Photographs of Death Valley and surrounding country by Tom Zeidner. It is a land of extreme contrasts and historical hardship for the people that tried to live here. One might wonder why anyone would try; but it is a land of mineral wealth -- gold, silver, and borax. It is also a formidible barrier to overland travel to California. Many people died on the way; leaving behind broken artifacts of their journey. Some of these artifacts are collected, forming landmarks such as "Teakettle Junction" and "Crankshaft Junction." Now, we have air travel and fly right over it, or we can travel on Interstate 80 to the north of it, or Interstate 15 to the south of it. But those travelers taking the old roads might still lose car parts and it is still ruggedly beautiful -- towering Telescope Peak overlooking the lowest elevation in the USA. In fact, from Telescope Peak one can look west to Mount Whitney -- the highest elevation in the 48 contiguous United States.
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