Death Valley – CA

The lowest point, the hottest place, Death Valley… I visited in mid-July and it was hot, it was so hot that even at night it was in the high 80’s. I wanted to experience the high summer heat and also see the night sky, which Death Valley is famous for. Seeing the Milky Way was worth the trip alone.

We started the drive from LA and drove on some remote areas, but surprisingly there was lots of cell phone reception.

IMG_3346IMG_3347

There were a few fun sections, that are fun to drive.

IMG_3354

The only car for miles…

IMG_3361IMG_3363IMG_3364

There was a sand storm…

IMG_3370

And we drove into it. At one point we could not see a thing.

IMG_3373

The first stop was Badwater Basin. The lowest point in North America. Try to find the sign on the cliff, that is sea level. IMG_3380

IMG_3381

The basin are salt flats. When I went the wind was so strong that it was hard to stand still. From the platform there is a salt flat path that leads out to the larger salt flat basin, but the wind was to hot and strong that I could not venture too far out. The water in my bottle was VERY warm by the time I got back to the car.

IMG_3383IMG_3387IMG_3391

After Badwater Basin, I drove up to Artist Drive, a short one way drive filled with naturally colored neon rock formations. The colors are bright and worth a detour.

IMG_3395IMG_3397IMG_3413

I got out once to take a picture but it was just too hot. The rest of the drive was viewed from the inside the car with the AC on full blast. The iPhone pictures do not do this place justice, it has to be seen.

IMG_3420IMG_3420.1

Last stop before checking in the hotel, was the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Made famous by the Star Wars move scenes, the sand dunes can be seen from far away. I wanted to walk into the dunes, but again it was just too hot to go too far. So a picture from far, far away.

IMG_3417IMG_3418IMG_3419

As the sun sets, it was time to checkin to the hotel to cool off, but the power went out and lost all air conditioning. So they told everyone to go into the swimming pool to cool off. I went in the water too cool off, then the warm wind would heat everyone up again. IMG_3421.1

Waiting for the sunset to see the Milk Way. Famous for its night sky, I was able to see more stars than I can ever remember. Even the stardust along the Milky Way was very clear.

I was not able to capture the stars with my phone camera. One thing that surprised me was that there was a corner with a light orange glow, like a sun that never sets. I was told that that was Las Vegas. IMG_3421

I stayed at the Stovepipe Wells Hotel, the rooms are standard, very standard, nothing special. The air conditioner and power come back on at midnight. IMG_3428IMG_3429IMG_3430

Near the hotel Mosaic Canyon is an easy short hike, but again in the summer heat, best to keep the walk short.

IMG_3447IMG_3448IMG_3449IMG_3450IMG_3451IMG_3459

Death Valley is beautiful, the heat is something to be experienced and the night sky is hypnotic. I can’t wait to go back.

IMG_3470

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s