For our last day in Death Valley, we take the dirt road through Twenty-Mule Team Drive just a few minutes from our campground.
Borax was discovered in death valley in the 1880's, leading to a boom time for the valley. Teamsters drove huge wagons with 7-foot steel wheels pulled by eighteen mules and two horses (but called twenty-mule teams) on a 330-mile round trip from Harmony Borax Works (at Furnace Creek) to a rail station in about twenty days. The teamsters had twenty-two foot long whips that they wielded with great accuracy, although they were mostly to make noise, not to actually whip the mules.
This is Zabriskie Point, named for the general manager of the Pacific Coast Borax Company:
From the same viewing area, Manly Beacon can be seen too.
There is a small (and free) Borax museum at Furnace Creek, which is worth a few minutes to look around in.
As evening approaches on our last day here, we return to one of our favorite sites in Death Valley: Artist's Palate
We stake out a spot for some nighttime photography, but soon after the sun sets, clouds roll in and block our view of the stars.