Amalgamated Federation of Conglomerated Birthdays

Scotch tasting and full utilization of the wee, handpainted Austrian thimble glasses. L to R: Mike, me, Jan, Denise, Chris, Todd.
Scotch tasting and full utilization of the wee, handpainted Austrian thimble glasses. L to R: Mike, me, Jan, Denise, Chris, Todd. Jan’s birthday is in January but we made him an honorary Scorpio for the weekend.

Five of the six of us who spent a weekend camping and exploring in the Conglomerate Mesa area of the Inyo Mountains were celebrating birthdays, so we had plenty to celebrate. We chose a high-desert area this year—an interesting mix of Joshua trees and pinyon-juniper woodland—which made for cooler evenings and mornings, but everyone had warm clothes and there was plenty of dead wood around for campfires. Here are some of the highlights!

Getting a little morning run in before walking adventures begin for the day. (photo: CIversen)
Getting a little morning run in before walking adventures and explorations begin for the day. (photo: CIversen)
Exploring a petroglyph-filled canyon near Conglomerate Mesa.
Exploring a petroglyph-filled canyon near Conglomerate Mesa.
More petroglyphs, with my new birthday hiking poles! Mike snuck them into my pack at the beginning of the walk out here -- great surprise.
More petroglyphs, with my new birthday hiking poles! Mike snuck them into my pack at the beginning of the walk out here — great surprise.
Our camp at the base of Conglomerate Mesa. The road in was sporty but Sprinter-able.
Our camp at the base of Conglomerate Mesa. The road in was sporty but Sprinter-able.
Very large and healthy Joshua trees around camp!
Very large and healthy Joshua trees around camp!
Yes, that is a washing-machine tub being used for a fire container. The little holes make for great ventilation and aesthetics!
Yes, that is a washing-machine tub being used for a fire container. The little holes make for great ventilation and aesthetics!
Rock shelter with chimney, Conglomerate Mesa.
Rock shelter with chimney, Conglomerate Mesa.
Marvelous rock folds in the Inyos, as viewed from atop Conglomerate Mesa. Looking west toward the Sierra.
Marvelous rock folds in the Inyos, as viewed from atop Conglomerate Mesa. Looking west toward the Sierra.
Our birthdays added up to this rather large number atop this Dutch-oven cake.
Our birthdays added up to a rather large number atop this Dutch-oven cake.
Elaborate (relatively speaking) stone shelter on the ridge leading to Galena Peak.
Elaborate (relatively speaking) stone shelter on the ridge leading to Galena Peak.
Whole lotta canyons: Fifty-cent view northeast from the summit of Galena Peak, Nelson Range, CA. Foreground: Saline Valley, with Racetrack Playa (DVNP) at upper left. Background: Cottonwood Range, with the far side of Death Valley at far upper right. [confused yet?]
Whole lotta canyons: Fifty-cent view northeast from the summit of Galena Peak, Nelson Range. Foreground: Saline Valley, with Racetrack Playa (Death Valley NP) at upper left. Background: Cottonwood Range, with the far side of Death Valley at far upper right. [confused yet?]
Bean and Einstein were looking sharp in their pointy party hats. Happy Birthdays for all!
Bean and Einstein were looking sharp in their pointy party hats. Happy Birthdays for all!

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