It’s a hot one here in the valley!
Actually… it’s not too bad.
Today’s high is 88°F… which is pretty dang warm for any early February we’ve experienced.
Okay… maybe not that dramatic.
The drive into Death Valley is pretty… dead.
There’s not really much going on down here, at least that we can easily see.
The conditions do present some unique and interesting landscapes…
3.3 million acres of landscapes to be exact.
Yeah… Death Valley is that huge
Our first stop in the Valley is Badwater Basin.
The lowest point in the North America at 282 ft below sea level
Not as low as our trip to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth at 1360 ft below sea level!!
Quite the difference.
Still… the lowest point on this continent is pretty impressive!
Impressive enough that we spend some time walking out onto the giant salt bed.
In an attempt to not be offensive… I’m not going to explain this next one.
Before we continue with this segment:
If you remember, at the beginning of our Sequoia post we introduced Gerome.
Today we’re going to introduce Ralph, another one of our little buddies who has been making subtle appearances in some of our photos… in fact… he snuck into the park with us!
When we adopted this little fella his name was Mel… but for some reason Ralph just popped into our head the moment we met him.
He’s been following us around since we picked him up in Bangor Maine, just prior to our trip to Hungary, July 2016!
Anyway… he seems to like the salt here in Death Valley.
We learned this pose from our good friend from deployment Gregory Ogin.
Works great for photos!
Before heading back to the boardwalk, we notice one interesting fact…
Everyone comes here to say they visited “the lowest point in the US”… but really, have they?
So if anyone claims they’ve been to the lowest point, ask if they stood in the deepest hole…
cause we have!
I’ve got time for a round…
Our next stop a little further down the valley, Devils Golf Course… of course!
I don’t think anyone has time for a round at this one.
The site was given this name because it is so uneven that as a golf course, only the devil could play it.
We can’t help but wonder if anyone’s ever tee’d up out here.
Before hitting our stroke limit we’re going to move on. Our overall goal for today is to reach Dante’s View for sunset 🙂
As we continue on, we take a small detour from the main highway.
This detour is a section of road known as Artist’s Drive and is named this because of the wide variation in color seen within the surrounding area.
An easy and fun drive, which winds around the landscape, zipping over hills and through crevasse.
We could stop to get out of the car at points along the way, but we’ve got making that sunset in mind.
So instead, snap shots from the van as we drive by.
The end of the drive reconnects to the main highway, but before doing so opens up to a magnificent view across the valley.
As the main highway approaches, we begin to turn our sights on the next stop.
We cruise across the valley floor.
With the sun getting lower, we need to hurry to our next destination before we can make Dante’s View for sunset!
We want plenty of time at Dante’s, so we decide park and run once we finally arrive at Zabriskie Point.
Zabriskie Point is most noted for its erosional landscape and heavy sediment deposits left from Furnace Creek Lake… a lake that dried up 5 million years ago! Long before Death Valley was even a valley.
With the point successfully seen and photographed…
…we move on to Dante’s View (running back to the van, of course). 🚐______🏃🏃♀️_
Dante’s NOT View…
Yeah… creative section title, but does it kinda give this one away?
We leave Zabriskie Point and begin driving towards Dante’s View…
It isn’t long before we see construction signs… followed by road closure signs…
Our sunset viewing point is closed!?!?
… reluctant to give up, we press on to be sure it really is closed (as if the signs don’t say is clearly enough).
After about 15 more minutes of driving, we spot the gate… and it’s CLOSED!
With the sun almost beginning to dip behind the hills, we race back the way we came, and make it back to Zabriskie Point with a little time before losing the sun.
We grab our favorite brand of cream cheese spread…
Nah, we kid; they’re Kali’s Dad’s brownies!
… and watch the sun slowly descend behind the mountains.
With someone occasional (or constantly) spilling the brownie crumbs into the 5 million year old soil
As if it’s not obvious who… 😝
We laugh it off and enjoy the colors that surround us.
With no plans to stay the night in Death Valley, we chalk this one up as a success and head out on the road with our next destination in sight:
The State of Nevada and Las Vegas!