Friday, July 17, 2015
As I ended a fantastic day of travel, I headed into Death Valley National Park in California around sunset. I wanted to get there a little earlier but I was happy to watch the sun go down over the desert landscape as I wound my way through the park.
What I hadn’t counted on was the heat. My thermometer read 110 degrees even as the sun went down over the mountains. It felt as if I were baking in an oven and now I knew why the park is considered one of the most desolate places in the country. The wind was blowing down from those mountains, moving sand off of the dunes in an ever shifting landscape. But I was in luck. There was no moon that night and so the night sky appeared with more stars than I had ever seen.
I spent three or four hours making my way through the park in the darkness before finally making my way to Independence. Not just from the heat but to the small town above Lone Pine before making camp and heading to bed for the evening.