Don’t Judge a Park By It’s Title

When we first began our quest, I assumed Death Valley National Park would be a mere checking off of a box.  But, as we started planning and I began researching things to do there, I realized it really was a beautiful and unique park. 
Sunday morning we started out with a relaxing morning at our hotel near the airport in Vegas.  We woke up, took showers and took advantage of the complimentary breakfast.  The kids enjoyed some time playing a new game, Exploding Kittens, while Scott and I spent time organizing our stuff. 
Then we found a church to worship at.  It was really special to be able to walk into a church on the other side of the country, where we knew not a single person and yet instantly have so much in common with a room full of strangers.  After church we went to Walmart to stock up on food for the next few days.  We also made a stop at Trader Joe’s so I could get my beloved coffee and the kids favorite instant oatmeal for breakfast. 

We hit the road and headed off for Death Valley.  When we got out to take our annual sign picture we were surprised by all the wind.  While propping the camera on the roof of the van to take our picture, a gust of wind knocked it to the ground.  We feared the worst, but thankfully the camera survived.  We headed in to the park where the phrase, “Hold on to your hats!”  took on a literal meaning.  

Our first stop was a windy one at Zabriskie Point.

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We were all very impressed with the dry heat.  It was hot.  Scott had warned that it would not feel like you were sweating… but you were.  After walking the short walk to/from Zabriskie point we were drinking water but none of us were visibly sweating.  That all stopped when we got back into the car.  The car was cool from the AC but, and with no dry wind to take it away, it became clear we were all sweating pretty bad.  A short drive later we got out at the visitor center and our oldest remarked on how, instantly, his forehead was dry again…  this ain’t humid MD anymore.  At the visitor center we learned the actual temperature…  Hot has taken on a whole new meaning for the circus fam.  120 degrees at 6:00pm.
It was 120deg while we were at the visitors center

The oldest three kids enjoyed earning their Junior Ranger badges.  They really got into finding all the details and at there request we stayed longer then we intended so they could get it done. 

We left the visitors center and grabbed dinner at Furnace Creek Saloon.  Pizza and nachos with lots and lots of water!  Scott enjoyed a Badwater Ale, brewed exclusively for the National Park.  The sun was setting, so we headed out to see the Sand Dunes. 
We remarked how funny it was that at 8pm it had cooled off to 108 degrees.  Back home if it was 108 there would be a heat advisory in effect and no one would be leaving their house.
Scott told us to make a human pyramid and our youngest did this.  He cracks me up!
We were quite thankful for our hotel room that night.

We took advantage of jet lag and had everyone up and out of the hotel by 6:45am.  We wanted to see as much as we could of the park before it got too hot.


  1. WOW!!! That is HOT. Glad you are having a great start to the vacation. Love the posts and pictures :-)

  2. Walking after 10am not recommended!! :D Isn't it interesting how much more heat the human body can tolerate when there is low humidity?


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