John and I spent five days and four nights at the Ranch in Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park. We got see almost everything we had planned for the trip except for the Natural Bridge and Dante's Peak. We missed out on the former because our rental SUV was acting up when driving on the bumpy gravel road and the latter was closed because of ice on the road from a recent snow/rain storm. Speaking of rain storms, we did experience one thing that most people do not experience in Death Valley -- a full rainy day. Normally, Death Valley gets around 2 inches of precipitation a year. I think that half of that fell on the Wednesday we were in the park. Otherwise, weather was sunny, cool (high 50s and low 60s) and was great for hiking in different areas. We logged about four miles a day in hiking -- 20 Mule Canyon, Zabriskie Point (near sunset and also at sunrise), the Salt Flats, Artist Palette, Golden Canyon, Mustard Canyon, Ubehebe Crater, the Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes and the ghost town of Rhyolite. We had dinner at the Oasis Resort beneath several original paintings by Western masters -- Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington among the most notable.
Speaking of artwork, I am already working on a couple of digital paintings/photographic illustrations from this trip. Please come back in a couple of weeks and I hope to have the first two completed.