News from the Field: Day 1--Las Vegas to Death Valley

After a few early morning misadventures, the group got to the airport in plenty of time to get a few snacks at the Southwest Terminal. An on-time departure at 6:35 and a smooth flight allowed the exhausted passengers to catch up on lost sleep. We arrived safely in beautiful McCarren airport, tried our luck on the slots while we waited for the baggage and the rental cars, and headed off into the desert. A gourmet lunch at the Indian Springs Casino got us ready for some afternoon adventures: a view of the Nevada Test Site, a geologic overview of Death Valley from the spectacular overlook at Dante's View, and a view of the unusual badland topography of Zabriskie Point. We headed to the Furnace Creek Ranch for a swim to cool off from the 110-degree heat, a dinner at the Cafe, and an evening frisbee game under the stars.

    May 18th
The bleary-eyed troupers arrive at Hamburger's house at 3:45 AM--but no driver!
Leslie looks ready for the flight!
Tom, Megan, and Caroline celebratethe upcoming adventure, while Mariel looks on in horror
No sleep, but Neil Solon's ready to fly !
Welcome to McCarren airport in Las Vegas--Caroline Pew checks out the slots...
And John Schuman shows off his winnings!
John Rupp checks out the menu at the Indian Springs Casino...
While Tom McFarland shows off the Casino's vegan special--Death Valley Oysters!
Professor Hamburger compares hats with Neil and Hilary in front of the casino...
The group visits the Nevada Test Site
John and Hilary take a rest at Death Valley Junction en route to D.V.
Death Valley's most famous opera house...
John Rupp lectures at the Dante View overlook
The group contemplates the geology at Dante's View
The group checks out the deformed Tertiary sediments at Zabriskie Point
Adam Schau and Tom McFarland take a closer look...
The group relaxes at the pool back at Furnace Creek Ranch
And let the chicken fights begin!
And who's that movie star in the pool...?
Look at a video of the evening chicken fight! [1.29 MB] Click here
Adam and Leah demonstrate some poolside acrobatics... [374K file] Click here