Saturday, October 08, 2011

Furnace Creek, California

I spend two days at home after being in Spain on the Camino de Santiago and I am off to California.  Garry and I are on vacation in Death Valley National Park (DVNP) and staying at the Furnace Creek Ranch. We will spend the next four days exploring the geological wonders of the National Park. Garry came to DVNP earlier this year on a geological field trip and wanted to share the beauty with me.

The oasis of Furnace Creek is below sea level and a little patch of green in the valley. Death Valley is one of the hottest spots in the world and is the lowest point in North America (282 feet below sea level). The low altitude, coupled with the high heat, creates furnace like weather .... hence the name I guess.
During the years 1883-1889 borax was mined in Death Valley. Twenty-mule-teams were comprised of eighteen mules and two horses hitched together. The teams pulled borax from the Furnace Creek area across the Mojave Desert to the nearest railroad stop. The wagons and water tank are shown above.
When I saw these two setting off I thought that I was still on the camino.  Nope, they were on the 2.7 mile hiking trail. There is an easy three minute uphill walk to Zabriskie Point and from the viewpoint I could look down at the trail that the two hikers would follow.
View from Zabriskie Point
View from Zabriskie Point
View from Zabriskie Point
View from Zabriskie Point
A view from Zabriskie Point showing volcanic flows, the top black layer. Millions of years of erosion give this place a badland feeling.


  1. Hi Luiza!

    Good to know you arrived home safely. Congratulations on completing your reverse Camino! I'm looking forward to reading all about it when you have had time to catch your breath. And I'd love to see some photos of Death Valley, too :) Enjoy!


  2. Hi Andreé,

    Yes, home safely after going two-thirds of the way (Logroño). I will return next year and walk from Bilbao to where it joins Camino Francés. I hope then continue with the 'retorno' journey to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. It has always been a dream to walk down the Pyrénées.

    I am about to go out exploring Death Valley soon (after breakfast) which when driving in seemed to be a photographers paradise :)

    Thanks for caring ....