Tomorrow on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012: I will depart NYC JFK via Delta Airlines #1429 for the five hour flight to Las Vegas, Nevada. I will then pick up a Hertz Rental Car and drive approximately 2 1/2 hours Northwest across the border of California to the hottest and lowest point in all of North America: Death Valley National Park. I will stay at the very lovely Furnace Creek Inn and Resort.
Death Valley National Park is a national park in the U.S. states of California and Nevada located east of the Sierra Nevada in the arid Great Basin of the United States. The park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve. Approximately 95% of the park is a designated wilderness area.It is the hottest and driest of the national parks in the United States. The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include creosote bush, Bighorn Sheep, Coyote, and the Death Valley Pupfish, a survivor of much wetter times.
I plan to explore the area by hiking the famous Borax Salt Mines; a natural and very unique almost lunar environment with various hiking trails. I will spend two nights at the splendid oasis of Furnace Creek and then drive back to Las Vegas where I will attend our 17th Les Clefs d’Or Pan American Congress through all of next week, then returning back to NYC on Monday night April 30th 2012.
Looking forward to exploring the desert: stayed tuned for more photos and updates in the next few days!!