Convertible top malfunction.
Convertible top malfunction?
Convertible top malfunction!

TSA's Quart Bags Another joyful TSA experience: this time they decide to re-bag our bagged 3 oz personal toiletries! Why? Why does TSA do anything?! We do our standard Assana-gets-coffee & Dan-gets-breakfast thing. Except that this time Assana is gone for such a long time that Dan considers sending the Police looking for her! Turns out, today, the morning crowd came as a surprise to Starbucks!

Anyways, after an uneventful flight to Vegas, we get our convertible Sebring. Turns out that this fullsize car has less room in the trunk that Assana's tiny two-seater: with the roof open, there's not enough room for 2 carry-ons! Whatever! We head to Death Valley thru Pahrump. Who would name a city Pahrump?

The Desolation The landscape in Death Valley is one of the most inhospitable we have ever seen! With names that match: Devil's Golf Course, Hell's Gate, Badwater, Danté's Peak, etc.

And in the middle of it all, this oasis: Furnace Creek Inn. Turns out there is actually a spring that runs under the hotel and feeds the grounds and fill its beautiful pool. We have another over-promised-under-delivered typical Xanterra dinner. Night cap: fire by the pool and stargazing. The sky, she is pretty away from light pollution.

Convertible Top Malfunction Up bright and early we ask for our car. Beautiful day, and a convertible? Of course, must put the top down... BEEEEEP: "Convertible Top Malfunction!" Umm... ok, let's put it back up. BEEEEEP: "Convertible Top Malfunction!" Let's try it back down. BEEEEEP "Convertible Top Malfunction!" BEEEEEP "Convertible Top Malfunction!" BEEEEEP "Convertible Top Malfunction!"

We are in the middle of Death Valley with a malfunctioning convertible roof stuck in the middle. Thanx Chrysler. At least during the 6 hours we wait for the replacement rental we learn EVERYTHING about Borax, their mules and the idiots among the settlers who decided to split from the group - because they knew best, or somehow this land seemed inviting to them - and ended up dead in this valley... hmmm... ah! That's where the name came from, not because it exudes death with its landscape! We ponder all this while lounging by the pool!

Badwater Driving thru a sand storm is fun... though it sand blasts the rental. Woops, oh well. Devil's Golf Course is just like what one would expect: inhospitable just like everything else. Jagged rocks sharp as razor blades. Not your typical golf course!

Last stop: Badwater. What is so enticing about being below sea level? We walk in the sand flats and take photos of the lowest point in North America. Cool!

Once More? Maybe. Our friend Joseph loves this place. He comes out twice a year for long-distance biking. He believes that the car rental experience jades my view of Death Valley. He might be right and we might have to come back another time and give it another chance. Perhaps during spring bloom?

References & Links