Posted by: Moon | December 3, 2008

Death Valley


Death Valley


So, this is a first for me, I am writing my blog from 39,000 feet ! well, as I have 5 hours peace and quiet, I thought what better time to enlighten you all on the wonderful Thanksgiving weekend myself and Mrs M had…


We started the idea off only on Tuesday, with me saying “I’ll be bored with 4 days off and nothing to do, shall we go find a place to visit ?”


Mrs M agrees wholeheartedly, and lets me go off and discover a new place.


“Honey, we are leaving at 4.30am on Friday, and we can make Death Valley for the day, and be home the same day !, What do you think?”


“Cool” says Mrs M, not phased by the early start time, “Give me a minute though…..”


so, a minute later, she suggests that if we are driving 5 hrs on Friday Morning, why not find a place to stay over night, and continue onto Sequoia National Park …….


“Oooooh, Wow, yes please, are they quite close  ?”


We are learning that whatever seems to be quite close, always turns out to be about 7 hrs away !!!!!!!, but, it’s just us two, and I love, and I mean LOVE a road trip… so it’s decided, we leave Friday 5am, go to Death Valley, drive some of the way Friday night towards Sequoia Nat Park, find a motel along the way… easy !


So, we head off early Friday am, all dark, no-one on the road, and head into the desert. This is the second time we have headed this way so early (Vegas being the other time with The Vet), and we adore watching the sunrise over the desert. There is something very exciting to me about being up so early, and just driving off, must have something to do with family holidays when I was very young, we always headed off at crazy times to either beat the traffic, or to be on time to catch a ferry etc ….


Coffee in hand, we turn off the main highway to Vegas, and across miles of nothingness towards Death Valley. I didn’t really know what to expect, neither of us did, but after 5 hrs, we entered into the park, and found, what I imagine, the surface of the Moon to be like …. Vast, Empty, Dry, Acrid, NOTHINGNESS… and that is the whole beauty of the place. We first drove up to Dante’s Point, again, not knowing what was there, and we got out of the Jeep, to the most amazing views… deep into the Valley, of white, emptiness, surrounded by snow caps. And , EM, It was bloody freezing, so cold, we barely stayed. Just took some photos, stared at the top of the Valley, and drove off kinda speechless. I am amazed what this country, and California has to offer.




We headed back down from 7500ft, and within 20 mins, we were 170ft BELOW sea level. How weird is that ? We drove onto the world famous salt flats at the bottom of Death Valley itself, just a bland, empty, lifeless flat of salt, that in the summer can reach over 120 Deg F… one of the hottest places on earth. Nothing grows, lives, or exists here…. Just amazing !


We then headed off into many gorges, canyons and remote paths, feeling as though we were walking on the Moons surface… so quiet, lifeless, barren, but still incredible, every so often, looking up and seeing snow capped mountains. Where else in the world can you cook an egg on the bonnet of your car, and the n need snow chains an hour later……..




We loved every second of this bizarre landscape, Mrs M had packed up the remains of out Thanksgiving dinner, enough to feed all of you my fellow readers I can assure you, and we ate cold turkey overlooking sand dunes ….


We headed out of the Valley as the sunset, Mrs M falling asleep to my dulcet tones singing along to EVERY word of Romeo and Juliet (I do enjoy a bit of Dire Straits) and onto a Motel along the way.

Mrs M has a phobia of these USA style Motels, she is convinced that they always house at least two serial killers each night, she might be right, but after a further 4 hours driving, we both stumbled into the dark, to a Motel, a local bar that brewed their own beer, and a deep sleep…. With the alarm set for an early rise the next day to get to Sequoia National Park.


The best was yet to come …………..

















  1. I ‘loved’ Death Valley too (if you can love something so hot, dry, cold, barren etc – when I visited oh lord 30 years ago. We stayed the night in the metallic brown VW campervan at Soda Springs or something, and I had a nose-bleed that lasted half the night and slept with a wet flannel over my face the other half, because it was so hard to breathe in the cold dryness. Except that it dried out after about 20 minutes, so I woke up terribly uncomfortable, and had to re-wet it. Amazing place! Bring on the next episode please!

  2. “The best was yet to come . . ” You fell in a big hole? Seriously tho, looks pretty amazing and I totally identify with the 7 hours to get anywhere thing. The more I see of America from other’s photos, the more I understand why there’s little need to travel overseas . . .it’s all there in your own back yard if only you get out and enjoy it.

  3. Katherine : We were lucky, at this time of year, the temperature is nice in the bottom of the valley, and in fact, bloody cold at the top !!!… but worth every second, I loved the place, the remoteness, the nothingness !

    Baino : Ha, no, not a big hole .. and you are right, it does explain … why would you go elsewhere, when you have everything on your doorstep… California alone will keep me busy for a long, long time ….

  4. Heh. Told you it was death valley.

    I LOVE that pic of Mrs M – she looks like she could be the only person in the world (I mean, obviously she is to you, but….oh, you know what I mean) x

  5. Wow … that DOES look amazing! I am getting quite a long list of places to visit in California, next time we come over.

    Gorgeous pics, too!

    Wait .. you say nothing lives?? You ean the place isn’t crawling with rattlesnakes, scorpions and bitey things?

  6. Jay : in the bottom of the valley, with all the salt… not a lot, I am sure my susrer DBM will correct me, but in the bottom, nope … maybe higher up, in the dry.. you might be right … we saw chuff all !

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