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Lost in Death Valley

Chuckwalla lizard at Dante’s Overlook in Death Valley

Traveling with my parents in Death Valley National Park after sunset, we took a gravel road that was designed to cross the park. However, we found that it was completely unmarked, which left us to our own devices.

Fork left or right?

Our choices ended up in a cul de sac so we retraced our route back to tarmac some 70 miles away before we would run out of gas. Whew!

Remember, the difference between an adventure and a catastrophe is whether you live to tell about it. Click to listen to a morning-after debrief with my parents at Mel’s Diner in Beatty, NV. You won’t want to miss it!  We all love the way Dad’s Subaru Forester handled the task, as you’ll hear, and Mom sings the praises of BioFreeze for her aching back. My parents are such good sports!



Here’s a video my mom took through the windshield.

Lost in Death Valley after sunset from TamelaRich on Vimeo.

About Tamela Rich

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Tamela lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her family, but most summers she'll be found elsewhere, astride her motorcycle. Ask her to share some of her lessons from the road at your next event! Tamela's award-winning book, "Live Full Throttle: Life Lessons From Friends Who Faced Cancer" draws on the stories she heard while traveling the United States on two long charity rides to benefit cancer organizations.
  • jweaving

    Thank you for sharing this! This reminds me of a ‘birthday hike’ a year ago in Cold Springs, NY. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for us. The “short hike” became the longest most disorienting I’d ever been on, with temperatures dropping at/slightly below freezing (something we were not prepared for). I can relate to the difficulty of finding reference points and frustrations with maps. It certainly was something we also experienced. We finally submitted to calling for the rangers, and with our great luck — the rangers whose duty it was for the mountain we were on… just happened to both have the night off. Needless to say, it added for a higher level of adventure with a set of rescuers trying to locate two people just as foreign to the landscape in the pitch black dark, each of us armed with only whistles and our voices… and us with a dying cellphone. :) Certainly a birthday for **me** to remember.

  • Tamela M. Rich

    Jason, you are such a brave global traveler. I always say “The difference between an adventure and a tragedy is whether you live to tell the tale” and isn’t it true that we talk far more about the adventures than the days that go 100% to plan?