You likely know I’m headed back to Death Valley with JDRF in October to have my second go at the desert. Some of you have already supported my Ride this year, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! This time around, I have a game plan which includes flying out early to try and acclimate to the dryness of the desert. In exploring my options for adventure, I stumbled across some interesting and entertaining facts about this national park I wanted to share with you.
Did you know?
- There are between 2,000-3,000 potentially hazardous mine openings in Death Valley? I didn’t either, but apparently, it has the most abandoned mines of any national park in the country. New plan: stay on the road at all times.
- There are more than 600 springs and ponds in Death Valley? Yep, I never would’ve guessed that based on the dry heaving I did back in 2011 because of the lack of moisture in the air. Maybe I can travel off-road and go find one of these alleged ponds. Oh wait, mines. Never mind.
- Borax, that fancy laundry detergent booster, comes from Death Valley. The most popular brand in the U.S. is 20-Mule Team Borax named for its Death Valley history. (The more you know.)
- 95% of the park is designated wilderness. That is definitely believable. Wilderness with no trees, might I add.
- 134 degrees … the highest temperature recorded at Furnace Creek (where I’ll be in 45 days). That 134 degrees is also the hottest atmospheric temperature ever recorded ON EARTH! Yikes.
- Several scenes from “Star Wars” were filmed in Death Valley. I don’t know which ones because I’ve never actually seen a “Star Wars” movie, but this guy can tell you which scenes.
- The desert is overrun with coyotes. No, really! I swear! Look at this from my first trip!
- It’s called Death Valley because people actually died there in 1849 while heading to California during the gold rush. Real talk.
- There are 17 snakes in Death Valley. SEVENTEEN. I don’t know how many of them are poisonous, but 17 species of snakes in the desert is 17 too many!
Look what you learned today about Death Valley! With all of this wisdom, you should probably join a trivia team at your neighborhood bar.
I think that final bullet point alone should prompt you to support me in this crazy ride. In all seriousness, thank you for supporting JDRF through this adventure. I’m humbled by your support toward a cure for type 1 diabetes. Your donation is 100 percent tax deductible, and I will forever be grateful and humbled to have you in this fight with me!