More on Death Valley National Park

The story of our visit in Death Valley continues here…

Now , we will go  for a short hike to see the Natural bridge. We hiked up the dramatic canyon to see this formation. It was  very hot. We did not know yet that  we were getting one of the warmest day of our trip !

Death Valley’s dramatic relief is the result of fracturing and tilting of the Earth’s  surface which transformed the regions’ once featureless terrain to the spectacular landscape present today.

Another  interesting  place to see was the Devils Golf Course. We were not going to play golf  but have a look at the crystallized salt. It was named after a line in the 1934  National Park Service   guide book to Death Valley National Monument, which stated that “Only the devil could play golf” on its surface, due to a rough texture from the large halite salt crystal  formations.

One more  short hike on that day to see the Golden Canyon. One of the most popular hike in the park. Narrow passageway beneath high colorful hills  that ends at sculpted canyon head wall.

Very  important to drink as much water as possible on those very hot days.

DVNP, the hottest place on earth. It holds the record : 134 F/ 57C.

Thanks to all for  reading and/or commenting .  More on DVNP  with my next post.

 

 

 

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.

THANK YOU.

 

 

 

Canada

July  1st is Canada Day ! Happy  Canada Day !

This year, Canada celebrates 150 years. Sesquicentennial. Ses·qui·cen·ten·ni·al. It means a one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary, and if you perfect the pronunciation it’s a real crowd pleaser.

Some will say it is older than 150 years  but I think  Canada is still a young country. How old is  the country  where you live ?

Canada is a North American country stretching from the U.S. in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north. Major cities include massive Toronto, west coast film centre Vancouver, French-speaking Montréal and Québec City, and capital city Ottawa. Canada’s vast swaths of wilderness include lake-filled Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. It’s also home to Niagara Falls, a famous group of massive waterfalls.

I am Canadian. I was born in Canada and lived in Canada all my life. I grew up in Quebec  but I am now living in British Columbia. So I moved from  almost one end of the country to the other end. Nature is very different in each  provinces. We have beautiful National Parks : Banff , Waterton Lakes, Jasper, Yoho,  etc… In fact there are 47 National Parks in Canada. All provinces have it special beauty.

I have not visited Newfoundland yet  but I hope to go there one day. You get there by ferry or by plane.

Maritime provinces are very interesting. I have traveled to Nova Scotia twice. I know some parts of New Brunswick.  I crossed Prince Edward Island to get to Magdalen Islands. The Magdalen Islands form a small archipelago in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with a land area of 205.53 square kilometers. Though closer to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, the islands form part of the Canadian province of Quebec. I have been twice to Magdalen Islands and I want to go back. I really love the wonderful beaches where you can walk a long time. It is very windy as it is in the gulf of Saint Lawrence. Some people like to go there to do  surf kite.

When I moved to BC, I drove across Canada by car. It was an interesting feeling to see my country.  And 22 years later, my family ( husband and kids)  went on a road trip across Canada.

In Alberta, we spent one night at the Prince of Wales  Hotel built in 1920. This hotel is opened only 4 months during the year ( end of May to end of September). It is located in Waterton Lakes National Park.

In Manitoba, we saw bisons.

I was very happy to see our famous Niagara Falls. They are a major tourist attraction for anyone who comes to Ontario.

Quebec City is a lovely city . The  iconic Chateau Frontenac ( Fairmont Hotel) is a wonderful historic building.  This heritage urban resort with its breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River and the architecture of the Old fortified City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site is always great to see.

Now that I live on the West Coast,  I want to see more of my province. There is so much to see here in BC. I love traveling and I plan on seeing more each year.

I share two photos  showing down-town (taken from the North Shore). The sea-bus is transporting pedestrians to and from the North Shore.

To all Canadians, Happy Canada Day.

…and to you all who read my blog, Thank you ! Maybe you can tell me what is your favorite city in Canada ( if you have been visiting or living here). I know it is a difficult question.