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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Feeling Kind of Low These Days

That might just be because we are in Death Valley, over 200 feet below sea level.  We reluctantly left Las Vegas this morning, realizing that there were many things we wanted to do but couldn’t fit in because of our RV problems.  We didn’t get to spend much time on the strip, go to some of the outlying attractions, swim, bike ride, etc.

Of course, you know what that means….it means we have that many more reasons to come back and visit again – hopefully without the RV problems!

Speaking of RV problems, I did make a rough cut video of the installation and you can view it by clicking here.  It is about 20 minutes long so you probably should go ahead and get some popcorn ready if you watch it.

The ride from Las Vegas to Furnace Creek, Death Valley is only 150 miles over excellent roads.  While there was some gusty winds, they really didn’t bother me too much.

The RV Park here at Furnace Creek Ranch is actually part of a small western village with shops, stores, etc.  There is a pool and golf course that we plan to make use of. 

We went to the National Park visitor center just a few hundred feet down the road.  At the time we went there (About 2:30), the outside temperature was 65 under sunny skies.  Given that it snowed back home in Vancouver yesterday, I think I’d rather be here.

Of course we watched the 15 minute movie in the visitor center.  Most of these movies are well made and too short and this one was no exception.  There is also a nice gift store where Carol bought a new sweatshirt and a magnet to add to our newly born refrigerator collection.

One of the things that was shown in the movie were large rocks that are somehow propelled across the landscape.  The scientists are not sure how they are moved but current theory is thinking that somehow cold temperatures and ice move them in storms.


Here is the current theory on how they move.


I was really looking for a post card of these moving rocks so I could send it to my friend John back at home.  They didn’t have one in the gift store so I made my own picture above from one of the exhibits in the visitor center.


I also took the above photo from an exhibit.  It is actually sunset in Death Valley and no, that is not a lake, but a dry lake bed from many years ago.

The visitor center reopened after a total remodel to make it more energy efficient.  Part of that makeover included a bank of solar cells to generate 90kw of electricity during the day to power the visitor center.


Death Valley is the lowest place on the North American continent (max 287 feet below sea level) and records the highest temperatures on the planet.  The air here is very dry and clear and since you are so far from city lights, it is a great place to see stars.  There is an astronomy talk at the visitor center tonight that we are planning to attend.

We have strong cell coverage here, but it is only 1x so the internet will be very slow over the phone.  They do have pay internet here but it is relatively expensive to use.


Judy and Emma said...

Never been to Death Valley, so I will enjoy your posts.

Donna K said...

Sorry you're feeling so low! Better get to Higher Ground... Looking forward to your pictures. We were at Stovepipe Wells and didn't hang around long enough to see much. Have fun. Pretty good job on the fridge install. Hope it's working well for you.

Russ Krecklow said...

You may be low, but I bet you're a lot warmer there than we are here! It was so windy when we were there a few years ago, and so hot, we stayed one night (in a motel back then) and then we left for the coast! Would love to go back and see more. It's an interesting area, with many things that you don't see anywhere else. Enjoyed the video of the refrigerator install, Dave. Pretty amazing! Thanks for sharing. Tell Carol it would seem you might need help eating all that food in the refrigerator, so I would volunteer my services.

meowmomma said...

When we were there, the VC was in a little trailer, so guess they've gotten the new one done! Enjoy the stars! Merikay is there too now, but unable to post so I don't know where they are staying. Keep an eye out if you follow her!

JWB2 said...

Very cool data on Death Valley. The mystery of the rock is simlple----amphibious dinosaurs playing soccer on the floor.
A dirt-bike would be great there.

John Bardin