24. Apr, 2016

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SATURDAY 12-04-08 

This morning we left Las Vegas. We needed to find the local ‘Camping World’, as well as doing a grocery shop before setting off for Death Valley, some 200 miles away, and time was getting on by the time we were rolling. 

I had wanted to leave town via The Strip, driving nice and slowly with some good old British 'Chas & Dave' playing loudly on the RV’s audio system, just to say ‘thank you’ to all those drivers who cut us up whilst driving around the outskirts of town on our arrival, and to all those nobheads who cruise around with their car radio’s blaring and the windows wound down. Unfortunately time was against us and so we programmed the Satnav with Camping World’s address and set off.  

At Camping World we bought some covers to protect the RV’s tyres from the sun’s intensity while parked in campgrounds, and some shampoo and cleaning brushes, as the vehicle desperately needs a good wash. 

The journey to Death Valley was uneventful, and the scenery nothing too special, everywhere was desert, barren, and boring. On arriving at Death Valley, at 3,000 square miles, the largest National Park outside of Alaska, we headed south down to Furnace Creek, where, on arrival we felt it was a bit too busy for us and so turned around and headed for Stovepipe Wells where we’ve booked for the night at a delightful campground. 

The scenery here is very dramatic, and it's been very hot, even at 18:00 it was 95F.  In fact Death Valley holds the record for the highest recorded temperature in the Western hemisphere at 134°F (56.7C) second only to Libya where the highest temperature ever was recorded at 136°F in 1922. Fortunately the bedroom area above the cab seems to provide us with considerable protection and shade from the elements as we drive along. Disappointingly the sunset was unspectacular as there is no cloud for the sun to bounce off. 

We had a barbecue, and afterwards I tried out my new toy, a liquid propane gas (LPG) fuelled campfire complete with ceramic logs, made even more realistic by tossing on some BBQ wood chips, though it’s not in the user’s handbook to do so. It was very relaxing sitting under the stars with a campfire burning and it felt a million miles from Las Vegas where we had been this morning. 

LOCATION TONIGHT: Stovepipe Wells Village campground, Death Valley, California