Thursday, September 16, 2021

But it's a dry heat...yeah, right!

Wednesday was toasty, no,  sizzling!  Death Valley is the least crowded National Park we've been to.  Wonder why?🥵

It is the largest National Park in the contiguous United States, straddling the border of California and Nevada.  The landscape is very diverse with salt-water flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons and mountains.  My first impression was that it wasn't as pretty as other National Park's we've been too.  As usual, the more time we spent the more impressive it became. 

Bighorn sheep reside here.  How many have we seen: 0.  It's just too hot!  They apparently are smarter than we are.

The Inn at Death Valley was built in 1927 by a mining company, the Pacific Coast Borax Co.  It was renovated in 2018-2019.  The spring-fed pool is a highlight.  It has the most vegetation we saw in the entire park.

Sadly we learned today that Sequoia N. P. was completely closed this week due to forest fires.  We are scheduled to go there next week.  Our RV Park at Sequoia is just outside the entrance, so we checked with them and they had to close this week, but they won't know until the end of the week what the fate of next week will be. 

Our destination today is Badwater Basin with a tour of Artist Drive on the way back.  Unlike some of the other National Parks there isn't one main scenic drive.  There are several different roads.

Death Valley is one of the hottest (often over 120° in the summer, with a record of 134° in July of 1913), driest (often less than 2" annually), and Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America (282' below sea level).

Salt Flats

Badwater Basin was so named because a mule refused to drink there.  Not poisonous, just a lot of salt.

We intended to mostly look from the car and not walk much so we went in the afternoon today.  It was VERY hot.  You have to drink plenty because it's so hot your sweat evaporates before you know it. 

The steps have deteriorated from the salt.

Artist Drive is a 9 mile, one-way, curvy, up and down drive. We were there during the middle of the day when the sun mutes the colors from the rich metals of iron, aluminum, magnesium, and titanium.  Evenings and cloudy days, when it's cooler, offer the most dramatic views.  Red, orange, yellow, blue, green, and pink can be scene at various spots.


Where are the Piepers now? Amargosa Valley, NV.

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