Road to Death Valley
Quartzsite to Death Valley California
I feel like today was the first real day of our vacation…and it’s already Thursday!
This was supposed to be a 5.5 hour trip. However, we’re not morning people. So already we were off to a late start after already being delayed a day due to “plumbing issue… that wasn’t an issue” and the next day we didn’t get on the road till 11am and the first thing we needed to do was dump the tanks.
My new favorite photo of Greg with the Stinky Slinky…
After hitting the road we had to deal with George being a very unhappy kitty. Normally he’s great about holding his business as long as it doesn’t go longer than 3-4 hours. That was not the case today. He yowled and cried and was all over the truck. About 30 min into the drive and the road being quite full of dips, he gets carsick and vomits all over a blanket Greg had him on. We stopped and got everything cleaned up. The crying stopped for about 10 min before starting up again. 30 min later he crawls on me, puts his front paws on my shoulders, spreads his legs, tail goes up on the steering wheel and he takes a piss. In my lap — While I’m driving on 95 North. There was nothing I could do but keep my eyes on the road all while feeling my lap get warm with cat pee and hoping it didn’t get all over the truck seat until I could find a place large enough to pull over.
We stopped once again; I got changed and threw my clothes in a bin in the back of the truck. Which, speaking of, they flew out of said truck, somewhere near Henderson, south of Las Vegas, with one of my favorite pairs of panties. So if that hit your windshield…sorry. Our bad.
30 min. after being peed on and even spending 10 min inside the 5th wheel with George, we were back on the road. Except for now I see him crawl into the back, squat on a pillow and take a massive dump. I pretty much couldn’t stopped the rig fast enough for Greg to help clean that one up — Shortly after this he fell asleep in the back and more or less remained conked out for the next 6 hours.
What all of this means is that we did a big chunk of our drive into Death Valley in the dark — which was fairly stressful for me. The route we took for those interested is “The hump to Pahrump” This means we took route 160 West out of Las Vegas, thru the mountain pass. Mount Springs Summit has an elevation of 5,502ft. Not sure of the elevation grade up or down but Bessie (truck) took it like a champ. We didn’t end up going over 2500 RPM’s. We knew we bought more truck than needed but it was nice actually feeling that during the drive.
We continued on 160 thru Pahrump, (which I kindly offered to stop at one of the 2 legal bordellos for Greg). Once you go thru the town you will see a sign for Death Valley to turn left on to Bel Vista Ave. This is just a 2 lane road with a small normal street sign. We then turned onto 190 which took us into Death Valley.
Here’s where things got a little hairy. I’m a planner who totally half-assed planning what we would do upon arriving in Death Valley beyond knowing there were first come campgrounds with no hookups. I did this thinking we would arrive during the day and be able to ask at the visitor’s center.
Yeeeeahhh…. Bad move.
However, it worked out after about 15 min turning into various campgrounds. For those looking for a cheap little spot and you don’t need hookups – Before actually getting into Furnace Creek there is a sign listing 3 campgrounds. Texas Spring & Sunset share the same turnoff on the right .2 miles after the sign.
Once you turn right there is a guard shack (which was closed). Just past that the shack on the left turn in and you’ll find Sunset Campgrounds. There are fairly clean bathrooms with real toilets. Water pumps by hand for tent campers and a free fill/dump station if you turn right and head North on 190 and you can run the generator until 9pm. The spaces are a little tight — We found ourselves about 10 feet from the rig in the next spot and was close enough to watch some teenagers making out on the couch in the rig while sitting outside. hehe.
Signal – We had a decent Verizon Signal the first night although didn’t get a chance to speed test it and the second absolutely nothing on both Verizon and Sprint. Both nights the park was only about half full.
Fees – $12/night. Oh and they camp host does check for a paid slip. We got a warning since we pulled in late and I wasn’t sure where to pay.
Greg wanted to frame our first warning.