Ahh, Death Valley, a place nobody will live in but also a place where people will pay to visit.  Go figure.  "Death Valley is my favorite park to visit."  Really?  I killed a car on a dirt road in Death Valley,  I was eaten alive by a swarm of unidentifiable flies while bush whacking across the desert.  AAA will not come and get you if you are broke down on a dirt road in any part of Death Valley.  Guess what?  Over 90% of the roads in Death Valley are knarly bumpy dusty dirt roads.

When I called AAA after I had killed my car and I told them where I was parked, the polite lady said; "Sorry Mr. Huffman, you will have to have your car towed to an asphalt road, before we can send a truck."  I answered back, "Mam, there is a double yellow line on the road I am stranded on.  They don't put double yellow lines on dirt roads."  I finally got a tow after two days, to a town I never heard of before, Pahrump, NV.  This town just happened to be 117 miles from where my car was stranded in Death Valley and 17 miles over the AAA towing limit.  Who ever figured I would ever be more then 100 miles from a garage mechanic.  Yes, I got charged for 17 extra miles.  I think it was $9 a mile for the extra towing fee.

"Crankshaft Crossing," apparently competing for cuteness with "Tea Kettle Junction."  Neither of which is located near anything habitable.  Raise your hand if you even know what a crankshaft is.  Aha, one person knows.  A crankshaft is what your pistons are connected too and it rotates as the pistons go up and down inside your engine, when you step on the gas.  That crankshaft rotation ends up moving your car forward or backwards via the transmission and drive shaft(s). Now you know.

Near the Northern most end of the park, an apparent open pit mine.  Judging from the yellow rocks laying around the site (not to be confused with yellow snow) they may have been mining Sulphur.  

The yellow in this rock is very much brighter then what I could capture in a photograph.

This mine is on a 70 mile touring road, half of which was dirt called, Big Pine Road.  As you enter the road from the asphalt in Death Valley, a small sign says, next services, 70 miles.  After completing this trip, I will attest to the fact, there are no services for 70 miles.  If you broke down, you could be eaten by Coyotes before anybody discovered you were gone.  Trust me, the Coyote knows a good thing when they see it and a whole pack of forty or fifty Coyotes would be on the look out for you.  They prefer that you bring catsup with you.

Tanks for the memories.  Not sure what they held, but there was a pipe coming out of them.  At first blush, they don't look very stable or capable of holding anything, ever.

The whole open pit mining thing from afar.  You have to wonder if they made more money from it then what they invested in it. There are thousands of historical signs along our highways and byways but something really interesting, like this, not even a clue.  

The rock colors were much prettier on the cliffs then what my camera could capture.  Our eye's are amazing cameras and even more amazing when we discover how difficult it is to duplicate what our eyes can see.  I hope that one day, I will be able to share in a photograph with my camera, exactly what my eyes see.

Another mound of Kitty litter, the white stuff in the distance.  This park is, pardon the pun, littered with these mounds of sand dunes.  This one is on the Northwest corner of the park.

The East side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range as viewed from the park.  Imagine Hwy 395 is running between the foreground and the background.  Love that Snow Pack.


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