May 24, 2005
Aug 20, 2005
All I can say is the colours in the valleys and mountains are spectacular and if you are in LA or Vegas take side trip for a day just to visit.
Death Valley is a beautiful place. I spent two nights there and yes it was hot. The daytime temps were 119f (49c) and night time was 90f (32c). I left my glasses down for a moment and when I picked them up they were too hot to touch. I went for a small one mile walk about 10:00am and to view a Natural bridge even though I walked in the shade I sweated buckets. When I stopped all I could hear was my heart beating and there was not another sound. There is not a huge amount of wildlife here but there are rattlesnakes, hares and mice. I went down to the Death valley floor which is a massive salt plain. Badwater lake is one location where the water is four times saltier than the ocean. Only three things live there an algae which is eaten by an insect, the insect that is then eaten by a snail. The lake is 182 feet below sea level and in the summer is tiny. On the valley floor they get the opposite of wind chill, where the ground heats the air, which only rises so far before the air currents over the mountains forces the air down again. One of the days a storm blew up, so in the distance I could see the lightening and hear the thunder but no rain fell. Only a hot wind blew down contain you guessed it hot sand! Not in the least bit refreshing :-)