SUNDAY, APRIL 9, 2017:

Today I drove a total of 251 miles traveling from Big Bear to Death Valley.

It was a 180 mile drive from Big Bear to the Death Valley National Park southern boundary.

30 minute road report video of my travels from Big Bear to Death Valley.

Death Valley National Park is located east of the Sierra Nevada and straddles the
border of California and Nevada. The park protects the northwest corner of the
Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes,
badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. It is the largest national park in the
lower 48 states and has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve.
It is the hottest, driest and lowest of the national parks in the United States.
The lowest point in North America is in Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet below sea level.

72 minute video of Death Valley National Park.

Hello Folks,

Today was a pretty good day. I left Big Bear this morning around 9:00. I was wearing shorts at the time and it was in the 30s. Quite chilly. But I knew that the next time I got out of the car I would be in a warmer place. It was a 120 mile drive to Baker, California where I stopped for lunch. From there is was out into the middle of nowhere. It was about an 85 mile drive to the southern boundary of Death Valley National Park. The road wasn't exactly crowded. It was a nice drive though, I like the solitude.

I finally reached the park. But it is still many miles to the popular areas of the park. I still had the whole place to myself.

I was telling you about the new Avalon I am driving. Below is a picture of it at Death Valley. It's a little dirty.

After about twenty miles or so I came to the Ashford Mill Ruins. I actually ran into another person here. The first in about 100 miles.

About another twenty miles down the road I came to Mormon Point.

I don't think I would want to take this trip in the middle of summer. But today I really enjoyed the drive. Weather was perfect. Below I am standing in the middle of the road. I could have stayed there for many minutes before I would have had to move.

130 miles after leaving Baker I finally reached Badwater. This is the lowest spot on the continent. This was the first place today that there were actually a lot of people. It is also by far the least scenic place in the park. I guess people get a thrill out of walking at this low spot. I don't know who the two ladies are below but there was always someone behind the sign posing, so I took their picture.

Not far from Badwater i took the Artist's Drive. It's a 9-mile scenic one-way drive through interesting rock formations.

I was here once before about twenty years ago. It's a long drive to anywhere in and out of the park. But I think the park is beautiful.

At about 4:00 I made it to Furnace Creek in the center of the park. This is where I am spending the night. My room looks out on "the world's lowest golf course."

I just came back from dinner here at the ranch. I ate at the Wrangler Buffet. It was pretty generic, but out here in the middle of nowhere it will due. Tomorrow I am going to explore more of the park and then drive to Las Vegas.

More later,

Click on email photos for the large full-size photograph.

MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2017:

Today I drove 210 miles finishing up in Death Valley National Park and then driving to Las Vegas.

I enjoyed Dantes View in Death Valley National Park before driving to Las Vegas.

Dante's View in Death Valley National Park

Click on the arrow above to continue with today's adventures in Nevada.

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