The reality of a road only drivable by vehicles less than 25 feet in length got me thinking. Or, maybe I should say, it deprived me from common sense thoughts.
First, is my Camry less than 25 feet? Of course, it is. Then, what road conditions are we going to face ahead? Well, what can you expect of one of the most extreme places in the planet?
Death Valley is no joke. The place gets average temperatures of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit from May to September. Some car rental companies do not let you drive their cars in the park during those months. There is no cell phone service in the park. If you are involved in a car accident, it can take the rangers more than an hour to get to you. And I don’t want to think about those who get dehydrated or lost in the back country. Rule of thumb: if a place has the word “death” on its name, you better take precautions.
So, we were ready to tackle the Artist’s Drive, a one way, 9-mile loop where lengthy vehicles are not permitted. The reason for the restriction unveiled before our eyes. We started to pass through spaces so tight that can be easily described as a mini canyon. The car appeared to be swallowed by tall walls of yellow and green earth. It was impossible to see what was coming ahead. The get a sense of where you were you had to look up. Hills painted with magenta, mauve and wine tones gave us a sense of direction. Common sense started to disappear again. Should I pay attention to the mischievous road or to the unbelievable colors appearing before my eyes?
There were parts were the road was a maze of curves. There was no way to drive at more than 10 miles per hour. Anyway, who want to drive fast in a place like this? We stopped on the middle of the road to take a good look at the surrounding. At some points, we had the multi-hued volcanic hills at the right and the snowy mountains and valley floor at the left.
At other points we went down precipitously. I closed my eyes when we were about to take the rollercoaster ride.
When I thought things couldn’t get any better, we got near the Artist’s Palette. It looked like a mad painter started to splash color all over the place.
Below is the proof of what I saw that day. Enjoy the ride!
Have you done this drive? Let me know in the comments section below.