“So sadistic,” a friend jokingly said to me once. “Walking through the flaming desert singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to yourself.” I had just finished explaining why we took a road trip through the California desert in July.
The truth is, though, I am not even a fan of hot weather. Anything warmer than 75 deg. F is already too warm. Maybe the Pacific Northwest has pampered me too much in providing that delicious moody weather.
But there we were in the middle of Death Valley, in the hottest, driest, and lowest point of the United States. Badwater Basin.
At one point, we stopped at an old mining village (or what was left of it), but I was already feeling exhausted and decided to stay in the car while Seni walked around the village. Amazingly, it felt a lot cooler sitting inside the car (turned off) than it did standing under the sun outside.
282 feet below sea level and 120 deg F. It was like walking into a sauna. I was so mind-blown.
I reeeeally wanted to walk to the salty basin. You see the white horizon above? It looked so much closer than it actually was.
We walked and walked but felt like we were not getting any closer.
Or maybe the heat was beginning to affect my brain.
I finally decided it was too hot to keep walking. Every step felt heavy and exhausting…
We snapped a few photos before even making it to the salty flat, and then turned back to our car.
I hate to admit that I felt nauseous and ready to throw up. I felt defeated, but I convinced myself that my mind was probably playing games. Just. A few. More steps…to the car.
Then I got distracted by a kid who was putting the Death-Valley-Egg-Cooking theory to the test :) I remembered this from grade school and was excited to watch. But we left before he finished cooking…
I was done. It was way too hot. I decided that we would drive to one last location and then leave Death Valley. I didn’t care to stay the night anymore.
Artists Drive and Palette
Neapolitan Ice-Cream, anyone? :)
The oxidation of various metals birthed this beautiful palette.
There is always room for dessert, right?
I think I squeezed the last of my energy to enjoy this last stop. And it was so worth the effort.
We stopped to eat somewhere in the middle of a sand storm. And as soon as I filled my belly with food, I knocked out cold!
I remember waking up here and there, but feeling sooooo exhausted that I could barely keep my eyes open before falling back into a deep sleep again. I slept a good while as Seni drove us out of the valley.
When I finally woke up, a headache took over my brain, but I eventually started feeling better. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL?! The last time this happened to me, we were in Utah walking through the toadstools in the middle of summer.
We drove out of the Death Valley area and watched the hills turn into gold. These California golden hills were a marvel. I’d never seen hills glisten under the sun the way these hills did…
With an extra day to spend as we wanted and with much cooler temperatures, we made our way to Sequoia National Park.
I think no matter what kind of situations we find ourselves, we try to stay present and enjoy the hours we have. This experience wasn’t an exception. How do you handle the heat?
Join me on the next blog post as we walk among the biggest beings on Earth :)
Love & Adventure,
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Stay curious, wild hearts!