day 179
death valley

"I'm not cheap, I'm just against them charging so much." -a.
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Deathly Hot:
January Avg: 18C (65F)
February Avg: 22C (72F)
March Avg: 27C (80F)
April Avg: 32C (90F)
May Avg: 37C (99F)
June Avg: 43C (109F)
July Avg: 46C (115F)
August Avg: 45C (113F)
September Avg: 41C (106F)
October Avg: 33C (92F)
November Avg: 24C (76F)
December Avg: 19C (66F)

Record High: 57C (134F)
When: July 1913

Did you know? Most deaths that occur in Death Valley are caused by single car accidents.

Even Lower Lowest Point of the Day
101 Ways To Die in Death Valley:
With a thirst for knowledge like ours, we can't help but go to the ranger talks. And with an even greater thirst for the weird, wild and worm- eaten, this talk was for us.

Ranger Alan didn't exactly cover all 101 ways, but here are some of the highlights:

1. Single Car Accidents: Driving in Death Valley doesn't give you much vegetation to look at, so before you know it, you're going 80 on a road meant for 40. You glance at the sunset, tires go off the road, and bingo... you've just rolled in your SUV.

2. Dehydration: Some dork decided to hike across the salt flats in the middle of July. He didn't make it. Why? Because when he started to shed items to make the trip easier, he dropped his water but kept his video camera. They found him three days later, baked through at 200 degrees. His skin was black and his bones were rattling around inside.

3. Rattlesnakes: There actually aren't many snakes in Death Valley, at least none you couln't see because there's nowhere to hide. However, a man saw one sunning itself and decided to pick it up. He got chomped. He didn't have a snake bite kit with him, or a knife, so the Cut-N-Suck method was out of the question. Instead, he used the Bite-N-Suck. That's right, he bit a chunk out of his own arm to suck out the poison.

An extremely informative chat about Death in the Valley. And, he did it all with a smile!

Only 2 More States to Go!
Bought Low,
Sold High

Feb 21 - Well, there's another point to cross off the old "-est" list. 280 feet below sea level is quite a drive, especially when it's about 5000 feet up on either side of it. The result? A good, hearty, steaming bowl of heat, year round.

The lowest point, actually, is 282 feet, but it's unmarked somewhere in the middle of the salt flats. Besides, somebody dug a hole just behind the sign that's about two feet deep, so what's the difference? If I dug a three foot hole, they'd just have to bring the survey crews out there again. We'll stick with the sign, to save everyone the hassle.

That "-Est" List I Was Talking About
The Eastest Point
The Southest Point
The Northest Point
The Middlest Point (48)
The Middlest Point (50)
The Middlest Point (NA)
The Lowest-Highest Point*
To go: Westest Point!
Cape Mendocino, California

*2nd, actually. Still a
funny writeup, though.
With a name like Death Valley, we expected to be greeted by a desolate, inhospitable wasteland of sand, salt and skeletons. What we got instead was a desolate, inhospitable wasteland of sand, salt and skeletons, with a resort community smack in the middle of it.

It was like finidng an oasis in the Sahara, only instead of a cool pond of fresh, clean water, there was a Starbucks hawking Poland Spring at $4.50 a bottle. We were glad for the sake of humanity that the Devil's Golf Course was a clever name for a natural landform, and not an actual golf course. Although, I'm sure "The Lowest Golf Course In America" would bring the RVs in by the bucketful, and they probably had a driving range in the resort for just such people.

This place had hotels, motels, restaurants, tennis courts, bike rentals, a laundromat, a convenience store, a swimming pool, and anything else the average rich guy needs at any given moment. Except Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, but I would guess that there's some sort of price limit that Ben or Jerry stamps on the back, so they wouldn't be able to charge $9.95 a pint like the no-name brand they were selling.

The Lowest General Store In America! (Notice I didn't say "Lowest Priced")
I tell you, holy jumpin' jackups, Batman. You think just because they're the only resource for food or gas for 90 miles in any direction, that they can charge whatever they want? Well, yes, I guess they can. And they did.

Chips were four dollars. Coke was two. We felt like we were getting gringo-screwed all over again, only this time we weren't even gringos! Well, I guess we were, but, everybody was! Gringos shouldn't gringo-screw other gringos! It's not right!

And don't even get me started on gas. $1.96 per gallon, regular unleaded. Self serve, even! If that's not highway robbery, I don't know what is. It would be cheaper to kick the gas station attendant in the ass, get arrested on assault charges and post bail for yourself once you get to the police station. At least you'll be in town then.

It really was ridiculous. They were charging more than Yellowstone, more than the Grand Canyon, heck, in some cases, more than Disney! I guess that's what they mean when they say location, location, location. You want the lowest point in America, you're going to pay the highest prices in America.

If you ask me, I think they're trying to compensate for something.

death rises...

Raised Rice

'Spensive Spam

Costly Coffee

Pricey Peanuts
more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Death Valley, CA

Next Stop: Los Angeles

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Draw your own conclusion

Daily Stats

National Parks Pass...
Savings Today:$10.00
Total Savings:$169.00
Which will reach 200 first?
The parks pass or the
trip day number?

Sleeping Quarters
Wild Rose Campground

We've moved to the free campground tonight. It's only 4000 ft. above sea level and ten degrees cooler!

Cost: Free!

Texas Springs Death Valley
K's Order:Apple Oatmeal
A's Order:Coffee
On The Road
Badwater Death Valley
Both:Leftover Pasta
Wild Rose Death Valley
K's Order:Leftover Pasta
A's Order:Rice

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© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Ear-poppin' Good.