Sunday, November 23, 2008

After Death Valley

After leaving the campground at Death Valley, I headed south towards Badwater. It is the lowest point in North America at about 230 ft. below sea leavel. It is called badwater, not because the water is poison, but because it is salty, and such, is bad to drink.

It is only 3 miles across the salt flats, but there have been deaths from people who are not prepared and don't carry enough water and some sort of hat or shade for their head. Temps can get above 130 degrees in the summer. I'm glad I was here in the fall.

Here I am at Baker, CA, just on the edge of the Mojave desert. We stayed overnight in a lot across from a Big Boy's Restaurant. But Baker is known for having the largest themometer in the world. As you can see, it is pretty large.

On we headed through the Mojave towards I-40. Halfway we stopped at Kelso. Once it was a thriving train station and town of 1500 population. Now it is has been restored and is the parks visitor center. No more passenger trains, only freight trains go through daily.

I was lucky enough to be outside when a freight train went zipping by. It doesn't even slow down, just blows its whistle.

My next stop was Parker, AZ, where I met up with the WINs again. They were staying at a county park, right on the river. It was beautiful, especially during the sunsets. Above is just one of the beautiful sunsets I saw while there.

Of course, anytime we are near a river we go kayaking. So one day we put in right where we were parked and kayaked down the Colorado River about 7 miles to Bluewater Casino. We arrived just in time for the casino's buffet lunch. But on the way we detoured through some canals and I thought the above sign was too much.

One day I headed back to Lake Havasu City, where the famous London Bridge was reerected. A local townsman throught the town needed something to draw the tourists. It just so happened that London, England, was looking to sell one of their bridges. So the city purchased the bridge for 4 million dollars and spent more than that reerecting the bridge. But I'm sure it has paid back the city many times over in revenue from the tourists who flock to Lake Havasu City just to see the bridge. Like me..

Here is a larger picture of the entire bridge. At the time they erected the bridge there was no water underneath. After the bridge was built they dredged a canal under the bridge and allowed water from the Colorado River to flow in.

I didn't kayak the Bill Williams River, although some of the group did, but I did stop and hike the area. It is a marshy area and great birding area.

After Parker, AZ, I moved down to Blythe, CA, on the other side of the Colorado River. While there, some of us ventured out to Cibola National Wildlife Refuge. After having the ranger interns show us a film at the visitor center, they took us on a guided tour of the area. We saw lots of Sand Hill Cranes and heard just how loud they can be.

Another place we visited was the Blythe Intaglios. As you can read, they are giant figures made on the desert floor. I wasn't sure what that meant exactly, but in the next few pictures you will see. I wasn't exactly impressed.
Here is what they are supposed to look like from the air. They were discovered in the 1930s by a pilot.

I couldn't get a great shot, but this is what you see from the ground.


Diana said...

Love the first picture of Badwater, and of course the sunset. Hope to meet up with you soon.

Fred Feaster said...

I like your photos. I hope one day to be out there having fun like you seem to be doing.