December 31, 2010

12/31/10 – Death Valley NP

Death Valley’s not terribly convenient to go visit.  We decided to stay in Pahrump, NV, and I found an RV park there, and booked us for a week.  Pahrump has a few casinos, and a few RV parks, the ubiquitous Walmart—and more tattoo parlors per capita than anywhere I’ve ever been. 
We went to Death Valley on New Year’s Eve (day).  Several of the roads were closed because of the recent rains.  All the roads were still showing signs of flooding.  It’s really odd to be in Death Valley and see signs that say “flood damage ahead”. 
We went up on Zabriskie Point to see the Badlands, wrinkles of mountains in shades of brown and tan.  It was sooooo cold!  We were bundled up in coats and hats and scarves.  Wasn’t this why we left Washington?  Isn’t Death Valley supposed to be one of the hottest places in the US????  Apparently not in December…
We went to the Visitor Center and the ranger suggested we backtrack to Dante’s Point to view the Valley.  It looks down on Badwater Salt Flats (282’ below sea level), but it looked like water was reflecting in the sun.  Maybe it was a mirage?  So we went to Badwater—and found it really was standing water!
We went on the one-way Artist’s Drive, and saw the colored hills of the Artist’s Palette. 
Then we headed to Scotty’s Castle for the tour.  The tour itself is what they call a “living history” tour, with the docent dressed up in early 20th century clothes, pretending to be as an a friend of Scotty, telling anecdotes of the people in the house as if he were just telling stories about friends.   George really liked that part. 
It was getting dark as we left Scotty’s Castle, so there wasn’t time to make the sidetrip to the dunes.  I had wanted to hike to the “Devil’s Golf Course”, but it was underwater.
I’d go back.  Not in winter, and definitely not in summer. Maybe in the springtime...

Link to more pictures of Death Valley

Post a comment.

Post a Comment

Please leave comments here: