Tuesday, December 10, 2013

10/9 Badwater Basin, Death Valley

I drove about 20 miles today to Badwater Basin, where there was supposed to be a ranger talk.  I love traveling this time of year because you don't have to worry about traffic.  In fact, it is a big startling when someone comes up behind you to pass!

Badwater Basin has a spring coming from the mountains in the background, but the water is very salty and not drinkable, hence its name.  There was a nice parking lot and a handicap accessible boardwalk.  One interesting thing I have found about Death Valley National Park, by the way, is that every scenic parking lot has special RV parking spots.  And since it is off-season, those spots are not taken up by regular cars as they were in Yellowstone this summer.

This area is supposed to be the lowest in the park.

At the end of the boardwalk, is a long pathway that goes out at least half a mile into the valley on the salt flats. It is hard and very easy walking.  I walked all the way to the end, while I was waiting for the ranger to arrive.

Can you see the parking lot way in the distance??  No one can say I don't get exercise at least some days.

Since the ranger was not interesting in walking, and was mostly a storyteller, I listened a while and then headed back.  More absolutely empty roads on my way back to the campground.   

Except right about here, I saw a coyote jogging along the road.  Stopped my vehicle right in the middle of my lane.

Of the several photos I took out of the open passenger window, this is the only one that turned out!
I was told by a lady at the next turnout that the ranger had mentioned that this particular coyote would come up to your vehicle if you pulled over and stopped and beg for food.  I did not see that, but maybe he/she does not recognize a big motorhome as a vehicle.  Truth is that I have a lot more food than those cars!  I would not feed one, however.  Big fine if you are caught feeding the wildlife.

Biggest pain in the campground are the ravens.  They are really large birds and are constantly checking out picnic tables and hanging around the nearby visitor center parking lot.  They also walk around on my roof a lot.  Will take some photos of those tomorrow. 

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