This has been a pretty hectic couple weeks at work and it’s been a bit of a scramble at home, too, what with Susan traveling and us falling behind in finding a petsitter while we’ll be in South Carolina for Thanksgiving. Though our go-to sitter was booked, she referred us to a wonderful gal who we met Wednesday night and will be able to take care of our zoo while we’re across the country.

On top of all that we’re taking the dawgs with us and going to Death Valley’s Eureka Dunes this weekend, so getting all the logistics and provisions and transportation squared away¬† (and mom onboard to cat-sit), added to the franticality.

It’s going to be an interesting outing unlike any other I’ve made out to one of my favorite places on earth. We’re driving out to the ultra-remote and primitive camping area at the foot of the amazing 700-foot tall pile of sand in a rented Toyota RAV-4 tonight — and leaving late… like around 8. So we’re not even going to arrive until well after midnight. Then if I have the energy I’ll somehow manage to pitch the tent in the pitch darkness and we’ll pile in to sleep until morning. That, or we’ll just get as comfortable as two dogs and two humans can get in a mid-sized SUV for the remainder of the night and make camp after daybreak.

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Saturday’s gonna be spent climbing to the top of the dunes, and surveying the rugged great wide opens of Eureka Valley and just generally hanging out and decompressing and listening to the deafening silence that is out there. After dark I’m hoping the skies will be clear because Comet Holmes is out there moving around above the northeastern horizon and that would be cool to get some nice timed exposures of its visit. After another night we have a leisurely breakfast Sunday, take a last look around and load everything and everybody up and get on back home.

That picture above is from two years ago this Veterans Day weekend and my first and only visit to “Yoo Dee” back with Susan in 2005. I came back on top of the world only to have the rug pulled out from under my life the next day by the zoo which kicked me out after six years of faithful dedicated service as both an employee and a docent. When something so crap happens so close to something so cool it can’t help but sully the memories. So it’ll be good to finally go back and make some new ones.