USA Honeymoon 2010 – 4. Death Valley, Mono Lake

Day 11 – Death Valley - Photos

An early start to get to Badwater before sunrise. We arrived in good time and had the place to ourselves. It was very dark, and quite warm. Badwater is the lowest place in the North America, 86m (282 feet) below sea level. The highest point in the contiguous US (Mount Whitney) is only 85 miles away.

Badwater is somewhat featureless, but you can follow boardwalks to some of the pools of bad water, and then walk out onto the salt flats as far as you want. I imagine that, in hot weather, this is not very far.

You are here

Heading out onto the salt flats

Heading back from Badwater, we turned off to visit the very large natural arch.

Arch

And then Devil’s Golf Course, where a film crew were just emerging from RVs.

Devil's Golf Course

We then returned to the Furnace Creek diner for a breakfast ordered off the menu, which was ok but they got the order wrong and the waitress was too busy chatting with colleagues to collect the modified order off the pass.

Next was a drive past Stovepipe Wells to the sand dunes, past an area called “Devil’s Cornfield”.

Devil's Cornfield

Sand dune area

Tracks

People resting

We then headed to Marble Canyon, which was a pretty walk with some nicely polished rock walls.

Slide

We headed back through Stovepipe Wells – it should be noted that the petrol (‘gas’) here is a lot cheaper than at Furnace Creek, and went to the burger bar by the gold course for lunch. From our tests, this was the best (and least busy) dining option.

World's lowest golf course

After lunch we drove more than a mile (vertically) up to Dante’s View, which had a good overlook over Badwater, where we had been that morning.

Dante's View - over Badwater

On our way back we took the Artists Palette drive for sunset, although arrived at the palette itself a little after sunset. As usual.

On the one-way road to Artists Palette

We then had an evening swim in the pool, which is fed from hot springs and is nicely warm, but not quite wartm enough to just sit in.

┬áDay 12 – Death Valley to Mono Lake - Photos

We started the day with a buffet breakfast in the restaurant which wasn’t too bad. We also had a swim before heading out.

Furnace Creek Ranch Pool

The drive out of Death Valley was good – a very long climb into the mountains, over a 5000 foot pass, with regular ‘radiator water’ stops available for cars that had overheated. Not a problem for our car in October.

We stopped for lunch in Lone Pine, which was having its annual film festival. There was lots of film-related information, and a little fair / market in a pretty park.

Lone Pine fair

We carried on to Lee Vining, following the edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains, which was a very pretty drive and our elevation started to get back towards 8000 feet in places.

Here we stayed at Murphey’s Motel, which was fine, and headed over to Mono Lake for the sunset.

Mono Lake

Mono lake

We then had a pleasant dinner at Nicely’s diner back in town.

 

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