How the sands of time move effortlessly in the hourglass, sliding from one end of the spectrum to the other….
Death Valley is a state of mind more than a National Park or a place on a map, at least to me. It’s enormous size, vast emptiness and sheer temperature changes can make even the heartiest of souls weak in the knees. You need to prepare yourself mentally even more so than physically to keep up with the harsh demands of Death Valley’s extreme environments.
In December 2017, I explore new areas of this park, and push myself to my mental limits.
I make my way down into Badwater Basin, the isolation on the dirt road weighing down my spirit with the intensity of the empty valley in front of me. I feel the strongest urge to fall to my knees and pray, a custom I’m not used to. I feel nothing but the wind blowing sand into my eyes, my feet go numb from the desert chill of winter, and after a spell I rise and carry on.
I make it out unscathed, and for that I am grateful.
I find the ghost town of Goldfield isn’t really a ghost town after all, more of a mixture of half dead desert zombies wandering amongst decrepit buildings and ravens waiting to pick the meat off of the recently departed.
I leave quickly before the birds ravage my body.
I write this with a confused heart today, but find that my time alone in the desert helps comfort the distraught mind.
If nothing else, I’ll always have the lonely freedom to explore and travel, that is a companion that will always be by my side, someone I can count on in life.