death valley national park

for four days in the middle of january, i trekked out to death valley with a bunch of dudes who love to wheel. i've been blessed with these friendships and fringe interests because of marcus and a shared liking of camping and crude humor.

death valley in the winter is fucking cold at night. it got down to the 30°s. sure sure sure sure it is probably not as cold as _____, but when you're so cold that your body gets you close to falling asleep but never completely does, you're not thinking that it could be colder. instead, you're thinking you could have packed better clothes.

"gusty winds. please latch door"

frozen eggs

death valley is big. it's about 5,300 square miles—nearly 4.5x the size of joshua tree national park, another place that also has big boulders and joshua trees. 

seeing the backroads of the park in offroading rigs meant we camped in relatively remote sites, which may not be saying much since the park is already pretty big. finding a spot to be by yourself can be a quick or long drive away. we spent a lot of time driving. i think we spent half a day driving from lone pine and down lippincott pass to get to our 2nd night's site.

death valley is dry and desolate, but i wouldn't call it bare. this place is bursting with life, color, and contradiction to convention. like the beaming, snow-covered alabama hills as the backdrop for darker volcanic rock and monzogranite, and the sporadic families of vibrant green joshua trees and succulents that line hours of driving through what often looks like fields of loose rock and dirt.

ubehebe crater

go, pack warm if you're there in the winter, and make friends with people with tuff vehicles.

other highlights from this trip:

  • when this guy at the lone pine gas station asked me if i was with the tour group of asian people
  • having a good ass breakfast and pastries at lone pine diner
  • sitting on the playa, seeing no one else for miles
  • driving through trona while listening to "live from trona"
  • seeing a gigantic mound of borax


did you know lighting up borax would produce a green fire?

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