Winter is a season that should be enjoyed not just endured.

We woke on our 1st winter camping trip of 2018’s in a Ford Transit Campervan overlooking a frozen Minnesota lake. I could not help to admire the view seeing the vibrant colors of a rising sun on a cold -11F morning. Hearing the ice shift and pop as it settles into a deeper freeze. The view in a distance of ice houses, tents and a single brave soul sitting up on a flipped over bucket to fish. Brrrrr looks cold! I felt happy enough with a hot cup of coffee looking through the windows of our campervan, but then that random thought of warm crossed my mind…. Death Valley!Oh yes I thought, summers in Death Valley reach 120 degrees but winters average in the 50’s, reaching highs in the 60’s. Time to go?!

My memory wandered to a past winter trip to Death Valley making the ice of the outside almost melt away in a warmer sun. Candy and I made our last winter trip to Death Valley just a few years back which offered up an abundance of sunny days, comfortable hiking temperatures in the valley with ever-changing colors as we traversed the terrain. Snow Capped mountains painted the background leading to the realization that we could (would and did) go from where we stood in Death Valley's Badwater Basin, which is lowest elevation in North America, at 282 feet below sea level to the highest point in the lower 48 states which is Mount Whitney at 14,505 feet. These two points are just 87 miles away from each other. Sounded good to us, 1) start low 2) look at snow 3) go through snow 4) experience the cold and altitude 5) descend and get warm again. We conquered the H2L (High to Low) of the lower 48!

Maybe “visiting” winter then descending is the way to go! Awesome memory and definitely an adventurous and epic winter excursion. Campervan snowbirding works great for mobile adventures. It might be time for a short excursion to warmer soon! This last week was the coldest week in MN since 1886. Winter is here for sure.

 

~Dave

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