I managed to ride (most of) the dead horse loop on Wednesday. Took me a long old time, and I stopped a few times, but I did it! At the top of Satan's Escalator the desert is pretty much all burnt from the fires, so there wasn't the usual flora and fauna there. There were a lot of bugs though. Not the usual crickets, but lots of black or dark brown buzzing things that took off from the ground and the burnt joshua trees when I rode past. They looked kinda like black bees, but I didn't stop to find out what they were 'cause I had no desire to get stung/bitten. Does anyone else have a clue what they are? When I got back into the still intact part of the desert, they seemed to disappear (or maybe it's that they are the only things that live in the burnt bit).

- Jen.