Our time was up at our Sedona home, and on June 1 we drove the roller coaster elevation change drive to Henderson, Nevada just outside of Las Vegas. The following afternoon we drove to our next destination in Death Valley National Park, California, and stayed 3 nights at the newly reopened Oasis at Death Valley Inn. It was nice to see that the beautifully updated 92-year old hotel has retained her days-gone-by charm. While this stay was out of our normal budget range, 3 nights for the price of 2 helped.
Since our visit was in May, it was hotter than hades - but it’s a dry heat! And we somehow managed to stay during the hottest time they had this year which topped out at 122 degrees – right, a dry heat and early mornings were a cool 90 degrees! It felt like we were in a convection oven as the temps approached the 120 mark. Oddly enough, we found ourselves hoping for higher temps as we watched 122 momentarily appear on the thermometer reading outside of the visitor center. Talk about dazed and obviously very confused! Unfortunately, we weren't fast enough to grab a pic of the 122 so you'll have to take our word for it. The day we left, the valley cooled to the normal average temperature of low 100s. Brrrrrr!
Old Spanish Trail - The drive into Death Valley from Las Vegas can take 2 hours, but we chose a longer 3.5 hours on what was considered a scenic route on the Old Spanish Trail. It did not disappoint.
Badwater Basin – The lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level.
Artists Drive – Scenic loop drive.
Zabriskie Point – Sunrise
As with all the other places we see, we always learn new things, and there are surprises – good and bad. One thing that we were surprised about was how the air pollution travels through Death Valley from Los Angeles, California on the west coast, as well as from Las Vegas, Nevada to the east. On the other hand, we were surprised by the diversity and beauty of the land. We enjoyed our visit to this geologic wonderland and hope to get back here and try winter. That would give us a chance to take in more of the wonders of this place without having to work around the heat of the day, and there's a good chance the valley won’t be hazy. We’ll also make sure we’re here on a new moon phase and not a full moon as the bright light of the moon seriously takes away the night sky viewing.
Thanks for joining our journey.