Travelogue: Death Valley

September 2011

Only two fools would go to Death Valley in the summertime…when it is 110 degrees. We are those two fools. I didn’t really know what to expect from Death Valley. It has been on my to-visit list for a long time (I’ve never met a national park I haven’t liked) and it’s only 2.5 hours away from Vegas. So Bethany and I decided to make an adventure out of it. Adventure it was.

I have never experienced anything so creepy, so eerie, so unsettling, yet so beautiful. It was just bizarre. It was HOT, well into the 100s. It was lonely (because as I mentioned before, very few people are foolish enough to visit in the summer). It was desolate. It was unsettling (the constant warnings about heat, death, and injury from parks service didn’t help). And it was salty (salt flats everywhere). It was also eerily quite (my guide book described the park as having “deep solitude” and an “awful silence”). Knowing without a doubt that if you strayed too far away from your car or ran out of water, it would mean serious trouble was humbling. Death Valley is like looking at impending death… like looking at Mother Nature getting ready to eat you up and spit you out.

I realize that my description above may make it sound like I hated Death Valley. That is NOT the case. I’m SO glad we visited the park. It was beautiful and the loneliness, eeriness, and solitude was actually a good thing. It’s not something we get to experience everyday, and for that I was grateful to be there. And besides, anything done with Bethany is an adventure and full of laughs.

Alone on a salt flat.