San Diego, CA
Death Valley National Park - Hot - Dry - Beautiful
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© Christine Till - CT-Graphics
Few names in the American West are as well known as Death Valley.
Pioneers feared crossing this dry, hot, barren area and only the lure of finding gold or other valuable minerals finally opened the area to exploration. In 1849 emigrants bound for California's gold fields strayed into the 120-mile (193-kilometer) long basin, enduring a two-month ordeal of "hunger and thirst and an awful silence." One of the last to leave looked down from a mountain at the narrow valley and said, "Good-bye, Death Valley" - the name lives on today.
Death Valley, in California and Nevada, is not for the faint of heart. It is big and its terrain very challenging. During the summer, it can be more than 120� in the shade, but the rocks and sand absorb the heat and the ground temperature can get to be 160�. Dehydration is the main cause of fatalities in Death Valley. The hot dry air just sucks the moisture out of the human body - over one gallon of water while just sitting in the shade, twice as much While hiking in the sun!
Death Valley is dangerous and mysterious by day. By night, it is otherworldly.
April 9th, 2011
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