Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Odour

Everyone's heard about Death Valley's wildflowers so it was with high expectations that I began the descent down the 13-mile (21 km) hill from Hell's Gate. It was the smell, the odour that alerted me I had arrived. Too dark to see (my night vision is limited to all things greater than a Mini-Cooper), it wafted on the evening breeze with an indescribable pungency. But there was something about the traffic flow: everyone going the other way, that led me to believe there were no campspots...and I turned around.

The next morning a couple from the Bay Area eager for news flagged me down. I related my experience and we parted on gleeful terms, each practically quivering with anticipation.

As I rounded the previous night's curve and then the flats along the river I kept raising Mr. Nose to the breeze. But naught was there. I could only surmise it had been a phenomenon of the evening.

When I reached the bottom I walked across the salt-encrusted "marsh" to the Amargosa (Spanish for bitter) River.

About two-thirds of the way down

The "marsh" and environs are stinkless. Even the dirt lacks a smell. 
"Muz be duh heat," he surmisaled. But dem flowerz wuz sumpin' else!


hannah jane said...

Beautiful pictures! Looks both lonely and incredibly peaceful.

MFH said...

Wonderfully peaceful; I'm too enthralled to get lonely.