It’s an entry by yours truly this week and the third in our wonderful collection travel treasures – so be inspired and share your treasure too.
Dodging Death in Death Valley
by Mostly Victoria
Drive out of Las Vegas in a north westerly direction for around four hours and you’ll probably find yourself pretty darn close, if not slap bang in the middle of Death Valley National Park. It’s the northernmost part of the Mojave Desert, it’s hot and it’s dry – no surprise there; it’s the lowest point in North America. It’s got salt flats & sand dunes, badlands, moving rocks and hot springs, all entrapped by the mountain ranges that surround the valley.
I often puzzle over what it was about Death Valley that got so far under my skin. Here’s what I have figured…
If you’ve never been, the name of the park is, in itself, enough to set you on edge, with a fairly equal balance of curiosity and caution. The questions of ‘What deathly dangers await?’ and ‘Will I come out alive?’ are melodramatic and you know it, but they persist, and try as you might, you can’t quite silence them.
So you’re alert and ready, you’re braced, you’re on guard and dammit you’re prepared! You have your water, your first aid kit and you have every kind of emergency supply known to man – (not to mention a truck load of candy).
But you’re not prepared at all. And you don’t even know it. Sure – it’s definitely peppered with genuine dangers, but Death Valley is also a place of gobsmacking beauty, it’s like a karate chop coming at you from your blind spot.
As prepared as I thought I was, the last thing I expected was to be enamoured by the incredible natural beauty of the painted rocks and their contrasting colours that change by the millisecond at sunset, or for my breath taken away as I watched the salt crystals of bad water basin twinkling like diamonds in the midday sun.
I may have dodged death, but there’s absolutely no doubt about it – Death Valley definitely got me!