Death Valley, in November

We leave a burning city behind us. L.A. has quite a few fires going on, and it makes leaving the city even more difficult, because lot of the freeways are closed…But finally, we can breathe, and the smoke cloud disappears in our rear mirorr. The drive is quite long and the scenery does not change much..death-valley-016-photo

except that the signs of civilization start to disappear after a while – only a few abandoned houses dot the barren landscape – and the desert becomes more conspicuous…death-valley-024-photo2

death-valley-035-photo2Before we turn on to the road that take us into the actual national park, we stop for a quick lunch at a cozy little restaurant, that is surrounded by some gorgeous trees…

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The sun is already going down, by the time we make it to the sand-dunes..but that does not deter us too much, we have to climb them, now. Of course, we forgot the flashlights, so we do not get very far. The silence is eerie..and absolute – only the sound of some passing cars breaks it once in a while. Although, the absence of sound is almost a sound in itself…one can hear the drumming of the blood in her ears, and thoughts that go through one’s head seem to be much louder and much more senseless…Like when there is really nothing to distract us, it becomes more obvious that what is going inside our head is quite silly and boring. I think it is not a coincidence that so many great spiritual leader chose the desert as the background for achieving enlightment. Going to the desert to meditate for forty days…well, it is not for the faint-hearted, that is for sure.

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It is almost painful, this silence. In a forest, even when it is quiet, there is always some rustling going on, the wind moves the leaves, an animal scurries away…But here -nothing. It is almost full moon, and the moonlight just intensifies that eerie feeling…

Some people take advantage for the peaceful surroundings and use the place for meditation or for yoga…

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It takes us some time to figure out where to spend the sun-rise. According to the guide-books, there are at least half a dozen places that look best at sunrise or sunset. Since we haven’t figured out yet how to be at six places at the same time, we settle on the closest place to our motel – the sand-dunes. It is still quite chilly at 5.30 in the morning, and it is still almost dark…but we set out and wait for the sun to climb up behind the mountains…When it finally does, everything becomes red and orangey…death-valley-108-photo
a coyote next to the road

a coyote next to the road

Then we climb into the car to explore the other sights…on the way to Badwater, we see a coyote crossing the road in front of us..does not seem to be scared at all, when we stop the car to take some snap-shots..
Badwater is the lowest point in North America – (282 feet – 86 m – below sea level), and I think it got its name because the water in the little pools is so salty, that it is undrinkable (“bad”).
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