From the Author Michael Vorobiev aka mb-world:
Continuing our Photo Tour to the West of the USA ...
... After spending the night in the town of Big Pine (Big Pine), the next morning we continued our journey. Today we had planned to visit the hottest points of the United States - Death Valley.
Death Valley (Death Valley) - an enormous intermountain trough in the Mojave Desert, has the status of National Park, an area of 13,500 km2. The park includes some valleys and deserts. It is the lowest point in North America, relative to sea level (almost 87 meters below), as well as July 10, 1913 recorded the highest temperature of 57 degrees Celsius.
By the way, its intimidating name, the valley has received in 1849, when settlers from Europe decided to get to the coast of California cut the shortest path through this place. As a result, almost all participants of the march were killed even before reaching the middle basin. Those who miraculously managed to survive in this hellish inferno and was named the hottest area on the planet Death Valley.
1. Entry to the park is free. The narrow road number 190 among the desert stretches, covered with Joshua trees, thick with broken branches.
2. The first observation deck is located on a high hill, before descending into the valley.
3. Then, start winding descent to the bottom of Death Valley. With every meter, the temperature increased rapidly behind
The thermometer in the car rose to + 46 degrees. The air is very dry and hot. At some point, almost I went downstairs, I felt a sharp burning smell. Stop the car, get out and see - from the wheels is thick smoke. It was found that this heat down the steep slope, I constantly pressed the brake pedal, and as a result block boil.
4. We had to wait about ten minutes until the smoke has disappeared, and we were able to continue gently downhill ...
5. On the way, I noticed an unusual effect. Among the dense clouds, cut a column of sunlight, like a stream of water in the shower, lighting up a small piece of desert
This place is called the Harmony Borax Works - in the 19th century there were organized the production of mining boron "Harmony". Boron is also called brown or boroksom, bauraq from the Arabic and Persian - burah. It is used in the manufacture of soap. Place a hell ... I can hardly imagine how it is possible to heat sorokogradusnoy engaged in heavy physical labor. We were able to stand eight minutes, with a few quick shots and bullet returning to the cooled conditioned vehicle. By the way most of the workers who worked here were Chinese. Production there is not a long time - from 1884 to 1888.
6. Today, in memory were only part of the furnace, as well as the wagon which carried on the finished product.
Continuing the path, we soon saw a luxury hotel, set in lush palm trees. An oasis among barren desert. At this point the road forks - to the right you will get to Bedvater where I had planned to get the sunset. And while there is time left we go to places of worship Zabriskie Point (Zabriskie Point).
This name probably heard a lot, and without reference to the Valley of Death. Someone forgot to remind you that the so-called Antonioni's cult film, shot in the hippie era. Although me that during the first visit that this time, the place is not impressed. Yes, unusual ... but not much more.
7. To get to the observation deck, you need to leave your car in a parking lot and walk up the short trail, which offers views of the famous.
Closing in Death Valley that we have time to visit.
It is here that the lowest point in North America - 87 meters below sea level. This is evidenced by a sign that if you look up the type on the steep hill from the parking lot. But this place is famous not. A wonderful surface formed by a thick layer of salt, which is folded into intricate patterns.
Several thousand years ago the lake lapped Lake Manly, but today it has disappeared leaving only salt.
His name Badwater (which means "bad water") is obliged to place again the pioneers of the West. When the first explorers came here, thirsty, they saw a small puddle of water that accumulates among the salt patterns. But drinking a sip, grimacing spitting, shouting Bad water! ("Bad water!")
9. The fact is that the water contains high levels of concentration of chlorides, sulfates, and sodium, which is manifested in the taste ...
After sunset, we went in the direction of Las Vegas on the road number 178, which runs past the Badvoter south. However, just outside the parking lot, driveway was blocked.
I had to go around through Zabriskie Point on the highway 190 clocked a couple of dozen extra miles ...
Leaving the Valley of Death, we planned to stay the night in the town of Pahrump, which is located 20 miles before reaching Vegas. But arriving there found out that the broad main street running through the city in addition to numerous shopping malls and fast network (for our arrival almost all were closed) was found only two motel located next to each other. I decided to go further and see more options, but just a few miles we were on the outskirts of the city where the building stood a luminous modern hotel with sparkling inscriptions Casino! Win $ 1 million! And stuff like that ...
A strange town, a feeling that it is only a transit point for travelers purchase food and alcohol before he stop in Vegas.
Without thinking, we have decided not to stay here and continue the way ...
And now, forty minutes later in front of us opened a vast ocean of fire. The road passed among high hills, when suddenly, after a rise, went a sharp descent in the valley and stretches shining Las Vegas. Amazing sight ...
After another half an hour we were entering the city. The outskirts of Vegas than not noticeable. Straight streets are lined like a ruler, lined with numerous cafes, shopping malls, shops. Everywhere posters casinos and clubs with slot machines.
We stop off at the first available gas station. Just pay attention that gasoline in Nevada is significantly cheaper than in California. Bay full tank, the navigator on the phone headed toward the main street "Strip" - the heart of Las Vegas. It was there that focus all the famous hotels, clubs, restaurants and other places of worship of the city.
I was mentally set for the high price of accommodation, but much to his surprise, almost immediately, we found a very budget motel the Motel 6 right at the beginning of the Strip, from a / port. It is located virtually opposite the hotel Mandalay Bay
Conditions are simple, but there are a number of advantages: low price, the availability of the pool, free internet, and most importantly, the location within walking distance from the epicenter of the life of the Strip.