SNAPSHOT: Death Valley

The massive 2016 “super bloom” in Death Valley NP was quite possibly a once in a lifetime event. I feel so privileged to have been able to see it first hand. I wrote a story about the last second overlander gathering that I pulled together to see it last year over at OutdoorX4.com: THE SUPER BLOOM: Death Valley is FULL of Life!. In the end, over 9 different groups of overlanders, nearly all of which I’ve called friends for some time, converged on Death Valley during 6 days of completely random and unplanned exploration, with 4 vehicles traveling together the entire time. The photos in this post are the shots that didn’t make it into the OutdoorX4 article, and will hopefully entice you to explore this truly other worldly location. I’m itching to get back!

Camping under the stars with a big crew in Echo Canyon.Beth & Alfredo, of Traveling Trio fame.Kande, of Adventure Driven, loves to climb things. Maybe that’s why her nickname is Squirrel.When your massive Unimog tire develops a bulge like this, it’s time for a tire change. No easy task with a 400+lb tire & wheel combo!Beth and Yeager, of Traveling Trio, getting some fun photos amongst the flowers.You can expect to find lots of dry cracked earth in Death Valley.
The Rhyolite Ghost Town is a very interesting and odd place to explore. Climbing the grade into Titus Canyon from the East. Titus Canyon can be tight, but even bigger rigs like ours fit fine.The road into the Racetrack will rattle your teeth out! Miles of corrugations.The famous Racetrack.When you’re this far out there you can’t expect cell service or quick help, but with the Garmin inReach I could communicate with loved ones and have the reassurance that if help was needed it would be there as quickly as possible.The famous moving rocks of the Racetrack. Camping at the Lippencott Mine, near the Racetrack.
The start of Lippencott Rd. A view down into the Saline Valley from Lippencott Rd.Saline Valley Warm Springs. Tim, of Xplore Baja, communing with the local donkeys.Seth & Kande enjoying the refuge of the Saline Warm Springs Oasis, as a sand storm rages down the valley.Saline Valley Rd, looking North.

Sadly there won’t be a repeat Death Valley super bloom in 2017, but many areas south of the park are expected to get a good bloom this year, including Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. I’m hoping to get a chance to photograph there in a few weeks. Keep living a life of adventure!

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