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Archive for July 8th, 2008

a 2008 summer road trip 214

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

We awoke around 7:00 AM to a clear, warm, sunny day in Nevada. By about 8:30, we had checked out of our hotel, but not before I encountered what I thought was a large black widow spider in our bathroom. As I was doing my hair, I noticed some movement above me. I looked up and saw a large, black, creepy-crawly creature inside the light fixture above the sink! EEK! I showed it to Mike, who said it was just a cricket. Nevertheless, I am glad it was in the light fixture and not hopping around in the bathroom or on me!!

I neglected to mention that when we were driving around the town of Beatty the night before, I had noticed a street with a peculiar name…”Beyond Hope”. And the only house on this street was an old, worn down mobile home, neglected and in sad need of repair. I had to take a picture of this, not only because of the peculiar name of the street, but because I thought about how hopeless a person’s life is without God in it, and how thankful I was to have Jesus living in me, which the bible says is the “hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

We left Beatty around 9:00 AM, and within about a half hour, we were driving down towards Death Valley. What an awesome view from this vantage point. Even though it was hazy, the view heading down into the valley, which is at or below sea level, is pretty impressive. The temperature when we first began descending was 93ºF. When we reached Badwater, the lowest point in the contiguous United States at 282 feet below sea level, the temperature had risen to 105º. Whew!

Since it was hazy all through the valley due to the fires in southern California, we opted to forego the drive to Dante’s View, which is a breathtaking vista of the valley floor from an elevation of 5,000 feet. Instead, we stopped at the visitor center and spent quite a bit of time observing their displays and perusing their bookstore. This was quite an impressive visitor center. While there, we asked the rangers if they knew about the large berm we had seen in Beatty the day before. They told us that it was an old mine. We also learned that the Military had performed nuclear bomb testing near Beatty back in 1951. The rangers also told us that the Military tests and flies their jets through that area. It would’ve been spectacular to see the Stealth jet flying through while we were there. We also learned that there are many runways in Nevada that were used for test pilots such as Chuck Yeager as emergency landings when they were testing various airplanes. Our brain cells were energized with all the new things we had learned.

We headed to Lone Pine around 2:00 PM and reached our destination three hours later. How excited we were to once again see the majestic Mount Whitney and all the surrounding ranges standing sentinel over the Owens Valley. We spent a lengthy bit of time at their visitor center asking questions and reading their books and maps. We learned more information on the big earthquake that hit this area in 1872. This temblor was estimated to be around 8.2. It caused a lake to dry up, and a new lake to form. We passed this lake (Lake Diaz) while driving around on the south side of Lone Pine. Many geo-scientists who have studied the area theorize that quakes similar to the 1872 Lone Pine event are responsible for creating the Owens Valley..

We ate dinner at our favorite Mexican-American restaurant. It’s a hole-in-the-wall place, but their food is muy bueno! The White Mountain Range to the East was aglow with sunset’s last rays of the day. It sure was good to be back in California!

Mike at Badwater

Mike at Badwater

Mesquite Dunes

Mesquite Dunes

Karen at hot, dry, desolate Badwater

Karen at hot, dry, desolate Badwater

Our Motel in Lone Pine - White Mountains in background

Our Motel in Lone Pine - White Mountains in background

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