Death Valley 

After rested in Las Vegas for one day i felt extremely hot even it was only 90 degrees, I never feel languid like that when I was cycling , I think its a sickness called non-cycling sickness! In order to cure that, I decided to head towards Death Valley!
The largest national park outside of Alaska, Death Valley is an almost unfathomable place. The park’s 3.3 million acres /1.34 million hectares encompass mountain-size sand dunes, below-sea-level salt flats, mysterious singing rocks, and colorful sandstone canyons. Extremes are the norm: Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in America, with summer temperatures peaking above 120 F°/49°C, and average rainfall of 2 inches/5 cm per year. Also extreme are the park’s elevations: Badwater Basin, the park’s lowest spot, rests at 282 feet/86 metres below sea level while Telescope Peak soars to 11,049 feet/3,368 metres. So go high, or go very, very low; get hot, or chill out with amazing desert vistas. Death Valley delivers on every end of the scale.

 The temperatures from Wednesday to Friday was the highest of the week, the highest was 119 degrees. But all of these conditions just intrigued me a lot!
 Since the elevation will drop a lot so I thought it will be all the way downhills from Las Vegas to Death Valley, however I got a long and steep climbing ! After pedaled for 3 hours under 100 degrees, I asked a worker on the road how long is the climbing, his reaction really surprised me ” Are you heading to Pahrump? Oh my goodness, that’s gonna be a long way to go, a lot of curves, this is the steepest part, but you just started, a lot more to go ” 
  I wish I didn’t ask, but I didn’t take his words too seriously, after being given infos by a lot of people on the road, I felt like that everyone has the different definition about ” hard “, someone might tell me that its gonna be a strenuous climbing ahead or very tough road, but it usually not as bad as they described, so JUST GO! Don’t let the fear in control of your life .

I was totally soaked when I was climbing under 100 degrees, each time I thought it will be a downhill after the turning, but no, just endless climbing and climbing.

After 15 miles of climbing, I finally got the nice downhill! It felt so good like the best treat in the world! That’s why I enjoyed riding on up and down hills more than flat roads, the rewards you got from your own effort is better than anything !

I stayed at Pahrump for the night so I got 60 miles to Death Valley next day. The Warm showers host at Pahrump suggested me to stay more days at their house before I head to Death Valley , so I could store more water for my body and make the better preparation for the challenge. But I think you will never get enough ready for it if you are not ready, I’m ready at anytime, so let’s hit the road!!!!!!

  It started getting hot after the Death Valley junction, the hot was different than anywhere else,it was the dry heat, the sun was really like a ball of fire burning on you ,it was not easy to fight against the heat but climbing at the same time, there was still some up and down hills, I just had to learn French on my phone to distract my attention, that’s what I usually do when I am climbing, so I will be focused on the new things I’m learning instead of complaining about the situations.
  It seems like I got downhills after 15 miles climbing, yes,30 miles or more ( can’t remember clearly) all the way to DV! I was approaching Death Valley! But the downhill wasn’t pleasant at all, I felt like I was in a room with 120 degrees air conditioner on and the super hot wind was beating me!! I felt out of breath for so many times! I was like the dims sum in the steamer, I was so ripped!!

When I got to the first hiking trail, I almost jumped off my bike and ran to the hill, I felt so excited to end the downhills that I forgot it was 115 degrees on the ground as well. When I was running uphill, everyone was clapping and cheering, they couldn’t imagine how could people run on such a hot day, but a bunch of people joined me afterwards, we didn’t speak but ran with laughing! Positive energy is like a good virus, people could get infected immediately!


DV is even much bigger than I thought, you may drive for months but won’t get enough of it, the distance from each trail is pretty far like at least 70 miles away, I didn’t have too much time so I had to choose only 1 or 2 trails to bike through.It was such a big pity for not be able to do more hiking, so I think that would be a reason for me to come back someday. 

 I decided to head to Bad Water Basin before sunset, the lowest point of North America. After I biked for 1 hour on up and down hills, it started getting dark 

so I just camped in the desert! 

  It was still pretty hot at night , like more than 100 degrees, I kept sweating and drinking, when i woke up the next morning, one gallon of water was finished overnight. 

   Badwater Basin is an endorheic basin in Death Valley National Park,, noted as the lowest point in North America, with an elevation of 282 ft (86 m) below sea level. Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous 48 United States, is only 84.6 miles (136 km) to the north west.

The site itself consists of a small spring-fed pool of “bad water” next to the road in a sink; the accumulated salts of the surrounding basin make it undrinkable, thus giving it the name. The pool does have animal and plant life, including pickleweed, aquatic insects, and the Badwater snail.

Adjacent to the pool, where water is not always present at the surface, repeated freeze–thaw and evaporation cycles gradually push the thin salt crust into hexagonal honeycomb shapes.

The pool is not the lowest point of the basin: the lowest point (which is only slightly lower) is several miles to the west and varies in position, depending on rainfall and evaporation patterns. The salt flats are hazardous to traverse (in many cases being only a thin white crust over mud), and so the sign marking the low point is at the pool instead. The basin was considered the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere until the discovery of Laguna del Carbón in Argentina at −344 ft (−105 m).

  It was exciting to sleep at the lowest point of North America, after I got to Bad Water, I still had to take 17 miles back to the Furnace Creek, when the sun came out, everything got hot again and there was no shade at all, when I was only 4 miles left I got the sandstorm , the wind came out from nowhere, it was beating my bike with the heat, I started laughing at myself, yes, sun, wind, heat, sandstorm ,I AM NOT GIVING UP!

Fear is an instinct that keeps us safe, but it can also steal our joy.

The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let the things upset you

Dantes View 

Dante’s View is a viewpoint terrace at 1,669 m (5,476 ft) height, on the north side of Coffin Peak, along the crest of the Black Mountains, overlooking Death Valley. Dante’s View is about 25 km (16 mi) south of Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park.

Death Valley, I will be back!

The Red Rock Park 

死亡谷(一) 不折腾不痛快


    死亡谷国家公园有三最:最热、最干以及海拔最低。这里是整个北美洲海拔最低也是温度最高的地方,这可能是大多数到死亡谷的人们对它的第一印象以及理解,死亡谷,很惊悚的名字,听到的传说也很恐怖。说1849年一队淘金客的少数生还者,在这个荒芜的土地上与死神搏斗了80多天获救,一位获救者回望山谷感慨地说:“再见,死亡谷!”(Goodbye Death Valley),此地因此得名。



  因为死亡谷是美国最低点,所以我以为一路会将是海拔不断下降的下坡路,没想到从拉斯维加斯出发的前半段路都是盘山公路。当冒着30多度的高温骑了3个多小时的上山路后,遇到路边道路维修站在路边举着Slow 牌子的工人,于是问他这条山路还要翻多久,他的反应倒是把我惊着了,他说天啊,你要去Pahrump 啊,这条山路你才刚刚开始爬呢,这一路的盘山公路全是陡峭上坡路,还有好长一段路要走呢!说实话我倒真希望我没有问,自我欺骗可能比知道事实更轻松。但是我也没有把他的话倒往真了去想,倒不是觉得美国人爱夸张,只是每个人对难度的定义不一样,这点我在骑行中有过很多次体会,比如经常向骑行者打探路况时他们告诉我前面的山可陡着呢,真不是一般人能翻过去的,结果往往没有他们描述的那么夸张。

    我也是抱着这种侥幸心态去翻这座山,说陡峭倒是一点也不假,这是我唯一一次用上了1-1的档位慢慢摇,太阳像火球一样炙烤下来,每翻过一个转角处时总在想过了这个一定是下坡了吧,尽管每一次都没能如愿,不过我倒是觉得相当好笑,放着空调房里喝冷饮开Party 看秀的机会不要,偏偏要在这35度的高温下爬山,而我居然享受这个过程!! 我大概骨子里就有一种受虐的精神,越是艰苦的环境越让我亢奋。


  在骑行将近100公里后,当晚住在了一个叫Pahrump 的城市,当晚招待我的一对骑行夫妇强烈建议我在他们家呆几天让身体储备好水源再去死亡谷,他们曾在那里工作了两年因此对地形非常的了解,他们说那里的热是我将感受到的完全不一样的干热,会像沸腾的热气一样,而且整个死亡谷就像一个大碗,别的沙漠可能在晚上就会降温,但是死亡谷却完全不会,最多可能到凌晨两点以后会降温2度左右,因此即使在夜间温度在38度左右也是常有的事。除了热以外,死亡谷国家公园还是美国本土48个州(不包括阿拉斯加和夏威夷)中最大的国家公园,也就是说死亡谷比面积比黄石还要大,占地13649平方公里,黄石占地8983平方公里。几万公里全是沙漠,别说他们在那里呆两年,即使呆20年他们也觉得没有办法走遍整个死亡谷。尽管听起来会很艰难,不过反倒更激起了我的兴致,有轮子的地方就有路,先踩上再说。
从Pahrump 出发便只剩下大概96公里的路程,在前行30公里以后便是Death Valley Junction,一条主干路直死亡谷,从这里开始也明显感受到了温度的上升,海拔一开始是3000英尺,仍然有22公里的缓上坡,35度的太阳像火球一样从背后炙烤过来,衣服总是湿透又被瞬间烤干,前方的路仍然是看不到尽头的上坡,我把手机架在单车上开始记法语对话和单词,这是我爬坡最爱做的事,如果把能量集中在炙热的天气和爬坡上,这一路真的会很艰难和漫长,可是我把注意力集中在法语对话里,记忆句子带来的成就感取代了环境给我的不安,除了每公里得喝一大口水以外我完全忘记了自己是在去死亡谷的路上。






   最后选择了Bad Water Basin(恶水潭),这里是整个北美洲海拔最低的点,海平面 -85.5米,也是最热的点。我没有冒着生命危险在大中午的冒着44度的高温前往,而是等到了太阳快下山的时候,即使依然是38度以上的高温,但是比起中午快烤焦的感觉已经好多了。因为向着最低点前进我以为一路会是顺畅的下坡路,没想到还是起伏路居多,将近30公里的去程我从日落前爬到天黑依然没能到达,最后我便直接在路边,茫茫的沙漠里开始露营,我想这是最好的方式,第二天一早便能趁最热前到达恶水潭。

死亡谷(三) 热风暴来袭

  Badwater Salt Flat – 1mile/0ft/0.5hr



    回去的路依然是将近30公里的起伏路,太阳和热浪也已经醒来,这个完全没有任何树荫的茫茫沙漠,感觉自己完全被太阳包裹无处遁形,回去的路上经过Artist’s Palette ,依然忍不住停下来徒步一番,岩石因为含有不同的元素,呈现出不同的颜色,聚集在一起便成了这色彩斑斓、诡谲多变的调色盘。




     回去的路上经过Dante’s View,在这里,可以傲视全谷。对面的山是公园里的最高峰,而正下方正是最低的Badwater Basin。最高与最低,仅仅相隔几百米,就这么巧妙的组合在一起。白色的盐田与褐色的盐碱地紧挨着,形成了鲜明的对比。盐田自身也呈现出不同的亮度与密度,如同空中的云彩,明暗不一。




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