My trip to visit family in Phoenix had become an exercise in making a long trip longer. But, with all the hype regarding the “Super Bloom” in Death Valley National Park, I figured the detour would be worth the trip to see an event that might not occur for another 10 years. Despite the lines of cars, it was worth the trip.
Initially, I was disappointed and had unknowingly driven by areas that were listed as “in full bloom”.
First, I had been spoiled on a hike earlier in the week by the lushness of the desert bloom at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area in Cave Creek, AZ. After hours of driving through California and Arizona and back, I had passed through so many different regions, elevations, and plant groups that I had to remember to appreciate each desert for its uniqueness. Not to compare but to honor each for what it was.
Second, only a couple of areas are great from the car. I had to walk among the flowers and be surrounded by their vastness and variety to truly appreciate them. Within minutes, I had seen so many different species that I was in awe.
Third, I had to leave. After passing empty desert for hours I realized the beauty of what was left behind. Compared to Panamint Valley, Death Valley was an alpine meadow. The Super Bloom was worth the experience although it might have spoiled me for the next trip.