Saturday, May 17, 2014

Death Valley National Park, Part 2

We started this day driving out Badwater Road to the salt flats.
Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America. Do you see the sign (white line in the middle about 2/3 up the cliff?
That's sea level.
Where we stand is 282 feet below sea level.
This is what it looks like as you walk out upon the salt flats.
The "badwater" is not poisonous, just very salty.
What lives in this water? Several critters that have adapted to the warm briny water. Aquatic insects,
And one of Death Valley's rarest animals, the Badwater Snail.
Next, while it was still cool, we took a hike up Natural Bridge Canyon.
A one mile, narrow canyon with a natural bridge about half way up.
 Although uphill, it was a relatively easy hike. The canyon was shady with a cooling breeze.
 Approaching the natural bridge.
 Birdie thought we would turn around here, but I convinced her to continue around the next bend...
Places where water falls during the rainy season and leaves formations that look like candle wax. 
 Another bend...
A tall hollowed-out dry waterfall. 

Just one more bend... 
 Not so shady here...getting warm.
But the sun is shining off the slickrock at the end of the canyon. 
Bet this is a pretty waterfall in rainy season, but the canyon wouldn't be a safe place to be.
The forces of nature are demonstrated here. 
Shadows on the canyon walls. 
The arch forms a window overlooking the valley below. 
Many faults of varying size are visible in the canyon. This is a dramatic example of the movement that occurs when a fault line shifts.
George Washington was here? 
Nice hike. 
Next we drove a scenic loop road called "Artist's Drive."
There were places to get out and walk to a closer viewpoint of the colorful rocks. 
Multi-hued volcanic and sedimentary hills.

 Artist's Drive is recommended for vehicles less than 25 feet.

 This area is called "Artist's Pallette."

 Walking on the edge...

 Said to be especially photogenic in late afternoon light. We were a little too early for the most intense colors.

And that was the end of the second day.

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