Monday, September 21, 2009

Traveling through the Valley of Death...

Traveling through Death Valley, you quickly understand how it came by its name. It is desert that is below sea level in many places and there is no escape from the constant sun. Even in September, it was a scorching 95 degrees as we drove through the park. I couldn’t even persuade myself to exit the car to go into the visitor’s center. Still, it was interesting to view this terrain which has a stark beauty about it. Not surprisingly, there were heat warnings posted everywhere. It is simply amazing to think that any animal can live in this harsh environment, but there are several that do, including the rare desert tortoise, kangaroo rat, the Sidewinder and several species of lizards and birds. David and I got out of the air-conditioned truck only to take a few pictures and then quickly returned to our comfortable surroundings. Just as we were about to drive out of the park, we saw in the opposite lane, a familiar Airstream trailer. Lo and behold, it was the Canadian couple! We pulled around and came up behind them just as they stopped and we all hopped out and had a great laugh together! Pierre and Micheline greeted us warmly and told us they had just visited a wonderful park outside of Las Vegas called the Valley of Fire and we should go if we could. They were planning on spending the night in Death Valley ( I didn’t envy them one bit!) before traveling on. We exchanged e-mail addresses, wished them ‘pleasant traveling’ and told them if they wanted to stop in Fayetteville on their way home, we would be thrilled to see them again. Pierre and Micheline said farewell, kissing us on both cheeks in the proper French/Canadian way and waved good bye. What a delight they were and a testament to the fact that it is indeed “a small world!”

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