West 2018 Day 13 – Death Valley

Friday 5/25/18

I don’t recall where exactly we stayed that night – some random hotel between Yosemite & Death Valley.  I do recall a late-night stop at a McDonald’s on the way out of Yosemite for coffee and to use their WiFi to find a hotel.  We had a late flight out of Las Vegas (10:30) so we had a pretty full day available.

Our last stop on the journey was Death Valley, the lowest, hottest, possibly most hellish places I the world.  Given that description, we didn’t plan on doing any super huge hikes, mostly just a drive through to hit a few of the points of interest.  We drove in the west entrance to the park and progressed east with a diversion to go south as far as Badwater Basin in the middle.  I think this allowed us to see most all the aspects that the park had to offer.

We started with the dunes, which are much different (shorter and more wind driven) than dunes in Michigan.  It was 97F when we hit the visitor center, so we loitered there a bit in the AC before heading down to Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the US.  There’s a fun little placard on the cliff side above pointing out where sea-level is and a lot of salt. Continue reading