Eight miles out of Pahrump on Nevada's Scenic Route to Death Valley.
A simple routine glance at the instrument panel...a blinking light. The "Check Engine" light.
About 70 miles from our first destination in the National Park.
As I pulled onto the shoulder, all I could think of was an word of warning in one of the local travel brochures that read something like: "Check your tires, brakes, and other essentials on your car before heading for Death Valley. A tow back to Pahrump can cost up to $1,200."
Without hesitation, we headed back to Pahrump.
The repair shop had to send someone to Las Vegas for a thermostat.
Twenty-four hours later we passed the same eight-mile mark--and kept on driving.
Ninety minutes later, a short hike took us to Zabriskie Point.
From geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/parks/deva/: "Looking out from Zabriskie Point, you are surrounded by yet another of Death Valley's forbidding, almost unearthly, desert landscapes. These are
"The story of Death Valley's badlands begins and ends, surprisingly enough, with water.