Thursday, May 10, 2012

Death Valley

The dunes
We left the high canyons of Bryce Canyon in Utah,  located at 7,000 feet in elevation, and drove down to the lowest point in North America, Death Valley in the Mohave desert in California. It is located 282 feet below sea level. Mrs. Yollis also went to Death Valley and shared her photos with us. We arrived late at night, and it took us 12 hours to get there. At night, it was extremely windy and we heard the wind howl outside. We were all snuggled in our sleeping bags trying to keep warm.

Palm tress growing in the desert

On average, Death Valley has the highest temperature in the word. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 116 F. But the temperature on the ground gets even hotter. A ground temperature of 201 F was once recorded. Luckily, while we were there, it was only around 80F. Death Valley gets really hot because it is surrounded by steep mountain ranges that traps the heat inside the valley.  The tall mountains also keep the rain clouds from on the other side of the mountain, leaving death valley very dry.  Even though the desert is dry, there are a few spots with green palm trees grow.

In the morning, we quickly got dressed and hurried out. After we got outside, we noticed that we didn't bring our hats, and it was very hot outside. We didn't want to get burned, so we tied our shirts on our heads to make mini hats. My little sister looked like little red riding hood with her red hat shirt over her head.Even my dad and my mom put on shirt hats. All of us looked very funny in our hats.

On top of a Sand Dune
We then went outside and saw huge sand dunes. They were beautiful, dark yellow sand, and had small patches of green bushes in a few places. The sand was very fine and felt nice and warm. They looked very fun to climb and slide or run down. When we climbed our first sand dune, we rolled down. I got really dizzy sliding down one of the sand dunes, but it was still fun.  My little brother Michael and our driver, Victor, went to the highest sand dune, and my Mom, my little sister Hannah and I went the third highest dune. We were just too tired to follow Michael to the top.  

While standing on top of the sand dunes, we had a competition of who can jump the farthest down the hill. Victor won first place, I jumped second farthest and Michael was third. We had a great time there. When we came back in our car, we were so hot and tired that we wanted to go swimming. Victor had a great idea of going to the hot springs near Bishop, California. 

Climbing up

Rolling down

Have you ever visited the desert? 
What interesting things did you see?


  1. Dear Sarah,

    This is an awesome post. I really enjoyed reading your description about your wonderful visit to Death valley.
    You have put up some really wonderful photos of you and your family to make your visit to Death Valley even more breath taking.

    I have to say I really loved the photo of you rolling down the dune.
    Now Sarah did you find that a challenge? As I know I would.
    Did you see any animals while you were visiting Death Valley?

    I have never been to visit a desert but one thing is for sure is that if ever I come to the USA I really want to visit Death Valley.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with us all Sarah.
    Even my husband who doesn't blog or read blogs really thought your post was amazing. :)

    From your pal,

    1. Dear AA,

      Thank you so much for leaving me such a wonderful comment! We didn't expect it to be that hot at Death Valley and weren't prepared to have hats. It was fun to improvise.

      I didn't find rolling down the dunes a challenge because we were going so fast. It was really fun. However, going up the dunes was more difficult.

      We only saw a few squirrels. It was probably too hot for most animals to live in Death Valley.

      I hope you will get to visit Death Valley someday too.


    2. Dear BB,

      Thank you so much for leaving me such a lovely comment. I appreciate all of the wonderful comments you always write on my blog.

      After a while our feet got a little hot so we put back our shoes. The couple of dunes weren't too high and it wasn't that hard to climb. However, the last couple of dunes were a lot higher and steeper and were also more tires so they felt difficult to climb. The fun part was jumping or rolling down.

      We didn't see any animals because it was probably too hot for them to survive.

      We also didn't find any flowers, maybe they were in bloom when we went.


  2. Dear Sarah,
    Awesome post.

    Your pictures of Death Valley were awesome my favourite photograph would have to be when you were rolling down the big sand dune.

    I have not been to a desert before but one day I would like to visit Death Valley. Sarah did you know at Death Valley there is a mysterious rock that moves during the day.

    Climbing up the dune must have been very difficult. Were your feet hot on the sand?

    Like AA said did you spot any animals there?

    Also did you find some flowers?

    From your fan,

  3. Dear Sarah,

    I loved your post about Death Valley National Park! Thank you for creating a hyperlink to my Death Valley post! Good for you!

    Your photos brought a smile to my face. Mr. Yollis and I spent a lot of time hiking the dunes. It was so hot and dry, especially with the wind! We did not roll down any dunes, but we walk to the top of a few high ones. There was one dune that was the highest. I set off to reach it, but it was too hot and far away.

    Did you drive out to the salt flats called Badwater Basin?

    Your proud teacher,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

    1. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

      Thank you so much for leaving me such a lovely comment! It was also pretty hot when we went, but of course not as hot as it gets in the summer. It was also very windy and when the wind would pick up, the sand would get into our eyes. At night it was even worse, and we could hear the wind howl and blow at our RV.

      No, we didn't drive to Badwater Basin. The Death Valley is really huge and everything is pretty far away. We didn't have time to drive to all the sights in Death Valley. We also wanted to leave some time to go to the hot springs.



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