During my recent trip to Sin City Swing, Las Vegas and a nice visit with my folks who live there, I took a day trip up to Death Valley National Park. The park is about 2-3 hours northwest of Vegas, an easy drive and a nice change from the bright lights and smokey casinos.
I’d never been there before. The desert is such a stark change from the green grasslands and pine forests that I’m used to around Houston. Right off the bat, one of the first things I noticed was the silence. I didn’t hear any birds chirping, no critters begging for snacks at the rest stops, no leaves rustling in the breeze. Nothing. Just silence.
It was hot, but not as hot as I had expected. The outside temperature never reached 100 and there was a constant wind blowing. But it was dry. Extremely dry. I didn’t spend much time outside the car. I drove from Beatty through the park southbound to Parumph, pausing only briefly to snap a few pictures. Actually, it was quite a pleasant drive with very little traffic.
I stopped at Furnace Creek where a hotel and restaurant attract tourists. A replica of the 20-mule team wagons were on display. The wagons hauled out Borax used to make soap among other things. The area was also mined for gold and other minerals, but today, it’s pretty quiet. Not a lot of traffic passes through for obvious reasons. Again, I enjoyed the quiet and easy drive, free of busy traffic.
My little FujiFilm camera came in pretty handy. It has a ‘Panoramic’ feature that snaps 3 pictures and seamlessly stitches them together for a wonderful wide angle shot, which I posted at the top of this blog.
It’s a fun place to visit. It makes a great day trip when you need a break from Vegas.