Day 3:    Great Basin Drive

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With massive hangovers the trio of terror decided to leave Monterey before driving off a cliff, the Boys were told that their just desserts would be in the desert; therefore they headed toward Death Valley. An as usual, with a fair measure of bantering and beer involved !!!

Great Day in the Moaning' in Monterey !!!


Replenishing the Hall of Shame, Mike toured with the ghetto-mobile through the hills of the central range and into the central valley of California, just as the boys polished off their first case of Mexican beers !!!

Galloping thru' the Great Basin Desert

Red Cliffs National Monument (in Great Basin)

The route from the Monterey Peninsula (Central Coastal California) to Death Valley (South-eastern California) took a better part of a day.   During the drive the boys drove through the mountains and coasted into the first set of desert terrain, known as the Great Basin Desert, which they pretty much ignored, since it may have interfered with the beer drinking!!   Fortunately much of it was captured on film as shown below:

Death Valley Days

Upon entering lovely Death Valley (no, not divorce court!!!), the boys came across a carload of Japanese Tourist with an overheated rental car.  With a carload of cold beer and a couple of gallons of warm water, they left the warm water, (hey! they were not going to leave the cold beer!!) a proceeded into Death Valley National Park through the Stovepipe Wells Entrance.

Mike and Bone, Nitrogenizing the Desert !!!

The Blazing Desert Heat !


A beautiful desert scene: 120 degrees, and Boneheads with icy-cold beer !!!

Now it has been stated that when it is hot, people are really bothered by the humidity, not the heat and the desert is really very comfortable.   Well, 120 degrees is really hot !! regardless of the humidity. The boys toured through the "Valley", observing sand dunes, mountains, and a growing heap of empty bottles. When all of a sudden they finally hit rock bottom.

The lowest point of the trip  (literally!)

Havin' the Hot Hands !!

("I have friends in low Places"  -  Garth Brooks)

Climbing out of the gutter is something the boys had a fair measure of experience with, so when the opportunity to climb the Panamint Mountains availed itself, they boys took the opportunity.  Rather than taking an easy route, they went to the lowest point in North America, Bad Water Basin, the only spot where the water is more unsafe than the Oletangy River in Columbus, Ohio and where you are 250 feet below sea level.   Being the monkeys that they are, Mike and Bone decided to climb up the mountain to the 250-foot sign. 

Out of the Frying Pan, and into the Fire". When the relative air temperature is always above 115 degrees and it is constantly sunny, the rocks get a little.....HOT!!.   In addition to just being wholly uncomfortable due to the heat, the rocks were so super-heated that the boys were burning their bare hands. They were so hot that it was reminiscent of sticking your hands into the Pizza ovens at Sila's Pizzeria (except cleaner than the ovens!)  Of course dear reader, this begs the question "what the heck were these morons doing sticking their bare hands into a Pizza Oven?  We will leave that for another story.  Hadrian prudently waited at the bottom for Mike and Bone, with the worst news of the waning day,,, they were outta beer!!

An Oasis in the Desert !!

Breakin' par in Furnace Creek

 With the onset of evening the trio checked into a National Park motel, in a natural oasis called the  "Furnace Creek Inn".  Though not fancy, it had the essentials: air-conditioned bedrooms; a restaurant; beer store.....oops! convenience store, and a pool!.  After checking in and buying more beer (managing priorities) the boys went swimming.  As they lounged in the pool with a beer in hand, they watched the sun set over the Panamint Mountains thinking "hey!, life doesn't suck! does it?!?)  The pool was great fun, because despite the fact it was still well over 100 degrees, they were the only ones in it.  It wasn't until later they found out that most people avoid the pool area at sunset because of the scorpions!!

Surf and Turf, well sorta!!!  Ready for food, the boys went to the Furnace Creek Inn Restaurant for dinner around 9:00 PM.  After a looong day of driving, drinking and climbing, a nice thick steak was the order of business for the boys.  Mike Hadrian however, got himself a bonus treat.  While they were gorging themselves, Mike H felt something crawl across his sandals, since they all assumed that it wasn't a super model, they decided that they should check it out.  Looking down they all saw a six-inch scorpion scurrying away from them.  Later, when paying the bill, they found out that there was no extra charge for the crustacean.  Afterwards the boys decided to check out the desert scene at night for some action (non-scorpion.)

Ponderin' the Panamints and Burpin' Bad Beer at Bad Water !

One small step for man, one giant leap for boneheads".   The boys drove about ten miles out of Furnace Creek deep into the desert, parked their car, grabbed a beer, and sat on the hood (they had had enough of scorpions for one night!). 

At night Death Valley had a surreal look about it, with the temperature still around 98 degrees, the heat swirled around in the starlight sky, the landscape became a ghostly whitish color, similar to the pictures they had seen of the moon, but to keep a point of reference so the boys would not become too disjointed, the beer was still cold.  When speculating as to whether or not this is how Neil Armstrong felt when he was on the moon, they decided that since Neil did not have a cold beer during his venture, they were better off than Neil.  After further such soul-searching questions (such as, "why is beer good?"), the boys decided to put in for the night around 2:00 AM.