The lowest point in the USA
Trip Start May 11, 2005
320Trip End Ongoing
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We spent the remaining time checking out the park's random sites of which I can't really remember the specific details. (Chelise here - it's called the Devil's Golfcourse & here's some info: The saltpan at Badwater periodically floods & dries which smooths it out. Devil's Golf Course is different because it's several feet above flood level - so no smoothing. What you'll see is pinnacles of salt crystals that form when salty water comes up from the mud underneath which then evaporates. The pinnacles grow very slowly maybe an inch in 35 years. Wind and rain continually erode and sculpt these pinnacles into an amazing array of shapes. ) But the salt flats were a pretty bizarre site as you can tell from the pictures.
Here's some fun facts that I copied down.....Death Valley is dry. I know it's obvious, but it's important to know. Death Valley is dry and it is exceptionally good at making other things dry too. Open a loaf of bread, and then forget to seal it back up within 15 minutes. You know what you get? A loaf of crackers, that's what you get! One more fun fact is.......some park staff and service personnel living at Cow Creek just north of Furnace Creek on the floor of Death Valley make an unusual adaptation during the summer months. The plumbing that supplies water to Cow Creek residents from the source spring a few miles away is buried just a few inches below the dusty ground surface for much of this distance. In the summer months, the sun heats the water along its journey to near scalding temperatures. In order for residents to have nearly-cool water on hand at their facets in the summer, they turn off their water heaters and store unheated water in the insulated tank. Gradually this water cools to reasonable levels of tepidness.
Thusly, during the blazing days of summer, cool water is delivered to Cow Creek residents from their Hot water taps, and hot water is dispensed from the cold taps. Now check out the pictures!