WOULD you holiday in hell? “Come to Death Valley!” screamed the advert.
“It has all the advantages of hell without the inconveniences,” it continued, an April Fool’s joke printed in The Death Valley Chuck-Walla – A Magazine for Men in 1907. It must have seemed terribly funny at the time. However, the pranksters were on to something.
Crossing the Deadman’s Pass and Funeral Mountains, I pulled to a stop just outside Furnace Creek as a scaly chuckwalla lizard ran for cover, a flash of movement against the bare stone. Nearby, in the middle of the deserted children’s playground, a rusty swing creaked in a barely-there breeze. There wasn’t a soul to be seen. Death Valley sizzled in the midday sun. More . .