Subject: Death Valley Who says rocks can't slide in the wind-Travelogue II
Date: 14 Apr 2003 01:34:39 -0000
We enjoyed Death Valley, since it was early April it actually was cool at night and barely got
above 80 degrees in the day time. If you have say just a day at Death Valley you can get a
good flavor of the valley by going south of Furnace Creek to Badwater which is 280 feet below
sea level and is the lowest elevation in the western hemisphere. To the west is Telescope Peak
at 11049 feet so quite a contrast. This trip gives you a good feel for the valley and the salt
flats. Be sure and see the Devils Golf course and Artist Drive. Turn around about 5 miles south
of Badwater. East of Furnace Creek is Zebriske Point and farther east the turn off to the south
for Dauntes Point which takes you up on the east side of the valley and you can look up and down the valley. It is cooler up there even in the summer as it is over 5000 feet. There should be room for an RV at Sunset CG but no hookups. Probably the most impressive entrance into the valley is from Beatte, NV
BTW the annual NPS pass at $50.00 is a great deal as it gets your car into every national park
and national monument and if there is a per person fee it gets you and the wife and any family
members in free. It does not take many parks to get to $50.00 as Zion and Bryce are each
$20.00 each. Death Valley is $10.00 and you already are at $50.00. Be sure you ask for the
park map, etc. as it seems they sometimes forget when you show them the card. If you are 62
or older you definitely have to get the Golden Age Passport! It is $10 for life and gets you
half price for a lot of the campgrounds!
The Ranger Programs at Death Valley are great! We also seen Scotty's Castle toward the north
end, Reolyte a ghost town out of the park by Beatte, NV. We seen Golden Canyon, natural
bridge, Titus canyon which can be driven from near Reolyte one way down to the canyon, seen
Marble Canyon by Stove Pipe Wells as well as the sand dunes and went up to the high country
by Telescope Peak and seen the charcoal kilns which were used over a century ago to smelt
ore. Also the Harmony Borax works just north of Furnace Creek and the Borax Museam at
Furnace Creek Ranch and the Museum at the visitors center are worthwhile. We went to Salt
Creek to view the Pupfish.
For me the high point was a 4 x 4 54 mile round trip drive to the Racetrack which is a very
hard, baked flat ancient lakebed where the wind blows rocks across the surface. BE SURE AND
SEE OUR PICTURES ON THE WEB SITE WHEN WE GET HOME. No one has actually seen the rocks move
but you can see where they slid! There really is no doubt that they do slide. Apparently it
gets cold enough there are ice crystals and then it melts a little and the surface gets just
like glass and some high winds come down off the slopes and move the rocks! Folks this is
for real, who says wind can not move rocks!
Next stop Zion National Park.