Spring break in PlasticLand

My itinerary for this year’s spring break trip was Eureka Dunes, Death Valley, Tucson, and a train ride home. A small number of PlasticLand citizens went on the trip up through the Death Valley portion. Only One-arm barbie made the entire trip.

Off pavement somewhere near the Nevada/California border.

Aha! Important junction just outside the HUGE “town” of Oasis. Here is our road to Eureka Dunes.

Yup. Real sign.

Should we be worried? Hell no!

Told ya. Smooth sailing.

High winds warn us about the coming storm.

Almost to our first stop.  Blowing dust obscures the mountains.

Perils Dog checks out the campsite.

Perils Dog temporarily retreats to the wind-free comfort of the tent.

The dunes await the coming storm.

Perils Dog enjoys the last sunny lull before the storm.

The next batch of wind brings the clouds.

Perils Husband watches the approaching storm in front of the lovely Last Chance Range. Denizens of PlasticLand stayed snug in the truck.

After a crazy night of big wind and dumping rain, we awake to a surprise.

Perils Husband was just hiking up there the previous afternoon.

Post-storm sunrise.

Sources say this is the first precipitation at Eureka Dunes in 16 months. The desert rejoices.

Notice the dark bands of moisture below the tops of the dunes. A rare sight indeed.

I had planned to climb the dunes again this year, because I didn’t climb them the last time we were here, but fierce winds on our full day there made it a bad climbing day. No time this morning before we leave. Next time.

Perils Dog wants to know the itinerary for today.

Leaving Eureka Dunes on our way to Death Valley. The dunes are now part of the park, but not in Death Valley itself.

Few will see this rare sight in Eureka Valley.

We drive over the Last Chance Range and into northern Death Valley. This view is across the valley to the east, as we drive down from the pass.

We stop at Furnace Creek oasis for beer, ice, and last phone calls.

On to Warm Spring.

Warm weather and calm winds bring out the gang.

Some of Manson’s followers used to visit Warm Spring.

There is no Manson in PlasticLand. If one showed up, Paul would warn the land with his ring ring blam blam.

The day warms up.

Paul loves parties.

One-arm is having a great trip.

So is Perils Dog. It’s time to head for the next campsite. Get in the truck, Perils Dog! Off to Greenwater Valley. It is a gentler valley to the east of Death Valley, also in the park.

We camp at what is left of the old mining town of Kuntz.

All that is left are a few remnants of rock huts and a lot of broken bottles and rusty cans.

Redhead stops her bike to look at the remains of this building.

She thinks about the prospectors and what they did at the ends of long days.

Given the large number of bottles scattered across the landscape, Redhead decides they must have finished their days with whiskey.

One-arm decides to take a walk to look at the view.


One-arm checks out the view.

She can see the campsite from her rock.

Onward and upward.

The view awaits.

There is the top of the hill.

One-arm is in good shape from doing gymnastics.

Greenwater Valley is a quiet place, full of ghosts.

Time to head back to camp.

Catching the view with Redhead back at camp.

The temperature drops as the sun dips toward the mountains.

Everybody is back at camp.

Somebody should start dinner but everybody is having too much fun.

One-arm tells her friends about the view up the hill.

Somebody feed the damn dog.

Maybe KO lost his job because he forgot to mention that he was spending the week in the desert.

Ring the bell when dinner is ready.

Hey ladies, what should we do tomorrow?

It doesn’t look like anybody is fixing dinner until after the sunset.

Okay, can we eat now?

A sunny morning confirms the warming trend.

Soaking up rays.

Everybody has plans for a sunny day.

Are there any leftover bagels?

That cheese would be just fine if the bagels are gone.

After a long day in the sun, the gang gathers for a group shot.

Most of them are heading home tomorrow.


All but One-arm went home the next day with Perils Dog and Perils Husband. One-arm continued on to Tucson, where she waited…

Freed from her hiding place after a long visit in Tucson, One-arm waits in a chair at Union Station in LA. After a long overnight train ride from Tucson, she is anxious to see the sights.

Enjoying the Union Station courtyard on a rainy morning.

Heading out on the Coast Starlight with a well-deserved cup of coffee.

So much to see…

One-arm gets thirsty.

Luckily she brought the cooler. Drinks are expensive on the train.

More to see…

Thirsty again.

The train is running out of good beer.

California is a big state.

It goes on and on…

Thirsty again…

Sunset on the train.

Evening descends. Still many hours to go.

3am. Almost there.

Yay! Time to catch a few hours of sleep in the motel before the 3 hour drive home.

14 responses to “Spring break in PlasticLand

  1. Terri from nowhere

    Plasticland’s yellow lab is certainly better behaved than a certain yellow lab I could name!

  2. Very nice! We missed your posts! Crazy late season rain and snow. Nice photos of the desert mountains and dunes. And of course love the dang sign!

  3. Thank you for this. I love the desert. I haven’t been to Death Valley for 40 years. I am closer to the Nevada ‘outback’ now. These photos make me want to load up the extra fuel tanks and load up with water and supplies and take the Wrangler out.

  4. I love the beautiful desert photos and enjoyed Plasticland’s party and adventures. One-armed Barbie has surely risen above her disability. Mostly, though, I’m intrigued by the rock circle around the camp.

    • In desert areas where dispersed camping is allowed, it is common practice to ring “established” campsites with rocks. And as someone who has spent long stretches of time in the same campsite in the desert, I can attest to the therapeutic value of gathering rocks to mark your territory.

  5. I never get tired of Death Valley. Once I stopped having to climb mean mountains for field work, my slightly adversarial relationship with the park settled back into the love that brings me there over and over.

    • You don’t get tired of it because you don’t drive through in July when it is 117F at 8PM. I was driving through to Las Vegas and stopped at Stove Pipe Wells. I stepped out of the air conditioned car into a fricking OVEN!! It sucks the air right out of your lungs. The Badwater to Whitney Portal racers have complained of their shoes melting on the 130F pavement. Of course, I think that takes a special kind of stupid to enter that race anyway. IMHO

      Fall to spring Death Valley is awesome.

  6. You’re just wonderful. Welcome back!

  7. Beautiful pictures, I felt like I was along for the ride. What a fun adventure you went on. I love the poses, so natrual, so funny. Thanks for entertaining me. ☺

  8. What a great trip!

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