August 11, 1982.
We got up at 3:30 AM! and hit the road at 4 AM in order to hit Death Valley early, before it got unbearably hot. It was 89°F as we left Las Vegas, having been about 100°F when we went to bed around 10PM. Brenda and the boys lay down in the van to get a little more sleep. I drove in darkness out Hwy 95 to Indian Springs (military town) and then the tiny Springs - and then nothing! I drove for about 35 miles in the dawn without seeing a house, a sign - the desert plants were the only thing there. This was the longest stretch of nothing I have ever seen. I was apprehensive about the van and about missing the small Hwy 373 to Death Valley Junction.
I needn't have worried - Highway 373 stood out like a sore thumb in the nothingness, and then I started to see mining evidences, the Farm and other signs of life. The sunrise was very beautiful out on Hwy 373.
Reaching the few buildings of Death Valley Junction about 6 AM, we found it deserted. We headed on into Death Valley with more confidence in the daylight. While it had been 89°F in Las Vegas at 4AM, it was comfortable to cool in the moving van.
Zabriske Point, Death Valley
Zabriske Point was a surprisingly beautiful and neat place. The humps and valleys were not sand, but hard-packed dirt. It had an austere, dry beauty. Fortunately for our enjoyment of the place, we got there just after sunrise when it was cool. We stopped to look and take pictures and the van wouldn't start when we were ready to leave. By this time, we were used to that problem, and the boys pushed the van off and could later brag "We even pushed the van off in Death Valley!" August 11, 1982.
Sea Level Marker, Death Valley
Jeff at Sea Level marker; Funeral Mountains behind him. We had bought gas at Furnace Creek, and Brenda mailed some cards at the Death Valley Post Office. It was at an altitude of 178ft below sea level. We were amused by altitude signs reading "Sea Level" or "5 ft". We viewed the salt flat and the Funeral Mountains. August 11, 1982.
Trip Day 11
|Nave Album****1982 West Trip||Go Back|