Day 11 – Death Valley – Photos
An early start to get to Badwater before sunrise. We arrived in good time and had the place to ourselves. It was very dark, and quite warm. Badwater is the lowest place in the North America, 86m (282 feet) below sea level. The highest point in the contiguous US (Mount Whitney) is only 85 miles away.
Badwater is somewhat featureless, but you can follow boardwalks to some of the pools of bad water, and then walk out onto the salt flats as far as you want. I imagine that, in hot weather, this is not very far.
Heading back from Badwater, we turned off to visit the very large natural arch.
And then Devil’s Golf Course, where a film crew were just emerging from RVs.
We then returned to the Furnace Creek diner for a breakfast ordered off the menu, which was ok but they got the order wrong and the waitress was too busy chatting with colleagues to collect the modified order off the pass.
Next was a drive past Stovepipe Wells to the sand dunes, past an area called “Devil’s Cornfield”.
We then headed to Marble Canyon, which was a pretty walk with some nicely polished rock walls.
We headed back through Stovepipe Wells – it should be noted that the petrol (‘gas’) here is a lot cheaper than at Furnace Creek, and went to the burger bar by the gold course for lunch. From our tests, this was the best (and least busy) dining option.
After lunch we drove more than a mile (vertically) up to Dante’s View, which had a good overlook over Badwater, where we had been that morning.
On our way back we took the Artists Palette drive for sunset, although arrived at the palette itself a little after sunset. As usual.
We then had an evening swim in the pool, which is fed from hot springs and is nicely warm, but not quite wartm enough to just sit in.
Day 12 – Death Valley to Mono Lake – Photos
We started the day with a buffet breakfast in the restaurant which wasn’t too bad. We also had a swim before heading out.
The drive out of Death Valley was good – a very long climb into the mountains, over a 5000 foot pass, with regular ‘radiator water’ stops available for cars that had overheated. Not a problem for our car in October.
We stopped for lunch in Lone Pine, which was having its annual film festival. There was lots of film-related information, and a little fair / market in a pretty park.
We carried on to Lee Vining, following the edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains, which was a very pretty drive and our elevation started to get back towards 8000 feet in places.
Here we stayed at Murphey’s Motel, which was fine, and headed over to Mono Lake for the sunset.
We then had a pleasant dinner at Nicely’s diner back in town.