Flagstaff had the 3rd snowiest January ever. 61.4 inches fell. That’s a lot.

Of course, I don’t live there. But, if Flagstaff’s getting a lot of snow, Oak Creek Canyon’s getting its fair share.

And we need it all! Yes we do. Never cuss rain or snow in Arizona. The land needs all moisture it can get. Moisture nurtures and heals. It staves off wildfires. Only good comes from snow for the land.

At the same time, the cold, mud, dreariness and darkness can get old. I didn’t know what cabin fever was while living in Texas. And, many people from the North come to Arizona to escape it. But, in Northern Arizona, you can get it. I got it.

So, why not go to Death Valley? This week it’s sunny and in the 70’s. Perfect escape.

The route I took is 422 miles – through Bullhead City and Searchlight. That’s literally 1 tank of gas. That’s about $40.

Then, camp. Camping is $16 a night within the National Park. $16 times however many nights is cheap.

However, I must admit, I’m at a motel in Lone Pine, California. Lone Pine’s at the base of Mt. Whitney – the Lower 48’s highest peak at 14,495′. It’s cold here. Screw camping.

Lone Pine is also just north of Owens Lake, which has been dry for almost exactly a century after Los Angeles “took” the water of the river that feeds this lake. I wanted to see the setting of such historical drama. Although, I bet Lone Pine was prettier once upon a time.

This is as far west as I’ll go. Gonna’ head east, back into Death Valley National Park. The Panamint Valley is calling. That valley is the endoheric basin west of the main one within the park which is called THE Death Valley. My photos will show you why.

And, yes, I’ve taken many photos. Some are pretty good. You’ll be surprised how colorful Death Valley is.

I plan to share them in a new way.