Sunday, December 2, 2001  

Hello from Ridgecrest, California!

Start time: 0700

Start odometer: 27522

Weather: Partly sunny with scattered clouds, temperature 50 degrees F.

 

A great day today, with many interesting discoveries!  Had a great night at the camp, though stars could not be seen due to the bright waning moon.  Overcast clouds greeted me this morning, but a break to the north spread as the morning progressed, and it turned out to be a spectacular day.  I even had some rain around 0500 this morning, in the driest place in this country!  It makes a nice sound on the tent!

 

Highlights:

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My first morning stop.

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Looking north into Death Valley, the views were grand!

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Looking more towards the west.

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This is the view from Dantes, looking south.

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This is the only active mine in the park.  They are getting borax from a vein several hundred feet below the surface.

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Another dirt road leading to wonderful views.

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Ranger Alan giving the salt flat interpretive tour.

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Many different shapes and colors, these provided by mud, are seen on the flat.

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This weather station was about a half mile away from the parking area.  It is being used to measure evaporation.

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This area had rain more recently than the area with the mud.

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A dragonfly in the salt.  Many animals that get stuck and die here are preserved after the salt absorbs the moisture.

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Looking north, a view of me from salt flat level.  It was windy, and I need a haircut!

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The size of the place is incredible, and walking out a distance give you a good impression of the massive size!

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Looking east, barely visible is the weather station.  Beyond, two people are walking back to the parking area, and our cars are way off in the distance!

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The clouds provided an interesting backdrop to the salt flats.

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Another interesting formation.  It was strange walking in the surface, as it looked like ice.  It took some time before my fear of slipping on it went away!

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Another dragonfly.  I never realized any wildlife would be out here.

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Back near the parking area, looking west to where I walked.

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The Devil's Golf Course, with much rougher formations.

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The Artist's Palette.

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Another view of the Artists Palette, where minerals created these beautiful colors!

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The Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

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Leaving Death Valley, looking east at the enormous valley.

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More gravel roads leading to interesting places on the west side of the park.

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Interesting rock formations while exiting west.

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More fascinating rock formations and cloud shadows.

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Heading south towards Ridgecrest, the road beckons me to return to the valley soon!

 

In the morning, I will head up Route 395 for a short distance to revisit some areas, then south towards San Diego.  I hope to get to the southwestern most point of the U.S. on Tuesday.  Thanks for stopping by!

 

Routes traveled today: Ca 190 - Death Valley National Park Roads - Ca 178

Lodging: Motel 6 - 120300.jpg (30926 bytes)

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Copyright 2001 Igor N. Nikishin

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