Thursday, September 10, 2015

Day 26 (10 September 2015)

This view was taken outside our accommodation in Furnace Creek, Death Valley. Around this oasis is harsh desert but the resort has managed to make this a perfect green location. The only issue is the 50 deg C heat in the middle of the day.

Near Panamint Springs, Death Valley - a coyote looking for food from road travellers.

Mud cracks near Panamint Springs, Death Valley, California.

One of the few old buildings remaining in Ballarat south of Death Valley, California. Yes it was named after our Victoria counterpart.

The Pinnacles near Trona California. This is where many films were shot for Star Trek, Lost In Space and Battlestar Galatica.

The Pinnacles near Trona California

6th Avenue San Diego - taken from our Holiday inn accommodation, California.

Taken along 6th Avenue, San Diego, California - an old Commonwealth Bank money box shaped building.

Death Valley is an inhospitable place. Hot, dry and surreal. Nevertheless many people visit this place for its beauty and experience the average 45 to 50 deg C heat that occurs on a daily basis. We are glad we experienced this but glad to go to San Diego 350 miles away. San Diego is hot but instead of 0% humidity is 100%. Our journey south passed through Ballarat and old silver mining town, now a ghost town. It was named after our good old Eureka town. Onwards we passed through Trona a borax mining town noted for the strange Pinnacles that are frequently used in science-fi movies. We travelled through the outskirts of LA and witnessed a lane on the I-250 expressway ending in a cul-de-sac. It was about 10 miles long and drivers that managed to go down this lane came to a sudden stop. No way they could exit out and basically needed to go back where they entered the lane. Even a state trooper vehicle was locked in. We believe that some road worker's head will roll once this mess is sorted out. Almost exiting out of Death Valley we came upon two coyotes scrounging for food along the road and not far distant we nearly ran over a rattlesnake. We are in San Diego for three days and tomorrow we have a tour into Tijuana, Mexico. Until then cheers.

Day 25 (09 September 2015)

Struggling up Golden Canyon, Death Valley - before the real heat starts, at 9 am.

In Golden Canyon, Death Valley - the multi-coloured rocks.

The Golden Canyon, Death Valley, California is a 3.5 klm return journey. We had to do this before 10 am when the temperature will go above 40 deg C.

They call this the Devil's Golf Course in Death Valley, California.

The lowest point in the Western Hemisphere in Death Valley, California.

The lowest point in the Western Hemisphere Badwater, Death Valley, California.

Our altimeter was set at nearly 10,000 feet above sea level. This is what it looks like at -282 feet.

At Badwater, Death Valley, California.

On the road through Artist's Palette, Death Valley, California.

Artist's Palette, Death Valley, California.

They call this the Devil's Corn Field, near Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.

A yarn regarding the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, near Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, near Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.

About the dry heat in Death Valley, California.

View from Mosaic Canyon, Death Valley, California.

The desert road near Father Crowley's Lookout, Death Valley, California.

We couldn’t believe it – it hit 50 deg C in Death Valley. We toured the surrounding valley and walked the Golden Canyon, drove around Artist’s Palette, saw Devil’s Golf Course and best of all….drove to Badwater. This scenic spot does have water – but salt water and 282 feet below sea level – the deepest depression in the western hemisphere. From Badwater we drive along the Death Valley to Stovepipe Wells had lunch in the heat of the day and after drive to Mosaic Canyon. The rangers do not recommend walking into canyons after 10 am even with water…so all we did was looked at the trailhead and gazed at the surrounding multi-coloured mountains. Continuing on we drove past Panamint Springs and onto the vantage point at Father Crowley’s lookout. Here the roads were gravel and our SUV Bertha did a great job on those dusty roads. Returned to Furnace Creek to a 121 deg F (50 deg C) afternoon and crept backed into our air-conned accommodation before dinner. The heat in Death Valley is so dry there is no humidity. The body does not sweat and feels like you stepped into an oven. It takes a special kind of person to work around here and the natural fauna and flora have adapted well – including the rattlesnakes. Tomorrow we head out of desert territory and will drive to San Diego, California. A coastal city guarantee to be cooler. Cheers.