Thursday, October 8, 2009

Death Valley National Park

So....we left the ocean, travelled inland to the forests of enormous trees and the steep mountains with the twisty, curvy, steep roads and next the desert. Temperatures were hot to cold through the other parts of California but then came the desert. It is a unique place. My first impression is that it is a big gravel field or a construction site that ran out of money; however, Don has quite different feelings and he thoroughly enjoyed spending his birthday in seclusion. No cell phones, no internet, few people in this National Park - Furnace Creek Campground. 

But there were some beautiful canyons to explore; Mosaic Canyon and Golden Canyon to name but two and again the sand dunes that were fun to climb but more fun to run down.

The texture of the stone and colours were breathtaking. So in retrospect the desert isn't a gravel pile. 

A trip to Death Valley would not be complete without visiting Badwater. Elevation here is -282 feet below sea level. 

Our poor bodies are now totally confused with being below sea level one day and being 9945 ft. above just a few days before. 

By the way the Tioga Road which impressed us so much  was closed due to snow and ice only two days after our crossing.

Of course I have to mention that Badwater is also the start of "THE ultramarathon" - 135 miles from Badwater at -282 ft. below sea level to Whitney Portal 8360 ft. above. We saw the race course AND no this is not on either of our "bucket lists". It was enough to walk the salt flats.

Don is pictured here at Zabriskie Point as we say good-bye to Death Valley.

Next is Nevada but we will return to California. We have some side trips to Nevada and Utah before the cold temperatures come to these states.

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