Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 157/158 - Bishop - Las Vegas (via Death Valley)

Distance travelled (by bike): 20,150 miles

I meant to leave Bishop early as i was told the earlier to get into Death Valley the better. But i ended up leaving later than i expected. From Bishop it was an hours drive to the turn off to Death valley, as i turned off the main highway i was the only vehicle on the road. The road twisted up through the mountains, plateauing giving an amazing view into the valley, though not death valley (as i though it would be), to get there was a steep decent into the valley and a steep assent  up the other side. At the top of the valley was entrance to the park, The views and scenery truly stunning! Descending into death valley it was getting hot, when i stopped for fuel at Stonepipe Wells, (a small village in the park) the temperature was 110 degrees. It was here that i met two guys from Scunthorpe! one proudly wearing the Scunthorpe United Football shirt - small world!
Driving further into the park the road dropped to 100ft below sea level, at Badwater Basin the elevation was 282ft below sea level, the lowest elevation in the US. 
Badwater Basin is a huge salt flat, extending over 30 miles, its also the hottest place in the park. To exit the park the elevation change was 1500m over 20 miles. Exiting at Shoshone i headed east towards Vegas. Stopping at Pahrump for the night.
From Pahrump its an easy ride into Vegas. Driving straight to the mechanics to drop the bike off for a major service, new tyres, chain etc. Leaving the bike i headed into the heart of Vegas. 
After been out in the countryside and national parks for the last week Las vegas was slightly overwhelming. Having checked in i opted to do the mundane tasks of repacking, laundry etc. before heading out, Jonathan and Suki arrive tomorrow, will leave the main exploration of the sights until they get here.

view from the road leading to the park

looking from the top of the first valley towards death valley

scunthorpe united fans - picture to be published in the match program!

salt flats

bike on the edge of the salt

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