That is Katie’s panoramic picture showing our dorm and the surrounding area.  I have an ex-coworker living in Florida and sometimes when I post pics of Death Valley on facebook, she describes it as “desolate & barren”. But according to a dictionary the word “desolate” can mean: empty, lonely, & without human companions. That does not really describe all of Death Valley.

Sure it’s empty of big trees and shopping malls, but you can find so much more if you know where to look. Even in the area of Katie’s picture I see palm trees, but hidden are the yellow flowers growing between my dorm and the inn. Of course you wouldn’t see the male roadrunner guarding the pregnant female even if he was walking around because  Katie was to far away up on a hill. Hills here are made for climbing to get unexpected fabulous  views.

Course someone may see Katie’s picture and think… but it’s just bare brown dirt/rocks. But believe me, it is amazing and up close you do see other colors mixed in with the brown, and at sunrise & sunset the light brings out more colors. There are rows of mountains everywhere with spears of rock that will sometimes stick out of a mountain. As scary as a name like “Death valley” may sound, it’s a place that can make you feel more alive in ways that no other place can. Maybe that’s 1 reason why Katie wants to stay here for a whole year. Hmmm, wonder if she will still think that way when the Summer heat is here.

Without shopping malls around, people living here gather together to hang out with mother nature alot. Most of us feel blessed to just stand outside to watch the clouds change colors, or be able to stand up on mountain and look over the horizon at some open spot miles away…a spot that we just drove from…a distance that we could never see if we were in a big crowded city. It’s like taking a wide angle photo of a mountain/city and then keep zooming in until you get to take a pic of a single tree/person.