After leaving Yosemite we had initially hoped to travel to a campground just inside Death Valley National Park. Unfortunately the time it took for the hike meant we ended up driving to Death Valley in the pitch black, and as you can imagine being lost at night in a place with mini sandstorms, named ‘Death’ Valley it wasn’t exactly ideal. We decided to call off the search and turn back around to the nearest little town we could find. That town just so happened to be Lone Pine, California.
We traded in our tent for a good old Best Western bedroom and it was well worth it. I can only feel sympathy for the woman at the reception who probably doesn’t get random travellers checking in at 10pm at night, absolutely filthy with dirt from an alleged hike. But nonetheless she took us in without too much of a look, meaning we were finally able to relax after the hours of trekking.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stop along the route from Yosemite to Death Valley and don’t want to camp, Lone Pine is ideal. With views of Mount Whitney, it was a beautiful and convenient little rest stop.
The next day we finally travelled through Death Valley National Park, and yes I can tell you it is as hot as everyone says it is. With the temperature at 100 degrees and rising in mid June, the phrase “hair dryer to the face” doesn’t quite sum it up. You’ll need a good aircon system in your car for this drive…
I remember as we were driving through thinking about the amount of empty space and how scary it is that there is nothing for miles and miles. It was awe-inspiring, but the thought of being stuck in the middle of no where in that heat gave me a little food for thought. For the second time on this trip, I learnt it was important to have an abundance of water with you!
Anyway, as we drove out of DV we decided to go off the beaten Google Map track and change our route from the 95S to the 93S/68 so that we could catch a glimpse of Boulder City, Lake Mead and possibly Hoover Dam. The route was definitely worth it, with views like this along the way.
Along this detour we came across a little ‘restaurant’, as we were entering Nevada, called the Tumbleweed Tavern. We had set a little challenge for ourselves to visit a “local pub for local people”, and as we walked in this was the epitome of that saying. Everyone knew each other to the point where every single person sat at the bar was in conversation. Which made it even crazier when we sat down and no one at all gave us a second look. The staff acted like they got random British people in there all the time, and I think we were pretty thankful for the lack of attention. For a dark and dingy place with only a few tables and casino games in the bar, it was a good little stop and gave us a snapshot of a typical, local town in America.
After this drive we headed on to our next destination, Laughlin, NV and Bullhead City, AZ.
To read about the rest of our American Roadtrip click here.
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