Without airco in Death Valley

This lapse of our planned vacation made me most nervous:  we'd love to see the beauties of the harsh Death Valley National Park but everytime I read the heating warnings, I wondered if if was insane and irresponsible to plan this with a baby.   Warnings like "you must turn off your car airco every so often for 30 minutes if not your car will overheat " / "pack more than double the amount of water with you than you think you will need" / "only plan activities outside your car, early morning or evening", ...aren't really reassuring. Doubt kept kreeping in my mind and I reassured myself we could still change our plans last minute.

But the weather forecast looked quite particular for Death Valley:  Sunday 42C, Monday 28C,  Tuesday (when we'd go ) 18C and chance of showers, Wednesday 25C, Thursday 28C, Friday 33C, ....  And the forecast remained . And so we drove,  early in the coolness of the morning as planned, with each more than 4L water as instructed by the warnings towards the entrace of Death Valley National Park.

Silly enough I had never realised we had to cross a pass to enter the valley...haha, it wouldn't be a valley right.  And up on the pass it was drizzling and 5C!!  And so we were off for a day in Death Valley , driving around without airco (ha....as instructed right ;) ) and wearing long pants and a fleece.  Seriously I loved it that way, what a relief. We couldn't have picked a better day!!! Probably one of the coolest days of the year in Death Valley, but in the afternoon it became a very pleasant 25C after all.  Nice nice.

A canyon before descending towards the valley....5C...brrrrrr

Dunes just past Stovewells Pipes Village with slightly humid sand

Remainders of the very active Borax mining activities in the Valley in the 2nd half of the 19th century and one of the Twenty Mule Team Wagons that exported all ore and materials in and out the valley. Hard to imagine there was once an active industry in this valley.

Badwater... an almost entirely dried out lake at the valley's lowest point.  Salt salt salt it is now and a tiny puddle of water in which a very rare snail manages to live in this highly salty water.

The Devil's golf course, a former lake dried up to salt stalectites.

Painter's Pallette was not mentioned in any of our tourist guides. Shame on you editors!   This 9 mile one-way loop drive is the best this national park has to offer.   While zigzagging through the rocks, we got to see the most stunning scenery .  Not just the Painter's Pallette point itself where different minarals show the rocks in all kinds of colors as if a painter just splashed the rocks, but also the rest of the drive.
Anyone visiting Death Valley in the future : ignore all the dozens of visitors a bit further at Badwater. Take the exit and enjoy Painter's Pallette. And all file a complaint to the tourist guides for not knowing this little gem.


Brian Miller said…
wow...gorgeous part of the country and so different from my world....glad you did not melt...what an intriguing landscape...

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