Saturday, 5th January
Up at 7:15. It was overcast as a severe rain/snow storm was moving east. By the time it reached Las Vegas it was almost over. We left at 8:30 along Blue Diamond Highway 160 to the southern end of Death Valley. We drove all the way through Death Valley on 190.
The scenery included salt pans, volcanic soil/rock mounds, an area of petrified wood, sand, rocky mountains, sand dunes and a salt water pool (shallow) at the lowest point, 22 feet below sea level. The average yearly temperature is 38 degrees C and the maximum recorded was 57. We left Death Valley by the north west along 178 heading over the mountain and then south west through the next valley. The temperature in Death Valley was 69 degrees F and it dropped 20 degrees in the mountain and then was 57 degrees in the second valley.
We stopped at a gold mining Ghost Town called Ballarat. It was named after Ballarat, Australia at the suggestion of one of the miners (an Australian). It was abandoned in 1917.
We arrived at Adelanto near San Bernardino, at 5pm. It was a long day’s drive with several short stops, through a big range of dry desert scenery. In some places there were puddles from the storms passing through.
For part of the drive there was no radio reception at all, when usually there are 10 – 20 stations. Because of all the mountains, on most days we lose reception frequently. Bought some pizza and ice creams for dinner. The Indian people (from India) in the motel’s reception were keen to tell us that cricket was on TV – Australia vs India.