Monday, January 16, 2017

Death Valley and Las Vegas

For the Martin Luther King holiday we ventured forth to Las Vegas where both boys played with their Utah Storm soccer teams in the Las Vegas Cup Tournament. Will had a practice and a game on Friday and two games on Saturday. Joel played one game each day on Friday, Saturday and Monday. The boys played well and had fun but their teams did not advance to the play offs. Sunday we explored Death Valley. This was a first visit for all of us. Driving there we had our worship service of listening to conference talks and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Sirius satellite radio, the BYU channel.

Friday morning practice in the rain and with new warm ups to wear.

Friday the 13th and a full moon.

Friday night lights for Will. #25. The three night games were very cold.

Friday night lights for Joel (center of photo). #13 is his lucky number, because he was born on a Friday the 13th with a full moon.

At 9:00 sharp the lights went out on half of the fields, mid kick and with 5 minutes left to play in the game.

Saturday afternoon games at Heritage Park in Henderson. Will is at the end of the rainbow in green cleats.

 Joel, far left.

Meg! (FYI: meg is the soccer term for kicking a ball through someone's legs. The name is short for nutmeg). The boys are always trying to meg their dad. They think they are so cool when I am standing unaware and they kick a ball through my legs.

Sunday morning in the sunshine we headed west out of Las Vegas on highway 160 and then the very rural road that followed the Old Spanish Trail to Tecopa California. As we climbed a hill and rounded a curve on the Old Spanish Trail I hoped for a pull out with a good view back to the snow capped mountains and forward to Death Valley. There was no such view from the road, BUT there was a short rocky road climbing up to a hill top that afforded us just such a view. The minute I saw the side road and thought oh good, Marie burst into laughter realizing that she knew exactly what I was planning to do--which is not something she would do.

Looking east towards the snow capped Spring Mountains.

Looking west towards the snow capped Panamint Range of the Sierra Nevada Mountains beyond Death Valley.

Rest stop in Shoshone California--home of Death Valley High School. I did not realize that the Shoshone Indians extended this far southwest.

From Shoshone we descended into the southern end of Death Valley where we then followed Badwater road north to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

 Descending into Death Valley

The ranger told us that in the 1860s some Mormons happened through here.


 Joel's Snapchat measurements had us further below sea level.

 (photo courtesy of Joel)

 Lemonade bottle football.

Water! Water! (at 72 degrees we were actually doing fine. At 130 degrees in July it would be a different story)

 Sea Level sign-- mid photo.

 Water (salty=bad water) from last week's rains--which closed some of the roads in the park due to rock slides.

The colors (reds, browns, whites, yellows, oranges, greens and purples) and patterns of the rocky and bare Amargosa Range on the east side of the valley were spectacular. Photos do not do it justice.

Salt crystals and salt flats.

 Golden Canyon

Still lots of park to be explored another time.

Back to Vegas via US 95 for Sunday dinner with my Cousin Betsey and her family.

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