The Wild West - Death Valley

Trip Start Jan 26, 2008
Trip End Sep 28, 2008

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Where I stayed
Stovepipe Wells Guest House
Travelodge - Mamoth Lakes

Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, February 2, 2008

Hello everyone.

As I write to you I'm sitting with about 10 feet of snow outside....a far cry from the hot and humid tempertures of down under!

David and I have just spent 2 of the most beautiful days of driving I have ever experienced. I have decided that the best thing about the US of A is the scenery.

After speding time in the bright lights of Vegas (Las Vegas that is, not Bris Vegas) we headed out into the wild west and more specifically, the ominously sounding Death Valley. You will be happy to know that we survived and I'm able to write this blog for you.

Death Valley is located just inside the California border after Nevada and has the second highest temperature ever recorded on earth under it's belt coming second only to a place in the Sahara desert. Lucky for us though it's winter time so instead of scorching heat we encountered some spectacular scenery. We were surrounded by snow capped mountains whose bases were various shades of red, purples and oranges. Dave and I can't even describe how beautiful it was and we are afraid that our photos won't do it justice.

In death valley we stayed at a place called Stove Pipe Wells, a bustling metropolis with a population of 4 people. We got there just before sunset and headed back out to watch the sun set over the desert sands and the snow sitting by the side of the road having a glass of Californian red and eating snacks. It was really tough for us as you can imagine :-)

Today we took a day trip from there and went to see a natural arch made out of the sand and stone which was carved out by millions of years of wind and water erosion. After that we drove to the artist's pallet where the stones were every imaginable colour under the sun - everything from lime green to purple. Again we can't even describe how beautiful it was. We pulled over a few times just to let our eyes digest it.

After lingering here we headed north west through the Sierra Nevada to Mammoth Lakes which is where we are staying tonight. THe drive up here was spectacular as they have recently had heaps of snow fall. We had to buy some snow chains from K Mart but luckily we were able to make it all the way up to the town without needing them. Once we arrived we booked into a hotel here and were given a room on the ground floor. We opened our curtains only to discover about 7 feet of snow above our window. Apparently they are expecting about 2 more feet tonight so we should have even more soon.

We are going skiiing tomorrow and I'm quite excited by this as I haven't skiied before. I actually hadn't seen real snow before today so it is a week of firsts all round. Dave is having a go at snowboarding so no doubt he'll be wizzing past me in no time at all. We are going to stay here tomorrow night as well to get in a full day of skiing and other shannanigans.

We'll head off the day after for Lake Tahoe and our next route will depend on the weather. The road we were planning take is snowed in at the moment but we can go around it by going east I think.

Anyway I'm freezing so I'm going to sign off. It's below freezing at the moment and a warm blanket and heater is calling me.

Love to you all,

Amy and David
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amydavid on

Re: Wow!
Hi Julie and Jimena.
Yeah Im prett good at SnowBoarding Now! Hit the halfpipe and jumps and carved up the fresh snow. They had like 5 foot of fresh snow the night before we got there.
Just kidding Im still pretty tentitive but getting the hang of it.
Amy did pretty well and hit some of the runs after some beginner lessons. Amy skied and only stacked it once.
The photos are hard to upload as nearly all of the internet access does not alow you to upload the photos.

Cheers Amy and David.

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