Monday, 18 February 2008

Death Valley National Park

This entry is dedicated to our Lord Jesus,thank you for giving us a great opportunity to witness your great and mighty creation of nature.
None of these picture really can represent the real image of what we've seen in all the National Park.You must see it with your own eyes how beautiful it is! I promise you won't be disappointed.

Death Valley is a valley in the U.S. states of California and Nevada, and is the location of the lowest elevation in North America at 282 ft (86 m) below sea level. It is one of many places on land which fall below mean sea level. Located southeast of the Sierra Nevada range in the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert, it constitutes much of Death Valley National Park. It runs north-south between the Amargosa Range to the east and the Panamint Range to the west; the Sylvania Mountains and the Owlshead Mountains form its northern and southern boundaries, respectively. It has an area of about 3,000 square miles (~7,800 km²).

A view from artist's drive. Yusdi was trying to make a car advert :-)

Geologically, Death Valley is considered one of the best examples of the Basin and Range configuration. It lies at the southern end of a geological trough known as the Walker Lane which runs north into Oregon. The valley is bisected by a right lateral strike slip fault, the Death Valley Fault. The eastern end of the left lateral Garlock Fault intersects the Death Valley Fault. Located on the border of California and Nevada, Death Valley is the principal feature of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve.

Temperatures in the Valley can range from up to 130°F (54 °C) in the day in the summer, to below freezing at night in the winter. The lowest temperature on record at Furnace Creek Inn is 15 °F (-9 °C). The National Climatic Center reports that temperatures at Furnace Creek reach 90 °F (32 °C) on an average of 189.3 days annually and 100 °F (38 °C) on an average of 138.0 days annually. Freezing temperatures occur on an average of 11.7 days each year.

Many of Death Valley's narrow, serpentine roads were built in the 1930s and cannot be driven at high speed. Badwater, located within Death Valley, is the specific location of the lowest point in North America. (Surprisingly, the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, is just 76 miles (123 km) west of Death Valley.) At 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, Death Valley shares most of the characteristics found in other places around the world that lie below sea level.

Heading to Death Valley through daylight pass and beatty cutoff.

Generally, the lower the altitude of a place, the higher the temperatures tend to be. This is especially true in Death Valley, due to the mountains that encircle the valley. The valley radiates extreme amounts of heat, creating temperatures that are among the hottest on earth. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the United States was 134 °F (56.7 °C) at Furnace Creek (then known as Greenland Ranch), during a sandstorm (according to National Weather Service records), on July 10, 1913. The highest average high temperature in July is 117 °F (47 °C) with temperatures of 122 °F (50 °C) or higher being very common. Parts of the valley receive less than 2 in (50 mm) of rain annually. At Furnace Creek Inn, average annual precipitation is 2.33 inches and there are an average of 18.1 days annually with measurable precipitation. The greatest monthly precipitation was 2.59 inches in January 1995 and 1.47 inch of precipitation fell on April 15, 1988, the one-day record. The Amargosa River and Furnace Creek flow through the valley, disappearing into the sands of the valley floor.

This is our best shoot of Death Valley, click to enlarge.

While Death Valley gets very little rain, it is prone to flooding during heavy rains because the soil is unable to absorb the bulk of the water. The runoff can produce dangerous flash floods. In August 2004, such flooding caused two deaths and shut down the national park.
Sometimes after winter rains Death Valley does not look like a desert for a few weeks
The National Climatic Center reports that, on a few rare occasions, light snow has fallen on the valley floor. The most recent snow flurries at Furnace Creek Inn were on January 5, 1974.

Dante's view, and if you squint your eyes, you can spot Yusdi and Josiah there!

Badwater is a basin in California's Death Valley, noted as the lowest point in North America, with an elevation of 282 feet (86 m) below sea level.
The site itself consists of a small spring-fed pool of water next to the road; however, the accumulated salts of the surrounding basin make it undrinkable, thus the name "Badwater". The pool does have animal and plant life, including pickleweed, aquatic insects, and the Badwater Snail.
Adjacent to the pool, where water is not always present at the surface, repeated freeze-thaw and evaporation cycles gradually pushed the thin salt crust into curiously hexagonal honeycomb shape.

The pool itself is not actually the lowest point of the basin, which is several miles to the west and varies in position. However, the salt flats are hazardous to traverse (in many cases being only a thin white crust over mud), and so the sign is at the pool.

Badwater is the starting point of the Badwater Ultramarathon, which ends high on Mount Whitney (the highest point in the Continental United States), 85 miles (137 kilometers) to the west.

On the picture above, Badwater salt flat was overlooking Telescope peak.

While the picture above is supposedly facing Dante's view (I decide to crop it since nothing so special about that "view" haha!)

Thus.... the SALT collected from the walk...I think I can use this for cooking for a month.

Again, we are so fortunate to be able to witness one of Death Valley natural wonder or short spring blooms of dessert flowers. It normally happen somewhere in February each year lasted for about one week. These picture're taken in Furnace Creek area.

And yes, we made it to the golden canyon first check point at 1 mile....!!! Yeay. While the picture above is the red cathedral, second checkpoint at 1.25 mile.

Josiah probably wanted to become a geologist. He is very busy observing the stones and dirt. Unfortunately the only tool he used is his mouth.

And yes, my little man loves hiking at Golden Canyon, he is so keen to walk and explore the stones. If you see the previous picture carefully, he wanted to jump out of my arm to walk on his own.

Only when we are tired (tired of waiting for him and dragging him along) we put him back on the "back seat".

Rhyolite, Nevada is a ghost town in Nye County in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is located east of Death Valley near Beatty, Nevada.

Gold was discovered in the area by Shorty Harris and E.L. Cross on August 4, 1904 and a gold rush soon followed. The town was named after the local deposits of the rock rhyolite, which contained much of the gold. The most important operation was the Montgomery Shoshone mine and a mill was constructed to process its ore. The mine was sold to industrialist Charles M. Schwab in 1906 for a reported 5 million dollars. By 1907, the town had electricity and its population may have reached 10,000 people. However, the Panic of 1907 is believed to have dealt a death blow to the town. Production began to slow down by 1908 and the mine and mill were closed in 1911. By 1910 only an estimated 675 people remained in Rhyolite. The lights and power were turned off in 1916.

The Bottle House, a house built from thousands of beer and liquor bottles by Tom Kelly in 1906, was restored by Paramount Pictures in 1925 for use in a movie. Recently rebuilt, it remains standing and complete.

The Cook Bank Building was used in both the 1998 film Six-String Samurai as well as the 2005 film The Island.

The old train station still remains with a caboose sitting nearby. The building is in remarkably good shape. There is an abandoned mine entrance with a posted warning "Unsafe Mine! Stay out, stay alive!" Many of the old buildings, such as the Bottle House and train station, are fenced off from the public to protect them from vandalism. Most of the other buildings, including the bank, schools, and jail, have long since decayed and partially caved in.

Goldwell Open Air Museum, a free admission outdoor sculpture park, is located at the southern entrance to Rhyolite, off Highway 374.

Walter E. Scott, "Death Valley Scotty" often visited Rhyolite.

So here is.... the GHOST TOWN's pictures!

And after this, I will post pictures of Grand Canyon and Bryce canyon! Till later.

1 comment:

betchai said...

oh wow, Jess, I was browsing your old files here, and I so love your post about Death Valley. I am sorry I have not been here for a long time and am late to greet you Christmas greeting, but I hope you had a safe and wonderful trip. Your report makes me miss Death Valley again :(