Tomorrow starts my week-long moto trip into Death Valley. I was asked by my friend, Crazy Mike to join a small group of guys to camp out for the week and do some dirt bike riding. I was stoked and couldn’t wait, I’ve been to Death Valley before and there is something unique and mysterious about the 3.3 million acres of desert, mountains, craters, caves, dry lakes beds and so many other beautiful mysteries.
Known as the hottest (in the summer it can be 130 degrees in the shade), lowest, and driest place in the U.S., Death Valley averages only about 2 inches of rain per year, sometimes no rain at all. This year so far it’s had a bit over 6 inches of rain!
The Los Angeles Times quoted one of the rangers there saying “It’s our best bloom in history, and the flowers are getting better by the day. You may not see it this good again in your lifetime.”How do flowers like this bloom in the hottest, driest place in the U.S.? I mean, yes it’s had massive amounts of rain but, it’s been dry and hot for years.
It turns out that seeds go into hibernation in dry times. There is a protective, waxy coating on seeds that have been laying dormant for years in terrain where ground levels can be over 200 degrees. The rain dissolves the coating and….BAM! You get millions of wildflowers (over 50 different species). Pretty cool, huh?
Months earlier, when I originally was asked to go, I had no idea yet about the super bloom, the timing could not be better. We’re also going to experience a full moon, and since we are camping in Furnace Creek near the visitor’s center, we’ll be going on a guided full moon hike.
Death Valley is a place for hibernation, death, and re-birth. In my own ways I can understand the symbolism of this cycle. Coming out of hibernation, a death of another time of life and the re-birth of a new one. What better place to be right now than here?
Since I will not have electricity or cell service there, I’ll be using good old paper and pen. Look for posts upon my return!