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Where Gumbo Was #17: Death Valley, USA


Desert flowers after a wet spring


No one claimed bragging rights this week, although Travel Luver named the place...but along with a few other places it reminded him of. But it is Death Valley, home of Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner; of the Twenty-Mule Team Borax commercials, and the long-running Western series Death Valley Days, which included Ronald Reagan's last performances as an actor.


The name calls up images of dry desert and parched cattle skulls, but it's actually a quite varied environment, or series of environments. Nearly unpopulated by humans today, for many years the area now controlled by the Park Service had a number of villages clustered around the one serious industry: mining borax. The park is mostly in California, but sticks a bit into Nevada. The pictures below show the park in some of its incredible variety.



Birds at a campground at Stovepipe Wells



 Badwater, at 282 feet below sea level, is the lowest point in the United States



Dunes near Stovepipe Wells



 Desert Holly



 The Devil's Golf Course


1-WITW 17 Clue 1WITW 17 Clue 2

 And, of course, the Road Runner and Wiley


Tune in tomorrow for a new puzzle: Where in the World is Gumbo?


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  • 1-WITW 17 Clue 1
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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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