04 March 2010

Death Valley First Visit


It always rains on tents.  Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.  ~Dave Barry

How is it that one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?  ~Author Unknown

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.... People think pleasing God is all God care about.  But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.  
~Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982





Its been a very interesting past two weeks or so that has been both a kick in the 'nads as well as a breath of fresh air. Its definitely been drama city over the last few weeks, but I think I'll concentrate on the breath of fresh air part. To start with, last weekend, I took the opportunity to head to Death Valley and camp out there with some friends. So let me give a big-ups to Soibhan (pronounced, Shev-on), for arranging the whole thing for us campers. She still had several people RSVP and then bail on her at the last minute which is totally unsat in my book. She booked the camp sites for us and put this thing together and asked politely that anyone who had a change of plans to announce the fact early. All the slots filled and still 7 people no-showed or cancelled at the last minute. Ridiculous. But I'm glad I was able to be a last minute addition. I found out about it the day before, so I jumped on it.





Death Valley isn't but about 2 to 2 and a half hours from Vegas, which is good. I plan on treating this place much like I did with Zion National Park when I first got here. I drove out there at least 5 times in less than 2 months. There was just so much to explore and I wanted to get to know the place. It's so beautiful out there. I've still yet to do my main project of hiking the Narrows from top to bottom with a model, but it'll happen. I may not do Death Valley every weekend like I did Zion, but I'll be making multiple trips to explore the place. A car may suffice, but I'd much rather be in a truck. I rode with Soibhan who has a small SUV that was surprisingly roomy and comfortable.






This trip didn't pan out as well as I had hoped. DV is the lowest place below sea level in North America. It boasts the hottest temperatures in the western hemisphere of 134 degrees, just shy of the wold record of 136. The place gets less than 2 inches or rain a year! Yet THIS WEEKEND, it rained on us almost the whole time. Our campsite flooded around us. Fortunately we were on higher ground at Furnace Creek, but the same couldn't be said of some neighbors from India. Three of them were camped about 20 feet in front of us and found their gear and tents in a foot of water. On and off, the rains came on Saturday til about just after midnight on Sunday morning. Our potluck had to be quickly eaten, but we did chill by the fire...in the rain, but it wasn't coming down in torrents at least. I still took out my camera to get some portraits of everyone, and it got wet enough that I had to let is sit for a few hours the next day to let it dry out. Mainly the lens and the settings LCD screen fogged up. I didn't get any landscape shots until the ride home, but that's okay. I'll be back. And next time, I'll have a rain bag to operate my camera no mater what the forecast. We knew it was supposed to rain, just not that much for so long. I mean, come on...it's Death Valley!

6 comments:

Karl said...

You had to go there during an el niƱo year! Funny thing though, I went there in March 2003 and got rained and snowed on.

DVNP is tied with Joshua Tree NP as my favorite park. Even though it didn't quite go as planned, I am glad yo went. The snow covered mountain photos are rare treat there. Thanks for sharing the images and the adventure.

Photo Anthems.com said...

Indeed, Karl. I plan on making several more trips to explore that place. I still made the most of it and had a good time so it wasn't a wasted trip...just different than what I planned. We should meet up there sometime. I know I'll be going back toward the end of this month.

unbearable lightness said...

What beautiful pictures! I used to watch a show on TV back in the early days about Death Valley. It was sponsored by 20 Mule Team Borax. It's a mythic place. That pig-tailed girl looks like Heidi...unbelievable trip, T!!!

Photo Anthems.com said...

And interestingly enough, the night you sent this, I was watching a History Channel "How the Earth was Made" episode that had a segment detailing the 20 Mule Team Borax and how it came to be. Funny, huh...

Costea Andrea Mihai said...

beautiful image!!

Photo Anthems.com said...

Glad you like!