Death Valley Bids Farewell to Charlie and Alan

Death Valley National Park lost two highly-valued staff members recently when Charlie and Alan both retired from the NPS on April 30, 2016.  A few brief words in this short blog entry cannot adequately describe how much they both were able to accomplish in behalf of Death Valley during their long tenures.  Many of you knew them as being public faces of the park, seeing them in news interviews, documentaries on the park, and on videos playing in the Furnace Creek Visitor Center (FCVC).  In recent times, Alan was responsible for the park’s newspaper and web site, instrumental in the redesign of the FCVC museum exhibits, and created the new interpretive panels at Salt Creek, Zabriskie Point, Badwater, Devil’s Golf Course, Mesquite Dunes, and another 15 or more that will be up over the next year.  Charlie was serving as the Wilderness Coordinator and continuously working with volunteer groups which would come through the park for short time periods to help out with anything that needed to be done within the wilderness areas.  When I originally met both of them back in the late 90’s, they were both helping out visitors at the FCVC and also playing slideshow programs which they had put together for the benefit of the public.  Their retirements are truly a huge loss for the park after they each spent 25 years working and living there.  Before that, they both also worked in other national parks.  I was actually kind of hoping that the NPS would have put out some type of statement or news release expressing appreciation for the time that each of them spent in the park, but I guess that is not standard practice.  Regardless, they will be greatly missed and I will certainly miss visiting with both of them during my trips to the park 2-3 times each year.

As part of Charlie’s farewell to his time in Death Valley, he and I carried out one final major exploration hike together.  It was to an undocumented major canyon in the Funeral Mountains which ended up having quite beautiful scenery.  That brand new hiking report has now been published and is currently listed as destination #126 on the site’s main page.  You can also read the new report by clicking on the link below.

USMM 142 Canyon (Funeral Mountains) new report

Tramway Canyon new DV report released

Today’s brand new Death Valley hiking report has it all – extensive Superbloom wildflowers, interesting mining ruins, and nice canyon narrows.  All of this is part of a major Black Mountains canyon which has not been previously documented in a report online.  We are calling this place Tramway Canyon.  The reasons why will be obvious once you read the report.  This hike was the centerpiece of my 2016 Superbloom trip to Death Valley.  After this, I will have two additional Death Valley hiking reports coming out from the early 2016 hiking season.  To read the new report for Tramway Canyon, check out hike #140 on the main page or click on the link below.

Tramway Canyon 2016 Superbloom new report

Saratoga Spring 2016 Superbloom new report released

As a follow-up to the new report on the Ibex Dunes, the next report available is a brand-new one on Saratoga Spring.  This report contains 53 photographs showcasing the wildflowers during the 2016 Superbloom, the water life around the springs area, and the beautiful reflective ponds of Saratoga Spring.  To view the new report (which completely replaces our older one), check out report #163 on the main page, or click on the link below.  Coming up next will be a new hiking destination.

Saratoga Spring 2016 Superbloom new report

Ibex Sand Dunes 2016 Superbloom new report released

Today I have released my long-awaited brand new report on the Ibex Sand Dunes.  This new report is 1 of 5 brand new reports which resulted from my Death Valley trip to experience the 2016 Superbloom back in February.  I had been waiting for the right time to revisit the Ibex Dunes and create a new report on the area and the Superbloom created the perfect opportunity.  I’m sure you will enjoy reading the new report and seeing all the wildflower photographs.  It was definitely a great way to showcase the Ibex Dunes.  There is much more to come (very soon), but this is a great way to start things off.  The new Ibex Sand Dunes report is currently listed as #162 on the main page of the site.

Ibex Sand Dunes 2016 Superbloom new report