Thursday, January 13, 2011
Death Valley National Park
We got to The Tire Man store just before 8:00am. Had four tires installed on the rear, plus the long valve extensions. The work was completed by 10 and we headed out to Death Valley. The drive was interesting. We passed through the Searles Valley. It’s an area of potash and borax production. All around the various processing plants small company towns have grown up. I suspect virtually everyone in the area works for Searles Minerals.
We stayed at the Furnace Creek Campground in the Death Valley NP; $9/night. We had high hopes of touring the large Visitor Center/Museum. Regrettably, it’s closed for renovation until the Summer of 2012. Tomorrow we’ll visit the Borax Museum. Another chilly, cloudy day. Never saw the sun and the temperature never got much above 50*. On the other hand, these temps sure beat 120* in the summer. Some nights during the summer, it never gets below 100*. Can you just imaging the borax laborers misery during the summer. The laborers were Chinese. They got paid $1.30/day minus a bed rent and minus food bought from the Company Store!! What do you suppose they netted from their $1.30?
Death Valley NP is the hottest, driest and lowest NP in America.
When we got up today, Carol wasn't feeling well again. Her health is so fragile it worries me. We're going to talk later about whether it's best to continue the trip or head home. Either way, from now on, I'll only camp in areas with cell phone service and a hospital in the area.
On the way out of the park, we drove to Badwater Basin to see the lowest point in North America. Look at the picture that shows the cliff with the small white sign. The sign is at sea level.
We saw a coyote standing by the edge of the road. What a pretty animal. I know you're not supposed to feed the wildlife but I couldn't resist. I threw him a few of Gophers dog biscuits out the window.
We spent the night at an Escapee RV Park in Parhump, NV.