As we drove away from Zabriskie Point, I recalled a sign for Dante’s View on the way in. It was a familiar name because of Ben, from whom I’d learned of this place. Who knows when or if we’d be in Death Valley again. We took the turn and followed the road, passing quite a bit of cyclists along the way. Thirteen miles seems like thirty when you’re driving so slowly. We eventually drove up a hill to a point that we thought was the view (a very anticlimactic ending if that were the case), but we looked up to see that we had not yet arrived. The narrow road wound up the mountain, taking us to a stop at the top. It was a bit scary going up such an incline in a minivan.
Once we arrived, I quickly ran to the edge and was amazed by the valley below – huge, distant, alien. The ground below (if that’s even ground) was a sea of whites, creams, and browns going on for as far as we could see, and somewhere in there was a road which, from this height, was just a strand. Was the land below water? Sand? Dirt? We had no idea. All we knew was that this was certainly a view worth the time and effort.
Ahead of us was a path leading to viewpoint after viewpoint of the vast space of muddled whites and blues. We’d arrive at the top of one hill, only to see it descend into another in the near distance. We went on to the next point, then the next, climbing over and around sharp rock and loose sediments, until we finally decided that we’d better head back – the winds and time were not on our side. We only skimmed the surface of this park, but I am so glad that we did. What other surpises lie around the bend?