Surprise! Flowers May Return to Death Valley - NBC Southern California

Surprise! Flowers May Return to Death Valley

A startling sight may return. And just a few hours away.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Surprise! Flowers May Return to Death Valley
    Xanterra
    Furnace Creek Inn is starting a "Wildflower Watch" in February 2010; will buds return to Death Valley this spring?

    Snow and fire. Cabernet and fish. Tacos and French fries.

    You'd think we're cataloging opposites, things that never go together, but au contraire. We adore fries served alongside tacos and a wintertime campfire, and don't even start us on the red wine/fish debate. Everyone. Stop.

    Two more opposites that meet up more than we think: flowers and Death Valley. They did it in 2005, thanks to copious amounts of wetness, and people around that nearby national park are half-thinking (and hoping, too) that the fields of wildflower wonder will return again.

    Rain, you magician you.

    We were in Death Valley during the celebrated spring of 2005, not because of the flowers. Just lucky in the timing department. And every room was booked up. Old West ghost towns teamed with fancy new cars bearing Vegas and LA bumper stickers. Kind of a scene, but would we have missed it? There is solitude to be found. And some spectacular, slightly surreal vistas.

    Parched land, dotted with petals.

    The buds would start around February at the low spots, and run through April. Or even June.

    Of course, this is all chancy. There are factors involved. But Furnace Creek Inn will start an online Wildflower Watch come February. We'd bookmark this one, and, while we're at it, we'd get our camera shipshape, and we'd start looking for rooms. Here and here are good places.