Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Living Strong in Death Valley: Day 4

Our last day in Death Valley dawned hot and sunny. We didn't leave on Monday because the Memorial Day traffic is unbearable.

We packed up camp and hit the road around noon. We didn't go to see many of the sights in Death Valley south of Furnace Creek, where we stayed, because the roads were closed.

Car overturned by flood waters last August

On August 15, 2004, a torrential thunderstorm caused waters to rise so quickly that flash flooding occurred just south of Furnace Creek. Zabriskie Point and some of the other areas south of Furnace Creek are closed while those areas are being refurbished.

There are pictures of the aftermath of the flood here.

Badwater Basin, the lowest spot in North America

We headed south to Badwater, the lowest point in North America. It was hot, 104 degrees, which was 20 degrees cooler than it had been the last time we were there.

Saratoga Springs, an oasis in the desert

We left the main highway and took another dirt road out of the park. This route took us past Saratoga Springs, an group of springs literally in the middle of the desert, fed by groundwater.

The large springs are surrounded by high reeds, ducks swim in the springs and gulls circle overhead. This in an area surrounded on all sides by hundreds of miles of desert, looking at the springs it seems impossible that such a place could exist in the midst of such a barren landscape.

Saratoga Springs is also populated heavily with horseflies, mosquitos, and a host of other insects, all which seem to favor human blood as a food source, so we didn't stay long.

Four miles from the springs, we hit the highway and headed home, thankful that circumstances allowed us to make the trip again this year.

Maybe next year we'll be back...

- Kathleen


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