There’s a lot to do preparing for a week-long camper trip in the winter. In my own defense, I think I did pretty well, except that I forgot the dough. My friend Colleen, also a truck-camping photographer, told me about a little collapsible oven, made by Coleman, that sits on top of a burner. We (which in this case means my husband the tinkerer and cook) tried it out during the Thanksgiving trip with slice and bake cookie dough and it worked great.
|Dunes, Death Valley|
Our first night, at some secluded dunes in Death Valley National Park, I discovered my error and we rested easy in our assumption that we'd find it the next day, either in the town of Shoshone where we planned to stop for gas or at the little grocery at Furnace Creek. Not so much. We spent the night the only developed campground we’d visit during the week, and I had a wonderful, stormy morning at the Badwater Salt Flats.
|Badwater, Death Valley National Park|
Heading west, we had no luck at Stovepipe Wells or Panamint Springs looking for the goods. We spent two nights at Lee Flat, a wonderland of Joshua Trees and a great place to be alone. When the snow came Christmas Eve, I’d forgotten about our quest and didn’t even mind the cold. Freezing rain had formed icicles on the Yuccas, too. To be fair, we indulged in homemade tamales and good red wine that night, so I can’t complain. As we headed for civilization, though, I could almost smell cookies baking.
|Lee Flat, Death Valley National Park|
No doubt you’ve intuited that our next stop, the grocery in Lone Pine, disappointed us as well. We did get a propane fill there. For the record, Furnace Creek is the only place in the Park for that.
|Alabama Hills, CA|
Off we went, then, to Alabama Hills without cookies. Fresh snow had blanketed the Sierra in the background. Luna was loving all the rock–climbing challenges there too. A few months ago, we thought she was just too old for this stuff. A perceptive veterinarian discovered that all she needed was thyroid pills, and now she plays like a pup again. We called this trip the Doggie trifecta; sand, snow, and rocks.
We had an epic journey, and absolutely nothing important was missing. Really.
More images from this extravaganza are on in the Desert Gallery on the website.