After our hike in Red Rock Canyon we decided to be a little naughty and stay at the trail entrance, seeing as how we did a 20 minute dirt road drive (4x4 recommended) in our two wheel drive van and didn’t want to do it again yet. We shut the curtains in the van, and decided to stay there and enjoy the complete silence and amazing stargazing instead. I would be lying if I said the movie “The hills have eyes” didn’t pop into my head, but I set my alarm and cozied up with the pups. At about 6:30 we were on the road again, heading to Death Valley, we had done our research and knew before hand that Death Valley was not dog friendly anywhere. They were allowed on the roads to pee or in your campground, no trails or anything cool. The weather was actually quite chilly,jacket weather in the morning so we decided to pop into Mosaic Canyon as it’s only a short .5 mile walk and we could leave the pups in the car safely. The curves of the rock walls due to a raging river a long time ago, made for a Flintstones type feel. The colours swirled and the walls curled into subway tunnel like formations. The rocks were so smooth you could slide down them like a playground, so I did! We popped by Salt Creek interpretive trail to stretch our legs and check it out. We took the dogs, ignoring the signs, but there was only one other tourist there. The dogs were well behaved as usual and very much enjoyed the wood built path and creek. Being winter time and not the main tourist season, it was quite empty and pretty much no park rangers, so a lot easier to get away with taking your pups so see some cool stuff. My advice is also to either get up very early or go late in the evening, not at peak hour of the day to avoid crowds. We do always keep them on leash to respect the nature and animal habitats and to make sure they don’t ingest anything weird or get bit by anything dangerous. The park newspaper did advise about a virus in the park (and throughout America) that is carried by animals, mostly rodents, called the Hantavirus. It is passed by feces, saliva and airborne and attacks the respiratory system and eventually causes death. It said it is rare, but we didn’t want to take any chances, especially with Bali’s slight obsession to sniff out all types of turds, so we kept them close. Once again we decided to sneak a spot to park the van, finding shelter between two small mountain passes. Free is always our favourite and once again in low tourist season I think the lack of rangers was definitely in our favour. Death Valley is said to have the third greatest night sky views, and they weren’t lying. You could see the Milky Way and stars I didn’t even know existed. It was about a 4:30 am start to catch the sunrise at Zabriskie’s point. Well worth the early morning, and even though the signs said “no dogs” I couldn’t do the moment without them. We did the short little uphill hike and waited for that glorious sun to appear. There were about 15 other people there, all their camera gear set up, and as the sun rose, they all slowly dissipated. I stayed and realized they missed the best part, The sun climbed higher in the sky and finally started touching the top of the mountain range, and the most beautiful colours started to show. After a few selfies and pup poses, we were on our way again, I wanted to stop by the salt flats as I have always wanted to go to the ones in Columbia. I pictured it to look like a big frozen over lake, but was slightly disappointed when it looked a bit more like a slightly snowy day in Edmonton. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool, and the fact it was below sea level was neat, but the salt was quite slushy like. The pups came out with us for a bit of a bathroom break, but went back in the van shortly after, as the salt is not the easiest to walk on for their little paw pads. A bit of a lunch break then had to backtrack a bit due to road closures on our way out to Badwater Basin. And then, next stop, Las Vegas. Goodbye California, thanks for everything, and hello Nevada!