Southwest Road Trip – Day 12 (Death Valley)

posted in: Southwest 2012 0
Minus another foot

We’re taking our time getting started today, knowing that we’ll win an hour back once we cross a couple more state lines. Yep, today, we’ll cover 4 states in 1 day! Not as impressive as the 4 Corners, but hitting Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California in just 1 day still is a lot!

We’re soon on I-15, and cross from Utah into Arizona. Here, the freeway snakes through the Virgin River Canyon, before dropping us into Nevada. After about an hour of nothing, we get the camera ready: Vegas, baby! Although we’re only scratching the northern edge of sin city, we still get to see the majestic skyline with all the glitzy hotels, with their fancy shapes from Luxor to Stratosphere Tower.

While I get some business done after lunch, Kirk decides on gambling with the remaining vacation funds … and lucky he is – he actually wins more than he spends! The next campsite is on him!

Then we’re headed north, towards the big and final stop for today: Death Valley National Park. After crossing one last state line – into California – we soon enter the hot (but dry heat!) desert. And temperatures rise as soon as we pass the National Park entrance! Going from the mid-80s to the high 90s!

We stop at an overlook just south of Furnace Creek (located at Sea Level elevation), before crossing the Badwater Basin to reach the lowest point in the US and the Western Hemisphere: Badwater, Death Valley. At -282 feet (-85.5 m) below sea level, it’s even toastier here and the salt flats show how quickly water dries up here. Looking back at the trailer, we see the vast difference in elevation from where it’s parked to the sign showing sea level way up high on the side of the mountain!

As the sun is setting on Death Valley, we head north once more, to Stonepipe Wells, where our campground for the night awaits. Good night!

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