On the Road, Again: California! Day 2

Hey Everybody! At this moment, the dogs, the Raven and I are winging West, headed for the Pacific. I have a few weeks before I move back out to the Earthship so I thought I’d indulge my wanderlust a bit with another road trip out to California. Right now my itinerary is wide open, but I’m thinking I’ll head across northern Arizona to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, through Las Vegas to Death Valley, up the Sierras to the Forest of the Ancients (home of Methuselah, a 4,800 year old Bristle Cone pine), and across Yosemite to San Francisco, where my brother is now living. As always, the route is subject to change on any whim. Stay tuned for updates from the road and of course, tons of photos!

Yesterday I broke one of my rules of the road and drove 600 miles in 12 hours. Usually, I try to keep driving time under 4 hours, but I’d like to get to San Francisco by Wednesday. I did adhere to a couple of the other rules: avoid the interstates (took scenic highway 264 across northern AZ), see as many sunrises and sunsets as possible (sunset from Point Royal and sunrise from the East Rim overlook, both at the Grand Canyon) and take a hike everyday (Moenkopi Dinosaur Trackway yesterday, an out-and-back on the Arizona Trail this morning with the dogs and then a solo stroll to Bright Angel Point).

On Day 2 we rolled from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, up through Zion National Park, across Nevada, down the Las Vegas Strip and on to Death Valley National Park. The sun was gone by the time we made it to Furnace Creek, but the heat was still blazing; it stayed over 90 degrees F until well after midnight! Too hot for a tent so the dogs and I slept out under the stars. Woke up in the middle of the night to falling meteors, partying coyotes and the nicest warm breeze I’ve ever felt. Watched the sun come up from Zabriske Point and light brought instant love. I also stopped by Dante’s View and Badwater Basin. Lots more to come but now I’m on to the Sierras!

Dawn at Zabriskie Point, Death Valley

Me at Badwater Basin, lowest point in North America: -282 feet below sea level

To the Sierras!

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
This entry was posted in Bowie & D.O.G., Hiking!, Photography, Road tripping!, Vagabonding 101. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to On the Road, Again: California! Day 2

  1. dinahmow says:

    I do love being your armchair companion! But I must scoot – have a date with a 50m lap pool!

  2. Pingback: My Perfect Belt « Travels with the Blonde Coyote

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