Sunday, March 25, 2012

First Trip Into Death Valley

Tecopa, CA.

46 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy in the morning, then mostly cloudy with a chance of rain. High of 66F. Winds from the East at 5 to 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

After starting the day with a sunrise like this, Jim just knew it had to be a good day for exploring parts of Death Valley. : )

So, after packing some things to take along, (a water jug filled with ice water, some snacks and a lunch for Linda), they headed towards the valley.

The road getting to Death Valley is in very good condition and there's lots of pull-off places where you can stop to take photos or have a drink of that nice cool water that you brought along.

This is one of the first markers they came to. If you click on this photo, or any of the others, they will enlarge.

The above marker was just a little ways before they came to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center where they went inside and looked at some of the exhibits and got maps and brochures about Death Valley from the park rangers.

After having some lunch and studying the maps and brochures, it was decided that they would check out something that Jim had read and heard about.

They had decided to go to the area known as Dantes View!!!

From the Visitors Center, they came back the way they had come until they came to the sign pointing to Dantes View. As soon as they turned off of the main road, there was a sign saying that the last 1/4 mile of this 13 mile road had a 17% grade!!!!!! 

Yep, you read that right. 17%!!!!!!!

CLT said that the road was in good condition, but there were lots of twists and curves and he was gaining altitude all the way. About 2/3 of the way there, there was a sign saying that no trailers were allowed further down the road and that there was a parking place for them if you wanted to continue.

Past that point, CLT says the road became more twisty with some hair-pin turns and the grade got steeper. And, true to that first sign, the last 1/4 mile was at a 17% grade!!!!

CLT said that at times he felt like he was going straight up!!! He said that Jim had to put his transmission way down into 1st gear to get up to the top!!!

But, he made it, and Oh Boy!!!! What a view he had when he got there!!!!

Dantes View is at 5475' above sea level and the bottom of the valley that you see in the photos is 282' below sea level.

CLT says that the above photos don't really show the depth of the valley or the beautiful shades of color, but I'm hoping you can get an idea of what it was like. It's like many places, you can't really see or know what it's like unless you go there and experience it for yourself.

Then, after taking in the view, it was time to start heading back down. The photo below shows only a small portion of the road, but maybe you can get an idea of what it was like. CLT said that the speed limit going down on the first steep section of road was 10 MPH and he said the definitely wouldn't have wanted to go any faster than that. : O

It was about 3:00 by the time Jim, Linda and CLT returned here to the park. Jim and Linda were both talking about how great the day was and how much they enjoyed it.

After relaxing a bit, they both took naps. ; )

As for CLT, I think he was just plain tired from doing all that climbing. I didn't hear a thing from him until later in the evening.   ; )

Did you know that Mt. Whitney at 14,491 feet above sea level, (the highest point in the lower 48 states), and Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level, (the lowest point in the lower 48 states), are only about 100 miles apart?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tour. We will be there in May. Sounds like we better take a lunch and lots of water. What a beautiful view...maybe a picnic at the top. Enjoy your Sunday. ~wheresweaver


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