Death Valley National Park ... we reached the desert late in the day with time enough to find accommodation in Stovepipe Wells. It was sooooooo hot. The minute we stepped out our airconditioned car we broke into a sweat!! Stovepipe Wells Village earned its name when "thirsty" prospectors dug for water nearby. Upon finding a lucky spot, they marked it with a long length of stovepipe ...
Death Valley is the largest national park in the USA comprising of 3.3 million acres of desert wilderness. Death Valley earned its name from the early gold rush pioneers. In 1849, a group of gold rush pioneers entered the valley, thinking it was a short cut to California. After barely surviving the trek across the desert, these pioneers named the spot "Death Valley". It was reported that only one person died at this time. Death Valley is a timeless medley of canyons, sand dunes, oases and sculpted mountains. It also holds the US records for the hottest temperature reaching 134oF (56oC) in 1913. (Today, it felt like that record was about to be broken). Death Valley also has the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at Badwater Basin salt pan of 282 feet below sea level. This extraordinary barren and hot landscape is home to a variety of plants and animals.
Whilst we were visiting the visitors information centre we couldn't help but overhear a tourist asking one of the Rangers for a recommended day hike. The Ranger was insistent that a day hike was not recommended in this heat and was trying to convince the tourist a night hike would be better if he really wanted to walk. We didn't stay long enough to find out the end result. We all just thought this guy was "nuts". The heat was unbearable and totally energy sapping.
Stovepipe Wells had great character and we felt like we were back in the old days!!! We went to the Saloon for a drink before dinner.