Knowing enough about Mr. Misadventures' predilection for deserts and places with sandy rocks, I was not surprised when his suggestion for a trip to Las Vegas really meant, “let's check out Death Valley.”
We followed our normal routine, the same as when we go to places like Valley of Fire. We flew into Las Vegas on a Friday evening in time to make it to Whole Foods before they close. We picked up picnic supplies and lots of water and got a good night's sleep.
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Then we got up at the crack of dawn (to beat the heat) and drove a little over two hours to the entrance of Death Valley.
It might as well have been the entrance to the moon as the scenery was so different from anything we encountered on our Southwest Roadtrip or even Valley of Fire which is 90- minutes on the other side of Vegas. The earth was so grey compared to all the oranges and browns I had seen in the last year.
Of course, Mr. Misadventures had to risk his life for the road shot again. No bother that there was actually an 18-wheeler coming up behind him and that his wife nearly had a heart attack. He got his shot. [Virtual eye roll here on my part.]
When we got to the Badwater area it was the moon. Well if the moon grew a bush. This spot is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level.
We left the main road to visit the Artist Drive to look at the Artist Palette. This spot was given its name because of all the different colors that you can see in the rocks. And while Mr. Misadventures was climbing to get this shot (did I mention it was nearly 100 degrees by 10) I rescued some French tourists who had driven to visit from Los Angeles but forgot their sunscreen.
We gained a little height as we reached Dante's View, a viewpoint at 5,476 feet up with a view of the east side of Death Valley.
I was not looking forward to the idea of picnicking on a 100-degree moon, but we ran into Furnace Creek Resort and RV Park which had public picnic tables under beautifully shady trees so we sat down to a gourmet lunch complete with cool white wine and cold fruit which went a long way to cooling us off.
We spent another hour or two exploring and headed back to Las Vegas.
I can't say I loved it. I understand that April is the best time to visit when the desert flowers are in bloom, although I didn't see any flowers…
I am sure that in the early morning light the sunset over the desert must be spectacular which I am sure one day I will be blogging about if Mr. Misadventures has anything to say about it!
How about you? Have you been to Death Valley before? What was your experience?
Check out my AFAR Delights of Death Valley Wanderlist for more interesting spots to visit.