Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sequoia/ Alabama Hills/ Death Valley/ L.A. pt.3

I had created an itinerary for Death Valley that involved driving to the furthest point we wanted to see, Badwater, and coming back out with a final stop by the sand dunes. On our way in, we stopped for a picture of the Death Valley sign. As I lined up the shot I commented that the boys were standing in front of the words in a way that made it look like we were going to "Death Nation." They thought it was funny and decided that their future death metal polka band would be named just that.

It should also be noted that just to the right of the mountains of the sign is an iPad. That would be the iPad that Joe forgot that we had to drive back and get after getting to Father Crowley point. It should also be noted that Joe loves the video game Mass Effect and fancies himself the main character, Shepard. When he forgot the iPad, Connor said, "The chief science officer left his data pad. Our mission is to retrieve it."
I referred to Joe as the chief science officer for the rest of the day, but only because it mildly annoyed him.

After stops in Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek, we finally made it out to Badwater, the lowest point in the continental USA. Connor and I stayed by the car to eat our sandwiches while Joe, who was itching to go, walked out on the salt flats. After our sandwiches were gone, we started walking out to find him. We passed large groups of people, then smaller groups of people, then just four other people without passing Joe. There was, however a speck in the distance, which I said couldn't possible be him because that person was clearly a nutter. Connor told me Joe was not a nutter, but that speck was definitely him. Connor was right. We were so far out, no one else passed us. I didn't want to go farther, so we stood out on the salt flats for a while enjoying the scenery until Joe came back to us. 

After Badwater, we rapidly saw several sights, including the Devil's Golf Course. I warned Joe that the salt formations were sharp. He verified it for himself.
Joe is a brave man. I would not have squatted so close to such sharp formations.

We stopped by the Artists' Palette, a drive I had missed in the past because the road had been washed out by a flood. The rocks there are almost every color. I liked the green and purple rocks the best. It was at this point that Joe and I started to pretend that we couldn't see Connor. He had worn clothing that almost perfectly matched his surroundings, except for his black socks. Joe and I giggled about the black socks that were walking around Death Valley.

We then headed up to Zabriskie Point. It was another stop I'd failed to make in the previous two visits to Death Valley. I was pleased to see it for myself this time.
It's Joe next to a pair of black socks

Our last stop was at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. I told the boys it would be much more pleasant later in the afternoon, and I was right. I also told them before we walked out there that the dunes suffer from the same problem that Las Vegas does: everything is so big that it looks closer than it actually is. 
You can see a silhouette of a tiny ant climbing up the dunes. That is Joe.

Despite the warning, Joe decided to go to the largest dune. My ego couldn't handle it, so Connor and I went after him. It was worth it, but we were all extremely tired by the time we got back to the car.
We walked to the third big dune from the left

Before we left, I got a picture of Yeti. Yeti had been with us the whole way because it isn't often that a yeti gets the opportunity to visit Death Valley.

It was such a busy day in Death Valley that I didn't paint at all. I didn't end up painting any more during the rest of the trip either. The day after Death Valley, we drive to L.A. to see my brother give his Masters Guitar Performance. And the day after that we drove home. It was a fantastic trip, but all of us were excited to have an early bed time almost every night.
Connor and I also collected a few more doodads to add to our magnet/ patch collection. Some of the patches were picked up because I'd previously been to a place but hadn't found a patch.

It's been few days since we ended our trip and Joe headed back home. And while it has been nice to have a rest after such a jam-packed journey, I'm looking forward to painting more scenes from our trip. It was so easy to be inspired in such amazing landscapes.


Anonymous said...

What a great adventure you guys had! The colours were amazing (and funny that Connor blended in with his surroundings... :D) Your painting is definitely developing a 'style'.

Elaine said...

That looks like a great trip! I't been far too long since I've been to Death Valley! Beautiful pics :D The weird thing about that pic at Zabrinski Point? ... Only one person in the pic, but if you look close... two shadows O_O Haunted maybe?

Alicia said...

Those are some incredible landscapes! Thanks for sharing your trip. :)

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