We were back on the road at about 08:00 travelling down I15 getting a few miles under our belt before the road got busy. Another side-wind did get up quite strongly at one point, which had me worried, but it eventually died down. The Chef rang the Rangers at Furnace Creek in Death Valley to check on the route we were intending to take. After our experience of Hwy190 West at the end of our last visit we were looking for a better route in, ideally from the south since that is where we were approaching from.
Fortunately they confirmed that Highways 127 & 178 were good to use and that’s the way we were going in, and were very pleased we did. The scenery was again spectacular with the valley being created by the Panamint Range to the west and the Amargosa Range to the east. En-route we came across Badwater Basin, at -282ft, the lowest point in North America (GPS: N36.230058 W116.767019), so we parked up and joined a coach load of French and Brits on a stroll out on to the salt bed. In fact the lowest part of the basin is a few miles to the west, but as the surface underfoot can be dangerous at times the sign stating that it is the lowest point is placed near the spring-fed pool near the road for the benefit of us tourists.
We intended to spend the night at Furnace Creek campground before cruising up to Stovepipe Wells tomorrow morning. But again we didn’t like the look of the place, it was far too commercialised for our liking. The campground fee there was cheap, but if you wanted a shower you had to buy a pass for $5, or we could pay twice as much for the pitch at Stovepipe Wells and have the price of a shower included with the electrical hook-ups. The term ‘rip off’ springs to mind, we’re happy to leave the touring masses to the southern end of Death Valley.
We decided to carry on to Stovepipe Wells which is more our kind of campground. After arriving, hooking up, and getting settled, we went for a look around the shops and bought a $5 phone card in the General Store as there is no mobile phone signal here, and I need to try and book the RV in with the Coachmen agent in Las Vegas www.lasvegasrv.com on Monday for some minor but important warranty repairs. The rest of the work can wait until we return the vehicle to Motorhome Specialists in Texas for further storage.
I discovered to my surprise that they have free Wi-Fi located in the Guests Room over the road on the motel complex, so I’ll be popping over there tomorrow to make use of it. We were only the second RV to book in here today though by this evening it had grown to five, no problem, there’s plenty of space except that we’re two spaces away from a pair of geriatrics in a class ‘A’ motorhome who have their windows open and the television on loudly. To me sitting in your RV watching TV is sacrilege given the wonderful scenery outside. These people may just as well have stayed on their driveway at home and watched television saving themselves the expense of the fuel, and the effort of driving.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Stovepipe Wells Village campground, Death Valley, CA (GPS: N36.607434 W117.146545)