Death Valley – Furnace Creek

Woke early today, picked up supplies at Walmart, and started driving west from Las Vegas towards Death Valley National Park.  Desert highways appeared to stretch into infinity, and because it was a Tuesday in the off-season I was often the only human for miles in any direction.

Stepping out from the car to photograph the entrance sign, I was immediately struck by the deafening silence.  No wind, no animals, no sound whatsoever.  Quite an amazing thing to “feel” such a lack of noise in a wide-open space.

First stop was the Furnace Creek visitor center.  Temperatures today were pleasant at 59°F and would later rise above 70°F.  Interestingly enough this visitor center sign itself sits at 190 feet below sea level – very nearly the lowest point in North America (more on that in later posts).  Signs on the wall mark the museum dedication date & confirm this is a Dark Sky Park which should prove excellent for star gazing.

I booked a site at the nearby Texas Springs campground.  For this trip I picked up a new (used) tent that fit into my backpack so I didn’t have to check baggage.  This one is a Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 with fancy “mtnGLO” LED lights.  The rocky ground proved for a most difficult pitch but I got the stakes hammered in with only one break.  Views of the mountains are nothing short of amazing here but I’m not staying idle for long.

Stay tuned for more, this is just the beginning!

Lat = 36.4617538 , Long = -116.8666153 -- Show at Google Maps

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