What stays in Vegas… doesn’t leave Vegas. It is as simple as that. So we left. Checked out, tugged al baggage to the car and drove off. Destination? Ridgecrest.
Our main goal for today was not Ridgecrest, as one might have guessed; it is Death Valley.
The lowest and hottest point of North America. Today it was a mere 43 degrees in the shade at the visitors center, so at Badwater (at -68 metres the lowest and hottest point) it was several degrees warmer.
We went out to see all major points on the roadside and after the advice of the very cheerful National Park Ranger “In this weather, you don’t want to walk more than 20 metres from your car” we kind of did.
At Badwater, we walked about half a kilometre over the salt crust to the more virgin salt crust and took some pictures. Very impressive, and equally warm!
Other points of interest we attended were: Zabriskie Point, Dantes View, the Towne pass, Badwater and Artists Drive. The last is a very scenic drive to several bumps and big rocks on a hillside with loads of different colors. There are yellow, green, blue, red and all other tones to be seen in these formations which is fascinating.
Leaving Death Valley is not an easy task as it is surrounded by three big mountain ranges. You have a steep climb to come in and an even steeper descend to go out. After that there virtually is nothing there, as it simply is yet another dry, low valley where almost nothing lives.
There are a few people though, in places called Trona and Ridgecrest (formerly known as Crumville). Tomorrow off to Yosemite National Park!