Mar 4 – Death Valley – Life Below Sea Level

The Mesquite Sand Dunes – it was hot

Forged from massive tectonic disruptions, most of Death Valley sprawls like the crust from a loaf of rustic multigrain bread (think Dave’s Killer bread), it’s design carved by flash floods vs the smooth, endless sands of Lawrence of Arabia lore (save for the occasional dunes). What stands out are the mineral deposits of the Artist’s Palette off of Badwater Basin road: Chloride and varying mineral deposits mix with rarified storms to create a swirl of watercolor that seems displaced in such a stark landscape like some sort of cruel tease. 

The beauty of a cruel tease

Further down Badwater Basin road  is well – Badwater Basin; a salt flat fed by an equally salty acquifer.  

Badwater Basin – lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level

This is a place of mirages and cauldrons, blinding light and mineral nightmares that burst at the seams more so than any other place on the planet. 

We did not encounter any skeletal remains like you see on the post cards because most animals, save humans, know this isn’t exactly paradise.  

We drove through endless terrain with no cell signal on our way to Kingman, AZ.   You drive through here on faith that you don’t break down because there wasn’t a lot of traffic heading our way and no reception that we could rely on. 

We will be going from below sea level to 7000 feet at the Grand Canyon with the possibility of snow.  Bracing for the extremes. 

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