Ohhh man!! I am so behind on my blogging lately, you can blame my thesis for sucking the fun out of life! I want to get you guys the gouge of what it is like to live out of a van while hitting up some national parks, so after picking up the van in LA we got out of the city and headed over to Death Valley for our first night of the trip. Wellllll… we knew it would be kind of hot, but we weren’t anticipating a 102 degree nights in Death Valley. eeek!
As far as having a plan of where to stay and all that jazz, I have really changed my ways in that department. Last year when I went to Peru, I showed up in Lima and asked a local which hostel he thought I should stay at and went there based on his recommendation. Although there are many people on the road in America in March, we never went without a campsite for the night, a hot shower, and the ability for a fire, which was awesome!
The trip from LA to Death Valley took about 5 hours but was so much fun because you could just feel the excitement in the air. WE WERE SO EXCITED FOR THIS TIRP AND TO BE ON THE ROAD. Also, I wrote a post to set this trip up for you guys and even provide the info of how to get your National Park Pass if you are active duty military, so check here for that info.
We each had a national park pass for active duty military, but that does not include the campsites inside national parks so you still have to get a spot and pay for it like everyone else. In Death Valley you can pay for the campsites at kiosks located near the ranger station, so stop into town and get your ticket. Luckily, there was a pretty empty RV lot right across from Furnace Creek. We got a spot right by the bathroom. I really thought that in the 2 weeks we were on this trip we would have very limited places to shower and we pretty much showered every day which was nice.
As the sun was setting we were driving to Furnace Creek and I got a couple of shots out the window. Death Valley encompasses over 3 million acres of land so getting to and from places is separated by ALOT of land. So you have to make decisions on what you will do in the day and then get to it, but there’s only so much you can do because it is Hot HOT HOT there. zzzzst!
when we rolled into the RV park it was our first night setting up the van and sleeping in it, which was epic and since the van came with foldable chairs we were able to sit outside and enjoy the sunset, thanks!
The bed is made, except the heat was pretty unbearable. To combat it we opened the front doors for a breeze, pretty much slept in underwear and tank tops and stopped to do laundry only two days into the trip to clean the sheets. haha.
That night before bed we did some planning. Although we had an idea for our route, we definitely did not have everything planned out, or where we were going to stay (hence not having any of the campsites booked prior to the trip), so we had to do a bit of planning, and then we were off to bed.
The next morning we were up early to rinse off in the sink with cool water and head out on our first hike, which was the Golden Canyon Trail. Although it was only about 4 miles round trip, as I said before it was definitely getting hot quick so that is an added element. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO CARRY PLENTY OF WATER IN DEATH VALLEY. Don’t forget it.
Man these views though, with those blue sky. I was in my element here and was loving the hike and every day of this trip. I think Laura can agree. It was epic. Actually, she’s about to rent another van in a couple weeks with her sister to go to Yosemite, how cool is that!
The last stop of the day was Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, 282 feet below sea level. Sheesh. You can park your car and walk out onto the salt flat to stand on the point itself, which of course we did.
And a few jumps, we were just too hot and headed back to Furnace Creek, where you are allowed to pay $5 for a pool pass at the resort and entrance to the showers! We spent the day in the pool with my unicorn floaty and then got a shower before headed back to our spot at the campsite. The next morning we were getting up t head to viva Las Vegas baby!
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