Day 146 – 1/23/21 Death Valley National Park (Day 3, last day)

Today is our last full day here, and we want to see the rest of the main points at Death Valley NP. 

I’m curious to see what all the wind did to the area yesterday, and hoping to check out the weather forecast for tomorrow to make sure there’s no major wind like yesterday.  That was so much wind that we would not be able to make it through with the trailer I don’t think.  The truck was getting pushed around when we were parked, I can only imagine what all of that would do to the trailer.  Plus, you have a lot of debris flying around too.

I woke up before everyone and did a bit of writing.  I just had enough time to get coffee and write a bit before Carol woke up.  She actually woke up before the girls, which does not happen often, so we had coffee together and started chatting about plans for the day and some of the places we go next.  Then the girls woke up and we were all chatting and having breakfast at the same time.  We had not had that for a while now.  It was nice.  I didn’t get to finish writing so I had to jot down the main things to fill in the rest later.  I don’t like falling behind, but sometimes it’s easier to do that so we can make the most out of our day.  As we were done with breakfast, I had the girls change and get ready, while I went to the office to use their wifi and check on weather and messages, and while Carol made lunch to take with us.  And while we were not rushing, we got ready to go and left just after 10am.

Our first stop was Dante’s View, which is the furthest point in the park from where we were.  It is a longer drive, at 90 minutes, but easy and beautiful as we cross the entire Death Valley.  The last 20-30 minutes is actually driving up a mountain range to get to Dante’s View, which is a stop at a high point with an amazing overlook of the entire valley and its salt beds, and sand dunes.  The last few minutes are very steep inclines.  We went all the way up, and the view is amazing.  Bia, Carol and I got out and started walking on this small trail, and within a minute we all had to pee, and we had to go bad. Hahahahah… we could not even finish the trail, we just ran back to the truck, so we could ride back down to the next parking area that had a restroom. Hahahah. 90 minutes of drinking water and juice and we were almost peeing our pants.  I had driven all the way thinking they had restrooms up there, then we thought we could hold, but nope.   As we got there, there was a person already there.  Once they left, Bia, Bella and Carol all went in at the same time.  I ended up taking a walk around the nearby trail and as soon as I could not see anyone, I just went there hahahahah….

Once we were all “relieved” we drove back up and parked so we could have lunch with that amazing view.  It’s just breathtaking to see the entire Death Valley from up there, especially as you try to pay attention to all the different formations.  We had a great lunch, Carol had made pasta with meat sauce in the Ninja Pot and the food was still nice and warm. 

After we ate, I went out on another trail that went up a higher peak to get some more amazing views and pictures.  Wow.  It was an awesome spot for a 360 view of the area.  I didn’t want to leave the ladies waiting too long, so I went back soon and we started driving to our next stop. 

Our next stop was Zabrickie’s point.  That is a spot with more awesome views.  You park, and walk up a ramp to a lookout area towards the valley, and around you there are canyons… Bia right away recognized the Red Cathedral, which was just to the right of us, as the place we went to yesterday.  She was all excited and proud that she had walked all of that, and had been to this cool place.  Bella liked it too, and wanted to walk a bit on the mountains right there.  After we took some pics, we followed Bella and walked on some of the canyons next to the lookout but didn’t go far.  It was a nice little walk exploring the area.  It was indeed nice to see kind of where our Golden Canyon trail was from another vantage point, and see how big the Red Cathedral looked from here as well.

Then we went to Salt Creek, which is a creek in the middle of the desert valley, with 2-3x more salt than ocean water.  The audio guide had explained that there are a few “things” that actually live in that water, some plants and what not, but also Pup Fish.  Salt Creek Pup Fish is a tiny fish that can only be found there.  We didn’t see any on our walk around the boardwalk, but Bella and Carol said they saw two gunning across the water, but it was fast.  Bia and I only saw some fish larvae.  It was a quick little walk on the boardwalk.  Lots of larvae, but no fish.  Crazy to see water in there, especially knowing there is a type of fish that can live in such salty water.  It is such a contrast of things in Death Valley, at one point you see desert dunes, then canyons, then salt flats, then a creek with fish that live in super dense salty water… quite amazing.

Our last stop was Mosaic Canyon.  By that time, the girls were not feeling like walking all the way, which was 1.5 miles, so we went half way.  It was quite amazing.  Amazing views, amazing formations, and super cool trail that would open wide, then get narrow and have all kinds of rocks and walls.  Walls were different at every turn, some concrete looking, then smooth, then sandy.  About 3/4 miles in the girls were already asking to go back, so we turned around.  As usual, on the way back, the girls were having fun.  They were using the smooth rocks walls as slides, and would walk up then slide down a few times on a few ones they found.  The rocks was were very smooth, and some were shaped like a slide, it was perfect.   As we were almost at the end, Bella had to pee, so she just went for it.  She found a crack on the rocks, and climbed up there and did it.  hehehehe..  We are all becoming pros at peeing in the woods.  I wish we had gone all the way to the end of the trail, but that’s ok, it was still nice to see what we could.

Then we drove back, enjoying the views and amazing scenery.  After we got back, I got the campfire going.  The girls wanted to do stuff inside with paper and stuff, some projects they invented.  Carol and I stayed outside for a while, pretty much while the fire was strong and warm, so we enjoyed the fire and talked for a while there.  While we did that I also grilled some chicken that Carol had put on marinade, and the girls and I had that.  As the fire was dwindling and getting cold, Carol and I went in.  From there, it was the regular shutdown routine… showers.. and bed.

We had a great last day at Death Valley National Park.

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