Reverse Circle: Goodbye, Badlands

(Day 16: Death Valley, Road Trip to Las Vegas)

Another sunny day, another coffee on the balcony. I know I can see hills from my kitchen at breakfast,  but it isn’t quite as extreme. I will miss the view. And the warmth!

We got most things sorted, then went for breakfast before packing the car and checking out. We had decided to fit in one last short-ish hike. Last year we hiked the Gower Gulch/Golden Canyon loop and really enjoyed it. I realised that there was a loop through the badlands, which is one of the most interesting sections of it, starting from Zabriskie Point, which would only be about 2.5 miles.

The route is a marked trail, so there was no route finding issue today, and wound its way up, over, between and around the gold, yellow, brown and white formations. I loved it. It was hot, mostly due to the strong sun. The air temperature in shaded areas was warm, but pleasant.

Once we had completed the loop, I decided that I had to have one last look from the point itself, making for three miles in total and adding an extra bit of climb on. I love the folds in the rock. It reminds me of Wall’s Vienetta ice cream…

Then we were on our way, driving the desert roads to Pahrump and on to Las Vegas. The traffic started to increase when we reached the outskirts. Suddenly there were multiple lanes and lots of cars and we were definitely back in ‘civilisation’. I drove to the Las Vegas Premium Outlet mall, our first shopping stop, arriving by 3.30pm. We had a successful trip to the Columbia store, then Andrew had further success in DKNY. We left and arrived at REI at about 5pm. Maybe we were tired, or maybe they were between seasons in clothing, but we didn’t find too many things to buy…probably just as well! 

We then drove the short distance to our hotel, the Comfort Inn, and unloaded all of our stuff (except for the hiking poles,  need to bring those in tomorrow) for re-packing. A short walk to a Denny’s for dinner and then time to shower, blog and relax. And hopefully sleep well, because there won’t be much of that on the plane.

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