Dessert of the desert day – Dante’s view.
I decided to run the road up it; to earn the views, you know. I had 50-60 min left until the sunset and quite a long stretch of road up a mountain to cover. I remember feeling insanely fatigued and hungry, but just could not not have a run.
I asked my friend to drop me out on the road, and started following a narrow waving road up a gentle gradient hill. It started with 5-7% uphill, and gradually rose to 15%.
As I was running, I could see the valley behind change from transparent sand and light blue colors to deep brown, hazy purples and almond milk white clouds. I kept on checking my GPS watch, and running as fast as I could in my fatigued body – did not want to miss the sunset view from Dante’s point, overlooking everything from Badwater basin to Furnace creek.
Last 1km !! Time to sprint! This HAS to be the last turn !! I’m almost there ! Just get your strength together and you won’t miss it …! Fuuuuuck ! Suddenly I appear on top of yet another “false peak” point on the road, with it waving up at least another 5 min up – probably enough for me to miss the sunset …
Suddenly, so lucky ! my friend whom I had to met on top of the view point appears with a car. He thought I got hit by a car, as “no way I could have been running so slow” … haaah! anyway, we drive up, and I just get to see the last rays of sun leaving the valley, and the entire beautiful landscape get slowly engulfed by the dark.
I didn’t expect anything like this. The peace and silence I kept on feeling throughout the days I spent in the Death Valley was even more present in the darkness of the peak. The air was still and, when all the people finally departed, I felt as if I was alone suspended in the air. I was there – above the rugged other-worldly lines, immersed in cool night’s air, overlooking the silvery lines of the salty flats and lonely roads.
Those were some of the deepest mouth-fulls of air I’ve ever inhaled.
Star Wars filming site at the Dante’s view
I guess my other other-worldly feeling was spot on, as yet some more Star Wars scenes were filmed there 😉
At 0:54, you can see the movie shot below – the view I got to see.
In this scene, Obi-Wan, Luke and the droids are standing outside their landspeeder at the edge of a cliff overlooking the spaceport city of Mos Eisley that they were heading to.
In real life the point they were standing at is the Dante’s view point and the Mos Eisley is the Furnace Creek village.
Above – Star Wars movie shot, below – a photo I took, capturing the last bits of light of the day. Yep, I totally think Obi-Wan and Luke should have visited Mos Eisley in the evening.
Overall, the Death Valley was an exceptional experience. You could stay in one site for the entire day, and still experience surreal variety of colors, shades and smells.
That same night we departed for Red Rocks next to Las Vegas, where we stayed the night.