Monday, May 28, 2007

Death Valley

Death Valley, The Land of all Extremes.

Wait to get frightened!

Don’t get frightened by the name ‘Death Valley’ as there are many more places with far scarier names in this valley which give tourists real thrill, perhaps one of the most thing to visit these places may be their scary names. It is three million acres of barren and rocky land about 400 km north east of Los Angeles in the State of California This valley was originally inhabited by the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe (some of these tribals still live here). Its very name invokes rough and tough land scape with beautifully carved sand dunes.

Two rivers and a lot of sand.

Death valley sand dunes image courtsey:

The Death Valley is located between Amargosa and Panamint Ranges at east and west and The Owl’s Head Mountain and The Sylvania in the north and south respectively. There are two rivers flowing through this region, they never reach anywhere as all the waters get sucked by the ever-thirsty desert-sand! These sand-dunes are capable of swallowing a hundred rivers, two feeble streams are small fries!

‘Gold Man’, Frank “Shorty” Harris.

Frank Shorty Harris image courtsey:

Frank ‘Shorty’ Harris the pioneer in discovering gold deposits here made it big, but the news about his bounties spread as wild fire giving rise to the ‘gold-rush’. It is a land mark in the history of America when greed took the front seat people rushed to this land forgetting all ethics and shame; they were everywhere California was swarmed by these greedy fortune seekers.

The Death Valley National Park.

At present The Death Valley National Park has been entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the rare fauna and flora very exclusive to this area. Over and above this body has the job of maintaining and protecting the area as well as promoting tourism to this locality.

A shortcut to hell!

Among many of the early gold seekers who tried to cross the Death Valley and had to pay heavily for their ignorance! They had to pass through a virtual hell (many perished in the horrendous effort) those who survived named it the ‘Death Valley’ and all other land marks with apt names; no one will dare to pass through it (even if it is a ‘gold studded river bed’).

Extreme names to extreme locations!

Death Valley image courtsey:

Funeral Mountain, Coffin peaks, Hell’s Gate, Starvation Canyon, Dead Man’s Pass, Devil’s Hole, Furnace Creak, Bad Water Basin are all place names of this strange horrible valley. It is the hottest (temperatures rise above 128 degree Fahrenheit during summer), driest (in this aspect it is world’s one of the top), and lowest (the Bad Water Basin here, it is 282 feet lower than sea-level only ‘Laguna Del Carbon’ of Argentina is lower than this) (all words denotes extreme conditions) place in the American Continent.

Devils hole pupfish image courtsey:

Devil’s Hole is a flooded cave with sheer sided ridges of about 10 meters deep (well protected by fences with sensors tourists are not welcome in to this fenced area) in the north east corner of the Ash meadows where lives the ‘Devil’s Hole Pupfish – a unique fish of about 2.7 cm in length, an inhabitant of this are since 60,000 years in this sizzling pool filled with algae! Its numbers (present population about 38 where as it was 500 in the early 90s) are fast depleting and such a variety of fish is not found else where in the world (reason for the high security cover).

Ash Meadows is comparatively wet area in the in this desert areas with about 40 springs, enchanting pools with crystal clear water and some small lakes like Crystal Reservoir with flat shores (where free swimming allowed to visitors)

Ash Meadows image courtsey:

Funeral Mountain is a short and arid range (considered to be a sub-range of the Amargosa Ranges) that forms the eastern border of the Death Valley National Park.

Funeral Mountains image courtsey:

Bad Water is the lowest point in North America (282 feet below sea-level) extremely salty and the water is not edible (hence the name ‘bad water’ but many animals and plants live in it (pickle weed, some aquatic insects, the Bad water snake etc).

Bad water image courtsey:

Scotty’s Castle is an enormous fantasy palace built by Albert Mussy Johnson a Millionaire from Chicago in his Death Valley ranch, who allowed his mining partner Scotty to live in it as a guest and thus the castle got the name Scotty’s Castle (it is said that Scotty boasted as he had built it).

Scotty’s Castle image courtsey:

Furnace Creek is mainly rocky and in the hot sun the rocks get red hot giving ample justification to the strange name this creek posses, this point in Death Valley has the credit as the highest level of ground temperature (201 degree Fahrenheit), where the air temperature keeps pace with a sizzling level of 128 degree Fahrenheit.

Furnace creek inn image courtsey:

Rough and tough but charming!

Death valley map courtsey:

The above descriptions may create an impression that this valley is ugly and not good to look at but that is not the case, there are much to see in this biosphere like numerous springs, small lakes, colorful rocks, unending sand dunes, and a good agency (Death Valley National Park) for helping tourists as well as managing preservation of the exclusive flora and fauna unique to this area.

A short lived spring!

Death Valley generally has a sunny and clear atmosphere as the rainfall is dismally low (about 2.5 inches per annum). When it rains as the soil is not adapted to retaining of water there may be flashfloods. The Death Valley turns in to a beautiful garden after the rains as the seeds of the unique plants germinate and blooms presenting unforgettable scenes to the spectators.

Macho Valley.

One may perhaps think ‘it is improper to name a place and many locations it has with words like Death Valley, Funeral Mountain etc, they should have been given good and sweet names instead. ‘Flower Valley” or something like that’, but wait the name death valley, devil’s hole, dead-man’s pass, starvation canyon etc are an asset to this locality, no sweet words can add so much appeal to places like this, in fact a sizable number of tourists flock to here attracted by these eerie names! Giving charming names to Death Valley locations may look like a gentle man walking in a ladies gown! Wishing Death Valley and the tough locations bright and sunny days!


Anonymous said...

¡Hello Billy!!

Your post in our blog was fantastic!! Seeing one looking for our blog in India is wonderful!!!! I expect your new comments in our diaries!!!!

Katrine said...

Hello to you on the other side of the moon! I feel honoured to get a comment all the way from India! Nice blog, by the way..

Alfie said...

Hey!, thankyou!! I'm really glad you enjoy my blog! its funny how 3 months ago it started for my friends, and now i get visitors from india!!, I hope you keep enjoying it in the future!, comments and suggestions are always appreciated!, on the other hand, you must admit, you have one fantastic blog too!, read a couple of posts and really liked it!, will be popping in from time to time. hope to interact with you anothertime soon!, regards!

Isah said...

Tks for coment, fine blog ^^
i'll to back here later..
kiss *:

Patata Piloto said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I´m so honored to have new comments from the other side of the Moon ;)
Nice to meet you and I like your blog (cool images, places and texts). Warm regards from Asturias (Spain) :D

Rahmat Aini Yudidharma said...

Nice blog. Thank You for your comment, and thank you for visiting my blog.

Unknown said...

Greetings Biby. Thanks for visiting my blog. I had to stop in and see where the other side of the moon was :)

I really enjoyed your Death Valley series. I didn't know there were so many scary names for places in that area. I believe that would be a fun place to visit (but not in summer)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comment...
It looked like a sun in my life on the moon...

I haven't read everything yet...
But it seems very interesting...

Once again, thank you


Eurico Dias said...

Thanks for the visit!!!
Can u write about your opinion and vision about Brazil and Amazonia? I will translate and post in my home page. Lets go make a partnership Brazil - India!

Eurico Dias

Eowyn Zirbêth said...

Hello Sasi:

Thanks for you comment on my blog, and sorry, my English isn't very good. I was really amazed becouse of your visit. Do you speak Spanish? How did you find my blog? I've been reading a bit of your blog, and it's great. You talk a lot of different isues: I'm impressed. Nice to see someone from so far away can reach my thoughts. See you soon

歡喜了... said...

Great post

estee. said...

thanks for the comment. you have an amazing blog with equally fantastic pictures.

take care from the other side of the moon. :D.