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  1. #1

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    Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    It's already been a week since Jimmie and I visited Disneyland, but it always takes a little time to get my act together. Surely by now you have read Fishbulb's report from 3/16, and you can see pictures of us there, along with what happened at the meet.

    We actually drove down to Anaheim on Saturday, 3/15, but we were blocked out on that day. After checking in and getting a room with passable wifi at the Ramada Maingate, Jimmie rested while I went out on a short bike ride of about 13 miles. I rode east on Katella to the Santa Ana River Trail and then south on the trail to 17th before turning around. Just before 17th is this bridge that crosses the river (looking back from 17th):

    It was quite windy that day--windy enough to cancel the fireworks. I didn't think to take pictures, but did you know there is a golf course in the channel just north of there? What happens during a downpour and water comes rushing down the river?

    We met up with Disneyland Daddy and his family at the Rainforest Cafe. It was great meeting up with them. DD bought us pictures of our group. I'm still waiting for him to scan and post his copy. I am so amazed at the vigor with which DD battled cancer, and he is looking fit, trim, and full of vitality. He was still waiting for that job offer, and his attitude was totally positive. He's going to be a great asset for the company that employs him.

    After dinner, we poked around Downtown Disney, and rode the parking lot tram back to our car (a first for us), as we were parked in Pinocchio for Downtown Disney evening parking.

    On the morning of the 16th, we went in at opening and headed directly for Space Mountain, picking up FP's for later use before riding.


    Then we rode both sides of the Matterhorn and Peter Pan. Since our FP's for Space were already good, I headed back to get two more (tell you why later), while Jimmie went ahead to secure a table for breakfast at Carnation. Turned out, at 8:30 am there was no waiting. Then we did a couple more favorites (Big Thunder and IJA) until Jimmie's friend Marge called, and we told her to meet us at the exit to Indiana Jones, since we were about to enter the film room.

    Our four FP's for Space were now good, so we got FPs for IJA to ride later in the day. And then the three of us headed for another ride on Space. Here we are again with Marge and Jimmie in front:


    We still had an hour before the meet, so we played on Buzz and rode HM. Marge stopped for a smoke and Jimmie and I caught Laughing Stock in Frontierland just before the meet started. You can read about the meet (if you haven't already) in Fishbulb's report. I have to say it's always a pleasure meeting MiceChatters and hanging out with them.

    There's plenty more to come, but I need to take a break now.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.


  2. #2

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    we were there on 3/15/08. It was VERY windy and cold.

  3. #3

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    Back from the break. Like I said, you can read what went on during the Mice Chat meet in Fishbulb's report, since we hung out with them until the group broke up when Dusty and Fishy left. But i did take a shot of one of the two things that Fishy does best

    and a couple other shots from the hub while he was doing it




    We did go on Buzz with Matt and Adam, but when they headed for Autopia, we decided to split and use our FP's for IJA. When we came out we found it had rained, and the skies were ominously dark.


    But that really didn't slow us down. We took Marge into DCA to ride Monsters, Inc. and check out the zoetrope in the Animation building, where we had a brief encounter with Pezz Lightyear and his entourage. Then it was dinner at the Trattoria. After dinner Marge left, and Jimmie and I decided to call it an early night. We could hear the fireworks going off from our hotel room but didn't go out to watch.

    Next: The St. Patrick's Day Soaking
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.


  4. #4

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    FUUUUN!!!!

    Great TR!


  5. #5

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    Nice TR, looking forward to more!

  6. #6

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    We opened and closed Disneyland on St. Patrick's Day taking full advantage of the Fastpass system, though we did take a break in the middle.

    As soon as we got in the gate, we headed straight for Spash Mountain to get FPs to use later in the day when it was warm. Pooh was closed, so we went on HM. As soon as we were able, we picked up FPs for Big Thunder (riding it first) and IJA. We also picked up a couple holiday T-shirts that you will see later. At 9:30 we popped into DCA and headed straight for Soarin' scoring seats front and center.

    Before Jimmie had a chance to back down, we headed straight for TOT as soon as it opened. One lady in line was hesitant about riding, so I told her to stay in line for the preshow in the library, at least. (She ended up going on the ride.) Jimmie and I got seats in the back on the left elevator, lower level:


    Then we popped by GRR to pick up FPs for later and stow some purchases. (The lockers there are free for the first two hours.) Of course, we had to stop in the store. It has bikes. One of these is a bike in the store. The other is the bike I brought on the trip:



    Can you tell the difference?

    OK, from there we headed over to Screamin'. I don't think there is a smoother riding big coaster. It's just a lot of fun. Here we are riding front in one of the last cars.


    Then we decided to ride the Sun Wheel. Neither of us care for the slidey cars, so we rode a red one, and I took some pictures.







    Then we picked up FPs for Mulholland Madness and headed over to GRR for our first soaking.



    The T-shirts read, "Irish you were here." It's rare that we dress alike.

    Since we were already wet, we decided we might as well go back into Disneyland and ride Splash Mountain before lunch.

    As big as that guy in front of me was, he didn't preventing the rest of us getting soaked.

    The park was now getting packed. We went to Zocalo for lunch and found tables IN THE SUN! After lunch, I went to get FPs for Space. It was two pm, and the FPs were for 11:30! So we headed back to our hotel for a midday break away from the crowds. Jimmie took a nap, and I headed out on the bike for a couple hours.

    This time I rode north along the Santa Ana River all the way past Yorba Park to Weir Canyon Road. Did you know there's a wetland preserver there?




    On the way back, I chatted with (and drafted) a bike commuter on his way home to Huntington. He rides 22 miles to work and back each day. I rolled in about 5:45 and cleaned up and rested a little.

    Then we went back into DCA for a corn dog, a ride on Mulholland, and to watch the Electrical Parade. Afterwards we worked our way over to Frontierland to watch the fireworks and Fantasmic! from the tables between the Stage Door and Riverbelle. Then we used our FPs for Big Thunder (It always seems faster at night!) and worked our way over to Space Mountain for our 11:30 ride time. We had just enough time to ride Dumbo first, though.

    Our final ride on Space Mountain:


    When we got off Space Mountain, we found we still had time for one more ride, so we capped it off with Star Tours, an old favorite. After that, the park closed, and we headed back to the hotel to rest up for the next day's drive to Death Valley.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.


  7. #7

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    Gary! Was great to meet you too! Thanks for the nice stuff you said in your TR. I'll get that picture scanned very soon! Our scanner is down, and Walgreens had 'issue' with it, since it says "Rainforest Cafe' on it - oh brother.....

    Thank you again for meeting us that night!

  8. #8

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    Great report so far, looking forward to the Death Valley pics, haven't been there in almost 30 years!

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    Awesome TR! Looks fun!
    "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." -Henry David Thoreau


  10. #10

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    The day after St. Patrick's Day, we went into Disneyland for breakfast at the Carnation Cafe before leaving for Death Valley. I had booked a reservation at the Amargosa Hotel in Death Valley Junction, and we wanted to get there in the afternoon before the office closes and the staff goes home. No one appears to live in Death Valley Junction.

    The drive from Anaheim took us through Barstow and Baker and through the desert east of Death Valley. We arrived in mid-afternoon and were given a different room than the one I had reserved, because of flooding problems. Still, it was a large, comfortable room. Once settled, we decided we had time to drive down into Death Valley for a little touring and to eat dinner. (There are no eateries in DV Junction, either--not even at the Hotel.)

    Once inside Death Valley National Park, our first stop was Zabriskie Point.






    Next we drove to Badwater (elevation -282), arriving just before sundown



    What looks like snow is actually various salts.


    Note the reflection on the water.


    Badwater is the lowest place in the western hemisphere.


    Difficult to see in this picture, but Telescope Peak rises to over 11,000 feet.


    See the small white rectangle near the top of this picture? It's a sign that says "SEA LEVEL".

    Then we drove to Furnace Creek for dinner. It was a long wait, as a group of 23 young adults was ahead of us. We drove back up to DV Junction and retired for the night.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.


  11. #11

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    Great Amazing pictures

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    Great report and pictures. I had been anticipating your Death Valley report as I have never been there.

  13. #13

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    Quote Originally Posted by Oswald the Rabbitt View Post
    Great Amazing pictures
    These are just my cell phone pictures. Jimmie (my wife) took some with her digital SLR, but I haven't uploaded them.
    Quote Originally Posted by pratt55 View Post
    Great report and pictures. I had been anticipating your Death Valley report as I have never been there.
    You must go. We had never been there before, either. The pictures don't do it justice. The scale of the place is reminiscent of the Grand Canyon. The "walls" on either side are nearly as high, just not as close together. If the valley floor weren't filled with silt and rubble, it would be nearly 8000 feet lower than its current level.

    Spring is a good time to go. Highs last week were only in the 80's, the pupfish were breeding, and wildflowers were blooming, if not abundantly.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.


  14. #14

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    Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    The next day, I got up early enough for a morning bike ride before our day's touring. I rode north to the Nevada state line and back.


    There is a small casino/hotel there, but that's pretty much it.


    A guy walked up me and started asking about the bike. Turns out he was a cyclist from Manhattan and was doing a photographic shoot of Death Valley. I didn't get any other information.

    The ride back was a little faster, being slightly downhill and downwind. I could see my destination from more than five miles away! The entire ride was just short of 18 miles, and that would make the last bike ride of the trip.

    When I got back, Jimmie was up, and we were ready to go shortly after. Our first stop was Dante's View, an overlook about 5000 feet above Badwater.

    It's a little easier to see Telescope Peak (on the left) in this picture.


    Looking north towards Furnace Creek


    Looking south.

    Then we drove down to Furnace Creek and stopped at the Visitor's Center and got some ideas about what to see from the ranger.

    One of the first was Salt Creek. The Salt Creek pupfish lives in this briny stream, and mating season had just begun.



    I believe the dominant plant here is called pickleweed.

    From there we drove to Stovepipe Wells for lunch and proceeded north to Scotty's Castle.

    On the way, we took a side trip to Ubehebe Crater.

    It was created by a volcanic explosion about 4000 years ago.

    The wind was blowing very hard from the direction of the crater.

    Then it was on to Scotty's Castle.



    While we checked out the Visitor's Center and gift shop, we decided not to take either of the available tours. There is a lot of lore surrounding "Death Valley Scotty", but Jimmie summed it up: "He was a liar and a cheat."

    From Scotty's Castle we drove into Nevada, stopping at the Death Valley Candy Store in Beatty. And just before sundown, we stopped to walk along Crystal Spring, located in Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. There is another species of pupfish there. Then we had dinner at the Longstreet Casino (pictured earlier), and headed back to DV Junction to call it a night.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.


  15. #15

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    Cool Re: Trekkie Dad's 3/16-18 Trip Report with bonus report from Death Valley

    Great report and fantastic pictures, TD! Thanks for sharing!
    Quote Originally Posted by aashee View Post
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