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Old 19 Jan 20, 02:07 PM  
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juliab
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The 260 Mile West Coast Wander - August 2019 - Day 6 - A day in Death Valley

INDEX

Friday 9th August


Slept really well the beds here were really comfy like the ones in Maswik were and we didn’t have any outside noise from anywhere. I’d been a little concerned about how some rooms could hear the rollercoaster roaring round but thankfully our room wasn’t anywhere near to it.

We so enjoyed our stay and after a little time of packing, didn’t really have a great deal to do as I didn’t unpack much then we were ready to leave the New York New York.

We filled the cool box up with ice though before we left then we said our goodbye’s to the New York New York Hotel. We’d had a brilliant 3 days here in Las Vegas and had enjoyed it so much more than i thought we would.

There was something we really needed to do - visit the Welcome to Las Vegas sign!

I know we were leaving but what does that matter. There was plenty of parking spaces available as most people parked up, snapped a photo and then went on their way. We didn’t bother waiting in the line to stand directly in front we just stood to the side to take a photo and it worked out ok.



A family offered to take a picture of us all which was a lovely gesture and we repaid the favour for them afterwards.


Job done we made our way to the Walmart where we stocked up on a few essentials, mainly water and juices along with some breakfast pastries fruit and beer.



This time though we couldn’t stop ourselves from getting a few packets of American Candy’s along with a couple of those big packs of my favourites Twizzler’s. These were so much cheaper than the Twizzler shop in our hotel!

I thought there would be a petrol station here but there wasn’t so we drove a little bit further down and thankfully found one. We filled the car up as much as we could do as there aren’t that many gas stations in Death Valley then Poppy and Jamie picked up a Slurpee from the 7-11 shop that was at the gas station, they so love these! We were now all ready to go.



For some reason I’d been getting myself into a bit of a panic about driving through Death Valley not sure why really think it’s just because of the name. My fear came from us running out of fuel and getting stranded somewhere, totally irrational but I’d had a couple of dreams about this happening so it was clearly on my mind.

I so wanted us to go through Death Valley, Hayden was really looking forward to the drive and had watched countless vlogs about it. I knew it would be an amazing experience for us all and I was so glad we had a full tank of petrol.

We were then on our way a little later than we’d hoped it was late morning now, but we were all stocked up and eager to get on with the day.


Whilst we did have the satnav I’d also got the route wrote down. We easily saw the sign’s and before long we were at Death Valley Junction heading up the long road to Dante’s View.



There were a lot of twists and turns in places, we didn’t see another car for quite some time until we got near to the top. My ears kept popping too with the elevation. Some of the road was quite steep in places too and we had to take it fairly easy but it was a really scenic drive up.

When we arrived there were a few cars there at least 20 with a few people walking around but we had no issue's getting a parking space. It was warm when we got out of the car but it wasn't an unbearable heat probably due to us being so high up. The views were amazing we could see down into Bad Water Basin and all of Death Valley.






Truly breathtaking.



It was quite breezy there too but the wind was so warm. We had a good look around and took plenty of photo’s before taking the winding road back down.

Stopped off at the rest room first though which was another of the national park type loo’s, not good but needs must!

We stopped at Zabriskie Point next with its colourful landscape. There was still a breeze here but it did feel so much hotter here and even though the walk from the car park to the viewing point wasn't really long you could feel heat so we did hang around for too long.







After this we headed further down to the visitor centre at Furnace Creek.

When we got out of the car the heat really hit us, there wasn’t a breeze or anything it felt so still but my word it felt hot. It was quite well into the afternoon so I’m glad we’d not arrived earlier.

We went to show our pass at the desk and the ranger gave us a map and a card to put on our dashboard to say we’d paid the parking fee.
It was quite interesting looking around in here reading all the fascinating facts about this National Park.




We had something to eat, filled up all our water bottles and then used the restrooms which thankfully were normal toilets.

After we kind of went back on ourselves as we drove along Badwater Basin Road to visit the salt flats.

It was like no landscape we’d ever seen before, beautiful yet eerie. Kind of felt like we were on another planet!


Again it was a little breezy here but it was so hot and with the warm breeze hitting your face it kind of made you feel even hotter.
We looked up to see the sign which showed where the sea level was, we had to look quite closely though as you’re stood 282 ft below it. How unreal is that!
Sea level sign small dot in the middle!

It was also strange to think that earlier that day we were at Dante’s View looking down onto the salt flats and now here we are.





Of course we didn’t venture out far although we did see a few people walking a way out onto the salt flats but we didn’t bother. We did step onto the salt crust just to feel it and Scott even tasted it, much to my disgust!



It was so quiet though as you stood there really peaceful and quite surreal.

We hung out for around 10 minutes or so we didn’t want to get burnt even though we all had factor 50 on!

On our way back up Badwater Basin Road we took the left turn off to go down the very dusty road to the Devil’s Golfcourse.

I wanted to check out that jagged formations, it was certainly a sight to see and it’s literally steps away from when you get out of the car.





Back onto the main road we traveled further up then took the right turn off to the Artists Palette. This is a one way road which winds through the colourful landscape. There’s a pull in so you can get some photo’s if you so wish, of course I wanted to.



It was very hot so everyone else appreciated the view from inside the cool air conditioned car. The things I do!

We set back off along the road with its twists and turns’ and dips too. At times it felt like we were on a rollercoaster as we kept dipping up and down and weaving in and out among the canyons. We didn’t have any cars in front or behind us so we could go at our own pace. It was a truly unique drive and I’m so glad we took the time to drive through.



Scott told me later that he’d noticed the car engine had got really hot, I’m so glad he didn’t say anything to me otherwise I'd have been freaking out thinking about us breaking down!

It was now around 5pm and we still had a way to go. We headed in the direction of Furnace Creek again but this time we continued on passing by the Mesquite Sand Dunes along the way.


Death Valley truly is a place of many differing landscapes.

Originally we were going to stop at Stovepipe Wells Village for a look around and something to eat but we didn’t have the time. I did remind Scott to fill the car up though and in among this little old time village we found the small gas station. Honestly we nearly drove past it. We set back off on our drive as we wanted to be out of Death Valley before it got dark.

I thought the road between Stovepipe Wells and Panamint was pretty scary as there were a few steep drops on the passenger side. It’s the only time I kind of felt a little on edge. It was only like this in a few places thankfully though.

Also we kept seeing signs telling you to turn the air conditioning off, which we did for a time then it got hot in the car so we’d put it back on again! This was when we were going up a hill. When we came down the signs would advise of brake check areas.

We came out of Death Valley and carried on the road to Lone Pine where we topped up the car again. It was starting to get dark now and we still had a bit of a way to go until we reached Bishop.
When I’d been looking at routes and hotels I had thought for us to stay overnight in Lone Pine but I wasn’t able to find a room that slept 5. I could at Bishop though so that’s what we went for.

The drive up to Bishop looked really beautiful in the twilight, a shame we didn’t get to see it in daylight though as I’d read it’s a very scenic drive with the mountains in the background.

It was really dark now and we were still driving in total with the stops we’d been on the road over 9 hours something we’d not anticipated. We were thought we’d get it all done in around 7 hours but never mind we had made it to Bishop and we’d had the most incredible day. Hayden had really loved seeing the landscape knowing that some Star Wars scene had been filmed here.

We had eaten some snacks later in the day but we were in need of some more food now. Our hotel had a Denny’s next door to it so we planned to go there but as we drove up the main road Jamie noticed a McDonalds. So that was our plans changed as the kids wanted to eat there. I didn’t mind I just wanted some food and it was a quick and easy option.

Afterwards we went to our hotel the Vagabond which we could see yet we had trouble finding the entrance! Eventually we did and we checked in, took our cases into the room and then we settled ourselves in.




I had hoped to have been able to do a wash here as the Vagabond had laundry facilities but due to us not getting there until quite late and feeling very tired we just didn’t bother. I knew we would have to be up at least another couple of hours! We’ll just have to try to keep our clothes clean for a bit longer!
What a day, Death Valley has a beauty all of its own. It was very stark at points but absolutely stunning with many breathtaking views. This place felt like we were on a different planet at times and we loved the peace and tranquility there. Definitely not a place to be missed!

It wasn’t long until we were in bed as we were shattered - Scott did so well with the driving today bless him.

Steps – 9,823

Thanks for reading.

Edited at 02:14 PM.
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Old 19 Jan 20, 09:24 PM  
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Wow that was an epic day.

I usually do all the driving so I'd have been freaking out if the engine temperature had been edging into the red.
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Old 21 Jan 20, 02:07 PM  
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Fantastic photos and what an amazing day. We are going to miss Death Valley as it will add over 2 hours onto our planned long drive from Las Vegas to Yosemite. I’m loving reading your report.
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Old 24 Jan 20, 03:51 PM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by sotagals View Post
Wow that was an epic day.

I usually do all the driving so I'd have been freaking out if the engine temperature had been edging into the red.
Thank you it was really an amazing place.

I'm glad i didn't notice it!

Thanks for reading
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Old 24 Jan 20, 03:55 PM  
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Originally Posted by Jessika View Post
Fantastic photos and what an amazing day. We are going to miss Death Valley as it will add over 2 hours onto our planned long drive from Las Vegas to Yosemite. I’m loving reading your report.
Thank you it's a really spectacular place.

There's so many places to visit isn't there and it's difficult trying to fit it all in. It's a long drive I hope it goes well.

Thanks for your comments they really do help me to carry on if i know people are reading it
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Old 25 Jan 20, 07:33 PM  
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What a great day Julia, I would love to see Death Valley some time. Scott did great driving for all those hours... it's never easy to predict how long drives can take is it? We had a few days like that ourselves where it took longer than anticipated.
Thanks for sharing it with us X
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Old 26 Jan 20, 12:28 PM  
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Some great scenery today -so different. Well done Scott with all that driving-it sounded a bit scary in places.
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Old 28 Jan 20, 03:12 PM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by mrsdjh View Post
Some great scenery today -so different. Well done Scott with all that driving-it sounded a bit scary in places.
The landscape was quite spectacular, really beautiful too.

I couldn't have driven on some of those roads with all the twists and turns.
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Old 29 Jan 20, 01:03 PM  
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Death Valley is one of the most awe inspiring places I've ever visited. Even Jim who isn't normally a fan of 'scenery' (unless it's on a golf course ) was absolutely gobsmacked when we were there.
I loved the drive around Artists Palette and Zabriskie Point the most although all of it is stunning. I can remember saying it felt we were on a set of Star Wars, I didn't actually realise some of the sets were filmed there!
Such a great read today Julia
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Old 30 Jan 20, 03:39 PM  
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Death Valley is one of the most awe inspiring places I've ever visited. Even Jim who isn't normally a fan of 'scenery' (unless it's on a golf course ) was absolutely gobsmacked when we were there.
I loved the drive around Artists Palette and Zabriskie Point the most although all of it is stunning. I can remember saying it felt we were on a set of Star Wars, I didn't actually realise some of the sets were filmed there!
Such a great read today Julia
It really is awe inspiring. Death Valley has a beauty unlike anything we'd ever seen before. We were struck by it and we were so glad that we decided to drive through here.
Artist Palette was one of my favourite drives, we didn't see another car and it felt like we had this spectacular road all to ourselves!

Thank you Alicia for reading along
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