Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Death Valley, California

Thur - March 11th

We ended our first day here hiking up Golden Canyon to see Red Cathedral Rocks.

What an awesomely beautiful area! Carter and Jeff, you would just love hiking here.

Red Cathedral Rocks. What a great place to end our long day of hiking and sightseeing of all of the other places listed below. There are so many things to see and do here, you could easily spend a week or two here.

Dantes Ridge/View is in the east part of the park overlooking Badwater Basin and Telescope Peak to the west, the highest and lowest points in the park at 282 feet below sea level and 11,049 feet above.

We hiked the trail along the ridge and the view was fantastic!

Be sure to fill up with gas before entering the park. The two gas stations in the park charged $3.90 and $4.00 per gallon. Just a few miles outside the park it was only $2.76.

Lest you think we haven't seen any snow this winter, John found enough to throw a snowball at me up here at 5,475 feet.

We stayed at Sunset campground just across the road from Furnace Creek Ranch Resort. The resort had a golf course, spring fed swimming pool, horse riding, horseshoes, tennis, restaurants, shopping, etc. An oasis in the desert surrounded by date palms with motel rooms and cabins.

Just up the hill from us, we could see Furnace Creek Inn, which I understand is very nice also. Rooms were $165 to $250.

This is on Artists Palette Drive.

Can you believe someone actually volunteered to take a picture of these two old fogies. I guess it proves we are still traveling together.

Hiking up another canyon to see a natural bridge.

And there's the bridge.

And here it is on our way back out of the canyon.

We can see a little bit of Badwater Basin as we come out of the canyon.

Badwater Basin 282 feet below sea level, the lowest place in North America.

It looks like a frozen lake, but it is just salt.

Some college age kids rolled up their pants and were wading knee deep in it.

These are some views taken from Zabriskie Point near where we entered the park on the east side coming from Pahrump, Nevada thru Death Valley Junction.

Some of the formations are formed by erosion, but some are formed by minor earthquakes that go unnoticed here all the time causing the earth's plates to shift and settle.

More Death Valley pictures tomorrow. Some roads are only accessible by high clearance or four wheel drive vehicles all the time, and others are currently closed for repair due to wash outs from heavy rains. Normal rainfall is 1.9 inches per year.

Some years they have none, but this year they have had more, like everywhere else we have been. The temps while we were here were 75 during the day and 55 at night, absolutely perfect. There were big tanks of radiator water periodically along the roads, especially on uphill climbs, in case your car

Signing out. More tomorrow.


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