As an entrepreneur I find it difficult to schedule vacations but this year I promised myself to take more weekend getaways.
Ive lived in California all of my life and Ive watched enough television documentaries on Death Valley for a life time, so I thought it would be interesting to visit the place.
For years I have passed the signs for Death Valley National Park hundreds of times on the way to Las Vegas, (and so have you) but I never turned off the beaten path ....until now. Its AMAZING, BIG, BOLD and BEAUTIFUL. Mind you, it is the desert but the colors and the mountains are stunning.
Death Valley National Park is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and is also designated as an international dark sky park where you can see the stars like no where else.
The name evokes gloom and doom but its a vibrant place of life and color. One of the first things I wanted to know was: How did it get its name? History tells us that pioneers traveling through the desert in the winter of 1849 had to ditch their wagons in a effort to cross the mountains. At least one person lost their life and many feared they would never make it out. Before ascending, one of the pioneers looked back and said "Goodbye Death Valley," and the name stuck.
What was it called for a thousand years before 1849? Well the Timbisha (Shoshone) Indians called it Tümpisa, which means “rock paint,” referring to the clay in the valley they made into red ocher paint. They survived the heat by moving to cooler places in the summer near shade and spring water. They had winter homes and summer homes throughout the Valley. The scenery certainly does not disappoint and as I traveled there was no lack of water in the desert.
My goal was to see it from sunrise to sunset. Although I was on vacation it was hard to get up early but Im glad I did. The sun hitting the badlands at Zabriskie Point made up for any effort. By the time I got there the parking lot was full and I grabbed the last parking spot to get up to the vista point to wait with dozens looking for the sun to rise....and it did in all of its glory. Shining on all the tapestry in front of me and turning the hills beautiful and vibrant golds, browns and rich chocolate colors. Greens and reds doted the distance in the "artist palette" mountains.
Everything is approachable and touchable in this beautiful place.The visitors center was helpful at showing me where to go and what to enjoy. They had lots of activities for kids and families and a ranger was on hand at the sites for tours and questions.
I stayed at the Furnace Creek Ranch which was part of the Furnace Creek Inn and Resort. My room was the greatest and the grounds were historic and interesting. Customer service at both the ranch and the Inn were superb.
My trip was in mid January. I think November-March are perfect months for visiting the park. because the weather is cool. In February and March the valley show off the beautiful desert flowers. They were just coming out when I visited.
Below, Ive included a few pictures for you to enjoy and I hope you get to go and enjoy this wonderful place like I did.
All pictures wer taken on Jenai's amazing trip....by (you guessed it) Jenai Morehead
Author: Jenai Morehead
Many of my students and clients have asked me to share the wonderful places I visit. These sites take the edge off of a hard days work. As an entrepreneur I believe we should take time off to rest and reflect. This page is for you and your family to do so. Come back and I will try to post a new destination or two monthly.