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DV Feb 2014-- Nova area, Buckwheat Dunes, Fall 1SC

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:36 pm
by SteveH
We are currently in the park and are halfway through our trip. As we stayed the first few nights at Stovepipe, we had no worthwhile access to WiFi. We are now over at Furnace Creek and I had access to update the first four days of our trip. My time is a bit limited, so this time I am not cross-posting but only putting my trip updates on my Blog at the link below. But I am happy to discuss any of the hikes here if you see anything that interests you. Upon returning home, I will work on trip reports for all of the areas that we are exploring. This whole trip (with the exception of a brief few hours of hiking Ubehebe Crater on our first day) is all about exploring more undocumented areas that intrigued me based on my research at home. Currently, Days 1-4 are posted.

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:58 pm
by alluvialfan
Steve, thanks for the blog link. Looks like some great hikes, and it looks like you're enjoying your DV trip!!

Stovepipe Wells Wifi - that reminds of my experience there Jan 30/31, 2014. When a family emergency back home forced me to seek wifi access, I found the Stovepipe Wells wifi access extremely slow, unusable Thursday night, Jan/30. People suggested it was better early in the morning. At 5-am Friday morning, Jan/31, I was able to get enough wifi access to accomplish what I needed. So I can only speculate that Stovepipe Wells Wifi is barely acceptable in the early AM hours, and is basically unusable in the evenings.

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:37 pm
by Kauri
Very nice photos! Personally, I really like the photos of The Crack—especially those sandstone layers—and it seems like an excellent short-day hike. It looks like you've had a great trip so far, and I'll be interested to see photos of where you check out next!

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:17 pm
by SteveH
Good to hear from you both. I definitely gave up on Stovepipe WiFi. I've never seen it that bad and finally stopped bothering. I've got other things to do than spend a half an hour just trying to get the e-mail messages on my iPhone to load.

We were back out hiking today again in the Nova Canyon area. There is some really neat stuff out there, some of which I will report on later. But the slots found within some of these canyons are excellent. And I still have more to do out there.

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:11 am
by 1974runner

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:30 pm
by SteveH
Thanks, 1974runner. The Buckwheat Dunes report should be fantastic. That was an outstanding hike and I created a nice loop hike that others can do when they go out there in the future. The dunes are positively beautiful out there. One of my new favorite spots in the park now.

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:13 pm
by MojaveGeek
Hi Steve. We chatted a bit in SPW last week. Hope your trip went well. Mine was great, TR when I have the chance.

Alluvial, we had identical experiences with the WiFi. Up at 6 to get online for a few minutes, not worth the time otherwise. If anything it is worse - used to be able to get wifi in some of the rooms but now they seem to have only on AP in the office.

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:01 pm
by SteveH
Hey Mojave, yes it was nice to meet up with you in Stovepipe while we were both staying there. I hope your final hike turned out well. I'm still here in the park for one more day before heading home. I'm not sure how well the weather will cooperate for any hikes tomorrow. I guess I can't complain after just having one full week of perfect weather here.

Just a note that you can read on my Blog about an important discovery we made on this trip in regards to botany. It's currently the next post after today's post about hiking the Fall Canyon 1st Side Canyon.

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:05 am
by SteveH
I finished up the first of my seven new reports. Starting with this report, I am using a new format for my trip reports with a few adjustments. The adjustments include having a brief overview section before I talk about my own hike. The overview section will have links to maps (rather than including them on my actual report pages), information about challenges on the route, and GPS coordinates where appropriate to help hikers. I'm also moving the bulk of a report's pictures into a secondary page to conserve bandwidth and allow for shorter load times of main report pages. Over the spring and summer, I plan to go back through all my reports and update them with this new style.

My first report is on an area that I nicknamed The Crack in the foothills of the Funeral Mountains.

The Crack--

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:44 pm
by seanR
Steve, I'm glad for you that (as usual) your visit unearthed lightly visited/undocumented treasures. I've enjoyed coming across interesting desert plants while hiking off the beaten path in DVNP. I'm not sure if you've been, and it would be easier once/if you get back into camping mode, but Mojave National Preserve is a nearby treasure when it comes to abundant cholla and other desert flora. At the same time, I'm pretty sure your latest find would be a new one for me while still being near all the neat canyons DV has to offer.

I really like the new layout for your latest trip report. The overview makes it easy to quickly assess the essential information to decide whether to do the trip, what to prepare for, and how to get there, while leaving potential information overload and lack of mystery optional for the user.

After a few annual visits spent exploring drives, hikes, and backcountry campsites on our own with the aid of maps and basic NPS tips, your website has been a huge help in giving me ample reasons to keep coming back. Elsewhere in CA, I lean strongly toward being a peakbagger, trail runner, and cyclist, but your reports have been a huge help in my family beginning to fully enjoy the canyons of DVNP. Each of the last two trips, I did great canyon hikes I might not have thought of without your reports, and my kids (1,4, and 6) came along for some. I'll try to get some reports up if I find/choose an appropriate place to host my photos.

Back to the new layout, I certainly could pull out my GPS, but the photos of where to head upon parking were a big help on my recent trip when figuring out where to park and where to head early in a hike. Sometimes photos or descriptions near key turns/junctions in a given hike have eased concern that I might have led us the wrong way. Those details now seem to mostly be a click away. Easy enough, but I'm not sure if I love that or not as much as the other aspects of the new layout.

Anyway, thanks again! We overlapped a bit at the end of my recent trip. I'll keep an eye out for you in the future to say hi.

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:18 pm
by SteveH
Sean, thanks so much for the feedback. It's a big help to see that you find some benefits to my adjusted layout and a few inconveniences. I think I really needed to separate the long page of photos from the informational part of my reports. Plus, the park service is using my site more and more to assist visitors, so I wanted to improve the information provided to be more of a help. I realize not everyone will like the layout adjustment, but I think it is somewhat minor and all of the old information and pictures are being retained, just updated and moved around a bit.

Hey, you weren't the person with two children spotted hiking into Lower Foundry Canyon about a week and a half ago, were you?

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:14 pm
by MojaveGeek
You probably saw Sean. We were already up the canyon so you passed our parked car. We looked back and saw his camper and figured it was someone picking up a group of descending canyoneers - so we were surprised later to hear the voices coming up canyon instead of down!

Both parties found the Five Spot (or there are two of them up there to find)

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:07 pm
by SteveH
Just a note that I've been working on my Buckwheat Sand Dunes report all week for release tomorrow (hopefully). This hike and entire report is turning out very well. I think it will be one of the crown jewels of my site as far as showcasing a fantastic hike that most people haven't thought of doing before. The report will feature 93 photos.

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:00 pm
by SteveH
The report has been edited and completed. I hope everyone enjoys it.

Buckwheat Sand Dunes--

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:53 pm
by TacoLand
Thanks for posting the Buckwheat report! I had a fantastic time exploring the Hidden Dunes about two months back thanks to your report and now it looks like I'll be checking out Buckwheat when I'm done there in a week.