Weekend Coffee Share – A visit to Death Valley National Park

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)! Grab a cup of coffee and share with us!  What’s been going on in your life?

If we were having coffee today I would tell you that we’re having mid 80’s this weekend, which is very  comfortable for the Mojave Desert. Fall is the perfect time to get outdoors here! That said, unfortunately I’m surrounded by heavy trafficked roads and that is affecting my lungs a lot, they are constantly irritated. It varies from only annoying, to difficult to breath, and I often wake up many times every night because of this. If I open the windows it even smells like exhaust in the house, there’s no fresh air ever entering. I need to get far away from the city to be able to enjoy the cooler temps, which usually happens in the weekends. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, I am very grateful that I am able to get out of the city most weekends, very grateful. I can’t help but think a lot about how the time in the city will affect my health long-term, both my sanity (of not being able to get outdoors every day like I’ve had all my life,) and my physical health. At the moment my daughter is in excellent health, but I do worry for her as well. Well, I got that of my mind, I’m going to find a way to do something about it…. for now, the weekends are awesome!

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Last weekend we visited Death Valley National Park. I thought I’d share a story with you while we enjoy our coffee today. This is one of the legends about how Death Valley was born. It was told to me by an old man, and this is how I remember the story. 

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was an evil queen in a land far, far away. She was more beautiful than any other queen you have ever seen. She was as beautiful, as she was evil. Her land was vast, seemingly without end. There was rivers, mountains, meadows, lakes, and forests. You could grown anything you wanted. Her kingdom was prosperous. Her loyal subjects used to be farmers, but one day the queen decided that they should stop growing food, and build her many houses instead. They were forced to work inhumanely hard on building projects that their queen came up with. They worked day, and night, with little sleep, and poor food. Workers started to die of exhaustion, and malnutrition. Even the queens own daughter, the princess, fell ill after working too hard on her mother’s latest project, a huge mansion for the queen. The princess died, cursing the queen for her cruelty against her, and her loyal subjects. After the princess’s death, the rest of the people fled the country. The queens house was only half finished. Her land started to die. It became a vast desert, without water, excruciatingly hot. After a few years of suffering in this hostile environment, the queen died, all alone, in her half finished house. – Death Valley Legend

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Death Valley National Park is one of The Mojave Desert’s many faces. Death Valley is the hottest, driest, and lowest National Park in the US. A below-sea-level basin, with steady drought, and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes.

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There was a sign outside the visitor center at Furnace Creek telling you that walks are not recommended after 10AM (this was the last weekend of September 2019.) Speaking of the visitor center, it’s situated 190ft below sea level! It is a strange feeling to be below sea level. I felt a pressure in my head, not like the pressure you feel at higher elevation but slightly different. It didn’t hurt, it was just a little weird. 

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190 ft below sea level

Death Valley National Park is on many peoples bucket list, and I’d say it earned its place there. The geology is fascinating. This time we got a couple books from the visitor center on the subject, that we are studying. My daughter and I are both very interested in rocks. She loves going there just looking at rocks, and spinning stories about them. I have her write down her stories when we get back home.

IMG_3965IMG_3997How are you on your coffee? Need a refill?IMG_4001Walk up to Zabriskie Point.

Death Valley is so diverse, but if I was was forced to choose, I’d say that Zabriskie Point fascinates me the most.IMG_4004IMG_4010IMG_4015This erosional landscape with its amazing views is situated right off the main road that goes through the park. Some of the other photos in this post requires a 4×4 vehicle and/or hiking to get to, but this breathtaking place is easy accessible to all visitors of the park. IMG_4014I hope you enjoyed the trip to Death Valley National Park. Have you been there? Or is it on your bucket list? Winter is the perfect time to visit. I am planning on going camping there many times this winter. There is a campground next to the visitor center, but dispersed camping is allowed in many places as well.IMG_3939My dog Gretchen and I, hiking down a canyon in Death Valley. Photo by my daughter.

Thanks for having coffee with me today! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? We are talking about a road trip to Utah, I’ll have to get back to you about that later. Have a fabulous weekend!!

 

Love,

Maria

 

 

51 Comments on “Weekend Coffee Share – A visit to Death Valley National Park

  1. What a great place to visit. And loved the story too. Stories of place and landscape I find really interesting. Local folklore and legend 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I so enjoyed the beauty of Death Valley. It’s on my bucket list. The landscape is amazing. I bet camping out there this winter will be WONDERFUL. The stars at night will be so bright! Thank you for sharing this wonderous, unusual place. ♥️🤠🥰♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, it sucks that you have so much traffic near you. I hope you can find a solution to that! But meanwhile, the Death Valley trip looks like so much fun. I love rocks too, I pick up stones all the time, especially when I’m walking the shores of our Great Lakes here in Michigan. Your daughter is adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, great photos. I lived in a city in the desert for awhile. A thousand shades of brown, I always said. A beautiful place. Harsh at times for our human sensitivities, but beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would hate to be housebound surviving by air conditioning! I do not use air conditioning, even when it is in the triple digits… Glad you can get out on weekends!

    The park is beautiful. I went through once as a 10-year-old. We didn’t spend any time, so I have few memories except that we did go through. We stopped at a ghost town, so I may have visited the place from your earlier post.

    My brother is a geologist. Years ago he had a chance to do research with one of the top people in the field, but ended up turning it down because he could not see living in Vegas for the three years he would need… He’s an East Coast guy as well, and loves the green hills, though he does a lot more work travel than I do – he was in Washington state this week – while I feel lucky on those occasions I get sent to Washington, DC….

    I hope you have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do hate being trapped into air-conditioning, and I totally understand your brothers decision! It feel dangerous, and unnatural to be dependent on something like that. If it’s cold you can always pout more clothes on. My mom used to say that “bad weather” didn’t exist, “to just put more clothes on and go outside and enjoy some fresh air”..LOL. So far from that here.

      I’m glads you enjoyed the post. You may have visited Rhyolite, but there is a few other ghost towns in the area as well. Thank you for your kind comment, and for having coffee with me, have a fabulous weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the pictures. I also love the story of how death valley was created. I wonder though what ever happened to the half finished castle? Did the land devour it? Is there a structure or mountain or mound of rock that could be considered the rubble of her home?

    Have a great weekend!

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    • Thank you! I’m so happy you enjoyed the post! There is a castle in Death Valley, Scotty’s Castle, but it is from the 1920’s. There’s so many interesting mounds of rocks there, I don’t know about any one in particular that would of been the queens mansion. Thanks for having coffee with me! Have a fabulous weekend!

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  7. Maria, this is wonderful. I’ve been to Death Valley several times and you’ve brought back memories that I think merit a place in my own story collection. Depending on how the day unfolds here, I may have it done today. Thanks for the great photos and the reminder of how special DV still is today.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tell your little girl for me that I think she’s BEAUTIFUL! Your legend story is very interesting. I heard a much much different one, I think it was out of the Lakota or Nakota Sioux tribe, can’t remember. Had to do with Rock people battling one another… it’s been so very long since I heard it. Anyway, I love your photogs! Getting air to move… what we do, we live a block from the interstate, is place a fan in the window blowing out. I know that sounds strange, but at one end of apartment we have one blowing in and opposite end one blowing out. It’s just something I picked up at the firehouse that does tend to help. This morning our place was 94, and we came outside to 42 degrees. Brrr…

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  9. Thank you! I will tell her, she’s the light of my life ❤
    I don't think it sounds strange at all with the fan blowing out. In fact I've tried that once in California, to not have to use the air-conditioning as much, it did help to cool things down. I don't have that problem in the house here. The temperature is always pleasant, the air is just dirty with lots of ozone. I hope you are having a pleasant weekend. I'm going to head over and see if you have some coffee today 😉

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  10. I’m so glad you get out of the city and off to the beautiful areas around you on the weekends!

    We love Rocks too and belong to a Rock and Mineral Club here in town!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Nancy! I do remember you telling us about the rock and mineral club in a post a long time ago. It sounds very interesting. Maybe I should look up if there’s something similar for kids? My daughter would absolutely LOVE that. Her rock collection is constantly growing, and I don’t know what type of rocks all of them are anymore, there’s so many. I hope you had a fabulous weekend! Thanks for having coffee with me ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, Maria. I loved your photos from Death Valley. My favourite was probably the second last one which what looks like a miniature mountain range in the front with all that severe erosion. Thank you for sharing the story too. It”s great to hear these stories from around the world which we don’t come across where we live.
    I enjoyed a few bbushwalks this week. They were only short but it was so refreshing to be out among the trees. I went to a Jazz concert in the bush yesterday where there was a kookaburra digging up a bug nearby and gum trees towering overhead. It was a perfect backdrop to listen to music, although it would’ve been great to have a bit of dancing. Everyone just sat in their chairs but you could see the odd foot moving or leg twitching. My friend and I tried to find the courage to dance up the back but didn’t quite get there.
    Hope you have a great week, Maria.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love your blog! Your thoughts and pictures connect to nature. The pictures of horses and landscapes are beautiful. I’ve been blesses to know you.

    Liked by 1 person

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