We passed through Vegas again on the way west, stopping just long enough to have yet another meal from our favourite Thai restaurant, where we were now known by name. From there it was just a couple of hours drive till we were in Death Valley National Park. It covers a huge area, a huge arid valley with mountains of bare rock on either side and in the middle a big salt lake, which is the lowest point in the United States at 80m below sea level. Our path through the park took us over 200 miles. We stopped at photographers mecca, Zabriske point, and after a much warmer night in the car, were up at Dante’s view for sunrise, huge panoramic view of the park.

We stopped by the visitor’s centre on the way out, where the parks guy cheerily informed us that all the passes to Yosemite, our next destination, were still closed. I was expecting a couple of hours drive to Yosemite, which was already very optimistic. We were now looking at over 700km to get to Yosemite the long way around. The good news was that the shortest path now took us past Sequoia National Park. So we made that our next destination and set off on the long drive there, glad at least that fuel is so cheap in the States.