California

Death Valley National Park

Friday, March 23, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA

Wildrose Campground, Death Valley

The drive to Death Valley turned out to be longer than expected due to poor navigation (my job).  I just assumed we knew where we were going … and so did David.  By the time all was said and done, we added an extra hundred miles to the day (and about two hours of driving) but, on the bright side, we saw areas of the park most people may overlook (a desperate attempt to grasp for straws). 

The second mistake resulted from choosing a campground without checking the scale of the map (again, me).  It turns out that we’re fifty-four miles from Furnace Creek – the hub of the park, including most of the major sites and best hikes.  But it was forecasted to warm in the valley over the next few days, so we needed to be at elevation and Wildrose, at 4100 feet, was our best option. So here we are.

The third and final mistake: location.  We chose the wrong campsite – one in direct line to the only toilet and downhill from a large group of annoyingly young (and loud) university spring breakers (if I hear the someone say like, like or like one more time I’m going to SCREAM!).  Fortunately, they were only here one night but the traffic to the toilet continues. 

It’s not beautiful here, but it’s not exactly ugly either.  It is, however, beige.  And windy.  Most people camp here to hike up to Wildrose and Telescope Peaks or go biking (both dirt and mountain).  I’m not sure what we’re here to do, but it didn’t include any of the aforementioned things.  So, with very few distractions, the days were long and warm.  But the nights were amazing.  The wind died out with the sun and there’s no moon giving Jupiter and Venus in the western sky and Mars in the east the opportunity to light the sky along with the millions of stars spanning the horizon.

Tomorrow we’ll go down tothe valley floor for a couple of nights and start touring the actual park.  According to everything I read online beforewe left San Diego, the afternoon temperatures should be moderate enough for us to camp near Furnace Creek for a couple nights before it’s time to move on to Las Vegas.

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