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.
We are two retirees--Chuck, 64, and Kate, 63--who decided to travel the U.S. On June 13, 2008, we began our long-talked-about travels by heading south from our home in Pennsylvania in our Ford 550 and 38’ New Horizons fifth wheel.
Our travel aim is to meet people and go at least "knee-deep" into the culture of several communities. To learn what is important in the lives of the residents of the towns, villages, and farms of America is our primary interest.
When not learning about what people do, we will be (1) sampling the foods that help people do what needs to be done and (2) listening to the music of their culture.
A neighborhood joint or local hall serving liquid refreshment and featuring a jam session with local musicians . . . well, it just doesn't get any better.
We welcome comments, questions, or suggestions of people to meet, places to visit, and "don't miss" neighborhood joints for food and/or music. Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org