From Lone Pine to Death Valley is 100 miles and speed limits are 55 to 65. Must not be lucrative for John Law though because no speed traps were evident. Nonetheless I kept Deathwish Drang, my diminutive (South) Korean clown car, at a sedate pace, pulling over for every FUV in a hurry. Gas at Panamint Springs was $4.99 per gal-I didn’t buy any.
Stovepipe wells is a wide spot in the road with a gas station selling unleaded for $3.06, and gift shops with fairly reasonable prices for a badlands resort. I coveted a wide-brim 100% cotton boonie hat for $18.00 and would have bought it except I have a perfectly good one already.
This young raven had been fed previously by tourists not following the rules and was brave, bold and quite unafraid in begging me for food. I was determined but dropped a piece of my lunch apple so he got rewarded for bad behavior anyway.
Mesquite Flat Dunes are well worth stopping for, though I arrived near noon so this picture doesn’t show much. Dunes only can form in local micro-climates that foster sediment deposition and these conditions are rather rare.
Near Furnace Creek campground is the old Harmony Borax ruins. It’s just a short bike ride from the campgrounds as well and worth the visit. The borax museum at Furnace Creek is also well done and if you’re a geologist or rock-hound don’t miss it because they have labeled samples of about every rock and mineral in the park.
In back of the building is a display of mining equipment, wagons and buckboards, railroad equipment and machines that I really couldn’t figure out. Worth the free admission price.
You pay the national park entrance fee at Furnace Creek and we oldsters can buy a lifetime national park pass, good for any national park, for only $10! Can’t wait to get old now, can you kids? Gas was $3.73 for regular
Now I regret it because the fucking generators from the fucking motor homes and FUVs are droning drearily and will be till 9:00 PM. North Americans will have their creature comforts, their 4Chan porn and their Dancing With the Stars, even in a natural wonderland.
Next time I’ll talk about Golden Canyon, Red Cathedral and Zabriskie Point, the highlights of my visit to Death Valley.
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