Thursday, July 26, 2007

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley! It sounds horrible. Actually, it is one of the worlds unique places. It's hot. It's dry. It's deep. Death Valley is the lowest point in North America. This deepest part of the depression is called Badwater Basin. The picture at right is Sandi at Badwater. It is 282 feet below sea level. The peak in the distance is 10,049 feet. The drop from the peak to the valley floor is almost twice the depth of the Grand Canyon!
There is water at Badwater. However, it is highly mineralized. Out on the valley floor is a vast salt pan and more water. It was awesome to look high upon a cliff face and see a small sign that reads, SEA LEVEL.
Further up the valley is Furnace Creek Ranch were one of the famouse 20 Mule Team wagons sits. These wagons once hauled borax ore 165 miles to a processing plant. The 20 mule teams were also the inspiration for a radio program and later a TV series. It was called Death Valley Days and told the many stories about the people who came to Death Valley.
Later we went to Scotty's Castle, which is a beautiful hacienda owned by an accentric millionaire.

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