Tier Point Run to Helsinki in Jan 2015

Another Tier Point run! This one took me to Helsinki overnight, and I really mean overnight literally in the airport – I hadn’t done that before.

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Badwater Basin in Death Valley
Badwater Basin in Death Valley
Badwater Basin in Death Valley
Badwater Basin in Death Valley

Holiday to Las Vegas in Dec 2013: Day 11 – Ridgecrest to Furnace Creek

By Nige on Sun 29 Dec 2013 at 20:13
Type: Post
Story: Holiday to Las Vegas in Dec 2013
Tags: Death Valley | Furnace Creek | Hilton | Ridgecrest

The alarm woke us at 6am so that we could make an early start for the 3 hour trip to Death Valley. Made sure we filled up and made rapid progress for the first 120 miles or so.

Had to go the long way around up the 395 and down the 190 since the direct road was closed – it had been “washed away” after some flooding recently.

On the way to Death Valley
On the way to Death Valley
On the way to Death Valley
On the way to Death Valley

We stopped at Panamint Springs for coffee and all along the road we were reminded about why we love this part of the planet so much.

The landscape changes so often, with different colours, different textures and it’s just so beautiful.

We reached Death Valley Visitor’s Centre around 10am and deduced the best thing to do was to pick off a few of the “local” attractions including Dante’s View, Zabriskie Point, Badwater and Artist’s Drive.

Tomorrow we will need to work out later. We wanted to also go to the Grandstand and the Racetrack but likely we won’t be able to get our 2 wheel drive Mustang across the roads.

Me on a bench at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley
Me on a bench at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley
Me on a bench at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley
Me on a bench at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley

We started off with Zabriskie Point and Dante’s View, and they were awesome.

It’s difficult to describe in words how wonderful a place this is, and I would suggest this is competing, if not exceeding, the qualities of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite.

The photos may look good, but it’s not possible to paint a true picture of the beauty of Death Valley.

After Dante’s View we headed back to Furnace Creek and got some lunch from the General Store.

We each had a standard door wedge type sandwich and they cost $7.99 each! Interestingly they were obviously full of preservatives since the expiry date on them was 10 Jan!

Shadows on Artist Drive in Death Valley
Shadows on Artist Drive in Death Valley
Shadows on Artist Drive in Death Valley
Shadows on Artist Drive in Death Valley

Anyway they were reasonably tasty so no complaints.

After lunch we headed down to the Badwater Basin which is the lowest point in the US at about 284 ft below sea level. We walked out about a quarter of a mile over the salt plain and then back again. Not a lot to see as such, but it gives you a different aspect to the one we saw from the top of Dante’s View.

On the way back to Furnace Creek we drove up to the Natural Bridge which is one and a half miles of gravel track up hill, which was a bit of a struggle for the Mustang not having 4 wheel drive, but my baby made it.

We didn’t bother walking the last mile to see the bridge, so we turned back, got on the road and then turned off at the Artist’s Drive, which comprises a 4 mile drive through and over the hills. The mountain has different coloured rick formations.

Overlooking Badwater Basin in Death Valley
Overlooking Badwater Basin in Death Valley
Overlooking Badwater Basin in Death Valley
Overlooking Badwater Basin in Death Valley

There were two roller coaster type “dips” which were great, but I wasn’t allowed to drive them very fast since they made Vick feel sick. Boo hoo.

Ended up back at the hotel and waited an hour until our room was ready. Very pleasant indeed. Chilled for an hour or so, before going into dinner around 6pm which was a typical over priced, under delivered hotel restaurant. It was a shame since the starter I ordered was fabulous – it was a Thai chilli soup – beautifully spicy and sweet.

We both ordered steaks for main, and they were not cheap $42 and $45 respectively. We ordered them medium for me, and medium-well done for Vick.

We now know the official definition of levels of steak cookedness, and medium should still have a small amount of blood in the middle, whereas medium-well done should only have a small amount of pink in the middle. It looked like they had mixed them up.

Mine was probably more medium-well, and Vick’s still had blood oozing.

So Vick’s went back and 5 mins later came back looking like it had been charred. So we weren’t happy. After some polite suggestions, the manager agreed to take Vick’s steak off the bill.

To brighten up our evening, we drove down to the General Store and picked up some milk and a large tub of Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream. Happy days…


Follow the whole story here: Holiday to Las Vegas in Dec 2013


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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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