Into the (Death) Valley

Trip Start Jul 21, 2010
Trip End Aug 13, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A very hot day in the desert north of Vegas. Stopped off at a small town called Beatty for lunch then headed to Rhyolite, a ghost town.
Rhyolite dates back to early 1900s when 10,000 lived there and mined $3m (value then not now) of gold out of the hills. Lots of abandoned buildings still standing and for some strange reason some sculptures. One was of the Last Supper with strange white humanoid shapes which Caitlin thought were the ghosts of the Ghost Town.
Leaving Rhyolite we hit the high entrance to Death Valley at the very apt Hell's Gate.Looking down at the Valley it looked like there is a big lake in it - but this is the salt pan and mirages.
We reached Furnace Creek visitor centre mid afternoon where the temp was 48C or 119F!Then we drove south down the valley to Badwater, lowest point in US, but turned back here as it was getting late. We did detour round the Artist's Drive - a one way route round coloured rocks.
Then north west out of this inhospitable place past some massive sand dunes nr Stovepipe Wells, then up and over the mountains to Panamint Springs.
Had to wait for 15 mins for some Germans who hadn't booked anywhere - surprised they hadn't left their towels there in advance - so the lad on reception had to find them a room 60 miles away.
Had a nice tea and me and H had drinks alone under the clearest sky I've ever seen.Milky Way very bright and could see hundreds of stars.Beautiful.
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