For Valentine’s Day this year we decided to bypass the traditional candy, flowers, or dinner at a crowded restaurant. With a desire to enjoy the sunshine, avoid crowds, and spend some together time away from life distractions, we packed the camping gear, loaded up the car, and headed to our favorite place…
I know, doesn’t sound very romantic, does it? For some crazy reason (to some anyway) we love this place! Over the past 30 years we have been here about 25 times and each visit is unique as well as beautiful. Maybe it is the serenity, the diversity, or the peacefulness that calls to us but we are drawn back here year after year. Last spring we came in early March to experience the Super Bloom.
Once every decade or so, the desert comes alive with a magnificent show of flowers. The almost magical conditions of dormant flowers seeds, rain, and weather have to be just right for this phenomenon to occur. It really was a sight to behold.
We left home at 4:00 am and arrived before 9:00 am. The campground much busier than expected but we found a couple leaving so we were able to get a great campsite. We had packed light for our brief visit and set up was completed in no time.
We now had a full day to soak up some much needed sun and enjoy the day.
After settling in and taking some time to appreciate the day before us, we decided to head over to the pool at Furnace Creek Ranch. There is a marvelous spring-fed swimming pool that maintains about a 80 degree temperature year round. For a mere $5.00 each we could use the pool and showers for an entire day. We had a lovely swim with snow capped mountains in the background. I actually forgot to take a picture but more information and pictures are found in the provided link.
A few hours later we headed back to the campsite for lunch and a brief nap.
We wanted to make the most of our short visit so soon pulled out our beloved Scrabble game for a few ‘friendly’ (but competitive) games.
It was Valentine’s Day after all so we continued the celebration with some bubbly.
We completed a lovely day with barbecued steak and baked potatoes, a campfire, and star gazing. The nighttime sky is unbelievable!
Before we knew it we were enjoying the sunrise from our tent…
…and it was already time to pack up and head back. We might have stayed another day but we have two new kittens at home and were not yet comfortable leaving them for any length of time. I know our cat-sitter had things under control but you know how new parents are!
After breakfast in the cafe, we decided to take the scenic drive out of the park and headed towards Badwater, at about 279 degrees below sea level. Furnace Creek is almost at sea level. You can see the snow capped Panamint Mountains in the distance.
While I was snapping pictures of the salt flats at Badwater, Thommmee was snapping pictures of me!
We lingered along the way…in no hurry to leave.
It is not often you see such green in the desert. We have had a great deal of rain this season with more expected. This is seriously helping our drought situation!
For us, this was a perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day.