What happens in Death Valley, stays in Death Valley

Brother Jon and I spent the week prior to CEC 2007 in the Bay Area, then headed to Yosemite by road on friday evening. Plush accommodation was not a signature of this trip, though the Miners Lodge in Maraposa was quite adequate. Early start on Saturday morning and got to the top of Half Dome in just under 4 hours from the Valley. Despite the lack of coffee in the morning and being "away from" the non-horizontal as a life position, he shows some modest mountaineering potential.

Getting away from the crowds in such a remote place was so special.

The evenings accommodation had a roadside view of the Furnace Creek 508 (this race puts the ultra in ultra-endurance), a cycle race across Death Valley at night which combined with the lack of light pollution and the meteorite shower made for an entertaining evening.

Next morning, up to Dantes View just after sun rise, the scale is hard to grasp. I visited Death Valley in 2002 with Steve White, a master of putting things into perspective who came up with:-

think of Dantes View as being 4000 feet above Reading, look to your left you can see Kent and look right and you can see Bristol. Works if you have a knowledge of UK geography.

We then travelled to Las Vegas, eco town, for CEC. Good to catch up with old faces and meet many new ones. Top technical presentation by some way in my view was "ZFS under the hood" by Jason Banham and Jarod Nash. Though it pains me very much to say it, it was probably the best STS/CEC technical presentation I have seen both in terms of presentation style and content in my time at Sun(10 years on Saturday!). Jarod did learn that chocolate is a weapon best used with care in an enclosed space.

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