Re: First Time to Death Valley
Posted by Cliff on October 18, 2002 at 18:00:45:
In Reply to: First Time to Death Valley posted by NoKarma4U on October 18, 2002 at 14:16:49:
My first trip to DVNP came in March of 1998. A few months prior to that, I had seen a show on the Discovery Channel about The Racetrack. I said: "Wow, I've gotta see that!" I studied maps and read about DV as much as I could online. I'll never forget coming in from the West on 190 and stopping at the top of a pass. I pulled off the road and looked down in the valley. I was little disappointed at first because I thought it would be bigger. I couldn't see Stovepipe Wells where I thought it would be and I thought, well, if this is DVNP, I won't be here too long. As I found out later, I was looking into Panamint Valley! After I got to Townes' Pass, everything unfolded like I had read about and going past all of those sites had my eyes bugging out. I don't remember when I first smelled it, but I'll never forget my first smell of the valley. It was like my head was stuck in a Creasote Bush. I don't know if the valley was unusally punget that day, or if it was that I'd never smelled such a thing in my life, but that has stuck with me through the years. In the days to come, I found myself in awe of the size of everything in the park, especially the fans. Coming from a region (Oregon) where almost everything is covered by plant life, it was great to see every landform. I minored in earth science in college and have always been fond of geology, so this was quite an experience for me. The Racetrack was everything I had imagined. Not only was I amazed at the tracks left by the rocks, but the desolation of the place is awesome. I'll never forget driving down from Teakettle Junction and seeing the dust swirl about the dry lakebed. It was spooky and exhilirating at the same time! I've been back to DVNP every March since, and am planning another trip in 2003. I've even met some friends down there through the internet that have taken me here and there. I simply love the impact DVNP has had on my life. Heck, even last night I was looking at a map of it. Beam me down, Scotty!