Monday, December 31, 2012
A little slice of Death
On a recent run to Vegas to visit the in-laws--Oy!--we hit Death Valley on the way back and packed in a couple of nice hikes. We left grey, off-and-on snow/hail to land in perfect weather--cool, clear, a day for wandering and dreaming and feeling the joy of life. These are obscure, off trail hikes, and the car featured above forced us to think about water in this driest of places. That car is from the 1940's, giver or take, yet the interior is filled with rocks and debris. That means that once in a great while, this wash is actually awash in volumes that can move rocks and slowly bury a car abandoned decades ago. It's so hard to imagine water flowing in this place, but flow it must. I personally have never seen moving water in Death Valley. It is now, officially, the hottest place on earth, so we only go in the winter. I understand that many Europeans, especially Germans, like to come in the summer. The problem with that is that one is confined to staying close to the car, hotel, whatever. Hikes of any length are simply too dangerous and/or miserable. To each his own. We hiked in the Funeral Mountains and then camped in Panamint Valley to the west. We feel blessed to have these spectacular areas so close to home.