After we went to Rhyolite we headed right into Death Valley National Park. We swung by Furnace Creek Visitor’s Centre to pick up an annual interagency pass (and a passport!) so we can plan even more trips. Right now, our goal is to visit at least four national parks in a year. Given where we live that really shouldn’t be too hard! I think our next parks will be in Utah. I’m desperate to go to Zion, all of the pictures I’ve seen of it have been so striking.

On our way down to Badwater we stopped at a really beautiful spot off the side of the road. We made a short trek right down to the edge. It looked like we could have been on a beach at low tide, absolutely beautiful.

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Everything on the ground was crusted in a thick layer of salt. It’s really amazing.

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Next up, Badwater! At 282 feet below sea level, this sign was nestled in the rocks quite high above our heads. Being down there was like being on the surface of another planet.

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We could have walked for what seemed like miles past the boardwalk. We didn’t though, unfortunately. Again, another reason to go back!

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Salt crystal buildups are fascinating.

That was the end of our first day.  It was close to dusk by the time we left Badwater so we thought it was time to head out of the park and back to Beatty.  We ate dinner at the Stagecoach Casino next door which was… adequate.  Not great.  But it was better than going over to the gas station and getting food from their “grill”. 

The rest of the night… not so great.  We had the screaming-toddler-of-doom in the room next door to us and some awful people shrieking out in the parking lot for what seemed like hours.  Obviously not the motel’s fault but still irritating.  It was, however, a great jumping off point for the park. 

Right now I’m trying to set up a time for us to go out to Oregon to scope out locations and other things for the wedding.  I’m hoping we can make it out in May.  Time to break out the schedules and do some real planning!

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