Fernanda e Karl Home Gallery Contact

Photos

Newest Set:
Apocalipse
Apocalipse
08/22/17

Oregon!Oregon!
08/16/17

Brasil 2017 (Fernanda)Brasil 2017 (Fernanda)
03/24/17

Christmas 2016Christmas 2016
12/24/16

New Bathroom!New Bathroom!
11/01/16

Staycation in BrooklynStaycation in Brooklyn
10/15/16

Oktoberfest XOktoberfest X
10/09/16

VermontVermont
09/18/16

Brasil 2016Brasil 2016
08/10/16

Italy 2016 (Karl)Italy 2016 (Karl)
07/27/16

Berlin 2016Berlin 2016
06/11/16

NashvilleNashville
01/21/16

Germany, 2015Germany, 2015
11/26/15

IcelandIceland
11/20/15

Cape CodCape Cod
10/18/15

Oktoberfest 2015Oktoberfest 2015
09/27/15

Lunar Eclipse - "Blood Moon"Lunar Eclipse - "Blood Moon"
09/27/15

Summer 2015Summer 2015
07/18/15

HawkHawk
07/17/15

BerlinBerlin
04/01/15

The Faroe IslandsThe Faroe Islands
03/20/15

CopenhagenCopenhagen
03/19/15

Christmas at the New Place (2014)Christmas at the New Place (2014)
12/24/14

Danube River Cruise (Karl)Danube River Cruise (Karl)
11/18/14

Wilmington & Western Railroad, 2014Wilmington & Western Railroad, 2014
11/02/14

The BerkshiresThe Berkshires
10/18/14

Oktoberfest 2014 - Executive HouseOktoberfest 2014 - Executive House
10/05/14

2014 Brasil - World Cup2014 Brasil - World Cup
06/24/14

Longwood Gardens - thank you RuthAnn!Longwood Gardens - thank you RuthAnn!
04/26/14

California, 2014California, 2014
02/19/14

[...]
(Show all)


Road Trip, Day 17

Driving deeper into Death Valley
Driving deeper into Death Valley
(Click to view)

Nevada, Death Valley, California


Today we drove from the deserts of Nevada into the deep desert of Death Valley. Crossing into California is interesting, because it is the same desert, yet it seems somehow cleaner, better taken care of; Nevada only has this desert, so they drive their trucks over it, build their casinos on it, throw their trash in it. California has this part of it that is desert, something special. Or maybe the heat was getting to me and I was hallucinating.

And what heat it was! From the already hot desert, the temperature just kept rising as we drove deeper into Death Valley (and deeper is the correct word: Death Valley has the lowest point in North America at 85.5 meters BELOW sea level). Death Valley in the summer is something so stupid only Germans do it. All the tour buses were full of 'em (except for one with Italians). The German in me came out, as I was excited to go to minus altitude, and see how hot the temperature would get. I had the GPS unit showing altitude, and the car thermometer showing the temperature. We drove all the way to Bad Water, the lowest point in the park -- and in fact the continent -- stopping along the way at the Devil's Golf Course, and doing Artist Drive on the way back. I kept hoping for the magic 122° F, which is 50° C -- exactly halfway to boiling. We were up to 118° F at Bad Water. Fernanda was wilting when we got out here. We didn't even walk too deep into the salt flats. There were lots of tourists here, most of them German. On the mountain beside it way up was a sign saying "Sea Level" where sea level was.

As we left Bad Water, the temperature hit 120° F. Then along Artist Drive it hit 121° F, and then around 12:30, we hit the magic 122° F. I got out to cavort in the heat.

The heat was painful -- if you were on the sunny side of the car, it hurt your eyeballs. The breeze coming in was hot. It was better to have the windows open only a slit than to have them wide open. And yes, we weren't bothering with the air conditioner. What fun would that be? Plus the thermal differences would more likely lead to head-aches and discomfort. Anyway, I maintain, more so now than ever, that 50° C in the dry desert is much more palatable than 30° C in 90% humidity. For the last 60 miles or so of the park, which is uphill, they advise not running the air conditioner lest you overheat your car.

So 50° C reached, and it not even being the absolute hottest part of the day yet, we were ready to leave. But it's a big park -- the biggest, in fact, outside Alaska -- and we had a long way to go, and it was uphill, and the temperature never went below 40° C. We stopped at the visitor's center in the middle of the park, and NOW they want us to pay the park entrance fee or show our pass. I had to walk back OUT into the heat to the car to get the park pass -- the rangers can't be bothered to man the entry booths in this heat, but make an innocent visit to the visitor's center, and they're all over you.

So, a long drive later, we were finally out of the park, but not yet out of the desert. We stopped to look at a dried lake bed just after the park up close. Up mountains, down mountains, the temperature never fell below 36° C, and mostly stayed above 40° C.

We drank liters and liters of water and gatorade. We weren't really hungry and didn't stop to eat lunch. Late in the day we stopped at Lake Isabella on the south end of Sequoia National Forest for a swim. A little later I also took a quick dip in the river. We drove through Bakersfield, got on the freeway and drove up north, heading to Sequoia National Park. We finally stopped just short of it in a sprawl kind of city along the freeway where they have a bunch of motels. We got a deal at the Motel 6, but somehow again we ended up without wifi. The motel has a pool, so maybe that was all we saw. We took a delicious dip in the pool, had dinner at this Apple Annie restaurant which was good, and then went out hunting for wifi so we could figure out what exactly we were going to do tomorrow when we eventually get to Yosemite. We ended up parked in front of the Quality Inn, trying to find lodging in Yosemite.

So, a long, hot day. Tomorrow, yet more National Parks. Oh, and in this day of milestones, 50°, 85 meters below sea level, we also hit 6400 km, aka 4000 miles. Unlimited mileage, baby! [Actually, due to some accounting error, I was off by 1000 miles from Arizona on -- actual mileage passed this day was 5000, or 8047 km, not really an interesting number... 6400 km was done entering Arizona couple days back.]

(view pictures)
View Calendar

Previous Entries

Our New Bathroom Saga
11/17/16


Europe 2015
03/16/15


The Berkshires
10/18/14


Road Trip South
03/23/13


Greece!
07/26/12


Our Trip to Ireland
08/09/09


Google Map of our Trip
09/17/07


Road Trip: The End
09/15/07


Road Trip, Day 27
09/13/07


Road Trip, Day 26
09/12/07


Road Trip, Day 25
09/11/07


Road Trip, Day 24
09/10/07


Road Trip, Day 23
09/09/07


Road Trip, Day 22
09/08/07


Road Trip, Day 21
09/07/07


Road Trip, Day 20
09/06/07


Road Trip, Day 19
09/05/07


Road Trip, Day 18
09/04/07


Road Trip, Day 16
09/02/07


Road Trip, Day 15
09/01/07


Road Trip, Day 14
08/31/07


Road Trip, Day 13
08/30/07


Road Trip, Day 12
08/29/07


Road Trip, Day 11
08/28/07


Road Trip, Day 10
08/27/07


Road Trip, Day 9
08/26/07


Road Trip, Day 8
08/25/07


Road Trip, Day 7
08/24/07


Road Trip, Day 6
08/23/07


Road Trip, Day 5
08/22/07


[...]
(Show all)

Subscribe via RSS .91