Archive for July, 2009

Death Valley

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Death Valley in Bloom

Death Valley in Bloom

Death Valley is the lowest place in the United States at 282 feet ( 85.5 meters) below sea level. It is also

the driest place in the United States with les than 1.5 inches of rain a year. It is the second hottest place in the world at 134 F just 2 degrees short of the hottest place in the world Al Aziziyah, Libya.

The best months to visit are October thru March. December and January can have the largest temperature ranges. It can be well blow freezing at night and then warm up to the mid 8o’s in the daytime.

Death Valley is like a large bowl. It is surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges. The salty ground reflects the heat around and with no place to go, forms a giant heat vortex. Just like a pot of soup on a stove soon the whole contents of the pot is boiling.

Death Valley is on the border of Nevada and California. The main town at Furnace creek has a small airport a weather station and a population of about 30 persons.

The winter rains in January and February bring brief desert life. The whole basin gets a green look that lasts several weeks in March. With the rains the soil turns into a salty muck.

10,000 years ago the area was much wetter and the basin was a giant lake named Lake Manly. The lake was over 100 miles long and 600 feet deep. 2005 was a wet year and lake Badwater formed. The lake covered a good portion of the desert floor but in 2 year’s time it had dried up.

Death Valley is the home of the Timbisha Indians.The used to be known as Panamint Soshone. they have lived in the valley for over 1000 years. About half of the tribe lives at Furnace creek and the rest live in grapevine canyon near Scotty’s Castle. Timbisha means rock paint and refers to a red ochre paint made from clay.

Gold and silver were mined in the valley in the 1850’s and borax was pulled out of the valley by 20 mule teams in the 1880’s. The Valley became a park in 1933.

Furnace creek and Armagosa river flow into the valley but soon evaporate in the desert heat. There are also sevral ridges of sand dunes that wander back and forth over the desert floor. The road leading into the valley, 190, travels in a straight line from Scotty’s Castle to Furnace Creek. At Furnace Creek there is a small airport and even a golf course the lowest in the world at -282 feet. There is also an Inn witha swimming pool and a museum with various wagons and stagecoaches and even a 3 wagon 20 mule team display.

Death Valley is a nice place to visit but I do not think I would want to live there. The temperatures are just too extreme.

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I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s story. Before you go please be sure and check out our list of products on the right under our blogroll. Just click on any of the links that interest you and you will travel to that products website. Everyone have a safe and productive week and we will see you next week with a new adventure.