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Today, we left Nevada to go to Death Valley National Monument in California. It's about 150 miles away. What a beautiful place! The cliffs are such gorgeous soft colors; browns, creams, greens, reds. Our first stop was Zabriskie Point, where we took a short paved trail to a breathtaking overlook of the folded hills and cliffs. It was hot; Death Valley is a very low park; it drops down way below sea level as you drive. Next we stopped at the Visitor Center to see the museum and a history of Death Valley from pre-historic times to now. People came to find gold, but it petered out and then they found the mineral Borax, which is used in many things. How many of you remember 20 Mule Team Borax? Well, this is where it came from, mined by Chinese and pulled out of the valley in huge carts pulled by teams of 20 or more mules. There are the ruins of some of the old machinery and some of the adobe houses the workers lived in to look at. Very hot! We drink water all the time and we turn into giant salt licks, because when you perspire it evaporates immediately, leaving your salt behind on your skin. We drove thru Mustard Canyon, where, yes, the cliffs all look as though they've been painted with Gulden's yellow mustard. Next was Devil's Golf Course, where the ground is all made of jagged spires of rock salt. Hard to walk on, as it's very sharp. Then we went to Salt Creek Trail, where a small stream of water flows thru the desert with 2 inch pupfish by the hundreds living in about 1 inch deep water. The water is about 90 degrees and five times as salty as the ocean, but the pupfish have adapted to it over time. And there, I was stung by ( I swear this is it's real name) a "bloodsucking conenose". It was more like a nasty needle as the B.C. injected his hollow conenose into my knee and sucked some of my blood, making me go "OUCH". It's momentarily quite painful. Mother Nature is not the peaceful dame people think she is! Next, we drove to Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet/855 meters below sea level. Hot! Hot1 Hot! There is a small pool there with minute aquatic insects and shell-less Badwater Snails in it. We walked out on the salt flats, drinking gallons of water as we went. They are five miles across, but as the temperature was about 110 degrees, we only went a short way. Thank goodness for air conditioned cars! Then we drove along Artist's Drive and Artist's Palette, where the cliffs are unbelievable colors. Saw a new wild flower, too, the Desert 5 Spot, which only blooms after a rain. ( Death Valley gets about 2 inches of rain a year and has a yearly evaporation rate of 150 inches a year). It's the lowest, hottest, driest park in the lower 48. What a great day! Tomorrow, I go to Wal-Mart and attempt to find a new battery charger for my camera. If I do, I can post pics of what I've been talking about. Till tomorrow........

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It is really hot, but since there is practically no humidity in the atmosphere, it feels less hot than it is. I am going to try to post some more pictures tonight. I had to buy a new camera and now I have to learn how it works. ^-^

Keep shopping, auntie. Keep shopping!

I have been; the ATMs and I are becoming fast friends!

That's good, Auntie. Stay friends with the ATMs. Plastic money is also good, so are magic numbers (online tranfers) and that online system called Pay-Friend, or something like that!

ATMs and I are on a really solid first-name basis. I reserve my plastic money for home use, because I don't pay my bills online. When I do get home, I plan to use the friendly Pay-Friend to send some buns some money again, because Auntie Sue would have liked that a lot. ^-^

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