"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