In Sequoia National Park there is an area called “The Giant Forest” that has some of the largest trees in the world in it. Including General Sherman, the largest tree in the world when measured by volume. It is a humbling place and one of my favorite places on our entire trip.
I took this with my Canon Powershot and ran it through a deshaking program to try to make it a little smoother. I didn’t get the whole song though.
Back to the events before Sasquatch…….
After Zion we drove past Las Vegas and into Death Valley. I had no idea how big this park is. It is oblong in shape, and despite the fact we drove across it the short way it still took a couple hours to get through. The areas right by the road seemed extremely desolate and hostile, the vast expanse nowhere near the road must be amazing.
We turned off the main road to check out the Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the United States. I’d never seen a salt flat before. The ground is crusted and definitely very salty (I tasted a little).
I am back in Bozeman after 3 days at the Sasquatch Music Festival. It was a lot of good music at the nicest venue I have ever been to. Highlights for me included M.I.A., Battles, The Flaming Lips, Okkervil River, Beirut, and Built to Spill.
The venue is located in eastern Washington overlooking the Virgin River Gorge. I’ve included a few pictures of the main stage. I didn’t have my good camera, but it was fun to try using a little Powershot again.
After we made it out of the canyon we hitched a short ride back to our car and high-tailed it for Southern Utah. We drove past the Glen Canyon Dam and planned to camp but it was already dark, fairly cold, and actually raining so we grabbed a hotel room in Kanab, Utah.
Th next day we got a campsite at one of the 2 mega-campgrounds in Zion and did some day hiking. We did a 10 mile out and back that included Angel’s Landing.
Still to come…..Death Valley, Sequoia, and Yosemite National Parks….it was an action-packed trip.
Our last day in the Grand Canyon involved starting at the river and climbing up the New Hance Trail to the rim. The first half is completely open without a lot of vegetation and the last is through what constitutes a forest in the Southwest. It was also one of the more rugged trails we encountered during our entire trip, especially as you got closer to the rim. We passed a couple of parties on their way down that really seemed to be struggling. Including an older gentlemen with a decent amount of dried blood on his arm.
On a separate note, we talked with a fellow down by the river who volunteered to take our picture. He was certainly friendly, although he was convinced we were grossly unprepared for the hike out, with only 7 liters of water between the 2 of us. He said he had 5 liters just for him coming down and ran out. We showed him up by ending up on the rim with more than a liter to spare.
Aslo, Davy found his description of the hike out as “fucking brutal” quite amusing, and it became an often repeated phrase. It wasn’t that it was the easiest hike in the world, but it wasn’t the Ho Chi Minh either (I’m assuming that would be really hard) We were done around 1 in the afternoon. .
The hike from Horseshoe Mesa to the river was really excellent, as if I would have expected anything else. The Kaibab Plateau is an interesting place to hike. You see the trail far ahead winding around a bend, and then in an hour (or more) you’ll actually be there after you weave your way around this fractal pattern of trail with endless side canyons needing to be circumnavigated. All in all we probably saw 4 people that day. It was a long hike, I don’t know how long but after we got to where we were camping moving any extra really summoned some willpower.
I was wrong about how far we got the first day, we actually stayed that night in Arizona. We made it to the Grand Canyon around noon or so and went to the Backcountry Office to try to get a permit. The woman there was quite helpful and we got a permit for 2 nights.
The plan was to to hike down to Horseshoe Mesa via the Grandview Trail once we packed our bags. (I’d been to Horseshoe Mesa over spring break). The next day involved hiking down the east side of the Mesa (all new territory for me now), onto the Kaibab Plateau, upriver and down the canyon ending near the Hance Rapids on the Colorado River. The third day was planned as hiking from the river to the rim via the New Hance Trail.
Spring Break the Grandview Trail was covered in snow and ice and made for a hella scary hike. This time everything was totally dry and that made the goings quite nice. It was a mild hike to the mesa and we had time to explore some. We went into the Cave of the domes but didn’t make it to the signatures as Ghostbag hindered our progress.
I am currently in San Jose, California. To get here, first I flew from Bozeman to Oklahoma City and met Davy. On our first real day of driving we took Interstate 40 across western Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, and part of New Mexico.
I had never been in this area of the country before. Oklahoma was very green and reminded me of North Carolina.
Picture overload probably. I wasn’t seeing me having a lot of time to post these in the next week so I thought making this post would be a good study break. The costumes these people had were really incredible. The clothes are totally handmade as well, with really intricate bead work that doesn’t show up in the tiny pictures I’m posting on here.
The last picture is of Luke and a Native American Studies student Michael Sweeney as they were leading their congratulatory procession. It was really heartwarming to watch as people come up to shake hands and give hugs and then get in line.
So I was at the Montana State University American Indian Council Pow Wow for a couple hours yesterday. My friend Luke was honored for his service to the Native American community at the school. Congratulations Luke!
Pow Wows are especially unique events for someone like myself who hasn’t been exposed to a lot of Native American culture. I took a lot of pictures and here are a few. I’ll put up more later but right now I have to study for the final I have tomorrow.
Monday afternoon and my classes for the semester will be finished. It has been a warm weekend in Bozeman as well, which I am grateful for.