[Death Valley Road Trip: "Super Bloom" Adventure]
Being that California has been experiencing 5 years so far in drought, seeing life sprout from the hottest and driest area of North America made enough reason to take a impromptu road trip out into the desert. One pink Herschel duffel bag packed with various desert-appropriate outfits and my favorite snacks from TJ, my friend and I were off to explore this desert valley and hopefully get a glimpse of the “super bloom” that has been taking over the Internet.
Our road trip started promptly at 8 AM and we arrived at a little past 12 PM and made our first stop at a gift shop to grab some supplies. But first, coffee. Coffee in hand, I also grabbed a pair of $8 aviators because I forgot my own along with a few memorabilia to bring back to the folks.
I remember travelling to Death Valley with my family when I was in 3rd grade but of course, don’t remember too much from the trip, as I’m pretty sure I knocked out for the majority of it.
First stop, Mosaic Canyon. Forget about movie sets and CGI, this is even better. Truly feeling like the ethereal set of Star Wars: Episode I Phantom Menace or the desert roads of Mad Max, I was immediately excited to hike this trail upon arriving. With the high only reaching about 80 degrees, the temperature was actually perfect this time of year for a hike as this Los Angeleno was already prepared for the heat. I had to ditch my wooly t-shirt dress though and opt for the bralet underneath to keep cool. Make it work!
After thoroughly enjoying the short hike at Mosaic Canyon, our next stop was the Sand Dunes. Though we failed at our attempts to sand board down the shallow dunes, the view was stunning. It truly looked like a painting—a work of art to say the least.
Using a good amount of our energy, we decided to grub in the car to save time and ventured to our next location. On the way, we spotted the “super bloom” of our dreams! Yes! Of course I had to do a Little House on the Prairie skip and twirl to make it all real. After snapping a few shots here, we were onto the next one: Artist’s Palette.
At this point, it was about mid-day and I was definitely feeling the effects of the heat. Though, now we were experiencing a cool breeze, which was nice as it did get quite warm on the drive here. The signature view of Artist’s Palette is the gorgeous colorations you see on these rock formations, most notably a gorgeous greenish blue color that complemented my orange Mink Pink ruffled top perfectly. Complementary colors—yes! The colors that form on the rocks are caused by the oxidation of different metals (iron compounds produce red, pink and yellow, decomposition of tuff-derived mica produces green, and manganese produces purple).
There is an overall scenic view above the canyon you can take photos as well as a lower area where you can hike up and down these rock formations. I definitely recommend starting here if you’re going to be doing a lot of hikes on this trip.
As the sun was coming down, we headed over to Badwater Basin. The overall white landscape made for the best reflector to balance the sun’s light and provide the best photo lighting possible. Of course, I had to get on that selfie mode real quick for this opportunity. The white landscape is made of almost all-pure table salt, created from being a dried up body of water at some point 2000-3000 years ago. Pure salt? I had to give it a taste. Consensus? Salty. Haha. I don’t know what I thought I’d expect. Badwater had a very dreamy, romantic feel and driving back on this road with the yellow field “super bloom” flowers on either side of the road and the pink skies made it feel just the same.
Death Valley currently has over 20 species of ephemeral flowers, which means they quickly die after they bloom. They are continuing to grow in higher elevations, so you can be sure to see them in the upcoming months ahead. So go ahead, take that spontaneous road trip you’ve been saying you wanted to go on—it’ll clear your head and eyes with beautiful scenery and most of all, give you a break from the digital world. No reception available here. Dun, dun, dun. But, for a social media consumed individual like me, it was a well-needed break. What a great introduction to spring, mother earth. You did good, mama.