Driving south through Death Valley in the summer of 1951! from “Seawater One”
On our way back to Los Angeles, we drove down through Grapevine Canyon on the northern end of Death Valley. This is where Scotty’s Castle is located, with its cooling system and power provided by an underground spring. Everything was so different from anything I had known back East, and very interesting. We continued through Death Valley, with water bags hanging from the car’s front bumper and a water cooler tightly clamped into a window on the passenger side. There were no rest areas in the desert, so we had to make stops alongside the road. Out in the open, in the middle of the day, this was the way to get back to nature! We hadn’t seen a car in hours, so there was no problem regarding modesty. In those days, cars were not as reliable as now. Driving through Death Valley at high noon in the middle of summer wasn’t the brightest idea, but it was an adventure! It was so hot that I watched my urine sizzle and instantly evaporate off the pavement of Badwater Road, which runs the length of the valley. At Stovepipe Wells we turned west on SR 190, heading towards Keeler and Dolomite. On this stretch of road we could look ahead and see Mount Whitney with its summit being 14,505 feet above sea level. It was exciting to see the highest mountain in front of us and look back to the lowest point in the United States at 282 feet below sea level. At that time, Alaska and Hawaii were not yet in the Union. Now Mount McKinley in Alaska tops Mount Whitney by 5,732 feet, being 20,237 feet high.
Photo Caption: Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley (See Captain Hank Bracker at Facebook)
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