Posts Tagged ‘Devil’s Golf Course’

Once upon a time, settlers crossed this continent in the hopes of making a better life for themselves and they spread themselves into practically every nook and cranny they could. Imagine that you are part of such an expedition, making your way into California through the Mojave Desert – it’s hot, it’s dry and generally unpleasant. Then, you come across the view in the photo above. Off to the left, that looks fairly promising – like maybe there’s a lake ahead and before you can stop yourself, you’re delirious and imagining yourself cannon-balling into that kind of strange-looking water.

Sadly for you and any settlers like you, you’d best abandon all hope as you have entered what is now known as Death Valley. Hot as heck, with sparse and scraggly plant life and one of the harshest climates I’ve ever visited, there is no irony in this place’s name. Explorers would discover this fact for themselves if they decided to go searching for that “lake”, for what they would find instead was a great, big salt flat.

This particular area of the basin is known as the Devil’s Golf Course, as in no one but the Devil would play golf there (other portions nearby are flat, including Badwater Basin, the lowest point of elevation below sea level on the continent). Those crevices are formed from various salts, leftover from some prehistoric inland sea; they look like they should be fragile and prone to crumbling, but they are rock solid and super sharp.  It was incredibly difficult to walk around this place because it was so consistently uneven and I could feel everything through the soles of my shoes. There was no give to even the smallest ridge, which would be more likely to poke a hole through your shoe than break off under your weight.  It would be easy to misstep and twist an ankle or, worse, fall and cut or puncture yourself on those unforgiving edges.

I absolutely love going to new countries and finding natural oddities like the Devil’s Golf Course that are like nothing I see here in Canada, and it is only one of many amazing things to see in Death Valley National Park. The world is full of wonders and often in unexpected places. In this case, Death Valley is about a two-hour drive away from  uber-artificial Las Vegas.


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