So on Monday, I checked out of The Saguaro hotel and had breakfast in Palm Springs before setting off on a five hour drive to Death Valley.
If you want to see my driving skills, check out the two short videos (they last 15 seconds each). It's not easy (or safe) to film and drive.
I just had to capture 2Pac's California Love when it came on the radio. I think about this song every time I visit California.
I had a vegetarian skillet at Denny's in Baker. That's the town where you decide, whether you want to go to Death Valley or continue to Las Vegas. I was very tempted to drive to LV and even to tour Joshua Tree National Park again but I reminded myself that I was there to explore new places.
The sun was setting between 4 and 5 pm. I had to continue my drive through the dark as my hotel was located in the centre of the park.
This was my room at The Furnace Creek Ranch.
This is what the cabin looked like from outside.
The next day I drove up to Dante's View...
... and to Badwater, which is 855 metres below sea level.
This is the Artist's Palette. If you look closely, you can see the different colours of the rocks.
I drove to Beatty, a small village in Nevada for lunch at Denny's (again).
The town looked pretty grim and depressing.
Right next to Beatty is Rhyolite, a ghost town.
Next, I wanted to drive to Scotty's Castle and I thought it would be clever to take a short-cut that I had spotted on the map. It was an unpaved road and after 10 km got so bad that I couldn't continue driving if I didn't want to damage the car. Also, it was getting late, I had no phone signal and my gps couldn't indicate any clear directions. If I was to die there, I can only guess how long it would have taken for someone to find me. There were hardly any cars on the paved roads, let alone on the unpaved ones. I made a U-turn and luckily got out safely. (PS: I had a similar experience during my Tuscany road trip last year)
I didn't make it to the castle and I also missed out on the Death Valley dunes. My plan to visit Sequoia National Park completely fell through as I had run out of time. I had to drive five more hours to Bakersfield, where a hotel room was waiting for me.
It was a huge room at the Hampton Inn (like four times the size of the room I had in Edinburgh last month) and although it wasn't really my style, it was super clean and felt very cosy.
My next post will be about my stop in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.
Furnace Creek Ranch
Death Valley National Park, CA 92328
United States of America
1017 Oak Street
Bakersfield, CA 93304
United States of America