Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Camping | Death Valley, CA

Death Valley had been on my bucket list for a while, so when my friend invited me to join him on this camping trip I said nothing but, "YES!". It was about 9-hour drive from San Jose to the campsite, Furnace Creek. We left at around 5:12 am and stopped at Barstow, CA for lunch. We met our two other friends who drove from San Diego to meet us there. The initial plan was In & Out Burger, but seeing Panda Express was there... 

There were 19 of us, and we rented two big vans. I was a bit surprised that we were on top of schedule. We arrived at the campsite at around 3.30 in the afternoon. The weather was really nice. It was around 75F. It did drop more in the evening. I did a rookie mistake on the first night for not checking my sleeping bag. I was using Ocep's sleeping bag, and for some reason I just couldn't get it zipped. I was really cold in early morning when the temperature was at its lowest. My nose was freezing.

Titus Canyon
The next day we rented 4 jeeps. They were all red, and all were so cool! It was necessary to rent the jeep because we had to go through off-road trails. It was a very bumpy road, literally! The first stop was Sand Dunes.  The sand was the softest I've ever encountered. It was basically like a beach, but instead of water it was sand.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Titus Canyon

Everyone seemed so excited about the offroad, and we finally hit it. It was a really rocky, bumpy, unpaved road for about half of our day. Thank God for the jeeps! We drove through Titus Canyon. It was full of rugged mountains and colorful rock formations. The view was just spectacular. The color kinda reminded me a bit of Zion National Park in Utah. After hours of being jiggled in the jeep, we finally got out of the off road and went to the last view point of the day, Dante's View.
Dante's View
Dante's View, photo credit: Glenn Sebastian
Dante's View
The wind was like nothing else. We had to walked up the hills. It was really cold, but it was worth it. Every time I witness sunset, especially from the majestic place like this, it always takes my breath away. I am again reminded of how great our God is, and how tiny we really are.

Zabriskie's Point 
Time really flies when you're having fun. It was already the last day. We were already packed up and ready to go by 8.30am. We were supposed to visit Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, but for whatever reason it was closed. We went to Zabriskie's Point instead. At Zabriskie's point, you get to witness very vast view of erosional landscape. I really felt tiny. Here's from another angle just to give you perspective of what I'm talking about:

The drive home was longer than expected. There was about 1-hour delay due to traffic and another hour because of poorly picked lunch place. We shouldn't go to a small chinese restaurant which took about 45 minutes just to get the food out. We arrived safe and sound at 10:30 pm. I was hesitant to go at first because I just could not bare the thought of waking up early the next day after being on the road for the whole day the night before. Surprisingly, I am fine. I woke up 30 minutes later than usual, but everything is fine. I don't feel tired. I feel recharged. I am so grateful of all the friends I went with.

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