Death Valley, Ca
Oct 14, 2008
|The threat of 2 feet of snow sent us skeedaddling out of the Tetons last Thurs, Oct 7. Weather pre-determined our route; hence, traveling through south east Utah was quite refreshing. Frequently, I'm referring to the mega sizes of everything west of the Mississippi River; "things" continue to grow in size, ranches, stacks of hay, numbers of animals in the field, height of mountains, beauty of the country(Bear Lake, Utah).
Logan, Utah is one friendly city. For starters we stayed at Traveland RV attached to a Motel 6. We highly recommend these folks. Communing with nature is wonderful; however, one must return to civilization. There are chores to be done! While Corky was supervising the oil change, I went on a walking tour. University of Utah, main campus, is located there. So, you know, businesses employ the college students. The stmosphere in the city is contagious. There were no low rise jeans, piercings, visible tatoos, vulgarity. Families were shopping together-no bickering no matter the age. The tour included areas I could observe and interact with people. What a refreshing spirit-it was almost tangible.
Bonneville Salt Flats here we come! The pictures will tell the story. It is essentially an old lake bed in which the water evaporates during the dry, arrid season. We walked around on the salt, looked at the tire tracks. Located on the Nevada border this was our introduction to the casinos. Along with several other rigs, we camped out in the parking lot. In exchange, the casino buffet was garganuous!!. We walked for an hour in the cold to alleviate our misery. It looked like a snow globe outside the next AM.
Since we have no definite route, changing directions is easy. Off we went on Nevada state route 95-Extrterrestial Scenic By-way! Basically, Nellis Airforce Base has its own personal "area 51". The military acerage, ranches, state parks intertwine with each other. Open range is the rage. Sure enough here would come one cow; the rest played follow the leader. Antelope, deer, cows, horses all share the same fields!
Yes, we have seen real cowboys hearding cattle! Now that was exciting. I was so mesermized, I forgot to take their pictures!
Death Valley is an experience everyone should have. Essentially the valley floor is the ocean floor. The mountains and the lowering valley floor are a direct result of earthquakes. Fault lines are easily recognizable. The salt literally forms a crust over the silt, briny solution. Remember 20 Muleteam Borax!! Yes, its origin is Death Valley.
When hiking we would begin 230+/- feet below sea level; hike up a mountain 300 +/- feet above sea level. Interesting, huh. Wait 'til you see the pictures.
The NP has done a beautiful job with the campsites. They are very accommodating! Campers seem to be drawn to each other. A group of business men, riding KTM(?) bikes joined us to chit and chat. Their bikes are orange and black made in Austria or maybe Australia-unique. They had the complete outfit in orange and black. By the way, the bank president was the "trail leader" as they called him!
Very, very little grows or lives in the valley. Coyotes peruse the campground for food! Kangaroo rates, scorpions, tarantulas, & pup fish(during the rainy season). Creosote trees, desert holly, and date palms are sparse in the area. Nothing survives in the summer. We were lucky to be there this time of year.
We can not emphasize enough-go to the visitors center when entering a new area. If you don't, you miss what is unique to the area. Death Valley is a good example of that. Without the info received at the NP visitor's center, we could not have located attractions or identified things we saw. Thank you Helen and Bill!
Are you ready for this? We are in Las Vegas!! Back to THE city, cell service, and internet. Stay tuned for this adventure.