Friday, October 14, 2011

Death Valley National Park

Actually, Death Valley is a relative newcomer to our National Park System. It has been a National Monument since the 1920's, but was designated a National Park in 1994. I had been there before as my Dad loved it, and would take us on our summer vacations on the way to Los Angeles. But the insurance man had never been, so it was on our list of things to do.

Although this looks like desert terrain, and could be what the valley would look like, there is really very few sand dunes. This was taken on our way down to the valley floor from the west.

This is more like what you typically see for 'landscape'. When we reached the valley, we turned north and drove this road to the infamous 'Scotty's Castle'. It was a beautiful morning, and we enjoyed the strangely beautiful drive.

And this is Scotty's Castle. Not Scotty's at all. Isn't that interesting? He lived in a small house within walking distance of this one, but this belonged to his friends and partners, a couple from Chicago. Such an interesting place to live, and quite a remarkable dream to make this happen in this particular place.

After we drove back the way we had come, we continued south and took a short drive to a scenic vista called the Devil's garden. (Everything is called the Devil's something there...Devil's cornfield etc. Must be because it reminds people of the heat of the place they are sure doesn't exist??)

Isn't that amazing beauty? People with eyes to look can see beauty anywhere.

After we lunched at the only tourist stop...Furnace Creek Inn... we continued south to the salt flat basin. I already posted about that, when it was 112 degrees with a hot wind. Doesn't that remind you of Yellowstone? It did me. Such interesting diversity, even in Death Valley. We did not continue on south from here, but turned back instead to go east and find the main road to Hoover Dam. A very interesting and enjoyable day in this park.

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