CALIFORNIA : Tikal facing Death Valley

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We leave Las Vegas the belly full and wanting to find some nature again, after so much lights and excess.

Death Valley was expecting us. And the weather too, obviously. We arrive in the desert. One of the hottest of the world. And one of the most arid.

So we arrive. So does the rain. Few drops first then it last during the night with a good shower with huge gusts of wind.

Rain in Death Valley… We did not expected that!

We first lead to Dante’s View. It is getting up. And it is blowing like hell up there. But the landscape, the cloudy sky and the view… it is breath taking.

We decide to spend the night a little bit lower on the road, on a park lot, hoping not to be moved by the rangers… No ranger at sight. We go to bed. The wind is still blowing very hard. But between two gusts, we can hear a small noise in the back of the truck. We turn on the light and… Oh, a tiny mouse!!

She probably never saw the rain of her life and she came in (from where, we do not know) to protect herself. Or it is our friends Arnaud and Audrey, met in Zion, who gave us as a sort of souvenir, because they had already hosted one of them in their pick-up!

Anyway, no way to share our night with an animal in the truck, even if she is so cute (by day).

I leave the truck, open the back doors (as a reminder it is raining and the wind is still blowing like hell), and we empty small places that can be used as hides by the small desert mouse.

But nothing. We go back to the truck, wet and frozen, then we go back to bed, rocked by the sound of the rain and the small noises coming from the mouse doing her life.

So this our first night at 3 in the truck.

Few hours later, in the early morning, we go back to Dante’s View for the sunrise.

Then we take the road to the Visitor Center after a stop to Badlands and the Zabriskie Point.

We arrive to the Badwater Lake, the lowest point of the United States, at -86 meters under the sea level.

We take the road back to the north. We are completely in love with this park. We are done with the 10 degrees, the sun is now shinning with 30°C. We now cannot imagine that it was raining a few hours ago.

We discover the Death Valley is not just dust everywhere.  There is this salt lake but we also see some green lands, some sand dunes.

The night is approaching and we find a little place in a free campground inside the park. The night is beautiful, the sky cleared and the temperature pleasant.

Then we wake up… This view gives us the idea to stay! But we have to take the road again, we are getting late on our planning. [This famous planning that we finally never arrived to complete!! But at this time, the decision to re-plan the trip was not made… so we hurried, and we are now regretting it…]

We fear that the north access road to Yosemite is closed because of the snow, so we decide to go south. A detour, but we will enjoy at the same time Sequoia National Park (even if we miss Mamooth Lake).

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