Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The CIA's Death Valley Albatross (Part 3)

Final Examinations
Some more of the tail:

These types of pictures I like since they show the steep angle and miles beyond:
You can see Telescope Peak in the background on this one. Unfortunatley, it was a little too hazy on this day.
The tip and beyond:
There was an interesting story on this next picture. It looked like some sort of cloth or fabric when you look at it. However, it was obviously metallic when you touch it. I was told that this was actually rubber de-icing boots from the wings that over the years of being there had turned into steel!

This gives you a good idea of what it is like when you approach the aircraft. I will always be amazed it actually stuck there and did not tumble down below. It is sturdy there, and it remains one of the most interesting monuments of Death Valley.
After we got all these pictures and videos we headed back to the car. At this point it was mid-morning, and I knew the trip back would be more difficult. It felt like I encountered more scree on the way back. Then, we finally reached Towne Peak again!

Then we climbed over the smaller peaks until we saw the car. Yet, like one of the first pictures I showed. We still had a long way down. I think I reached the car at some time after 2pm. It was about a 9 hour hike.

When I got back to the car I started drinking. I went through about ten different types of drinks (water, Gatorade, Diet Coke, etc.) that day and still had not quenched my thirst.
That evening I left out some ice to melt into ice water; I just could not get enough. I went to sleep pretty dehydrated. I felt great though about the journey. I felt better the next day, but when I got home I went through two large glasses of water and it did not even phase me! lol! I could have kept drinking.

This ends my epic adventure to this aircraft. I spent a lot of time on this and showed a bunch of pictures since it was such a unique thing.

(Edit: I did this hike again in 2014. I took a video of it which can be found here: Hunting a Bird in Death Valley)