April  2001  Hike
    The weather was center stage this spring, prompting us to do separate day hikes on Saturday and Sunday rather than our usual overnight backpack.  Most of us met and camped at Mesquite Springs Campground on Friday night as the sky continued to cloud over and darken.  By morning, the weather had become worse and we decided that Claudia and I would drive over to Eureka Valley to meet up with Don  and Vicky Brown, then meet back with the group at Crankshaft Junction.  Proceeding toward Eureka Valley, we met Don and Vicky comint out of Cucomongo Canyon (where we were originally going to start the overnight hike) where they had camped through a night of falling snow.  Back with the group at Crankshaft Junction, and with the weather continuing to deteriorate we  decided to do a day hike loop up to the cabin at Last Chance Spring.  As we proceeded up towards the spring, light rain turned to snow and the ground had a couple of inches of snow under foot.  We were at 5500 feet elevation with a temperature of 37 degrees.   The cabin was a welcome sight with secure walls and panes of glass.  We quickly started the wood stove and enjoyed a long lunch and rest.  From the cabin, we did some exploring of the spring and mining ruins near the cabin.  To continue the loop, we dropped into an eastbound wash to the intersection with the Last Chance Canyon and back to the cars at Crankshaft Junction.  That night, we camped at the Eureka Dunes and awake to  cool air and crystal blue skies on Sunday morning.  Sunday was spent socializing and then day hiking up and around the dunes before departing that afternoon.
     I hope you have a great summer this year and we look forward to seeing you this fall.  The date for our fall hike this year is November 3rd and 4th.  Details to follow.                                                                  Best regards,  "Grubstake"
The morning view back up Cucomungo Canyon.  Its taken me years to talk my wife into joining us on a warm and sunny spring hike in Death Valley.   May take years to live this one down. 
The cabin at Last Chance Springs provided warmth and shelter from the wind. 
A welcome break from the elements, fire in the wood stove, good food and good company. 
The view out the front door.  Last Chance Mountain in the distance, elevation 8456 feet.
David checking out one of the tunnel entrances
Just looking for color.
David and Uncle Chuckwalla,  this is April in Death Valley?
The Eureka Dunes with the snowcapped Last Chance Mountains in the background.
Vicky on top of the Dunes.  Sundays weather was enjoyed by all.