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Published: October 24th 2008
Area 51 is somehwere?!!?
Since we had been staying in 4-star hotel, we checked out using the TV remote control and headed for breakfast. This was the 'popular' choice of Subway. Ollie was not able to stomach two meals in a row at Subway and so opted for 2 big fat greasy sausage and egg McMuffins instead.
Feeling rather full (and fat!) it took us a while to navigate our way out of Las Vegas. As Ollie was directing, he is considered responsible. Eventually we were on our way back to California through the very hot and baron Nevada Desert. We kept our eyes open for Area 51 but were unsuccessful in finding it. We arrived at Death Valley National Park around 2.30pm, payed our entrance fee and drove to the visitor centre. At the centre, we were given our free map and once again Mark was complimented on his wonderful hat.
The first point of interest was Zabriskie Point. This was an unusual formation of rocks and after a quick photo we were on our way. A further 30 miles along the valley and we arrived at Dante's View. This was a look-out point from which it was possible to see the highest and lowest points of the United States mainland. We could see the salt flats (the lowest point) but couldn't spot where Mount Whitney was lurking(the highest point)!
From Dante's, we headed into the base of the valley and more specifically Badwater Basin. These were the salt flats which we had spotted from the top of Dante's view. It felt quite spooky to be standing 86 metres below sea level and we were also quite surprised by the fact that there was some water present, if only a very small amount. Our final destination was the "Artist's Pallett" scenic driveway. This was a windy, single track road through smaller canyons and rock formations. It provided us with some wonderful views, made even better by the sun setting in the distance.
It was beginning to get dark by thsi point and as the accomodation in the National Park was so expensive, Dale continued driving us west out of the N.P until we arrived in a small town called Lone Pine. By this point, we were all rather tired and quickly checked into a motel. Dinner was a take-away pizza and some nice cold (light) beers. It was a welcome change from all the Subway sandwiches we had been munching!
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