It’s weird to write this post. It’s about events that took place BC – before Corona. Damn. That sure does seem like a life time ago. But, it wasn’t. It was a couple months ago. This is a reminder to me to remember that this time of sheltering in place will not last forever. One thing we can be sure of is that this too shall pass. Larry and I hope you are fairing well and finding strength and courage when you need it.
We headed west from Red Rock Canyon in Nevada on route 160 and then turned onto part of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail. The name of the trail comes from the publication of John C. Frémont’s Report of his 1844 journey for the U.S. Topographical Corps., guided by Kit Carson, from California to New Mexico.
We wondered how we were going to make is over the imposing Nopah Mountains. Then, low and behold, there was a Emigrant Pass winding its way through the tall peaks. I can only imagine that we were proceeded by many other relieved travelers. It is amazing to think that early travelers made this trip on foot, horseback or rough wagons.
We arrived at a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) site near the town of Tecopa and the China Ranch Date Farm. This BLM may be our favorite one so far. We were the only people there. And I mean, the only people. You could see for miles and miles and not see anything man made except for a few telephone poles. All day long the light shifted and changed the colors of the landscape. There was very little vegetation yet despite that, I found a lovely spring flower called Desert Five Spot. Two ravens entertained us with their high flying antics.
Right down the road from our campsite was the China Ranch Date Farm. The parking lot was full of visitors and hikers everyday. We arrived just in time to see the end of the date harvest. We learned a lot about dates. Did you know that they are not a dried fruit? And, we never knew how many varieties of dates there are. We got to sample many. Yum! If you are looking for a great gift for someone, consider ordering some dates from the date farm.
At the farm, there was a trail along the Amargosa River. It was amazing to see fresh water in the middle a miles and miles of desert. The Amargosa is known as the Crown Jewel of the Mohave Desert.
Trains once went into this area to transport borax and gypsum.
At the end of the trail we discovered a beautiful slot canyon. It was cut out of solid rock and was probably about 50 feet high and who knows how long. We walked in about 100 feet. The pictures really don’t do it justice.
We reluctantly left our beautiful getaway and headed to Death Valley because we had reservations there. We seldom make reservations because it feels too restrictive but it is almost a must at National Parks because they are so crowded. On the way to Death Valley, Larry spotted some coyotes way out on the sand. You can tell we aren’t farmers because we think they are pretty cool.
Death Valley is a spectacular place on this planet. I wouldn’t say that I would want to live there but we are both grateful that we got to visit. We only had two days there so we had to pick and choose where to go. The Devil’s Golf Course sounded interesting so that’s where we headed.
We retraced our steps from our 1978 trip and went to the lowest spot in the continental US. If you zoom in on the image of the cliff below and to the left you will see a sign that marks sea level!
We stayed at the Furnace Creek Campground at Death Valley. It was clean but very crowded. Obviously, there was very little running water, no showers and yikes!! – no WIFI. And, it also was no surprise that gas would be quite expensive! Nonetheless we enjoyed ourselves and watched the full moon rise. We also had some quiet time to catch up on letter writing which helps me to stay in touch with loved ones.
Well, that’s all for now. Hang in there. If our ancestors were tough enough to get over the Sierra Nevada’s, we are tough enough to get through this Pandemic. Be strong!