Thursday, November 13, 2014

Zabriskie Point

Death Valley badlands
"The otherworldly badlands around you are deathly silent and still.  Yet this arid scene is often the result of the violent action of water and earthquakes."
(~sign on site)

Long ago, shimmering lakes filled the valley.  Silt washed into the lakes creating thick deposits of clay, yellow sandstone, and tan siltstone.  Flung into the lakes, hot mud, lava, and volcanic ash caused streaks of color.  This created the Furnace Creek Formation.  Seismic activity tilted the once level layers.  Rainstorms cause gullywashers that continue to carve out this strangely beautiful landscape. 

In July of this year, hubby and I began our visit to Death Valley here.  Unlike much of Death Valley which is at or below sea level, Zabriskie Point is 713 feet (217 meters) above sea level.

Borax, a combination of the element boron and various salts, has been mined here.  (The last of the mines closed in 2005.)  Borax can be found in laundry detergent, cosmetics, insulation in walls and roofs, fire extinguishers, ceramic dishes, and the glass in electronic touchpads.

looking down on the parking lot

mining in Death Valley, National Park Service
National Parks Traveler  interesting!
The 20 MuleTeam borax brand spawned a radio show that later became a TV show.  Called Death Valley Days, it ran for many years.  Ronald Reagan appeared on this show!  (link includes a clip of this show but don't know if Reagan is in it.) 

Alphabe-Thursday, hosted by Ms Jenny, is so much fun!  This week our letter is  "Z."  Come visit others' submissions HERE  and join in the fun!  

uses of Borax:
"Borax is well known as an ingredient in high efficiency laundry detergents, but it's most important modern use is in the production of fiberglass and borosilicate glass. The element Boron has powerful abilities to stengthen, toughen and make fire-resistant glasses, metals, wood, and fibers. It is used in appoximately three hundred high-tech products. A few of its uses are as soldering flux, in welding rods, as preservatives for wood and fabric, as fire retardant, in insecticides, in pottery glaze, as antiseptics, in hybrid fuels, and in experimental fuel cells." ~from National Park Service site

photos by me  © 2014   all rights reserved 


  1. Stunning!! Interesting facts about Borax :)

  2. I've been there! Stunning photographs....

  3. Love the second photo.

    Looking at the last photo makes me feel frighten. Kept imagining being stranded there. Blame it on my over active imagination :)

  4. Hi ME ~~ Been a while since I've been to your blog. I like this "Z" word find, you did great.

    Zabriskie Point?? Until you told me I was in the Badlands of South Dakota. For sure they go on and on, don't they. That parking lot isn't very big. How much does the National Park Service charge to go in? Seems they are loosing money not matter what they charge.

  5. The strangely beautiful desertlike impression is stunning for the eyes. You have good photography skills, must say!Thanks for the info about Borax ..(In india we play big board game called Carrom, and to keep the board slippery we sprinkle borax powder on the wood and its a very common thing that we buy in sports/game shops. Unless we sprinkle borax, the game of carrom wont begin! )

    Love Naqvee

  6. What a beautiful view! And neat to hear the back story too.

  7. Wow - beautiful! I've never really been to the section of the country between the Mississippi and the West Coast. I like borax - I used to make my own laundry detergent and it was a key ingredient.

  8. Absolutely stunning! Pattern and color connection are spotless... s!!!!

  9. what beautiful photographs! It's really breathtaking! Scary to think that borax is in our food... {:-D

  10. Wonderfully crisp photos. I didn't realize that Boron is no longer mined there!


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