Our trip didn't start off great. We had a four and a half hour delay departing from Peoria because some mechanism in the airplane's engines had frozen overnight in the sub zero temperatures. Go figure. We missed our tight connection in Dallas/Fort Worth by a mere four hours and were bailed out by our good friends Jeff & Nichole who live in the area. They treated us to jalapeno deviled eggs, pumpkin risotto, carrot soup, beer, wine, and mint chocolate chip cookies. They also introduced me to The Crown.
The next day's travel found us landing in Las Vegas. We made for the Hoover Dam and took their tour of the power plant. What a feat of engineering!
|View from atop Hoover Dam.|
There's not much to do in Pahrump, but it is the last stop before entering Death Valley National Park.
We stopped at Zabriskie Point first and then the Borax Works, below.
Laura wanted to hike Fall Canyon and thought a nice scenic drive on a 24 mile long, one way, gravel road, along cliffs and through canyons was the way to go.
The rental car, a Jeep Patriot, seemed to handle the trek just fine. Luckily, it had high enough clearance to get through some of the rough spots. I do wish we had looked into getting something with four wheel drive, but I suppose that just made it a bit more challenging and fun!
Personally, I enjoyed driving through Titus Canyon, but I know for a fact it freaked Laura out a bit.
Here's a picture of Ubehebe Crater, which is the remnants of a two thousand year old volcano.
The next morning we hiked Mosaic Canyon and had a really nice experience.
Afterwards we took a drive to see the old Wildrose Charcoal Kilns.
For those of you not in the know. Death Valley is located a couple hours west of Las Vegas in eastern California. It's desert country and is aptly named. Temperatures in the summer are regularly above 110 degrees Fahrenheit and the record temperature on Earth was set in Death Valley at 137 degree. So, water, flowers and the trees shown in this post are quite rare. To put things in perspective, we saw eight birds during our time there and six of them were crows hanging around the dumpsters of the restaurants. The other two were some sparrows which were surely lost. It is not easy for wildlife to survive out there.
That evening we drove out to Badwater, which is the lowest elevation, at 282 feet below sea level, on the North American continent.
Our iPhone cameras didn't do this one justice. Below is a picture of what is known as Artist's Palette.
That evening we drove "The Strip" and took a tour of The Neon Museum.
We left the 60 degree temperatures of Nevada and California and landed in P-town yesterday evening, after another three hour delay in Chicago. Apparently cold weather and getting in and out of Peoria do not mix. Sigh.
Overall, it was great to experience so many new things and my wife did a wonderful job planning the trip. I would definitely suggest checking out Death Valley. Just don't go in the summer!
Thanks for stopping by and reading!