Day 3 – Long Ride Home – Death Valley CA to Las Vegas NV

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Great sights today! Death Valley is beautiful. I could come back here again. I talked with a guy from Virginia who had come up for the day two days ago and was still going to other parts of the park and seeing some parts a second and third time.  Talk more about it below.

Death Valley was used to obtain Borax during the late 1800’s. Borax was used for soap, detergents, and cosmetics and has gone on to many other uses as well. Above is one of the pieces of equipment at the outdoor museum at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center (good name for Death Valley area, right?) The process used was scraping it off the surface and processing it on-site before shipping the finished product to markets hundreds of miles away. That processing and shipping are where “Twenty Mule Team Borax” came from. They used wagons hooked together and 20 mules to pull them.

More equipment used during the borax processing.

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Picture at the museum.

At a preserved site of the processing. Actual picture of a mule team. The climate must have been tough on humans and mules.

A section of Death Valley called the Devil’s Golf Course. As in only the devil would build a golf course that looked like this!

An actual picture of the area. Most of the surface and the “rocks” are actually salt and a few other materials.

The sign is hard to read. 282 feet below sea level. The lowest point in the Western Hemisphere.

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This “puddle” of water is always here. Fed by a mountain spring. The name “Bad Water” came from an earlier prospector who couldn’t get his mule to drink the water and “Bad Water” stuck. 

Walking path around the area. Again, mostly salt packed down from walkers and the weather. The valley gets less than 2 inches of rain a year so that doesn’t impact the salt very much.

The next 8 or 9 pictures are from an area called Artist’s Drive. 

Haze in the air and some are partially into the sun. (Need to take your pictures when you are there. Can’t take them later when you will be someplace else!)

At the end of this segment, there is a picture of a picture from one of the signs around the various stops. 

Notice the subtle but beautiful colors on each of the pictures. With some Photoshop work, these will show more color but I’m not ready for that yet.  (I’m going to do a “coffee table” book and hope to send it to PDF and post it on the blog but that will be a while.)

More colors but to show the “Long and Winding Road”.

A picture taken in the area that has been “tweaked” but Photoshop. When the weather and the sun are in the right position and the haze is less, it can look like this.

More of the color, now getting into a yellow.

This one taken thru the windshield just to show that I’m still “The Driveby Tourist”!

To show that plants actually do grow in Death Valley.

Now at a different place and the sand looks yellow here. 

Another “picture of picture”. I have a few on the Nikon but again, will need some tweaking to make the picture look like it really is.

And final picture of the day. This one is on the road to Vegas. 

Staying on “The Strip” so have to go out for a while. Won’t be long, but I’ll post this and come back later with a day end wrap up.

Ok, I’m back. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! Actually nothing much happened. Ever notice that people who play  the slots a lot get to look like zombies after a while. Stare at the machine, head forward like using a computer, hit the button, rinse and repeat. Just not my thing. Probably wouldn’t have even stayed in Vegas if I wasn’t meeting up with someone. (Oh, and so many people smoke, and they allow smoking in the casinos. From just a short time, I can feel my eyes burning. Ok, enough negativity!)

A nephew of my former wife lives here. I hadn’t seen him in nearly 25 years. Talked on the phone a couple of times and I heard he was here. We met at my hotel and had a good conversation, great to see him again. Advantages of being a Driveby Tourist, go where you can and take the time to look up people you once knew.

Once again, Death Valley was great, much better than I expected it to be. Certainly worth the trip. 

That’s it for today. I’m moving on again tomorrow. Aiming for Page AZ after going thru Utah and then on to Monument Valley the following day.

(And take a look at the National Parks in general. A post about all of them and links to others.)

Classic Rock Recollection

“Peaceful Easy Feeling” by Eagles

I like the way your sparkling earrings lay
Against your skin so brown
And I want to sleep with you in the desert night
With a billion stars all around

Written by Jack Tempchin

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