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Hello from Death Valley

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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16,015 posts
50 reviews
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Hello from Death Valley

This is FRR, and I am currently in Death Valley where I work as a park volunteer. I will have limited access to any high-tech communications, e.g. internet and cell phone. I will try to check periodically, but will have to depend on other DV enthusiasts here like Tet, Jes, JimG, and others to reply promptly.

When time allows, I'll tell you more about what's been going on here.

Enjoy the next few days wherever you are, and I will be here whenever I can.

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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1. Re: Hello from Death Valley

Enjoy your volunteer time in the park. Any interesting assignments this year?

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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16,015 posts
50 reviews
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2. Re: Hello from Death Valley

Mostly the same as the past couple of summers: explaining to visitors why Death Valley is so hot and dry, why we don't want them to go to the Racetrack or Big Pine Road in summer, how to get to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, or Yosemite, and the fact that you cannot get into Sequoia-Kings Canyon from the east. You'd be surprised how many people have not learned that in their research and preparation, and are shocked to know that a park almost directly west of us would take 7 hours to get to.

I really think travel agents are responsible for a lot of the misunderstandings, but people need to be on top of their travel agents all the time.

I found someone being sick on the side of the road the other day. Heat-related, of course. They didn't want any medical assistance, but I told them to drink plenty of water and eat some salty snacks.

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The Racetrack
The Racetrack
244 Reviews
Death Valley National Park, CA
California
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10,862 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: Hello from Death Valley

How does a good looking cat know all that stuff? Much less communicate it? ;)

How do you cope with the extreme heat? It's 102 where I am & it feels dreadfully hot.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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16,015 posts
50 reviews
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4. Re: Hello from Death Valley

Meow!!!

I don't have normal fur like most cats.

It isn't the heat, it's the humidity. Really, it's true. When it's 120º with relative humidity of about 5-6%, all is well. When thunderstorms start developing (and we are in monsoon season, as any of you know who live in Las Vegas or Phoenix) and the humidity goes to 12% or so, it's very muggy and uncomfortable. But really, people who spend a lot of time in Death Valley acclimate, use common sense precautions about water, food, and activity, and pace themselves to avoid fatigue and heat stress,

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Phoenix
Phoenix
Central Arizona, AZ
Coffs Harbour...
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63 posts
32 reviews
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5. Re: Hello from Death Valley

We're in DV on the night of 24th August, staying at Furnace Creek Ranch. Are we likely to bump into you??

Coffs Harbour...
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63 posts
32 reviews
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6. Re: Hello from Death Valley

We're in DV on the night of 24th August, staying at Furnace Creek Ranch. Are we likely to bump into you??

Uden, The...
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for Road Trips
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7. Re: Hello from Death Valley

Have a great time as always F-R. We are havng our own heatwave in Europe right now. Only 90+ but still very hot for us ;-) And certainly more humid.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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8. Re: Hello from Death Valley

Hi, slc1970--sorry to say, I will miss you. I'd love to be able to stay in Death Valley longer, but I wear more than one hat, and by 24 August, I will be busy with my "other life."

Enjoy Furnace Creek and Death Valley and the rest of your visit to America. The other NPS folks will take good care of you in my absence.

9. Re: Hello from Death Valley

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San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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50 reviews
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10. Re: Hello from Death Valley

I have been out of touch, for good reason: you can't fight Mother Nature.

On Monday night we had the Mother of all Thunderstorms. I posted during my lunch break today but just found a glaring typo, so this is a re-post. Today (Thursday) was the first day our computers have been back up. The storm was going for awhile all around us, and at 11:30 p.m., I was in the dorm and it went dark, and I went out in the hall with a flashlight and saw a cow-orker who said she'd just seen lightning blow up a major transmission line. We went outside and watched lightning hit all around us: over Beatty, Shoshone, the Castle, Telescope Peak.

How major was the transmission line? it was for all of Furnace Creek including the park visitor center and offices and the resort, and Cow Creek NPS residential areas. Some areas were restored gradually on Tuesday. We had no electricity in the living quarters for 45 hours, with temperatures of 110-114 and high humidity from the T-storms. And we still had to work the next day. The offices had some power and limited a/c, and emergency provisions were given for staff to sleep there. Some employees left town and got rooms in Beatty. I ended up staying in the dorm with the windows open, but no a/c or fan (which means I have bragging rights over the folks who fled to Beatty, lol).

Southern Calif. Edison, our electrical utility, came in with new poles, cables, transformers, etc. They had to use a helicopter because the location was in the hills. Power was fully restored at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, so we didn't need to endure a second night in the houses with not even an electric fan to circulate some of the hot air around. AFAIK, all the park personnel survived OK, but a couple of the utility workers from So. Cal. Edison got sick.

That storm gave us in a couple of hours 0.49 inch of rain (yes, just short of half an inch). This is equal to about 25% of our average annual total rainfall. And for those who wondered, it is possible to survive in Death Valley in summer with no a/c.

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Furnace Creek
Furnace Creek
Death Valley National Park, CA
Edison
Edison
California
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