RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Death Valley, Badwater

Thursday 3/29/2012

After Artist Drive we headed for Badwater.

The drive from Artist Drive to Badwater was 11 miles.

After parking I notice a white sign on the mountain wall behind Badwater.

The sign marks the sea level.
Badwater sits at -282 ft below sea level.

When we were staying in Ehrenburg, AZ. this year, a chiropractor I visited there asked where we were going next. I told him Death Valley. He said it had not rained much there this year, so it would not be as good. I was not sure what he meant. But now I understand. With no rain the dust and sand covers much of the white salt. Not the look we had expected.

Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America. The Salton Sea is the 2nd lowest point. We visited the Salton Sea two years ago when we were out west.

The valley floor continues to be lowered as both  mountains on each side of the valley, raise higher. A sifting of the fault line pushes the Black Mountains on the east and the Panamint Mountains in the distances, to the west up.

The site itself consists of a small spring-fed pool of "bad water" next to the road in a sink; the accumulated salts of the surrounding basin make it undrinkable, thus giving it the name. The pool does have animal and plant life, including pickleweedaquatic insects, and the Badwater snail. 

Death Valley is the driest place in North America with an average rainfall of less than two inches a year on the valley floor.

Death Valley is one of the hottest places in the world.

The salt flats where people have walked on are kept white.

Where no one has walked on them, the wind has blown sand, covering the salt flats.
Farther from the edges of the salt flats they are still relativly white.

We saw a guy ask another couple if they wanted their picture taken. They said yes and he took their picture. Later he saw me taking pictures and asked if we wanted our picture taken together. I then asked if he wanted his picture taken, and he said yes. We were told by a couple we met earlier on our travels that the salt flats are very corrosive, and it is best to walk on them with old shoes that you can hose off. We came prepared!

It was very warm on the valley floor. I was glad I had my shorts on, even though it was a bit colder earlier that day at Dantes View.

"Adjacent to the pool, where water is not always present at the surface, repeated freeze–thaw and evaporation cycles gradually push the thin salt crust into hexagonal honeycomb shapes". This is a driscription I found on Badwater Basin Wikipedia The salt flats did not seem to have the honeycomb shapes. I think it was because of the lack of rain. 

Dantes View is directly above Badwater Basin, 5000 some feet up the Black Mountains! The temperature can be 25 degrees different from the valley floor to Dantes View. We can attest to that statement.

You could bearly see the cars in the parking lot from where we walked out to on the flats. You can walk much farther if you like.
Close up of the salt flats.

You do not want to be here in the summer time. Daytime temperatures get to 120 degrees, with night temperatures getting down to 100 degrees.

A record temperature of 134 degrees was recorded by the caretaker, Oscar Denton, at what is now Furnace Creek Ranch, in July 1913

Oscar Denton said, " It was so hot that swallows in full flight, fell to the earth dead and when I went out to read the thermometer with a wet Turkish towel on my head, it was dry before I returned".
As the rain comes down from the mountain rocks on both sides of the valley, the minerals are washed down to the floor. As the water evaporates, the minerals concentrate until only the salts remain.

We left Badwater Basin and continued 30 miles south toward Ashford Mill Ruins.

We left Pahrump, Nevada on Friday April 6, and are now in Tulare, CA. for 3 to 5 days depending on weather and if we can stay longer at the Passport rate. Tulare, CA. is just north of Bakersfield, CA., on Hwy 99. We will be heading into Sequoia National Park soon thereafter. We have heard there is no internet and maybe no phone service, so it might be a while once we go into the park that I can blog again.

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