Valley of Fire 2014 DPS Trip Day 2: White Dome, Gibraltar Rock, Silica Dome

December 21st, 2014
  White Dome (2,234')
  Gibraltar Rock (2,172')
  Silica Dome (2,349')
[Pics] [Map]

This was the second day of a two day Sierra Club Desert Peaks Section outing to Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.  For the first day see here.

Today we were doing three easier peaks White Dome, Gibraltar Rock, and Silica Dome. All were picked because they had a name on the map and were unique in some way.

Valley of Fire 2014 DPS Trip 1: Valley of Fire Peak

December 20th, 2014
Valley of Fire Peak (2,972')
[Pictures] [Map]

Valley of Fire is a Nevada State Park along the 15 north of Las Vegas.  After finally exploring the area during the 2012 Turktacular I'd always wanted to bring a group back here since so few people from the Sierra Club peakbagger crowd seem to know about it.

Neal and I were looking for a fun party trip to close out 2014 and it seemed like the perfect opportunity.  We led the trip through the Sierra Club Desert Peak Section despite this being off the list of peaks they climb and by the time the trip rolled around we had 15 people signed up.

Kayaking The Newport Harbor Christmas Light Parade

What: Newport Christmas Light Parade
When: December 18th, 2014
Where: Newport Beach Harbor
Who: Matthew Hengst (kayak), Jen Blackie (kayak), Gracia Delavida (kayak), Kristen Lindbergh (kayak), Karyn Strong (SUP), Steve Kotzbauer (SUP), Paul Ludgate (boat), Alan Bennenbroek (boat)
Pictures: [Matt]

I kayak in Newport Harbor quite a bit after work.  It's been one of the perks of being back in Orange County full time after years spent working on the road.  It's a nice bit of exercise and the water is usually pleasantly glassy at night.  Not to mention we can paddle over to Pizza Nova, dock, and have pizza and beer!

This time of year the harbor gets decked out in some impressive Christmas displays and each night for a week there's a parade of decorated boats.  Viewing locations along the shore are all packed and restaurants and hotels with a view all charge a premium and fill up.

I've a few times riding through with a bike club during my cycling days or just walking through the houses on shore but since we've bought the kayaks I've been thinking it would be neat to see it close up from the water.