Sunday, October 15, 2017
We arrived in Death Valley in the early afternoon and set up camp in Furnace Creek Campground. Once again we were camping in a national park (yay). This campground was nicer, if more sparse of trees, and quieter than Yosemite.
After picking up a map (and pin) at the Visitor Center, which was less than a mile from camp, we headed to the south end of the park on Badwater Road, winding up at Badwater Basin. We hiked about a mile out onto the salt flats, a white desert area where the saltwater oozes up through cracks in the earth to leave a raised pattern of hard salt deposits for as far as the eye could see.
From the salt flats we drove north and stopped to hike up to Natural Bridge. This was a half-mile hike uphill the entire way in.
We drove on to Artist’s Drive which has The Artists Pallet, a geologic rainbow of colors. This finished up the southern drive.
After dinner we drove all the way up to the Mesquite Dunes, then back to Salt Creek so I could take photos of the Milky Way. I spent about two hours working on this project. I still have a lot to learn about this type of photography and don’t know it what I did will turn out. I need to take a few tutorials in order to put all the photos together the way I’d like.
Monday, October 16, 2017
After a relaxing breakfast we drove out to Zabriskie Point and a very short hike to the overlook. Wow! What a fascinating place! I sure hope my pictures do it justice.
Next we drove out to Harmony Borax Works and walked around for about a half mile to check out the old borax refinement ruins.
From the Borax Works we drove out to Salt Cree to walk the boardwalk. We saw several Zebra Tail Lizards and also a few Chuckwallas.
After lunch we drove up to Dante’s Point for the magnificent view of Death Valley. I hiked out toward a narrow peak beyond the parking lot, but experienced a slight case of vertigo and decided not to go the whole way out.
From Dante’s Point we drove the Twenty Mule Team Canyon – a hair-raising drive to say the least! But, there were places at the beginning of the drive that were very pretty.
The last place we visited were the dunes. The light was fading fast, but I got a few photos before it was too late. It was a nice way to wrap up our time in Death Valley.