The Monumental Salt Flats of Death Valley

From a distance, it could be mistaken for snow, a vast, flat valley of blinding whiteness. Except the temperature is 100o F (38o C). And it's Death Valley. The field is instead a salt flat so big that from the middle of Badwater Basin, it seems to stretch to infinity, if it weren't for the abrupt Panamint Mountains jutting up that... Continue Reading →

At Long Last, to Death Valley

The recent torrential downpours in California threatened to put an end to a road trip to Death Valley that my wife and I had been planning since last October. The Oroville Dam disaster, flooding, washed out roads and mudslides have the effect of putting a damper on best-laid plans. There were also forecasts of snow... Continue Reading →

Devil’s Golf Course, Death Valley National Park

It was surprising to me that there is so much exposed salt at Death Valley. Ancient lakes didn't have an escape route to the oceans, so they simply dried up and left behind enormous salt deposits. At the Devil's Golf Course, salt got sculpted into complex, intricate formations from weathering, a phenomenon that prompted the National Park... Continue Reading →

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