Monday, April 30, 2012

B is for Blankets, Books, and Baby!

Although I started this project way back in January,
I finally finished it a couple weeks ago
and couldn't wait to show it off!

So without further ado, here it is...
baby girl's first blanket.

I made it using this pattern that I found on Pinterest.

It was surprisingly easy,
especially before my hands swelled up like balloons this past month.

To add to baby girl's nursery
the hubs and I took a trip to the bookstore the other night
to stock up on some books for her growing library.
I loved reading when I was growing up
and hope to foster that in our her, as well.

Where The Wild Things Are is a classic 
that every kid needs to have.

The Pig Kahuna is something we found
when shopping for a shower gift for a friend.
Living in Southern California and having a surfer for a dad,
this book will fit in well in baby girl's library.

And lastly we bought Splish, Splash, Splat 
simply because the drawings are so darn cute.

I can just picture reading her a story every night at bedtime.

Did you have a favorite book from childhood?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Surviving the Lowest Point - Our Last Day in Death Valley!

After a good night's sleep in a comfy bed,
we visited some old trains and wagons scattered around the ranch
before filing up on some really expensive gas
and heading out to our final stops in the park.

We hiked partway into Golden Canyon...

Where I fell in love with the layered rock formations.

Then we headed to the Devil's Golf Course
where strange salt formations have formed 
where Lake Manly once stood.

Next was the Artist's Drive,
named for the colors found in the mountains,
like a painter's palette. 

Then it was the natural bridge,
which looked like it was about to fall any second now.

And finally, one of the highlights of the trip,
the Badwater Basin.

It's the lowest point in the Northern Hemisphere
at 282 feet below sea level.

And it's only 135 miles from Mt. Whitney,
the highest point in the Northern Hemisphere.

Crazy, huh?

A looooong time ago, this was covered by water.
Like this lake, but much bigger...

When it dried up in the 120 degree heat
it left these salt flats that look and kinda feel like snow.
And, according to my sister, it tastes very salty.
Go figure.

After Badwater Basin, we headed out of the park
and on our way home.
But not before running into this guy trying to cross the road.

He was just about the only wildlife we saw all weekend.
After that, we felt like our trip was complete,
and started the four hour drive back home.

My little Prius drove about 1,000 miles in 3 days,
including several dirt roads, and held up like a champ
(and got about 45 mpg!)

I would have never thought to take a trip to Death Valley,
but after seeing how beautiful it really is,
and how much it has to offer,
I can't wait to take the hubby back someday.

Thanks for tagging along, 
and sticking with me for a week's worth 
of Death Valley posts!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Critters, Craters, and Ghost Towns...Day Two in Death Valley.

After spending our first night in the 
luxurious accommodations at Stovepipe Wells,
we headed back out to the sand dunes.
We'd read that if you visit them early in the morning
you can often find tracks left by various critters overnight.

We found tracks all over the place!
Mainly leading in and out of the bushes.
It was cool to see that life really does exist in the barren landscape.

We took a few more pictures of the dunes,
and my baby bump shadow,
before heading out on the road.

Our next stop was the Ubehebe Crater,
a volcanic crater formed between 2,000-7,000 years ago.
The road leading up to the crater
made us feel like we were on the moon.

The crater itself is about a half mile wide and over 770 feet deep.

The crater walls reminded me of the Grand Canyon. 

You would think some things are self explanatory.

Next up was Scotty's Castle,
literally a large castle built in the middle of nowhere.
It was built in the 1920's and was used as a vacation home 
for a wealthy midwesterner.

This was probably my least favorite part of the trip.
I thought the whole thing was ugly and boring.

Our next stop was much more interesting.

After the castle, we drove out to Beatty, NV
where right outside of town is a ghost town called Rhyolite.

It was started as a mining town in 1905
but by 1920, the ore had been exhausted, 
the stock market crashed, 
and the population dropped to zero.
All that's left now are a bunch of building ruins
and a creepy wind blowing through town.

On the road leading into Rhyolite,
there's a "museum" of sorts full of very eerie statues.

There's the Last Supper...

 A ghost riding a bicycle...

A nude lego lady...

And a cowboy with a penguin...

These strange sculptures definitely added to the creepy factor
of the ghost town in the middle of nowhere.
It kinda felt like we were part of some strange dream
or horror movie.

After Rhyolite, we headed back into the park
to see a few more sights before calling it a day.

There was Zabriske's Point...

Dante's Peak at 5,000 feet above the salt flats down below...

And finally, our hotel at Furnace Creek Ranch...

This was another long day full of driving,
but also full of so many interesting sights.
I was very happy to spend the night in a real bed
before heading out for our final day in the park
and a long drive home.

If you've stuck with me this far, hang in there...
our last day brings the lowest point in North America,
salt formations, natural bridge, and a coyote!