Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quick Post From The Desert

Darwin Falls, Death Valley National Park, CA
Although Darwin Falls is not as impressive as those we saw in Yosemite and Mt. Rainier, but what makes Darwin Falls meaningful and special is that it creates a rare collection of riparian greenery in the vast 3 million acre desert of Death Valley National Park.  
Scrambling To Darwin Falls
The waterfall above is just a few miles from this Exposed Earth at Father Crowley Point, Death Valley National Park

The riparian habitat created by the desert spring and waterfall
Hoodo Up Close (if you take a closer look at the above picture, I just took an up close shot of this hoodo)
Wooded Trail To Darwin Falls ( does this look like in the middle of the desert?), Death Valley National Park, CA
Desert Sunrise 
I apologize for the quality of pictures above as they are all cell phone shots (except the Exposed Earth). Being on the road, it is easier and faster to share pictures using cell phone. Because of weather conditions, we cancelled our reservations in Grand Canyon, Page, Kanab and Springdale for our initial planned hikes and exploration. Last minute, we decided to stay local, and explore once again California's desert in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. 
Manzanar National Historical Site
However, weather did not also cooperate so well in our trip here in Eastern Sierra. We planned to hike to Eureka Sand Dunes today, in Death Valley National Park, however, we had to turn around because of snow and icy conditions on a very windy, treacherous mountain road. With the bad weather, we decided to explore instead lower elevation of the Sierra Nevada. We visited Manzanar National Historical Site, which relieves the painful history of how fragile is our freedom. 
Manzanar National Historical Site
I will share more detailed description about these places, Darwin Falls and Manzanar in my later posts once we get home. Because it was raining, we watched the "Remembering Manzanar" movie in the visitor center.
"the first thing we were asked to do was to fill the sack with straw. That would be our bed. Night came and I saw holes up the roof. I saw stars, so BEAUTIFUL. We woke up with sand all over us. The desert, it is so brutally hot in the summer, bone chilling cold in the winter, and there was always the WIND."- some words that haunted me watching "Remembering Manzanar".
Both the movie and our walk in Manzanar's interpretative trail left my heart feeling congested and my eyes misty from the painful mistakes of the past. But I am glad our nation's history acknowledges this mistake and now serves as a touching lesson. 
Owens River Gorge
Because of really bad weather, we had no more to explore at about 4 pm, thus I am able to spend some time here in the blogosphere. Though we did not do much today because of bad weather ( we did not go higher elevation because of snow and icy conditions on windy mountain roads), but our experience at Manzanar National Historical Site is enough for us to say that it is always so much worth it to check out the diversity of the life in the desert once a while. 
The desert, it may not be for everybody, since majority would dismiss the desert as a wasteland and could not see the beauty that is deeply hidden inside. But that is what I love most about the desert, at first glance it may not look beautiful and amazing, but you bring in the pieces together, and you will see the vastness of the desert's beauty deeply hidden inside. 

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  1. That is a marvellous waterfall. Love your adventures.

  2. What's a hoodo? I like the wooded trail to Darwin Falls! : )

  3. Wow, looks like an interesting hike. Love the waterfalls. Great photos, have a wonderful week!

  4. Marvelous looking place, and Darwin Falls is very beautiful through your photo, Betchai!

  5. I hope the weather gets better although it was nice to get a peek at your vacation while it is still happening.

  6. I admire the waterfall.

    It is so beautiful.

    It is very nicely taken.

  7. Owens River Gorge looks so serene and beautiful. I feel like I can lie in the river and sleep. :D

  8. I so enjoy visiting these places through your blogs. Lovely sunrise and surprising fall colors in the desert. I have not seen "Remembering Manzanar" but will look for it.

  9. I used to be one of those that thought of the desert as a wasteland. But you have taught me through your blog that it is actually a very beautiful place with many different features.

  10. didn't realize the first shots were cell phone images, they look awesome as always...misty eyed here in admiration of the beauty of that place...

  11. the waterfall it must b lovely to b there.. all beautiful shots

  12. I need more exercise like you Betchai. You got to be so fit and in shape. I need to get back to skinniness.