…if you missed the first part of my wedding/honeymoon trip, you can read it here:
With a few stops along the way, driving from the Grand Canyon to Death Valley took approximately 7.5 hours. Having only ever seen America depicted on TV, I was shocked by some of the areas we passed through. There was none of the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas and New York; here we were met with the harsh reality of real life. Our journey towards Death Valley introduced us to the dangers of crystal meth and with each billboard that we passed we were met with yet another horrendous image; a semi-toothless mouth with a few decaying teeth that had been left behind. As the roads became more and more barren, eventually all signs of civilisation started to diminish.
As the roads gradually became completely desolate, it began to feel peaceful yet slightly eerie at the same time. With every mile that we completed, it became another mile where it felt like we were the only two people in existence; and with no sign of traffic in either direction, we stopped in the middle of the road to take a photo.
I loved Death Valley for its pre-historic beauty and also its silence. After the glitz of Las Vegas and the touristy crowds at the Grand Canyon, Death Valley was a welcome retreat. Unfortunately we were only staying one night; as a stopover on the way to Yosemite I hadn’t done much research and it’s something I regret. But on the plus side, it means that at some point we have an excuse to go back and explore it properly.
We stayed in a cabin at The Furnace Creek Ranch and although it was basic, it was perfectly adequate for what we required. We had tea and coffee making facilities along with a bathroom; in the morning we ate over at Furnace Creek Inn where there was a very impressive breakfast buffet laid out.
Before breakfast we decided to do an early morning run. It was 6.30am and the sun was already shining brightly in the sky; as we tentatively put one foot in front of the other we slowly started to pick up the pace. After 20 minutes we stopped for a break to take in some much needed water, but as we stood there I realised that something wasn’t quite right. After a couple of minutes we both had the realisation that we weren’t out of breath. Back home I would have been breathing heavily by the 20 minute mark, but not that day. The early morning temperatures were bearable and due to the high oxygen levels of being below sea level we ran with ease.
With its pre-historic craggy landscape, silence and isolation I completely fell in love with Death Valley; for me, it was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen. As we once again made our way along the desolate roads, we continued onto the next part of our trip; Yosemite…..
….look out for part 3 next week