Steve Hall's updated Devils Golf course exploration

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Death Valley Dazed
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Steve Hall's updated Devils Golf course exploration

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:55 am

I've walked miles out to and back from The Cottonball Marsh from all points of the compass and wish now that I'd spent more time noticing and focusing on the salt anomalies there. A hike across the Mid Valley from Furnace Creek over the Corduroy Bridge and back had some anomalies as well. Now with Steve's update (as of 06/03/2018) and some older threads here at Deathvalley.net about the Natural Salt Pools, I'm keen on doing some more explorations of the salt flats and Salt Creek streambed and taking better photos of what I find. In the meantime, I'll look through my previous images of the area and add them here, if they're worth posting.

Here's Steve's update: http://www.panamintcity.com/basin/devilsgolfcourse.html
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wbdeford
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Re: Steve Hall's updated Devils Golf course exploration

Post by wbdeford » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:26 pm

How was the hike across from Furnace Creek to the Cottonball Marsh--specifically, in terms of soft mud and DGC? My one trip there was from the Salt Creek parking lot, and I took a westerly route specfically to avoid soft mud such as Steve described in his original report.

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Re: Steve Hall's updated Devils Golf course exploration

Post by MojaveGeek » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:26 pm

Yes I too went from the Salt Creek lot over to near the Shovelton site, but I didn't find the pools, pupfish, etc. It was a hot day, there's zero shade, and we got burned out. There is a very old road that curves around the north side of the low flat area. Traces come and go, and then it disappears totally in the jumble of the wash down from the lower slopes of Tucki.

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Steve Hall's updated Devils Golf course exploration

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:54 pm

wbdeford wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:26 pm
from Furnace Creek to the Cottonball Marsh--specifically, in terms of soft mud and DGC?
I left Furnace Creek via north of the Golf Course, cut around the airport strip, across the flat to the power line, followed the powerline to avoid the mud, bogs, clogs, and slogs as much as possible. However, hiking over the endless rock filled washes and dry stream beds is hard on the feet and ankles. Nearly to The Cottonball Marsh, I cut north away from the power line into the marshy area and that terrain changes from solid flat to stick mud to salt pinnacles and finally to the crunchy cotton balls mixed with salt grass and shrubs.

There is no easy way to get out to the Cottonball Marsh because you're either in salt daggers, mud sloughs, crunchy cracky steps or being careful not to damage the cotton balls. I carry heavy duty steel toes rubber boots and boy do they come in handy for the mud and also those salt dagger pinnacles. The salty mud will ruin a pair of good leather hiking boots. If one stands still in the stream bed or mud flats you can keep sinking up to the top of the rubber boots, so kept walking, sometimes rather briskly for this reason. I wear thick leather gloves in case I trip and have to put my hands out on the razor spikes of the salt pinnacles which so far has not happened.

I really enjoyed my 16-mile round trip because it was in January and the weather changed throughout the day, even with a spit of rain and the sunset was drop-dead gorgeous as Mother Nature shown her floodlight on Manly Beacon, but I was tired upon returning but it was that good and satisfying tired.

I saw a couple of natural sinkholes and regret not photographing them because they might fit what Steve Hall's updated treatment of the anomalies is discussing. of Here's a video I just put together about the hike out and back. I must have forgotten to make a trip report/video on this two years ago.

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Steve Hall's updated Devils Golf course exploration

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:58 am

Death Valley Dazed wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:55 am
I'll look through my previous images of the area and add them here.
Sorry to report that I only have one image of a salt spring to share, but it's a beauty. I'm kicking myself for not photographing several sinkholes on the way outskirts around Furnace Creek towards Tucki Wash and The Cottonball Marsh. In fact, I was worried that walking around certain parts of those areas might find me collapsing the crusty surface and falling into a huge sinkhole and never being seen again. Death by sinkhole - LOL. There was no water in these holes so looking back, that's maybe why I didn't snap any images.

Well, here's the salt spring located way out somewhere in the Cottonball Marsh amongst the pupfish habitats. I have not explored the entire pupfish habitat (but most of it) and this is the only bottomless salt spring I've located. It's unique in that the water is not clear, there are no fish in it, at least that I could see and so the depth is undetermined. The diameter is approx 4-5 feet across. The temperature seemed the same as the other springs. Now I'm keen on wandering around the salt flats at various points in the valley of death to find and photograph more sinkholes and salt springs.

Image
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Re: Steve Hall's updated Devils Golf course exploration

Post by wbdeford » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:30 pm

Nice video, DVD! Makes it easy to see the approximate path over.

If you've never been able to find the deeper pools with the pupfish, the pools can be fairly clearly seen on Google Earth, from which you can grab the GPS coordinates. I only got to see one area with the fish, but from Steve's report, I know there is much more to see. Will check GE next time!

This is the area I got to see in November 2015: (brief Saratoga Springs footage, then the rest from Cottonball Marsh:


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