Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Death Valley National Park to Los Angeles (part 1 of 2)

This is day 3 of the 6-days Las Vegas - Los Angeles - San Diego - Las Vegas Road Trip via Death Valley National Park and Palm Springs. You can see day 1, which is flying to Las Vegas, and then, day 2- leaving Las Vegas for Death Valley National Park in my introductory post of the 6-days Las Vegas - Los Angeles - San Diego road trip.
Las Vegas and Death Valley National Park

Brief summary of itinerary:
Day 1- arrival at Las Vegas ( arrival airport)
Day 3- Death Valley National Park to Los Angeles
Day 4- Los Angeles to San Diego
Day 5- San Diego to Palm Springs
Day 6- Palm Springs to Las Vegas ( depart later of the day, or extend one night and depart Las Vegas next day)

Here's first part of Day 3: 

From the heart of Death Valley, you will start driving West towards Los Angeles on road that is surrounded by stark mountains of different colors due to the varying composition of minerals in it. Death Valley strongly sends the message that Earth does not always have to be fully clothed with lush green vegetation to be beautiful. In its starkness and nakedness, one will see the contours of the Earth that though may be shaped by harshest conditions, but ended up so masterfully carved and uniquely painted. The awe and wonder, serenity and peacefulness that sets in me in seeing the out of this world beauty of Death Valley National Park, is beyond words for me to describe.  Death Valley is such a huge National Park, that after one hour of driving from Furnace Creek Inn, you still are in Death Valley National Park, at Panamint Springs. West of Hwy 190, there is one beautiful view point you should not miss, Father Crowley  Point.
 view from Father Crowley Point, Death Valley National Park
Father Crowley Point is one of the must see non-hiking stops in Death Valley. It is named in memory of Father Crowley, a Catholic priest who ministered in the area in the 1930s, and who was said to make frequent stops at this overlook. It encompasses views of the Panamint Valley, Rainbow Canyon, the Panamint Mountain Range, and Telescope Peak. This view, aside from inspiring reverence in an important religious leader, also demonstrates the beautiful complexity and rugged balance of this surreal desert landscape.
views from Father Crowley Point
( what the plaque at top left of the photo says: "Father Crowley Point, in Memory of the Priest of the Desert, 1891-1940. From the snowy heights of the Sierras to the deep shadows of Death Valley, beloved and trusted by people of all faiths. He led them towards life's wider horizons. ")
From Father Crowley Point, you continue driving West at Hwy 190. As you exit Death Valley National Park, the first town you will see on your way to Los Angeles at Hwy 395 is Lone Pine. This is where your next stop will be, at the Alabama Hills, in Lone Pine.
drive from Father Crowley Point to Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA

As you approach Alabama Hills, you will see the contrast between a mind boggling arid desert landscape to rugged mountain peaks of the snowy Sierra.
 landscape scenery from Alabama Hills

The Eastern Sierra of California is a place full of mind boggling diversity. It is filled with extremes and contrasts, such as: from salt to snow, from low to high. At the Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park is the lowest point in North America that has a pristine white landscape because of salt, whereas, Mt. Whitney, as seen from Alabama Hills is the tallest peak in the contiguous US that is covered in snow.
from salt to snow, from lowest point in North America to the highest peak in contiguous US
left: salt flat @ Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, right: the rugged snowy peaks of the Sierra (middle picture at the right is Mt. Whitney, the highest peak 

And if these contrasts between salt and snow; and highest and lowest point are not enough, the oldest known living thing, an ancient Bristlecone Pine, lives in the Eastern Sierra as well. And right at the west side of Mt. Whitney, stand the giant trees, the Giant Sequoias, with the largest tree in the world, General Sherman.

There are so many hiking trails in the Eastern Sierra, from arid desert to snowy alpine peaks. However, since this itinerary is for those who wishes to explore Las Vegas-Death Valley-Los Angeles-San Diego-Palm Springs in 6 days without the hikes, I will be limiting sharing pictures of places that could only be enjoyed without the hikes, or with very little hike.
More Scenery From Alabama Hills

(to be continued.......sorry, bedtime now, will continue from Alabama Hills to Los Angeles hopefully tomorrow, did not know that this part 2, will have also part 1 and part 2, hmmmm, talk about busy life. )

PS....On the question, why is the place called Death Valley? The valley got its name in 1849 during the California Gold Rush. It was called Death Valley by a group of pioneers and others who sought to cross the valley on their way to the gold fields. Although only one death in the area was recorded during the Rush, but they all assumed that this valley would be their grave. They were rescued by two of their young men, William Lewis Manly and John Rogers, who had learned to be scouts. As the party climbed out of the valley over the Panamint Mountains, one of the men turned, looked back, and said "goodbye, Death Valley." This name, and the story of The Lost '49ers have become part of the western history.- source:
Death Valley....Does it really speak its name? Or does it describe the other side of life we often neglect to see? 
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  1. mind boggling diversity.., you are so blessed to have witnessed them all and we are so blessed to have you share your blessings with us.

    so pretty in pink as always, i may be bias but you always look great while hiking. it must be the happiness that radiates from within and of course, from KTL's love. *winks*

  2. It must be great to just wander around this vast space! Beautiful photos you have there.. thanks for sharing!

  3. what sights to behold! i would love to visit that place someday. but then i guess i will have to learn how to drive first! hehehe...

  4. Awesome views of those ruggedly beautiful landscapes! I'm enjoying this series, looks like some great places to hike. :)

  5. Ikaw na ang matiyaga sa pagcompile ng photos ate. I can really see your passion in writing post in your blog and taking photos of the beautiful places :) More power po in what you do!

  6. Hubby told us the story about death valley, he's been there before. Beautiful photos as usual.

  7. I remember passing through Death Valley on our way to Las Vegas. And because of those stories I have heard about the place which happened to be all fallacies and which made me believe they were true; I uttered so many prayers over and over until we got out of there. Silly me but I do admit, it has that certain charm.

    Those photos in Alabama Hills are amazing. It's like a scenery from Mars. :)

  8. Death valley looks so lovely - very contrasting to its name! Quite a trivia there! Great views, thanks for sharing!

  9. Wow! I am speechless as always Sis with how beautiful your photographs are. I have never been to Las Vegas but it is in my bucket list. I want to stay wild with my husband:-)

  10. wow this looks amazing! great shots! one of the places i wanted to visit in the future hopefull! very lucky to be there!

  11. YOu know what, Betchai,if people would follow your blog and read they will go out in their comfort zone and start traveling to see the beauty of God's creation.

  12. wow, as always I am left in awe at the beauty of nature you shared here...adding Death Valley National Park to my now very long list of places I want to visit one sweet the photos where you are modeling the beauty of the place most with you wearing your favorite pink color :)

  13. This name rings a bell - Death Valley. Your pictures capture the beauty of this place. Good job!

  14. Awesome shots as always. Death Valley seems a Martian landscape. Eager to see Part 2.

  15. awesome photos.. I think I need to read more about Death Valley, made me oh so curious. Wish I have the same passion for travel and exploration like you.

  16. Those are really amazing shots, Ms. Betchai! Makes me praise The God of Creation even more! Death valley-- it's just men that named it, so I would still prefer to look at its beauty than the pang that death brings. Same thing with a state park here in Wisconsin called Devil's Lake State park. It is so beautiful there, but we questioned its name the first time we heard it. Why call it Devil's Lake when it was Jesus who made it that beautiful? Since then, we decided to address it as Jesus' Lake. Just us though-- our church family that does our annual hiking there every end of summer. :)

    Was here on behalf of Triz! Thank you so much for your sweet words! :)

  17. Death Valley strongly sends the message that Earth does not always have to be fully clothed with lush green vegetation to be beautiful. -sends a lot of enviousness on me. I ever wondered why our philippines couldn't be just as those amazing sights. when mountains were devoid of greens here, it could be the worse you'd see. i wonder even a tinge of color from the sun wouldn't want to visit those?

  18. Blinking on this valley. I haven't seen one thing like this in a dish garden.

  19. I envy you for sharing this photo and for having been into one of the awesome wonders. Hopefully soon, I can visit the place you have been to. Death Valley, though it sounds scary just by name, has its beauty.

    I wonder, is this place the driest in the planet?

  20. thanks for the history of Death Valley- I thought it had to do with some cowboys, but now I know. :-)

  21. Oh my! Words practically escape me while browsing through the breathtaking photographs! It is undoubtedly a stunning vista Te Betchai and I am momentarily paralyzed by the view. It doesn't speak it's name at all! How could such beauty mean death!? All God's creations are magnificent as it is created wonderfully by His powerful hands.

    Thanks for never failing to share all these marvellous work of God, Te Betchai!

    Love and Hugs!