The Hillls are Alive.... with WildFLOWERS!

I am writing this with my foot propped up, wrapped and currently being iced. I biffed it big time jumping out of the truck this last weekend as we were over in Death Valley. Yes, very, very graceful. As a friend of mine would say.... "you look like a champion...." Sadly, that is a mockery of how cool I looked falling into a hole.

But, I think it was worth every ounce of discomfort I have right now. The wildflowers, they are blooming like crazy on the drive in to Badwater. I mean like the best I've ever seen. Granted, I haven't been here all that long, and I missed the big bloom from a few years ago when the roads washed out on the one side of the valley, but this was fabulous!

The route we took was from Pahrump, down highway 372 a right at Shoshone (which is literally the end of 372, you can either go left or right); then up the road about 5 minutes past the end of Shoshone and a left at the first sign (it's really the first real road you come to after Shoshone) down into Badwater. This road down had, BY FAR, the best in wildflowers that I've seen. **A bit of warning, there is construction going on, so if you are only interested in the flowers and are going in the next few days you may want to turn around at the Ashford Mill Ruins as this is where the real spectacularness ended last weekend.) If you are going to be going over the weekend, it might be worth the funky loose gravel to continue on as we think it will probably just get better as it is a little early yet. And if you haven't seen Badwater, it's kind of cool to go and see how far BELOW sea level you are.

They aren't plastering the sides of the road, and they aren't particularly flashy, say by Northesastern US roadside standards, but for here.. AMAZING! Most impressive are the fields of these yellow flowers.

I'll add more detail about them in another post, but I wanted to get a preview of them up first. AND the smell, holy moses if you have allergies take a pill before you go because walking out in these fields will get you, very fragrant. It's the yellow ones you're smelling....

(The photo above was taken from Ashford Mills Ruins pullout looking back up the road- there's a sign off the main road and it also has outhouse facilities)

Though these cute little purple ones have a pleasant odor all their own as well.

What I would recommend if you are heading over there is to stop when you see a good patch of yellow and then get out and watch your feet. There are tons of tiny little spots of color that you can't see from your car. Then, of course, you have splotches like this guy...(who is clearly visible from the road by the way)

And I suspect even more lovelies on the way. I am planning to hobble out there again next weekend and perhaps the weekend after that as well. Last year we saw alot more along the road in to Badwater past the Ashford Mills turn out, but I suspect that the construction and what appears to be a number of heavy washouts may be delaying those blooms for now.

Regardless, happy snapping!

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