Travel Thursday: Death Valley National Park

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I LOVE THE DESERT. It brings me PEACE and CLARITY. Add warmth to that, and perfection. My sanctuary. I never knew how much I loved the desert until I found myself there, and now I value each and every single return.

I remember the first time I visited Death Valley National Park on a roadtrip back in 2005. My boyfriend and I (now husband) were on a three week adventure to visit the eastern sierra driving down from Washington State. We saw many stunning and beautiful places that summer. Our mission was to see as many state and national parks as possible on that three week stretch.

I am hoping to finally get all those past roadtrips/trips organized and pictures shared on this blog over time. I am excited to have a digital journal besides my iPhoto (which is jammed with more pictures than I know what to do with). But anyway, back to the desert…Death Valley. It’s beyond stunning.

The first time I visited Death Valley was in the month of July! I know CRAZY. What were we thinking? Well we weren’t. It was summer and we wanted to hit the road and after we left Yosemite we headed south and just had to stop by and see it, even if it was just for the day, yes, even though it was July. My husband had been there a few years before during his geology field camp as part of his undergrad before graduation. He had shared stories and pictures with me so I was extremely excited to see it with my very own eyes.

We slept in the car the night before on the rim before driving down into the valley. It was the worst night sleep ever! After a few hours of poor sleep and cramped bodies we made the drive down at 4am. We wanted to watch sunrise (and beat the heat!). Even then, it was 94 degrees. It was magical. I remember getting out of the car dripping with sweat and running out to the salt flats at badwater basin taking in the stunning views. 282 ft below sea level! I remember the whole scene just blowing my mind.

A few years later we returned again! Pictures above. This time with some of our dearest friends. It’s such a magical place. I imagine even if I went by myself, I would have the time of my life. It reminds me of what maybe entering a foreign planet would look like. Maybe Mars would be how I would describe it. Mars meets the middle east. Ha ha. I haven’t been to either (of course no one had been to Mars), but Death Valley seems like a place out of this world! I highly recommend making the trek. There is so much beauty there. I cannot wait to return one day and show my children (when I have some that is) this extraordinary place! These pictures were taken on our most current visit. I hope you ENJOY!

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