Denise Goldberg's blog

A return to death
To the lowest place in North America

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Amazing colors

Wow, Denise woke up really late today. Well, it was only an hour later than she intended to get up, but it really surprised me. We both needed the rest, and even with our later than usual start we were still off wandering by 9. Tomorrow will be earlier, since I know that Denise has it in her head that she wants to watch the sun rise over the mountains.

Back to today...

Badwater, the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level... There's just a little water there now (and usually), although I've heard that there can be water where the salt flats sit, after one of Death Valley's very infrequent rains. Oh! I'd like to see that.

No water today, just white salt flats. We walked there for a while. Denise walked, I bounced! And I rode in Denise's pack for a bit too. After all salt is drying and scratchy on my little red feet!

After Badwater, we made a quick stop at Devil's Golf Course. Denise spent some time there chatting with a couple from Australia (maybe? I still get confused by the accents of people who live in New Zealand and Australia). They kept crossing tracks all day today. It was kind of fun to compare notes each time we met them. And they were playing with cameras too.

I guess it's called Devil's Golf Course because it's not flat at all. Instead the ground is very uneven. In fact, there was a sign posted there warning people to walk carefully, saying that falling there on that crusty salty stuff would likely result in bad cuts. Denise touched the ground, and she said it was really really sharp. So we just walked there a little tiny bit.

We spent quite a bit of time on Artist's Drive. That's a one-lane one-way road that winds and rolls, reaching back to an area where it looks like the land was painted. Denise said the colors are caused by minerals. The land here is colored in many desert-y colors, shades of reds and oranges, and yellows. But along certain areas of Artist's Drive, there were pinks and greens and whites too. So beautful.

Then the Golden Canyon trail beckoned. We started up Golden Canyon, but we didn't reach the end of the trail because Denise insisted on wandering up some off-shoot canyons instead. Whenever her camera spotted something interesting, we just turned off into other canyons. I was getting a little worried for a while because I lost track of the turns we made. Luckily Denise knew how to reverse direction; we found our way out of there quite easily.

It was still light out when we got back to our room, and Denise decided a dip in the pool sounded good. Water temperature? 82 degrees! That made it nice and relaxing.

We just walked to the visitor center for the evening program. It's really really dark here; the sky is painted with twinkling stars. It's so different looking at the sky from a place with very little light pollution. Amazing.

I think we'll stop at the General Store on our way back to the room. They have soft ice cream there, and I think we both need a treat!

Tomorrow? I think we're going to try to get to the Sand Dunes to watch the sun rise. And then? More walking, and more camera play...

Where next?

Go back to Flying... driving, or jump forward to Photos: Badwater.