Face the Dawn

Matt is walking home from San Francisco

Panamint Springs

with one comment

Darwin CanyonDays 46-47, West of Death Valley
Darwin to Panamint Springs, 15.4+0 miles
total miles traveled: 528.6

Dell and Kathy had to leave early the next day, and they offered me the
use of their place for breakfast and phone calls and such. I called Lori,
talked to the folks at Big Agnes about a new tent pole assembly, had a
good breakfast, played the piano a little, and left them a note urging
them to come to Prescott so I could return the hospitality. I sure hope
they do!

I got a comfortably late start, but figured I could afford it since it was
only 14 miles to Panamint Springs through Darwin Canyon. I found my next
cache, filled up on water and began the beautiful and relaxing walk
through the canyon. There is lots of old mining stuff down there and some
really interesting geology. There was also a group of motorcyclists that
came up behind me, some of them on street bikes that I didn’t expect to
see on that rough and sandy road. I later learned that one of them was
riding an old Indian that had been on a famous Death Valley ride in the

Dell and Kathy had given me some directions about a sharp right and it was
a good thing too, because following TAMI would have taken me another,
probably longer, way. But going up the side canyon that I supposed they
meant, I was relieved to meet a guy on a 4-wheeler coming down who
confirmed I was going the right way and asked me about any stray
motocyclists. Turns out that John works at the Panamint Springs Resort
where I was headed.

I met John again near the end of the day’s walk as I sat deciding whether
or not to walk the mile down to Darwin Falls. He hadn’t found the biker
yet, and I went on to the resort, figuring that a walk to the falls with
Lori would be a good break on a future trip to pick up my caches.

Panamint Springs Resort is an oasis on the way to Death Valley. They have
a gas station, a store, a small motel and a campground, and best of all, a
decent restaurant with the best beer selection for hundreds of miles
around. I doubt the Furnace Creek Inn could match it, and I know no place
in Lone Pine could.

I was hoping for cell reception and counting on wi-fi, but when my cell
said “no service”, I opened the wireless PDA and behold! it was dead ….
I had experienced this before, but forgot that if you leave it alone for a
week the battery discharges by itself.

Now I was in trouble, since I needed to contact Lori to coordinate our
meeting in Death Valley in about a week’s time and I knew I wouldn’t
have cell service until I got there. I also needed to pull the coordinates
of my caches off the web so I could tell TAMI about them — missing
another one could be a disaster.

John hooked me up, though. I explained the situation to him and soon had
enough email sent and docs printed that I was in good shape. Thanks,

I sat on the porch and drank good beer as the sun set on my rest day, and
I went to bed not long after so I could get a wicked early start on my trip into Death

Written by walkingman

November 14th, 2008 at 10:58 am

Posted in Desert

One Response to 'Panamint Springs'

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  1. No more updates?
    I am curious if you made it back in time for turkey day.
    I hope everything is going well.
    Nicholas, Sara, Lorelei


    26 Nov 08 at 2:23 pm

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