Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Racetrack and Teakettle Junction (The Last Death Valley National Park Catch Up)

(Clicking on the pictures should open them larger in a new window.)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

I do not remember what time we headed out today but I had made us lunch to take along and we with extra water we were on  our way. Looking forward to today's adventure. (Fair warning this blog post contains picture overload.)

Looking west we could still see the moon.
The little white dot in the upper left.

The sun was up and trying to send its light through the clouds.

If the ground looks like this back home it is snow.

Since, I have posted pictures of some of today's ride
today I decided to use my zoom lens.

I always enjoy watching how the clouds cast
beautiful shadows on the mountains.


Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.


Through the lens I spotted what looked like a heart.

The beginning of Racetrack Road
It is 9:01 at this point; I took a picture of
the time in the Jeep when we turned on the road. 

It was 61 degrees outside.

As I mentioned in a previous post the recommended vehicle
is high clearance and  4 X 4.

(The rest of the pictures were either taken with my regular
lens or phone.)

One Map we had recommended heavy duty tires because of 
sharp rocks. Another mentioned all terrain, which is what we
 have.We decide to go for it if it gets to bad turning 
around is always an option.


The road is rocky, dusty, and very white.
The plants along the edge looked like they were covered
in white powder at times.

There were Joshua Trees as far as the eye could see.

The road just kept going cutting a white path toward
the dark mountains.

Tom had stopped so I could take a picture of a cactus.
This is the road behind us.

Teakettle Junction.

Teakettle Junction is located at the junction of Hidden Valley Road and Racetrack Road in Death Valley National Park. This is an unusual site with a sign and a display of kettles that mark the spot. Each message has a message from the owner.  We noticed several chained and padlocked to the sign.
When the amount of kettles become cumbersome the park rangers take them down.  

Little is known about the history of the junction. One theory is that the kettles were hung to show early settlers that there was water nearby. It is also believed to be good luck to leave a kettle with a message written on or left in it.

We had heard of Teakettle Junction from friends that had been there before but we forgot about bringing one. So we left our names, like some others before us, on the sign.

A few more miles and turns in the road and we could 
see the Racetrack and what is known as the 
Grandstand in the distance.

This 2.5 mile long dry mud flat in the middle of the valley is all that is left of an old lake. The flat is shaped like an oval racetrack; the out cropping at its northern end is known as The Grandstand. Rocks of varying sizes apparently move across the southern end of the lake bed, leaving long, faint tracks in their wake.  Tracks are straight, curved, looped, or angled. Geologists theorize that the rocks are pushed across the occasionally wet or icy surface by very high winds, and their irregular shapes account for the wandering tracks.

We did get out and walk out onto the Racetrack
in several different places.

We could see the trail some of the rocks had made on
the surface. It was very faint and did not show up in
any of the pictures I took.

Looking at the map we could see that the road continued on
and we would eventually reconnect to 190 West of  Panamint
Springs. According to the map key it is a 4 wheel drive road.

Then this sign. Talked to a couple getting ready to take it.
They said, they had never been down it but the friends they
were following had. Then we watched them head down
and we could see them going over some good size rocks
and decided to turn around and go back the way we came.

The road we decided to not take.

This picture was all about the clouds.

One last look at the Racetrack

as we start our trip back.

We are now going down.
On the way in we could tell we were going up but
going down was a lot more noticeable.

We are now at the end of the Racetrack Road.
This road is not suitable for a regular riding car but our
Trailhawk with all terrain tires did not have a hard time at all.
We have actually taken it down roads a lot rockier then this one. 

Another quick look at the Ubehebe Crater.
Or as Tom and I will fondly remember it,
"the large hole in the ground".

Coming back down the road into the Sunset Campground
the contrasts were beautiful.

I missed the sun setting but not the afterglow.
The sky all around us turned a beautiful pink
and the last of the sun light turned a golden yellow. 

A beautiful end to our day.

This was the last ride we took at Death Valley National Park. We spent one more day there after this and it was about getting ready to roll our wheels south. There was also some sitting outside and relaxing and a Happy Hour.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Watching our last sunset.

So ended our last day in this spot up the hill.
As the night surrounded us in the inky black darkness.

We enjoyed out time here, in fact we extended our time two times, but it was time to move on down the road. New adventures await and as always we look forward to what tomorrow will bring.

So glad you stopped by!
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.


  1. Wow, that is a lot of pictures! I love the tea kettles, having never seen them. I'm glad you enjoyed the area. :)

    1. We really did enjoy our time there.
      I actually deleted about 100 pictures and then just decided to give the warning at the top and pressed publish...LOL

  2. You guys are like pioneers and I truly enjoyed the tour. Wonderful area. It seemed like a lot of pictures but for sure not nearly enough for such a great place with so many different views. You are fortunate to have the right 4x4 to tour this terrain. I would have liked to be there.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the tour. We were pleasantly surprised to find out just how much beauty there was to explore in Death Valley and we did not come close to seeing everything. We really like our Jeep. A Wrangler would get us more places but we enjoy the comfort of the Trailhawk...:)

  3. Great tour with plenty of Pictures to prove it.
    An Off-Roader told me when he goes exploring he soften his Tires to smooth the ride. He also carries a small Compressor to re-inflate his Tires before getting back on the Road.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your next adventure.

    It's about time.

    1. Thank you, Rick. Glad you enjoyed the tour. Thank you for the tire information. Something to keep in mind for the future.

  4. Death Valley always makes me wish I had become a geologist!

    1. With all the exploring you like to do I can see why my other guess would be historian...:)

  5. Love the photos. The race track was interesting. Moving stones. eerie that would be. You and Tom always find the most interesting places to visit. Safe travels.

    1. Thank you. Tom had read about the Racetrack so he was on a mission. I was just glad the road was not as bad as the one map made it sound. Then friends mentioned they had made it in there Tracker a few years back so then we figured go for it. Seeing them move would be fun though but all we saw was faint trails.