Hey, remember when I came back from vacation three months ago and I was all excited to blog about it, but instead of posting I dropped off the face of the earth instead?
Yeah. Sorry about that.
However, I did have a wild time in Death Valley (those are the salt flats at Bad Water above) and I still want to share my pictures. There are lots.
In retrospect Scotty’s Castle was a weird place to start my Death Valley trip because I came to the park expecting rugged desert scenery and instead found myself wandering through a pristine dessert mansion. However, the story of Death Valley Scotty and Albert Johnson is wonderfully entertaining, and the house tour was one of the best National Park Service tours I’ve been on.
I had only a little time at Ubehebe before the sun went down, but the hike around the crater is easy and the scenery is amazing.
I took a short hike in Fall Canyon on the recommendation of a park ranger. It piqued my interest because I’d never seen a box canyon before. It was cool, but slightly creepy. Every time my feet shifted a rock the sound would echo back from the canyon walls. This was particularly alarming, since I’m used to being on constant alert for rockfall. I was acutely aware that I was alone in a fairly remote spot. It also didn’t help that, for some weird reason, I kept imagining the Sand People hiding around every bend. (Thanks a lot, George Lucas.) I didn’t make it all the way to the dry falls, but I would love to go back and explore the canyon again with a friend.
The alluvial fan at the bottom of the canyon.
Because Fall Canyon cuts through several rock layers, the occasional flash flood has deposited a rainbow of rocks on the canyon floor.
Mesquite Flat Dunes
I spent way more time at the sand dunes than I intended, and looking back at my pictures and paintings, apparently became temporarily obsessed with line and texture.
(The sunset colors weren’t too shabby either.)
Wildrose was easily my favorite part of the park. Although I saw more people there than I did at Fall Canyon, this section of the park seemed more remote, and very wild. It also had the best night sky viewing I have ever seen.