After a sunrise photo shoot in Bishop, California, we started our drive towards Death Valley National Park
We detoured just a bit to scope out the base of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48, and one that Nik and I will summit someday!
When we arrived at the Death Valley Stovepipe Wells Village, we checked in with the ranger. We had planned to camp somewhere in Death Valley that night. How bad could it be?! we thought. The ranger just looked at us like we were crazy and said “No one will be camping tonight”. Oh, right, I forgot to mention that it was a smoldering 122 degrees. The low that night was going to be a mere 90 degrees, at 4:00 am. That’s probably why they call it Death Valley. We could have fried an egg over-easy in 8 minutes on the asphalt.
Needless to say, we changed our minds on camping and drove to Badwater Basin. This basin is the lowest point of elevation in the United States. Sitting 282 feet below sea level, it looks and feels like another planet.
As we left Death Valley, we had some decisions to make. Las Vegas wasn’t far away and we had to drive through it anyway. But we really weren’t interested in dealing with Vegas, so we planned on staying in Henderson, the town right outside of Vegas. Between dehydration and Kayak.com being a tricky bugger, we somehow found ourselves booked at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas, baby!
It actually turned out to be quite a funny juxtaposition. We had planned to sleep on the ground, in a tent, in the heat of Death Valley, but ended up in mega air-conditioned, over-the-top, down feather bed instead. I should also note that we slept like babies.
How do you feel about Vegas? Love it or hate it? Would you have camped instead?