Back in November, my friend Jeff and I set out from Los Angeles on what would be the first of several winter backpacking trips. For our destination we chose to explore the diverse desert expanse that is Death Valley. This was a spur of the moment trip and not much planing went into where exactly we were going to hike in death valley. Because of this, we decided to ask the ranger where we should go hiking. Normally, rangers are extremely helpful and full of wisdom and excellent suggestions. This ranger, however, was a cruel, cruel person and sent us on a miserable ten mile hike down a jeep road. The canyon we passed through was pleasant enough to behold but only made up a few miles of our hike. The rest was flat desert nothingness or rolling sun scorched hills. Night came upon us quickly and it was dark and full of terrors in the form of unrelenting wind. Sleep did not come to the weary hikers and we spent the majority of the night recording increasingly demented videos the likes of which the internet is not ready for. Here are some screen captures:
It was a long night.
When dawn finally broke we quickly broke camp and made for the car. After some much needed refreshment at the local diner and a bit of shopping for the perfect coffee mug to commemorate this terrible adventure we set off to do a few day hikes along our route home. This is where Death Valley redeemed itself. Basically anywhere except where we had hiked the day before was gorgeous. The mountains, the dunes, the salt flats, everything was uniquely beautiful. The sun began to set as we ran about the desert taking in the sand dunes. We lamented the fact we had wasted so much of our time on a jeep road and not fully enjoying the wondrous desert terrain now before us. It really is magical place with a multitude of photographic opportunities, just don't go during the summer. Can't wait to go back.