After enjoying the magic of the Californian Hotsprings, we headed off to Death Valley National Park!
The drive into the park was amazing in and of itself, and was a nice intro the the beauty we were about to experience. We drove into the park and stopped a few times along the way to take pictures and marvel at the landscape.
Once we got our bearings, we decided to squeeze in a hike through the Mosaic Canyon before it got dark.
From there we attempted to find some boondocking sites in the park, with no success. We ended up at the Stovepipe Wells campground for the night. We had nice neighbors and shared a fire with them before retiring for an early bedtime. We had lots planned for the next day.
We woke up for the sunrise and boogied over to the Mesquite Sand Dunes for a better view.
There was a quick hike near by that we did in hopes of seeing the rare Pupfish – no luck there, but the hike was pretty!
Next we unloaded Cicita and geared up for an offroad adventure through Titus Canyon. Our first stop was the Rhiyolite Ghost Town, which was a mix of outdoor art gallery and ghost town ruins. Someone lived on the land near the town and had put up a bunch of unique sculptures on the land just before the town. We spent some time exploring the art and the ruins of the town – all very cool.
Cicita then took us down a bumpy washboard road into the Titus Canyon area. (Cici wouldn’t have liked it) We went up and over a mountain pass that was surrounded by beautiful rock formations and included a tiny little ghost town. The beautiful mountain roads led us down into the Titus Canyon where we rode through some deep sand and gravel and into the canyon narrows. The trip took several hours and we headed back to Cici to find a place to watch the sunset.
Our next stop was Zabriskie Point, and it was amazing. The badlands were beatiful and we had never seen so many different shades of brown. We sat on the hills in front of the viewing deck (to get around the other sunset viewers) and watched the sun go down.
Since we had been waking up for sunrise for the past several days, we decided to sleep in a little and have a casual morning. Our plan was to hike and check out a few sights before heading out of the park and on to the next adventure.
We went to check out the lowest point in North America (!!!), called Badwater. It sits at 282 feet below sea level. There wasn’t really much to see, but it was cool to be at the spot regardless.
For our last hike we wanted to avoid the other park visitors and went for an unmarked hike through Desolation Canyon. We hardly saw any other hikers on the trail, which made it seem much cooler. The canyon was narrow and full of colors that you wouldn’t expect to see in a desert landscape. When the canyon came to an end, we hiked up a little trail to the top of some large steep hills (or mini mountains, whatever suits you). Meridian had a momentary lapse of reasoning and suggested we scramble to the top of such hills (she is afraid of heights/falling from heights). So up we went! Even though Meridian had to verbally reassure herself the whole way up (“I’m ok, I’m ok…”) they made it to the top and enjoyed the epic view.
From there we loaded up the rig and headed out on the road toward Joshua Tree National Park. Paul got super determined and ended up driving allllll the way to Joshua Tree, where we parked in the visitor center for the night.
When we got into the park, we went straight to the Ryan Mountain trail and hiked to the summit. It was the perfect way to start our adventures in the park!
For the rest of the day we checked out some touristy park stuff, including a cholla cactus garden and some fancy rocks.
Once we found a camp site, we were surprised to see some familiar faces camping across from us! We got to hang with some friends that we met through Paul’s sister for the night. Good times.
The next day we did some more exploring, and got ready to head South to visit some more friends and family in Southern California.
On our way to Baja, we stopped and visited Meridian’s family in San Marcos, CA which was awesome! Then we went on to San Diego for several fun filled days with Clare, Jacob, and Ian!
(This blog is a little rushed because the laundry is done – using wifi in laundromat – and we are trying to get on the road)
From there we crossed the border into Baja and are currently cruising around the peninsula! We have been here since the 22nd or something like that. The wifi is spotty here and the sun is out so we may not post as regularly. Plus we want to do fun things! Sometimes we will do a few updates at once, and sometimes you may not hear from us for a while – don’t cry! We love you all!
Also, not even proof reading this one, just posting and heading out to celebrate the new year on the beach! BESOS!