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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Down Marble Canyon to the HIdden Dunes, DVNP - "past the rusting carcass"

 We drove North from Lone Pine to Big Pine.
 Then East toward Eureka Valley.
 We set up camp about two miles West of the Eureka Valley Road at the site of an old well.
 Dawn.
 Eureka Dunes in center of photo.
 After breakfast we gazed to the West at the exit of our Marble Canyon/Hidden Dunes hike.
 We grabbed our backpacks and climbed into Jo Ann's Rubicon for the drive around to Marble Canyon.
 We turned East off of the Saline Valley road, drove down Marble Canyon and parked near the Easy Pickings Mine.
 Heading down Marble Canyon.
A male tarantula looking for a mate.
The remains of a mining camp about 1/2 mile from the narrows.
We hiked past the rusting carcass of an old automobile and entered the narrows.
After exiting the narrows Twin Canyon Junction came into view.
The next nine miles would be new territory for me.
Some evidence of mining was found but not as much as before Twin Canyon.
We stopped for lunch near this rock and discovered that someone else had eaten a meal here previously. There was an opened modern soup can, with a partial paper label, resting on top of the boulder.
Bosco found shade under a nearby bush.
We continued on down canyon.
Hidden Dunes appeared in the distance.
A battered hubcap from a 1920's Dodge Brothers automobile. Oh, to know the story behind this artifact.
Nature's geometry.
We dropped into a wash.
Soon we were close enough to the Hidden Dunes to discuss our route through them.
We both were surprised to find this aged and gnarled log so far down the canyon.
The sun set as we approached the dunes.
Panorama of the Hidden Dunes.
For our route we chose to hike through the saddle between the two highest dunes.
But once we reached the saddle the desire to reach the high-point kicked in and we hiked to the top of the dunes.
No human tracks were found in the dunes.
We lingered on the high-point for about 15 minutes but moved on as the daylight began to fade.
The moon was rising as we worked our way out of the dunes and through a gap in the rocky hills to the East.
We reached camp after three miles of hiking cross country and enjoyed dinner relaxing in our chairs under the stars.
Dawn.
After breakfast we broke camp and drove West to retrieve Jo Ann's Rubicon.
I parked as Jo Ann walked the last 1/2 mile to her Jeep.
A short while later a black Rubicon was sighted driving up the canyon.
Back on the main road we stopped at an abandoned cabin.
Jo Ann found a tub behind the cabin but without evidence of piping or jets, it was probably a cold soak.
An hour later we were back on pavement and headed for Lone Pine.