Regardless of all the fast driving, I had gone to Death Valley for the desolation. And I got that. I got isolation and desolation and solitude and space. I got big blue skies, heat, and stillness, quiet. Every December for many years now, I've undergone this hibernation thing. After experiencing it a bunch of times, it looks like I want to go down, hide out, lie fallow, sleep in a cave for a couple weeks in December. Which isn't all that bad, if I'm prepared for it.
But the obvious parts of the culture insist on gaiety, generosity, parties and festivities, so there's a kind of guilt that goes along with this hibernation urge. And really, I do want to participate in all the holiday stuff, especially now that I have an awesome, fun and sweet girlfriend.
So this trip was in a way an attempt to participate in this urge, not so much to prevent it as to accommodate it. To say, ok, you need this thing, let's go somewhere, somewhere deathly and get on with it, see what happens.
And not much happened. There was a kind of reset there, for me. A little going to ground. Not large. But enough.