In September of 2020, ADG Founder and Creative Director Joel Anderson sent our Head of Social Media/Customer Service Guru Molly Mann and our Studio Store Manager Ally Cizowski on a cross-country expedition to explore four American National Parks.
The mission? Have fun, create some wonderful memories, and come back with reference photos and inspirational material for new poster art!
So far, we've tracked alongside Molly and Ally in their adventures into Channel Islands National Park and Joshua Tree National Park. In this article, we'll follow along as the girls set their sights on the desert and, with a fair amount of bravery and courage, take their first steps into Death Valley National Park.
Why Death Valley National Park?
Molly and Ally chose Death Valley National Park for several reasons. For one, no one from Anderson Design Group had been there yet. Since launching the American National Parks poster art collection, Joel and the creative team at ADG has had the goal to send ADG staff to every National Park on the roster, hence the interest in Death Valley. Also, Death Valley held special magic and wonder to Molly and Ally, a huge, desolate, yet almost mythical land of vast extremes.
Having just come from Joshua Tree National Park, Molly and Ally wanted to experience another National Park that was known for its unique diversity and for being "Not like most National Parks." Plus, Death Valley was an easy stop between Joshua Tree and Yosemite.
Highlights of Death Valley - What Stood Out to Molly and Ally
From the town of Ridgecrest, Molly and Ally drove one hour to the edge of Death Valley National Park. They listened to true crime podcasts while driving by old, abandoned mining towns. As soon as they entered the park, they lost cell phone reception. Talk about spooky!
Once they entered the park, Molly and Ally recounted that it was as though they had driven to another planet. First, the park's size was overwhelming. "The closer you get to the park, the smaller you feel. We felt disconnected but also immersed," Molly said. Death Valley National Park is the largest National Park in the lower 48 states, which is why Molly and Ally spent an entire day exploring just one half of the park.
The girls reported that their favorite features of the park included Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes (where they filmed Star Wars!), and Artist's Palette. Each of the park's points of interest are not far from the road, so Molly and Ally were able to take short hikes from their car to experience the park's unique features.
Tips and Advice - Preparing for Death Valley National Park
Here are some Death Valley National Park tips and travel advice from Molly and Ally:
- You will most likely lose cell phone reception, so be prepared for that! Take lots of water, food, a spare tire for your vehicle, and consider an alternate form of communication technology, such as an SAT phone, in case of an emergency.
- There are usually few people in Death Valley National Park at any given time, and they are generally quite spread out across the park's vast perimeter. The sense of smallness in such a large place with so few people is truly an experience to immerse oneself in, but it can also be a little daunting at times! Best to observe the Buddy System and travel to the park with a companion.
- Because Death Valley is the lowest, driest, and one of the hottest places in the United States, bring lots of water, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and good hiking shoes. Plan on taking shorter hikes than normal, and try to visit the park in the early morning or late afternoon.
- If you want to experience all that Death Valley National Park has to offer, plan on spending two days there.
Anderson Design Group Poster Art for Death Valley National Park
At the time of this writing, our artists and designers have rendered eight vintage poster designs for Death Valley National Park. These original, handcrafted depictions of one of America's most stunning nature preserves capture the park's stark contrasts, the foreboding yet beautiful landscapes, the shimmering colors, and the endless vastness of a park that seems like it's in a world of its own.
Some of the posters we've created for Death Valley include:
During their adventure in Death Valley National Park, Molly and Ally took dozens of reference photos and inspiration shots. They brought back a great variety of imagery and compelling visual material that our poster artists will now use to create vintage designs and timeless renditions of what many say is America's most elusive and mysterious National Park.
To learn more about Death Valley National Park, check out the National Park Service website. They have a dedicated webpage to Death Valley that offers up-to-date information on the park and advice to visitors. Another good resource is the Death Valley Conservancy, which offers valuable information on important conservation work being done in the park.
Until Next Time...
Next week we pick up where we left off, as Molly and Ally take the last leg of their adventure from Death Valley National Park to the infamous Yosemite National Park. Be sure to check back next week to follow our courageous ADG adventurers as they complete their journey!
Anderson Design Group Writing Staff