We arrived in Death Valley on Monday, November 7th and stayed through Saturday, November 12th.
The scope of Death Valley is astounding. The size is vast (3.4 million acres), the temperatures are extreme (recorded high is 134 degrees) and the geology makes little sense. Our neighbors in the campground were geologists and they chose to come to the valley to celebrate their anniversary. Go figure! Although, I will admit, the longer we were there, the more I grew to appreciate the region.
The first travelers (the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe has been there for 1,000 years) were heading out to the gold rush and stumbled into Death Valley in December 1849. They spent a long two months with little food or water in the valley before finding a way out. It is said that upon leaving the valley, one of the travelers turned around on a ridge high above and said, “Good-bye death valley” and it has been called that since then.
I saw my first tarantula! It was REALLY BIG. For reference, when that spider crawled off of a curb, it could touch the top of the curb and the road at the same time. A curb is what, 4 inches high??? I kept my distance and let Maury take the picture 🙂
While we were there the daytime high temperatures were around 92 degrees, while nighttime lows were around 58 degrees. In the shade it was always very comfortable.
There are an estimated 6,000 – 10,000 abandoned mines in Death Valley.
You can find the lowest dry point in America at Badwater Basin, it is 282 feet below sea level. And just the week before, we were at the highest point in America at Mount Whitney (14,505 ft) which is only 76 miles away.
We drove through Titus Canyon, which took nearly 3 hours! It was dirt roads and hills the whole way but boy was it a cool drive. It takes you through the low desert, then up, up, up winding dirt roads, then down, down winding dirt roads to where you find the little ghost town, Leadfield. We stopped here to eat our picnic lunch and explore
Then we headed down into a slot canyon…
By the time we got back to the paved road we were very thankful for asphalt!
I thought this was a fun shot of Maury filming one of his Anchor Point videos..
I’m in this picture taken at the Artist’s Palette, but you have to look closely.
Our visit to Death Valley was really enjoyable. Although the groceries and restaurants were pretty darn expensive! So remember to come with plenty of food (or cash!).