It was one of those plans that you didn't think would actually come to fruition. I started planning a camping trip to Death Valley with some friends. Death Valley always seemed like such a mystical place, distant and vast. I felt like I knew it, when in reality I knew nothing about it at all!
As plans got finalized and I started taking closer looks at the map, I came to realize that we would only get a chance to see a tiny section of Death Valley. I. Was. Bummed. Do I really want to drive 6 hours to get to a tiny corner of a huge open area that was just screaming for me to explore it all?! Yes. Here's why.
The journey ended up being a big part of the fun! It was my first long drive with Daisy, and I wasn't sure how she would do. Thankfully, she l-o-v-e-d car rides on the freeway! She is a great traveler. We made a couple of pit stops, and at each one she got to get out of the car and explored a bit. I discovered a small town named Shoshone that had some adorable buildings in it that I want to revisit someday!
Secondly, with a big huge area to explore, it's better to see a small piece of it than none at all. Death Valley is not a car-friendly destination, so getting to know a small piece of it well was a great introduction to the area. We stayed at the Furnace Creek campground, which was convenient to a few spots worth visiting. We were able to see Badwater Basin, Devil's Golf Course, and Artist's Drive. With a decent sized group and two dogs, that was plenty! Not to mention the unbearable heat...
Finally, you make the best with whatcha got! We all agreed on a trip that fit people's budgets and time constraints, which meant only 2 nights of camping. Would I have been happier staying at home? No! Would I have enjoyed it if I had kept thinking, "I wish we could..." or "If only...". Um... no!
We had an amazing time. The trip was a great way to get an introduction to an area that I absolutely cannot wait to head back to! It created wonderful memories that I shared with Daisy soon after she came home. Not to mention the fun times with good friends.
So go ahead and plan that trip, see whatever tiny corner of the world you can, and take it all in!
Interested in seeing Death Valley for yourself? Here are some helpful links:
Death Valley info: http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm
If you're looking to live it up in luxury while at Death Valley: http://www.furnacecreekresort.com/
Campground info in Death Valley: http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/camping.htm