Death Valley Birthday - Part 1 (3.5.20-3.6.20)

Miya

Because I am able.
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Dec 31, 2017
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I am going to try to skip my story and keep this short, because I have so many pictures I want to share! I focused on sharing the main tourist attraction photos and not necessarily my favorite, but you can see them all at the link below.

https://evermoremoments.smugmug.com/Backpacking/Death-Valley-National-Park-0320/

I have been wanting to get out to Death Valley for the last couple years and it just never worked out. So for my 31st Bday, if weather permitted, I was going to make it happen!! I consider myself very lucky to have gotten this trip in right before travelling stopped being an option. I left my house at 0030 on Thursday March 5th and made the 8 hour drive to Death Valley (I had to stop and take a nap, definitely feeling the results of age haha).

Since I had never been to this NP before, the plan was to do ALL the touristy things and sightseeing and just camp around the park. It all worked out fabulously AND I can say that Death Valley is officially my favorite NP (that I have been to, of course)! I have never been anywhere that has made me feel so small. I understand that we are all small and insignificant, but this park really pounds it into you. I found myself enjoying the sensation very much, perhaps it was shockingly humbling.

Dante's View

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There is a road down there...

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I don't know what this mountain/hill is? I just know that it was love at first sight! I started singing "Candy Mountain" for the rest of the day. Such wonderful colors!

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Badwater Basin

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Golden Canyon

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I also went to Devil's Golf Course thinking it was the Sailing Rocks, but I didn't like the photos. Then I went to Artists Palette.

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Camp night 1 was at Stovepipe Wells Village. It was mostly a parking lot with 20 tent sites at the end of the lot. I can't say that I enjoyed the setup, but was grateful to be outside and was grateful I got a spot. Other people were setting up their tents in the RV parking lot.

Day 2:

I drove to a small town, Beatty. There is a ghost town right next to it, and I was mixing this up with Bodie Ghost Town hah, but it was still a good time! I love taking photos of rust and old wood...aged things, so much character!

Rhyolite's Ghost Town and...museum?
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I think this was the first critter I had seen.

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There were these random pieces of art out and about.

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Sorry, if this nudity offends.

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I LOVED THIS PIECE and why it was there. I want to go on the hunt for more!

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Christ and the disciples? Maybe...IDK.

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Next was Ubehebe Crater!

On the way there, I kept seeing these orange bushes! I was all excited. I found out it is called Dodder and it is parasitic. Still neat to see for the first time though!

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The wind on top of the crater was insane. I am not afraid of heights, but I do seem to have this newer fear about falling off high places...I wanted to hike around the crater, but the wind and my fear got the best of me. I intend to work on my ridge walking abilities. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.

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Next, I went back to Stovepipe Wells to have a vodka soda and then went to hike Mosaic Canyon. The cocktail hit me harder than intended, and so I just stopped at the first flowers I had seen and enjoyed my new macro lens. I walked back with some lady and had a grand old time (alcohol helps with my shyness).

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Enjoyed the sunset at camp.

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I spent another night without my fly on, but at 2200 I woke up from sand whipping me in the face. I debated on just continuing my slumber...but maybe 15 minutes of wind and sand, I got out of my tent and threw the fly on. Good thing I did, because I still woke up with a ton of sand in the tent haha.

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Stephanie B

Steph and Blake
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Dec 7, 2017
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241
Thanks for your post, Miya. Blake and I love DVNP as well and seeing your photos (and humor) got my day off to a great start.
 

balzaccom

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Nice! The last time we were a Ubehebe is was also blowing like stink---enough that the gravel was smacking our legs, and the sand was flying into our faces. Did you get out to do any serious hikes? There are some amazing canyons to explore...
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Nice! The last time we were a Ubehebe is was also blowing like stink---enough that the gravel was smacking our legs, and the sand was flying into our faces. Did you get out to do any serious hikes? There are some amazing canyons to explore...
Interesting to hear! When I was at the Crater Parking lot, there was no wind, but as I started climbing up it got very intense and I wondered if this was a Crater phenomenon, because the rest of the area had no wind. Haha

I had a whole LIST of hikes that I wanted to do, but honestly, my priority was seeing all the tourist attractions because I didn't know when I would be able to go back. If I had time I was going to start the hiking list, but I never found time. I loved it so much though, I would like to head back before the end of the year and get in some actual hiking and really explore the innards of Death Valley.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Dec 31, 2017
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You might be interested in this book should you ever hit DVNP again.

Book
Thanks for sharing! I am so determined to go back. If it was just a couple hours closer, this would be a place I visit all the time!
 

TractorDoc

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Congratulations on crossing another park off the list. :thumbsup:

My favorite thought of yours is:

I have never been anywhere that has made me feel so small. I understand that we are all small and insignificant, but this park really pounds it into you. I found myself enjoying the sensation very much, perhaps it was shockingly humbling.
I felt/feel the same way every time I visit the big trees you have over there. . . I image you have been to Sequoia NP and/or Redwood NP (I know you've been to Yosemite!) but if you have not you simply must! Lassen Volcanic is another park in your state that was a pleasant surprise when I visited.

If you return to Death Valley and want to see more touristy stuff I'd recommend Scotty's Castle -- it is a neat little oasis in the middle of all that nothing. I visited from the East side though (Vegas) and it was still a bit of a drive. Also saw my first roadrunner along the way.

Great Trip Report and PIcs as always!
 

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Miya

Because I am able.
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Hey @TractorDoc I have been to Sequoia several times as a yougin' and Redwood NP too...I THINK. I might be going to Redwood in a couple weeks. As of a couple days ago, it is an area in CA that has trails still open for use. Bobbie and I still have the days off for Backcountry Fest and need to escape outdoors somehow. I have been to Lassen a couple times too. I thought it was weird that I would be so in 'Awe' of the desert, but I definitely hadn't experienced the feeling at another park so far.

Scotty's Castle has been closed since 2015, I believe, because of flood damage. They are hoping to reopen in 2021 sometime, and that will definitely be a place that I go. :)
 
Joined
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Great shots! I have been fascinated with that place after reading about the Death Valley Germans. That is one of the coolest things I have read on the Internet. Anyone not familiar with that story should Google it and read about it on Otherhand.org!
 

John Morrow

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May 22, 2015
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Thanks for the stoke and really fine photos, Miya. Happy belated b-day! No better place to spend it in my opinion.
John
 

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