Here, we are still in the western portion of the park on US Highway 190. We are travelling eastward and will cross over a pass called Towne Pass which is at elevation 4,950 feet. From there we will "drop" down about 4,000 feet into the middle portion of the Park at Stovepipe Wells.
Death Valley National Park is located in Eastern California...towards the Nevada border...Within the boundaries of the Park lies a spot, Badwater, that has the distinction of being at the Lowest elevation in North America: 282 feet (86.0 m) BELOW sea level (I will show you this in a few days). Interestingly, the lowest elevation point at Badwater is only 86 miles from Mt Whitney (in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range), which is 14,505 feet and is the second highest peak in the US. So, only 86 miles separates the lowest point in North America from the second highest point in the US.
Death Valley also holds the record for being the driest location in North America with an average rainfall total of 1.5 inches per year. In fact, there have been two years - 1929 and 1953 - that have had absolutely NO RAIN recorded for the ENTIRE YEAR! Now THAT is dry!
Finally, Death Valley has the distinction of being the hottest location in the Western Hemisphere with a temperature of 134 degrees F (56.7 Celsius) recorded on July 10, 1913.
In this view, we are looking to the southeast towards Telescope Peak which rests at 11,049 feet. To the east of (and downslope from) Telescope peak, lies the Lowest point in North America at Badwater. For now, we will continue eastward over the Panamint Mountains and into the main part of the park.
If you notice the broad sloping mass of land from left to right coming down from the mountains, this is known as an Alluvial fan (aka Alluvial Plain) I will explain more about alluvial fans in a few days.
Tomorrow we travel over Towne Pass and Friday, it's Stovepipe Wells and the sand dunes.
I hope this works - here is a link for a pdf map of Death Valley National Park
** Staples Singers - "Respect Yourself"
- " We do not move forward from a middle opinion, which is undemocratic but mediocratic.
We advance from a creative passion "- (Edgar Morin)
- "To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at
that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson.
::Words from Denny:
- My beliefs, and values, have always been strongly tied-to music, especially Jazz, and Blues.
- The following artists and lyrics seem to "sum-up" where my spirit resides:
EARTH WIND AND FIRE;
"HOLD ON TO YOUR SPIRIT,
ALWAYS FEEL YOUR SOUL....
HONOR THE MAGIC IN YOUR HEART"; Earth Wind and Fire