DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA/NEVADA
It pays to be tall in Death Valley. Every thousand feet lower, the temperature goes up 3-5 degrees. For the hundred years between 1911 and 2011 the hottest recorded temperature was 134F in July. In the summer, it’s regularly above 120F. Sure, but it’s a dry heat. Really, it’s a wonder anyone visits Death Valley. Everything about it suggests you shouldn’t. There’s Furnace Creek Campground – is anyone really in a tent in this kind of heat? Badwater Basin – great, let’s go for a drink there. Death Valley got its name during the goldrush year of 1849, when a group of pioneers decided to take a short cut out of Salt Lake City to reach California. The problem with this shortcut was that it led straight through the middle of Death Valley. People died. Two members of the group walked 300 miles for supplies, loaded up, and walked back again. We can’t walk over to the tv to change the channel. Wonder what they would have thought about this guy running through it in dressed as Darth Vader? Star Wars and Return of the Jedi both have scenes shot in Death Valley.