So we left “the city of lights”, Vegas, and drove to the Moon…errhhh I mean Death Valley National Park. Death Valley, the largest National Park in the lower 48, is located on the eastern border of south-central California and includes a small area of Nevada. The park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. Oh and some parts of it look like the Moon – at least what we imagine the Moon looks like. Death Valley is dry and hot most of the year; the highs can climb to over 115F. Luckily we were there in November when the temperature ranges from a low in the upper 40s to a high in the upper 70s.
Like all of the other National Parks we have visited, Death Valley did not disappoint. We were only in the park a few days, so we did not get to see most of it. We definitely want to go back for an extended stay. We took a few photos of the otherworldly landscape.
A highlight of our time in the park was the Furnace Creek Campground where we parked Peg for a few nights. As is typical with most National Park campgrounds, there are no hookups but there are amazing views! For only $18/night you can camp (this is real camping) in the National Park. The campground is centrally located to all of the main attractions.
One night we walked over to the Corkscrew Saloon, one of the only places to get a bite to eat and watch a game. The food was pretty awful but we enjoyed the lively atmosphere. Of course Tim woke up in the middle of the night with some ‘stomach issues’. Now remember Peg is small, her bathroom tiny. So instead of making Renee sit through what would be a very traumatic experience, Tim made his way to the campground bathroom. Death Valley is pitch black at night and chilly – typical of a desert climate. Tim did make it back to Peg in one piece, but the moral of the story - do not get the nachos at the Corkscrew Saloon in Death Valley!
Renee wanted to go hiking, but Tim was still recovering from the stomach issues and lack of sleep. Before we left our home in St. Petersburg for this yearlong journey, Renee rarely hiked and was not really a big fan of hiking. Well, things have changed; so Renee decided to go on a solo hike, she hiked the Golden Canyon Trail. She took a few pics and videos.
Ok, so before we end this post we have one more “highlight” to share. On our drive from Vegas to Death Valley we needed to stop for gas. The drive only took a few hours but there is very little civilization between Vegas (and its suburbs) and Death Valley – a military base, a few casinos, a “town”…and not much else. So as we were about to turn onto HW 190, the main drag that takes you into Death Valley, we saw a gas station. We stopped to get gas and then we noticed two things – we were supposedly in/near Area 51 and the gas station was located by the famous Bunny Ranch…or at least a Bunny Ranch…of course we had to take a few photos.
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