Feb 21

Day 6: Panamint Valley

Category: Death Valley

We stayed in the Panamint springs “resort,” a title claimed – but not necessarily earned – by an establishment not actually in the Panamints and without springs of any sort. I admit that both of these things are nearby – but naming the place “Panamint Springs Resort” is arguably an exageration. The room was better than a tent; think of a chicken house or horse stall with an electrical socket and a mattress. Still, it is better than a tent, and where else are you going to go? If you’re here, it’s the only game in town. In fact, as far as I could tell, it was the town. Perhaps I’d been spoiled by Furnace creek, with its golf course and small airport.

On the other hand, the Panamint Springs restaurant was superb. In fact, all of the restaurants run within the park were better than I expected. The view from this restaurant is striking, and while we were getting gas at the nearby station (one of the few in the region) I noticed that military jets, probably from China Lake, were streaking down the panamint valley. Here is some of the scenery:

Looking south down the panamint vally below Panamint Springs. If you click through and look at the large version, you can see dust devils twirling in the desert. The line of clouds echoes the lay of the land, for some meteorological reason following the contours of the Panamint valley.

Panamint Valley

Route 190 draped across the Panamint Valley and over the Panamint Range, going towards Death Valley:

Panamint Valley

Beautiful strata along route 190:

Panamint Valley

Panamint valley

If you click through and look at this one large, you’ll see an object all the way down at lower right: a destroyed, rusted truck carcass. Seeing this type of thing while negotiating a narrow road on a steep cliff is a common thing in Death Valley. It reminds me of the tombstone inscription “You also will be as I am now.”

dead car curve

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