Revisiting the Bucket List

Death Valley National Park
It wasn’t even on my “bucket list” of things I needed to do while on the West Coast. So when Gary said we were going there before we headed to Arizona, I wondered what there was to do there. I mean, with a name like Death Valley – sure didn’t seem like a very interesting place to me. Well, four jam packed days (and 700+ pictures) later, let me tell you, there is LOTS to see and do in Death Valley.
Did you know

  • The highest temperature recorded in the USA was in Death Valley (134 degrees)
  • The same year the highest temperature recorded (1913), the lowest temperature (for Death Valley) was also recorded – 15 degrees above zero.
  • Death Valley National Park is the largest National Park in the lower 48 – 3 million acres of wilderness.
  • The lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere (282 ft. below sea level) is found at Badwater in Death Valley?
  • The highest point in the lower 48 (Mt. Whitney at 14,491 ft) is just 100 miles from that lowest point.
  • Enough of statistics! I was expecting to see desert and desert-y thing. What I wasn’t expecting were mountains of unbelieveable colors, volcanic craters, a castle, moving rocks, and lakes of salt. I’ve pared down my pictures, and tried to be at least a little organized, so here we go – the highlights of Death Valley National Park, Conrad-style!

    Titus Canyon
    Now there are two ways to see Titus Canyon. One is to drive to the canyon head (about 1/2 mile) and then hike up the extraordinary canyon. OR, you can drive all the way out of the park and approach it from the other side, driving along a “high clearance, 4×4 vehicle recommended” road for about 25 miles. Can you guess which one we chose?
    Titus Canyon Drive-1
    The road was one way (which I LOVED) and never really got too “technical”, but we did encounter something that we had rarely come across before –
    Titus Canyon Drive-2
    TRAFFIC!
    And while we tried to stay back (mostly so we wouldn’t be choaking on their dust),
    Titus Canyon Drive-4
    We did finally end up in a traffic JAM!
    Titus Canyon Drive-6
    Looking back while we waited for folks to start moving again….
    Titus Canyon Drive-5
    We eventually got around the crowd (they all stopped at various POI’s along the way), and made our way into the canyon –
    Titus Canyon Drive-9
    and after an amazing drive through the canyon,
    Titus Canyon Drive-11
    we made it out the other side! It was a great drive – and if you’d like to see a couple more pictures of the drive and canyon, Here you go! –
    Since the drive took a little longer than we expected (you know, the traffic!), we decided to take in some of the areas that were close to our campsite.
    Like the Harmony Borax Works
    20 Mule Team Borax-1
    20 Mule Team Borax-2
    And the Salt Creek Interpretive Trail
    Salt Creek-2
    Salt Creek-3
    Salt Creek-5
    Salt Creek-4
    The Salt Creek is home to the Devil’s Hole pupfish – an endangered species found only (so I’m told) here in the Death Valley region.
    Salt Creek-1
    Our final stop for the day was Mosaic Canyon – Amazing!
    Mosiac Canyon-2
    Mosiac Canyon-3
    Mosiac Canyon-6
    A couple more Mosaic Canyon pictures are HERE

    And that was Day One. I think I’ll split this up into a couple of posts, so you don’t get into picture overload (like that would ever happen on one of MY posts!) 🙂
    Take a break – I’m going to make us some dinner!

    3 thoughts on “Revisiting the Bucket List”

    1. hey lady! just thought i should leave a comment so you feel special when you check your website 🙂 I do look at it sometimes… I very much enjoy looking at your pictures and all the wonderful places you are seeing! I hear you are going to be up in south dakota this summer? maybe while we are passing through with the ikoniak bandwagon??

    2. Well, hey there, Sarah Hay! And yes, I do feel special when folks leave a comment. So thanks for letting me know you stopped by!
      SD is on our horizon, and I’m ever so hopeful that we’ll be able to connect with the ikoniak bandwagon as it passes through!
      Happy Easter!

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