The United States offer some epic landscapes and what better way is there to explore them than by going on an epic road trip? As we had a couple of days to spend before attending a friends’ wedding, we decided to get a rental car in Las Vegas and drive to Wrightwood not by taking the shortest, but the probably most scenic way! So we ventured out with Death Valley National Park as the destination. What can I say? When we left the city limits of Las Vegas we where in the middle of nowhere. I am in AWE with the stark beauty that barren lands offer. Wide horizons, nothing that distracts my eyes, shimmering heat, dark blue skies and rocks and stones and creatures and plants that fight against the beautiful harshness. 

Once you’re outside big cities the highways out here in the southwest continue straight forever. Now and then you’ll have a gas station in the middle of nowhere and a junction that brings you just to another straight highway. 

After some time we entered the valley. The temperature rose above 110 Fahrenheit and the road eventually started to wind down to the desert floor. The heat is almost unbearable: the moment you leave the air conditioned car it feels like you opened the door to a kitchen stove. 

Halfway in the descent there was a view point and from there we had a mind blowing view over the valley. Thousands shades of yellow, brown, even purple, grey and many patches of white salt where former water sources long went dry. By reaching The Valley floor we where several meters below sea level. I immediately had the feeling I am breathing more oxygen than my lungs could handle. 

Landscapes like deserts inspire me, broaden my mind. Ever changing colors, rocks and a blue sky – overall nothing to get distracted by. It is a specific beauty. 

We took some time to wander around and up and down some impressive sand dunes, but an upcoming sand storm chased us back to the car. Within minutes the visibility dropped to only a couple of meters. Very slowly we made it out of the valley where we were surprised by a hush of rain! 

After another long straight drive we made it to Ridgecrest. Welcomed by one of those sunsets I missed so much we called it a day. This town I have in good memory as it was the first trailtown I stayed in after I hiked over the Sierra on my Pacific Crest Trail journey. So going down PCT memory lane never feels bad. 


Exploring the world and myself by two feet.

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