Sunday, November 11, 2012

Death Valley Introduction

This is a continuation of our "introductory drive" through Death Valley from Beatty to Pahrump.

We did not stop at any of the overlooks or take any of the hikes or drives to specific destinations, but we did note what stops could be scheduled on each of our next two or three trips into Death Valley.

As we drove past scenes like those shown here and in yesterday's entry, I was comparing the scenery with what I had expected to see.
My mental picture of Death Valley was based on the opening scenes of the television show Death Valley Days. In that scene, a twenty-mule team was shown pulling wagons of borax across a solid expanse of white sand. While this was an appropriate tie-in with the sponsor, 20 Mule Team® Borax, it left me with the impression that Death Valley was a huge desert of white sand.
Now given that the TV show aired between 1952 and 1975 (hosted by “The Old Ranger” [played by Stanley Andrews] until 1964, when Ronald Reagan began a brief stint [1964-65] of hosting the show), the black and white images from the early days of TV may also account for my expectation of finding a vast desert of white sand.
So, the mountains appeared especially colorful given my expectations of seeing only white sand.
But even the gray mountains had several shades of gray
and even layers of white that made them look colorful.

With the overview completed, we were ready to begin a more in-depth tour of Death Valley.

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