Hundreds of Europeans touring the American West and adventurers from around the U.S. are still being drawn to Death Valley National Park, even though the desolate region known as one of the Earth’s hottest places is being punished by a dangerous heat wave blamed for a motorcyclist’s death over the weekend.

French, Spanish, English and Swiss tourists left their air-conditioned rental cars this week to take photographs of the barren landscape so different than the snow-capped mountains and rolling green hills they know back home. American adventurers liked the novelty of it, even as officials at the park in California warned visitors to stay safe.

“I was excited it was going to be this hot,” said Drew Belt, a resident of Tupelo, Mississippi, who wanted to stop in Death Valley as the place boasting the lowest elevation in the U.S. on his way to climb California’s Mount Whitney. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Kind of like walking on Mars.”

  • The Snark Urge@lemmy.world
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    14 days ago

    Unsettling that Death Valley is a real place where people die. There really aren’t any writers on staff in this reality

  • kescusay@lemmy.world
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    14 days ago

    I become useless at temperatures above 85 (less if the humidity is high, too). These people are insane.

  • dogslayeggs@lemmy.world
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    13 days ago

    I’ve been a couple times. It really is beautiful in different ways depending on the season. The wild flower super blooms in Feb/Mar are amazing, and the temps are reasonable then, too. In the summer it is just a desolate wasteland that has its own charm.

  • treadful@lemmy.zip
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    13 days ago

    “Besides not being able to cool down while riding due to high ambient air temperatures, experiencing Death Valley by motorcycle when it is this hot is further challenged by the necessary heavy safety gear worn to reduce injuries during an accident,” the park statement said.

    This is backward. All that equipment protects you from the air. Riding in shit like a T-shirt will dehydrate you by pulling moisture off your skin, as well as heat you up faster just by way of 120F+ air rushing over your body.

    I imagine that would be a pretty challenging ride. I’d probably want a hydration pack and a cooling system.

  • Nastybutler@lemmy.world
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    13 days ago

    People seek thrills in different ways. Some free climb cliffs, some base jump, and some go somewhere hot. Whatever floats your boat, as long as you know and accept the risks, more power to you