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Day 135 – 22nd April 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on April 22, 2009

Wednesday – Death Valley, California

After a quiet night, I headed off towards Death Valley, or so I hoped 🙂

Just a quick picture for my dad, this is the golf course at Bishop, a nice backdrop.

I turned at Big Pine, this is the road that Johnofchar mentioned the other day, it had some nice twisty roads, but as you can see, with all the tar snakes on the road, respect was needed.

Now, I am in California at this time and this is the normal sign for stock on the roads.

A bit more twisty road, I was a bit put off by what looked like dirt on the corners going up this range, the view was great at the top though and I also found the ‘dirt’ was not dirt but the top of the bitumen scraped off by the snow ploughs! So, I could have added more go juice up through here, but never mind, another time 🙂

Then I entered Nevada again and an actual sign I could notice. Just up the road, check out the ‘mad cows’ they have in this state 🙂

Now, a funny thing happened here. Look at the Nevada sign in the photo above and just above the N, there is that damm spot that has been on my photos the past few days. No amount of cleaning or looking helped fix this. But, in the next shot and from then on, no more spot, WTF ? I have no idea, I am glad it is gone but I did nothing between the two shots except I used the flash once in a wide shot but it is crap quality. There was nothing else done, so I am at a loss, hopefully it will not come back! This is the shot in between, any ideas anyone?

I managed to miss this rainstorm before getting on the main road down to Beatty. I have two GPS’s and a corrected speedo guage, so I know when I am doing the speed limit, yet I am passed by everyone, even damm trucks, what goes on here?

I had a quick snack, expensive but nice tasting and big at a local shop and asked around about Death Valley. I was concerned by the fact it was now after 1pm and of course the hottest part of the day was nearly here. The info I got was none, but I was advised the visitors centre down in the valley could help or at another spot just before going down, maybe. Oh, well, nothing ventured and all that, after fuelling up, off I go, just be watchful of bad ass.

It is only a few short miles before you enter the park itself.

The way was all downhill from here, from a starting height of around 5000ft to the bottom at the junction I was nearly at sea level and it warmed up rapidly, let me tell you 🙂

Even the names reflect the heat 🙂 I was now below sea level according to my trusty Garmin.

Bleak and desolate country around here, although there is some sparse bush. And the temperature is at least 47C, this is in direct sunlight, I ignore ‘shade’ readings as I am always in direct sun.

I got to the visitors centre at Furnace Creek around 2.30 and according to their thermometer it was 105f, in the shade 🙂 As it was a tad warm I looked around in air conditioned comfort for a while just to cool down.

The ranger chap mentioned a few camp grounds that were there, so I picked a free one that was up from the valley a bit called Wild Rose, this was some ways away, but he said it had a good view of the valley, liar!!! But, I did not know that at the time, so I headed off, I was thinking about setting up camp but took a few photos on the way.

The Devils Cornfield

Sand Dunes

Then at the turnoff towards the campground I see this sign, unusual I would have thought, but the erosion in the hills begs to differ!

It was a nice ride, heading upwards and the temperature dropped noticeably as well through all the twisty narrow roads. Some of the corners had debris and rocks, so it was a slowish trip.

But, eventually I found the camp ground, very basic, it had water and a dunny, each site had their own table and benches and a bbq, but the ground was rock. This was taken a few hours later after the sun went behind the hill, around 7.30pm, it did not get real dark until after 9.

There was no view of the valley from here, not without climbing another few hundred feet on foot maybe, not for this little black duck! After cooking some grub etc a quiet night followed. Well, nearly, as the Nellis AFB was just up the road and a few of the fly boys were putting on an air show 🙂 They kept this up until about 9.30 or so, after that it was a lot quieter. They must have been doing mach 3 or above because I could see the lights over there, but the sound was way behind and loud as well!

Anyway, off to bed in my first campout in America, in Death Valley as well, I wonder what animals will try to eat me tonight!

Day – 252 miles and 406km
Trip – 3,756 miles and 6,045km

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2 Responses to “Day 135 – 22nd April 09”

  1. ybg said


    About the camera. The spot in the photos was probably dust on the CCD, the gizmo that captures the image, or on the back face of the lense. It looks like it cleaned itself off. If you are using a SLR type where you can remove the lenses, they be very careful when doing so. If you are just using a snappy type with a fixed or pop out lense, then the dust probably entered through the memory or battery slots.

    The CCD, when it gets dust on it can be cleaned, but unless you know what you are doing, then find someone who has done it successfully before. The old airball/brush system, as long as it is clean and you don’t actually touch the CCD, will work. But you need a dust and lint free environment.


    • travellingstrom said

      Hi Bob
      Great info but I am not sure it applies in my case. The camera is an
      Olympus 7200, it is waterproof and drop proof, there is no way dust can get
      in, otherwise so would water. Unless there has been a bit of stuff come
      loose from th einside which would do as you say.
      Anyway, it has gone for the moment, maybe if it comes back I will give it a
      few taps and see if that works 🙂

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