Badwater Salt Flat

Lowest point in North America and the driest place in USA.  We were 282 feet/86 m below sea level.  A very  impressive site.

It was quite amazing to see snow on that mountain, the Panamint range.

The salt flats in Badwater Basin cover nearly 200 square miles, among the largest protected salt flats in the world. The vast surreal salt flats of Badwater Basin change constantly. Sodium chloride-better know as table salt- makes up the majority of salts of this basin. Other minerals found there include calcite, gypsum and BORAX.

A   DVNP ranger  and a scientist from the  SETI Institute  were there that day to explain to the tourists about rain and storm in DV.

More to come  on my blog  with other areas of the park… Thanks for your comment or visit.


Harmony Borax Works

The story of our time in DVNP continues here…

After  spending time on the sand dunes , we drove to see  The Harmony Borax Works, an historic mining site where the famous 20-mule Team wagon began their grueling  165 mile   (264 km) journey south to the Mojave railroad depot. This place is an outside  museum  with lots of information.

Twenty mule Teams is the symbol of the Borax industry. A mineral found in soil, plants and even our bodies. It can be used as a laundry booster and many other uses. Harmony Borax works was the central feature in the opening of Death Valley. The first discovery was made in 1881. It was transported via 20 mule team. The plant shut down in 1928. Borax was also found in other countries.

You probably know a little bit more about borax if you read all the panels I shared with you.  It is hot , very hot in Death Valley, so we will move on to another spot and enjoy the AC in the car  for a few minutes ! Our next stop is The Badwater Salt Flat and it will be the topic  ( with photos of course) of my next post.

Thank you ! Have a great WE.


Salt Creek interpretive trail.

Death Valley National Park was the highlight of my trip in California in 2017. The first evening we  enjoyed was  a spectacular sunset.

The next morning, we were up early and ready to explore this vast area. The salt creek trail has a boardwalk that allow us to visit the salt marsh.

It was amazing to see the rare pupfish in the creek. Their lifespan is one year or less. So these tiny fish are in a hurry to feed and breed.   Pupfish got their name because they seemed as playful as puppies. They live in temperature ranges from 0 to 100C ( 32F to 212 F). They can live in water 3 times as salty as the ocean. They have been around for 20,000 years. Pupfish are desert survivors.

It was fun to see little lizards and see how fast they move.

We needed to get going with our visit as there is so much to see in DVNP.

More from our exploration in the park on my next post.

Thanks for reading !

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes (DVNP)

March 2017.  So 4 months ago we were  in DVNP…

Morning on the sand dunes was fantastic. Before it was too warm and crowded. I took many  photos and here I will share some with you.  And also  advices from a SAND DUNE:

Soak up the sunshine, stay loose, keep moving, embrace winds of change, make positive ripples, don’t get carried away, show your true grit !!!

Pretty flower I saw on the edge of the sand dune.  Larrea tridentata is known as creosote bush .

DVNP is a large area to cover in two days.  So we did not waste too much time as we really wanted to see as much as possible. I will post more photos in another post of  other areas  of the park. Hopefully you enjoyed the photos here . Thanks for your visit.

On the road to…

I have done a few road trips. Some with my whole family ( when our kids were still quite young and later when they were teenagers). Now I go on road trip with my husband. We plan the trip together. We decide where we should stop for visit.  I usually  book the accommodation.  My husband is the driver and with the help of the GPS, we get where we want.

On this road trip, we had plan to visit Death Valley National Park as we were already in California. I did not know much about this National Park but I was very curious to discover this very special place.

We booked a room in Stovepipe Wells village. It just happen that the hotel was very close to the Mesquite Flat  Sand  Dunes.  It made it easy to go at sunset and  again early in the morning. One  experience I will never forget. If you have been to a desert you will know the feeling of walking on sand and climbing sand dunes. I had been to a sand dune in France in 2015  but this was totally different than what I saw in DVNP.

I will share a few pictures and let you get the feeling of it. The first picture was taken early in the morning   (7:50 ) when there were very few people on the dunes. We did not stay very long that day because we knew we would come back later and we had so many other places to see.

That night, it was almost full moon and many people wanted to see it from the dune. Because the temperature was cooler in the evening than during the day , it was a good time to explore.  But  Death Valley is known for warm, very warm temperature. Even for us with a visit  in March, the temperature went up to 101 F (over 38C).

I really wanted to go on the biggest dunes and the only way we could do it easily was to get up early and go right away before wasting any time. It was the best decision for us  as we were able to climb all the biggest dunes and take photos with almost nobody in it.

We stayed on the dunes for almost one hour and a half. It was a great feeling to walk bare feet . I am happy I did not see the desert sidewinder snake ( I only saw the trace ).

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are at the northern end of the valley floor and are nearly surrounded by mountains on all sides. Due to their easy access from the road and the overall proximity of Death Valley to  Hollywood , these dunes have been used to film  sand dune scenes for several movies including films in the  Star Wars series. The largest dune is called Star Dune and is relatively stable and stationary because it is at a point where the various winds that shape the dunes converge. The depth of the sand at its crest is 130–140 feet (40–43 m) but this is small compared to other dunes in the area that have sand depths of up to 600–700 feet (180–210 m) deep.

Thanks for reading  and  for writing  a comment.  I will  write more on DVNP and share other places we visited.  Now that summer is here, I might not post  every week.