Wednesday, April 17, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Dante's View, The Signs, The Sights!

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

March 13, 2013

When we arrived in Death Valley on the 11th, the drive to Dante's View was closed due to the rain a few days prior.  By the 13th it was open for traffic.  Note the sign above, restricting vehicle length to 25 feet.  Jolly is 22 feet.  Tana was back in the campground at Stovepipe Wells.

Below you can see why the road had been closed, it was flooded with water and dirt.  The park does a nice job of cleanups.

Yes, even tho the first sign says no rigs over 25 foot, seems they have a parking area for trailers.  Might be for horse trailers?  We saw no trailers here, so, I am guessing.  The sign needed to be photographed tho!  Ironies of life and all that.

Just a bit further along, I see the need for this one, but, imagine they close the road under these conditions.

As I do frequently, so I can remember, I shot photos of the GPS in Jolly, to record progress.  Sony Too records the time.  The GPS records road names, the elevation, speeds, road footprint/route - - so, here we are driving on no roads, per the image, eh?

At 11:53 we had climbed to 2,881 feet.

By, 12:08 we were at 5,041 feet.

Below at 12:09 we recorded 5,180 feet and were driving only 15 MPH (and believe me, that was FAST enough!)

Almost to the top, those little dark lines running across the photo, those are guard rails.  The road zig zags up the hill, and yes, the guardrails are right at the edge, and there are many steep drop offs.  Don't look over too hard if you get queasy.

At 12:12 we reached 5,473 feet and the top and the "high" for the day!

At the top, looking back down over the road we just came up and the barren landscape of Death Valley National Park as far as the eye and Sony Too can see.

Below: This is what we really came for, a view of the floor of Death Valley over by Badwater, the lowest place in North America, as viewed from almost 5,500 feet!  I cut off the bottom hills, it is so huge, so vast, so WOW.  I just could not get it all in with Sony Too and the panoramic.  Did I say, it is vast and huge??

According to a Wikipedia article:

"Dante's View is named after Dante Alighieri, who wrote the Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy), in which there are described the nine circles of Hell, the seven terraces of Purgatory and the nine spheres of Paradise."

Peaking over the sides, just a little, do you see that half moon looking line wayyyyyyy down there?? That is the road we will take to Badwater in a hour or so! Yea, really! A two lane road.  Looks like a piece of yarn or something doesn't it?

Let's put Sony Too and the zoom to the test and pull the valley floor in a bit closer.  Almost looks like abstract art, doesn't it?  I believe that may be a bit of water down there, it did rain a few days ago.

(Edit/add:  While we were up here at Dante's View, viewing, the cell phone picked up messages. Yea, almost no place in Death Valley did I have connectivity, but, we did up here!  Go figure!)

After taking a few photos - - well, a few plus a few more, and trying to absorb the fabulous views, we headed back down the mountain. We stopped and had a little bite to eat here on the side of the road.  Not a bad lunch spot!

The light was great heading down the mountain, so, I took advantage and grabbed a few land forms, and color and design, ahhh, Mother Nature's artist brush at work again.

She even tossed in a bit of orange.

At about 1999 feet, going down, one last little grade, just 15 %.  Don't see that 15% much, thank goodness.

From here we would retrace our drive back to the turnoff for Badwater, the "low" of the day, the "low" of North America.  I'll bring you that strange place soon.


1 comment:

Claudia said...

Great pictures, I was sort of expecting some fire and brimstone...