As I arrived in Death Valley earlier this week (Monday), the dust storm was so thick that at one point I could see only 200 yards, and I was afraid my car would be sand-blasted. Rain followed, the hardest rain of the year, adding perhaps 0.1 inch to the 0.02 inches for the year.
In my years of coming to Death Valley in mid to late February, I have never seen so few flowers. They are very few and very far between. Even the cactii I am used to seeing in bloom in Cottonwood Canyon are bereft of flowers. Plants bide their time in this severe landscape, waiting years if necessary.
High winds have made it a challenge to photograph any type of foliage. Weather is relatively cool, hitting about 66° F near Badwater at 10:00 am today. Pleasant, but not exactly hot.
Tomorrow is my big bike ride.