace_66 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:28 pm

Fortunately, there's still lots of desert open to visit, and devoid of other people. I've been to such places lately. :cool:

lauralippay
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Re: Closed

Post by lauralippay » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:11 am

I have a flight scheduled to come out to DV (my "me place" for many years now) on Easter Weekend. Was going to go see if that little party still happens in Ballarat and set up tent either there or somewhere more off-grid (or Panamint Springs if I needed something quick/easy) + see if Rock wants this painting I did of the manson truck for his shop while I'm out there. Now of course I'm considering whether I should. The plane, the airport.. I'm sure they're SO CLEAN now - everything's been getting cloroxed. Wish I still lived close enough to drive - I definitely know how to stay well away from people - i liked doing that *before* cv19 - even have my own gas reserves :) but now just with gloves and a mask. Any tips/thoughts for someone who has been sitting inside a city apartment for two weeks longing to go disappear in Death Valley? Havent canceled yet - It's in two weeks..

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netllama
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Re: Closed

Post by netllama » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:46 am

lauralippay wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:11 am
I have a flight scheduled to come out to DV (my "me place" for many years now) on Easter Weekend. Was going to go see if that little party still happens in Ballarat and set up tent either there or somewhere more off-grid (or Panamint Springs if I needed something quick/easy) + see if Rock wants this painting I did of the manson truck for his shop while I'm out there. Now of course I'm considering whether I should. The plane, the airport.. I'm sure they're SO CLEAN now - everything's been getting cloroxed. Wish I still lived close enough to drive - I definitely know how to stay well away from people - i liked doing that *before* cv19 - even have my own gas reserves :) but now just with gloves and a mask. Any tips/thoughts for someone who has been sitting inside a city apartment for two weeks longing to go disappear in Death Valley? Havent canceled yet - It's in two weeks..
All of California is still under a 'shelter in place' order until May 1. This definitely includes airports, rental car facilities, etc. Just because they've sanitized everything doesn't mean that someone who is already unknowingly infected is not going to be in your proximity during that trip, and infect you, who then infects others. As disappointing as it may be, the right choice is to stay home.

Death Valley is not going anywhere. (Nearly) everyone is struggling with the current situation. Please wait until a better time to do this trip so that you are not prolonging the pandemic unnecessarily.

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Kauri
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Re: Closed

Post by Kauri » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:10 am

Yes, please postpone your trip until the shelter-in-place order is lifted. It's safer for you and everyone else if folks stay home and don't travel, since one could easily become a carrier of the virus whether or not they show symptoms. I'm in the California Bay Area, and even though the coronavirus map is indicating there are less than 100 cases in some of the counties, our local public health representatives are reminding us that there are many folks who haven't been tested because their symptoms aren't severe enough, and also there are asymptomatic carriers. The estimate is that there are close to 3,000 (!) other folks who could transmit the virus, just in our county. So it's likely a lot more widespread than the numbers on the news are indicating, and the best thing we can do is stay home to help stop the spread (and plan our trips for when this is over).
Death Valley named locations map, and my trip reports: http://kaurijacobphotography.yolasite.com

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Re: Closed

Post by TrailHound » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:16 am

Having just cancelled a trip to DV for April 1-6, I fully understand your frustration. We booked the trip in January and spent the next 3 months fretting about the weather. What if it's 100+ degrees and you can't hike safely? Well, the forecast for Thursday (would have been our first hike) is high 81, low 55, perfect weather. At least, the airline gave us a flight credit for a future trip. An abundance of caution dictates that you stay home. All you have to do is encounter one person who is a carrier and then you have it and start spreading it yourself. This virus snowballs like crazy.

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Re: Closed

Post by GaryW » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:42 pm

lauralippay wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:11 am
I have a flight scheduled to come out to DV (my "me place" for many years now) on Easter Weekend. Was going to go see if that little party still happens in Ballarat and set up tent either there or somewhere more off-grid (or Panamint Springs if I needed something quick/easy) + see if Rock wants this painting I did of the manson truck for his shop while I'm out there. Now of course I'm considering whether I should. The plane, the airport.. I'm sure they're SO CLEAN now - everything's been getting cloroxed. Wish I still lived close enough to drive - I definitely know how to stay well away from people - i liked doing that *before* cv19 - even have my own gas reserves :) but now just with gloves and a mask. Any tips/thoughts for someone who has been sitting inside a city apartment for two weeks longing to go disappear in Death Valley? Havent canceled yet - It's in two weeks..
Was just in Ballarat to witness Rocky being requested to pack his stuff and go. The owners are kind of redoing the place and they brought a new friend to keep an eye on the place. They redid that mens bathroom so far and it looks fantastic. Going to do the ladys next. They also brought out an old cj3 that they've place in front of the store as a display piece, but it looks good enough to just jump in and go wheeling. I didn't ask if it ran or not. Anyway it seems change is coming to ballarat,
They also having all those motor homes and trailers hauled out. They were prepping an motor home to make it safe for a tow truck while I was visiting. There was no beer in the fridge :twisted: but the new caretaker went and got a couple from his own stash so we could sit and bull for awhile. Nice guy
Garyw

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MojaveGeek
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Re: Closed

Post by MojaveGeek » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:25 pm

Well I speak as someone who was out there as covid picked up, and someone who loves the place and is very sad that this may not be a great hiking year. Really bummed. But death is worse.

I think there are a couple of factors. You're probably quite unlikely to pick up covid while out in the desert. If you're planning on grabbing food to take out with you for a week or so, you'll have to be flexible, as you likely will find a bunch of things you might want missing in the stores. In various stores two weeks ago I saw limited (variable) meat, precious little canned goods, no rice, beans, canned veg. Generally produce and dairy was OK. Deli counters were functioning but subsequently here they have just put out packaged stuff. We had to be a bit creative in terms of our menus to feed 4 people for a week.

The other BIG factor is how safe is flying? I'm now a bit past two weeks after my return flight and I marked that milestone; we considered whether we should self-quarantine after flying back (flew through Newark as well!) and in fact since return have gone to the grocery twice and that is it for out of house contact. I can tell you it is very creepy going through airports that are mostly empty. Mostly empty planes are good for social distancing. If you do fly I'd pay extra for "premium seating" as those sections of the plane are usually full of business travelers, and they are just not out there, so you get a lot fewer people around. And bring wipes and spray or whatever and really clean any surface before you sit on it, plane or airport. And bring food as you'll find precious little at the airports.

Personally, I would not do it. Consider what happens if you get infected on the way out - now you're in a place which is not your home, and you may end up in a hospital you don't know for weeks (I think average hospitalization is 18 days?). Now you'd be in quarantine so even if you had friends/family they could not see you. Personally, that would dominate my decision about travel, and will with respect to my possible summer travel. I won't get sick hiking in wilderness, but I might get sick getting there.

In various places, the disease is peaking in the next couple of weeks, we hope This means you would be traveling at least one way during the time you'd be most likely to get infected, the most people going around who could infect you. Are you high risk or low risk? Even if low risk, you don't want to be out camping when ill.

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Kauri
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Re: Closed

Post by Kauri » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:52 am

MojaveGeek wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:25 pm
I won't get sick hiking in wilderness, but I might get sick getting there.
This is a very good point that I think a lot of travelers don't necessarily realize (though perhaps I'm somewhat biased from reading Outside Magazine, Adventure Journal, etc., who are all advocating for folks to "stay home, stay safe, and be part of the solution not part of the problem"). Also, I understand there are a lot of asymptomatic carriers, who could unknowingly bring the virus to small communities as tourists (which might be a long distance from good healthcare---didn't Candace mention at some point that the medical coverage for the DV/Beatty area is now less than it used to be?).
Death Valley named locations map, and my trip reports: http://kaurijacobphotography.yolasite.com

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Re: Closed

Post by lauralippay » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:03 am

These are great feedbacks folks thank you everyone! Things change so much day-by-day I realized shortly after I posted that, that it's a bad idea.

And so weird to hear changes are coming to Ballarat! I'll need to decide whether to keep the painting I did of the Manson truck as I left California as a keepsake (it was the first thing I accidentally came across on my first ever Death Valley trip), or if I can bear to sell it to someone I dont know... Thought it might be a nice gift for the shop if they wanted it, but I don't really know the folks.

Well, maybe next spring will be a good bloom year (I'll bring paint supplies!)
Stay safe everyone and thanks for the tips <3

Miss that desert tons.

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Closed

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:58 am

lauralippay wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:03 am
\And so weird to hear changes are coming to Ballarat!
I regret never having visited Ballarat now that it's changing. I won't have the luxury of context that history provides by the time I finally visit this iconic place. Thanks for the news and the updates.
Life begins in Death Valley

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Randy O
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Re: Closed

Post by Randy O » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:02 am

About Ballarat, I guess I'm sorry to see Rock go, he was kind of iconic for that place. The new owner is a really nice guy, we talked to him for quite a while last time we were out there which was at the end of February. Might be a while before we get back out there so it will be interesting to see what happens now.

Sparky of SoCal
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Re: Closed

Post by Sparky of SoCal » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:53 am

Death Valley Dazed wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:58 am
lauralippay wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:03 am
\And so weird to hear changes are coming to Ballarat!
I regret never having visited Ballarat now that it's changing. I won't have the luxury of context that history provides by the time I finally visit this iconic place. Thanks for the news and the updates.
DVD is see most of your post revolve around the east side of the park. Try the west side when you can you will not be disappointed. My idea of the west I am sure is not prim and proper with diehards. Argus, Inyo, White mountain ranges border the park have great vistas and a lot of native American history. Panamint Mountains,Saline Valley and Nelson Range inside the Park are also on par with everything else on the east.

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MojaveGeek
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Re: Closed

Post by MojaveGeek » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:17 pm

What Sparky said is true. It took me a few years to figure out that there was a lot of good stuff beyond Death Valley proper (thinking back to the days of the national monument). I usually stay at SPW and the first time I went over Towne Pass, it was like, "wow, there's another whole version of the valley over here too". And much much less traveled.

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TacoLand
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Re: Closed

Post by TacoLand » Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:45 pm

Park is 100% closed as of today. From Facebook:
Following guidance from the CDC, and in concurrence with stay at home orders from the Governors of California and Nevada, Death Valley National Park is CLOSED. This includes ANY recreational use of the park, including day hikes and backcountry camping.

California 190 and Daylight Pass remain open to through-traffic, and park law enforcement remain on duty. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

For more information, please visit our website at: https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

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Candace_66
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Re: Closed

Post by Candace_66 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:07 pm

Holy moly, this is the first I've heard about the goings-on at Ballarat! :shock: No more Rocky?!

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