Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Valley of Death

           Okay, Peeps. You think it’s hot where you live, so I’m going to tell you about a place even worse so you’ll feel better.  AND I’m going to tell you 10 surprising things about it.  Yep, Death Valley, where it was 130 degrees on August 17th.

         First, it’s the largest national park in the lower 48 states. And, at 282 feet below sea level, it’s also the lowest point. I’d say you should check low altitude cooking directions but you’d be out of your mind to cook there. Or, rather, you cannot keep from cooking there.

          Of course, if you collapse from the heat, you can always call for help, right? Wrong. No cell service there.

          There’s a layer of salt in Badwater Basin that looks like a dusting of snow. That could be the worst April Fool’s trick ever.

          Crazy things happen there. 700-pound boulders seem to move on their own. Okay, they slide on a thin layer of winter ice that sometimes forms at night. But it’s still bizarre.

         And the sand sings. As it slides down the tall dunes, the friction between the grains sounds like whale songs. And that’s not the only weird sound there. At Devil’s Golf Course (which is NOT a golf course) you can hear billions of salt crystals snapping and popping in the heat.

          Movies, including Star Wars: A New Hope, have been filmed there. (Let me guess. Their new hope was to be rescued.) Artist’s Drive features multi-colored hills.

          Ironic fact: Several gigantic charcoal kilns are still there, after being built in the 1800s. How can a place this hot also need kilns?

          There was a huge volcano there, too.  It left a crater 600 feet deep and half a mile wide. Good gravy. I mean, hot gravy.

          On the plus side, it has the darkest night skies you could ever want, for observing the stars. And at the right time of year there are wildflowers and birds to see. Just don’t visit in the summertime.

          BUT, you can stay in where it’s cool and watch my short Youtube Mom videos right here.

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