Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Geo-RoadTrip 2014: Death Valley Part 1

At this point in our trip we had finally reached our primary destination: Death Valley National Park!  The huge and foreboding area stretches across seemingly endless deserts and mountainous landscape and backward through history and prehistory.  It's unforgiving weather and unwelcoming terrain is at its worst in the summer of course, that's when we went.

While driving through the park (with the air conditioner on full blast) our first stop was at Zabriskie Point.  It offers a great view of the "badlands":

While the park is a great display of natural processes, further down the road is a memorial to a part of mankind's history:

This historical marker commemorates the journey of the 49ers who traveled through the area on a quest to find riches (in the form of gold) in California.  Perilous journeys like these through the area often led to starvation, dehydration and tragedy and helped to secure the dangerous reputation of Death Valley to this day.  Here's the marker's text:

Luckily we had the advantage of paved roads, an automobile and several liters of water so we are able to tell our tale.  Next up, we go further into the Valley!

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