Monday, March 18, 2013

Death Valley National Park

The Shoshone Museum.
Pahrump, Nevada  High 73 Low 52

Today when we left it was 55 degrees, fairly cool. More about that later. We went to a museum in Shoshone, California. It was in an old gas station. Out front there was the shell of an old 37 Chevy.  It had many antiques throughout the building and outside. It was worth a stop, but was not our primary goal.

We were told to go the scenic way. I guess "scenic" is in the eyes of the beholder.

This is at Zabriskie Point.
We drove on to Death Valley. Our first stop was Zabriskie Point, where you could walk up a hill to get pictures of the valleys and Mountains. Our next stop was the Furnace Creek Visitors Center. There we learned a little history of Death Valley, and looked at a model of the layout of the Park. They had a sign outside with the current temperature on it, and it read 84 degrees. It also says the visitor center is 180 feet below sea level. The highest temperature I say on my truck was 94 degrees, almost 40 degrees hotter than when we left this morning.

A sign at the entry into the Park.

I just liked this scene

Very warm, but not the hottest.

Tells about the mule teams.

Our next stop was the Harmony Borax Works, and learned about the history of the Borax mining in Death Valley. It only stayed in business from 1883 till 1888, when other easier deposits of Borax were found. One of the signs said that the Chinese workers were paid $1.30 a day, less lodging and whatever groceries they bought from the company store.
Some of the old Borax wagons, which had to be moved many miles.

We thought this dried mud looked interesting.

 We then went to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and looked around and took several pictures. The only problem was that the gnats were everywhere, in my eyes and ears, so we didn't stay long.
Cindy with the sand dunes in the background.

Not only looked like concrete, but was very hard!

 We then went to Mosaic Canyon and took about 1/2 mile up the canyon. There were lots of interesting rocks, and what looked like concrete on top of the rocks, but was sediment from over thousands of years.

Inside the hotel.

In one of the ponds at the Inn.
Next we went to see the Furnace Creek Inn. We had heard about it at the visitors center, and had driven past it on the way in. It was an interesting old hotel, with the most fabulous gardens you could imagine. We spent quite a bit of time there trying to see everything.

Very tall Palm Trees.

These were everywhere in the garden. Who would believe there were such nice gardens in Death Valley?
Here I am in front of the Inn.

From a distance this looks like the ocean.

The sign at nearly the top middle says, Sea Level.


Lowest point in North America.

We went to Badwater Basin, Which is the lowest place in Death Valley, and in the United States. On the way there we saw what looked like the ocean, but the Ranger said it was just salt, dirt, and dust. He said that any water that come in the  form of rain will not go into the ground, but has to evaporate. There was a sign that talked about one of the old miners that found the spring, tried to get his mules to drink the water, but found out they would have nothing to do with it. He found out the water was very salty, and so he called it badwater, and the name stuck. The Ranger told us that in 2004, they got 2 inches of rain, and people were kayaking on the rain water, and eventually it evaporated.

Cindy thought these crystals were very interesting.

One of the mountains on the way home.

Clear up to Sea Level!


  1. Isn't DV incredible? People that have never been there think it is just a big desert. How wrong they are. There is so much beauty there. The landscape is so diversified. If you get a catch, visit Scott's castle. We took the tour. It was wonderful.

  2. You guys covered a lot of territory in a short time. We spent a couple of weeks there and I didn't think it was long enough. But I love DV.

  3. What a great blog! I'm glad you enjoyed Death Valley and I hope you visit again! In the meantime, here are some of our photos: