DEATH VALLEY, CA – Oddly, I’ve never been to Death Valley. I say oddly, because of how much we love exploring the California desert. My feller’s been many times, so how had I not?
Maybe the universe was waiting for the SuperBloom to direct me that way.
After a great few days in Winslow Arizona at our Motor Palace admiring our now drywall-framing-free walls and visiting with friends…
…we aimed the truck for Death Valley. Somehow writing about a road trip in a modern Dodge Ram pickup doesn’t seem as cool as when I chronicle a motorcycle trip or a journey in my ’48, but really, in a lot of ways it’s pretty darned nice. For one, packing is a whole lot easier. Plus, you can carry snacks.
On a motorcycle, you can’t really go for a hike and explore places off the path for fear of leaving your stuff unattended and out in the open.
And… it’s a whole lot easier to hop in and out to grab photos along the way. Not to say touring the park wouldn’t be spectacular on a bike, because it would, but I always say, appreciate the situation you’re in, and this trip, we were in a comfy 4×4 truck.
We hadn’t planned on going to Death Valley until March, but after reading the “super bloom” reports, we altered our plans. What were the odds we’d have time off when a bloom this big happened again?
According the the Park’s Wildflower report, Bad Water had the best showing, so we headed there first.
The vast salt bed is mind blowing. Brian wants to walk across the full length next year on his birthday.
As for the flowers? Take a look.
Dang! What a phenomenal place. Can’t believe it took me this long to go.
On the way back to Yucca Valley for the final two days of our vacation, we swung off Trona Wildrose Road to the tiny Ballarat ghost town, founded in 1896 as a miner’s supply. The town had a life span of only 21 years, when this post office closed.
It’s also near Charles Manson’s final hideout. The claim is, this 4-wheel drive Army surplus Power Wagon was allegedly his, broken down and abandoned nine days before the raid on his Barker Ranch, but many dispute this. Either way, it’s a cool old truck.
You might also recognize the town for the scene in Easy Rider when Fonda tosses his Rolex.
Brian will likely get a post up on the Motor Palace site, so be sure to check out his pics as well.
Until next time…