Published: March 17th 2010March 12th 2010
Obligatory photo at the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere.
Tonight my focus is on my shoes. The soles are gooey with gum that I managed to step in at the little town of Beatty, Nevada. The sides of my Nikes are encrusted with salt from Badwater basin and the insides are filled with sand acquired as I walked up and down the Mesquite Flat dunes.
Badwater Basin is the lowest point in the western hemisphere and, of course, we had to walk out into it. It's a strange, but beautiful place. The salt crystal formations were quite interesting. We made a quick stop at Furnace Creek for lunch and to check out the stores and it was fun to see one of the books that son Dave had designed on sale at the general store. After a leisurely stop at the old Harmony Borax Works it was off to explore Titus Canyon. Imagine our surprise after driving about 35 miles to discover that the road to Titus Canyon was closed. We were a little upset because nowhere in the visitor center was there any information about the road being closed and a ranger had even suggested we go there. Very frustrating! Joe and I had
driven through this canyon with a DV ranger friend about 32 years ago, but we had wanted to see it again. To try to salvage the afternoon we stopped at Rhyolite ghost town and at an unusual open air sculpture art exhibit nearby. We drove the extra four miles into Beatty, Nevada for a stop at the Death Valley Nut and Candy Company for ice cream. Ice cream has a way of making everything better and we were in good spirits the rest of the day. We drove back to the Mesquite Flat Dunes for some sunset viewing and walked the short Salt Creek Interpretive trail for close up views of rare tiny pupfish and lots of killdeer. Back at the ranch (Furnace Creek Ranch, that is) we had a hard time finding a place to eat as every place was packed. We finally snagged a table at the Corkscrew Saloon and ate salad and pizza among dozens of rowdy LOUD young park employees. Seeing these kids reminded me so much of the summer I spent working at the Grand Canyon when I was 20. Someone put a coin in the jukebox and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody jolted me out of
The white stuff is salt, not snow.
my stupor. In one corner of the room four attractive twenty-somethings began dancing and singing the words. During the instrumental portion of the song they really got going. I wanted to join them so badly, but I do know my place and my age so I just sang along at our table. It was so noisy in the place, that nobody really minded me singing. On that "note" it was time to leave and go sleep in our Furnace Creek Ranch room one last night, which I will do after I clean my shoes.
There are more photos below