DEATH VALLEY (January 2012)
Since our exhaustive summer travels, H and I have decided to stay domestic for a while. Having visited six of California's Spanish missions during our coastal trip, we have continued to visit and photograph many more. We've also taken advantage of many of the national parks found here in the Southwest.
Some areas are better suited for summer and some better suited for winter. Death Valley is certainly one of the latter as it holds the record for the highest reliably reported temperature in the Western hemisphere, 134°F (56.7°C). While there can be flash flooding in the winter, this winter is mild and there's no rain (and barely any clouds) in sight.
Situated within the Mojave Desert, Death Valley features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America. It was called "Death Valley" by prospectors and others who sought to cross the valley on their way to the gold fields during California's Gold Rush in 1849. During the 1850s, gold and silver were extracted in the valley. In the 1880s, borax was discovered and extracted by mule-drawn wagons.