People who come through Death Valley

Yesterday an older gentleman came into my gift shop. He was riding his motorcycle through the park on his way up North. It made me think of the shirts we sell of skeletons riding a bike in fire. When I mentioned the shirts to him, he went right over to the display and bought one. He said that this would be a ride that he would never forget. If I remember correctly he started his trip in Michigan and this was his first time to ever see Death Valley and he was loving the park. Even though the handle bars on his bike was getting to hot to hold onto.

There was another guy from Northern Washington, in the shop taking pictures of shirts and hats to send to his wife. He likes to visit the park a few times a year but the wife would rather stay home then visit the desert. Summer is the time of year that he visits most. He was an older guy with white hair, but his words and actions would have made you think he was some giddy teenager. I would almost bet that he would be perfectly fine living as a desert rat somewhere in (or closer) to the park.

Lately we have had lots of visitors from Denmark, Belgium and France. They have lots of questions and concerns about dealing with the heat. By the end of the Summer, I might actually learn how to convert temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius. This week we are around 120°(F) or 48/49°(C). One European couple had come from the visitor Center at Furnace Creek yesterday and said the big digital thermometer there stated the temperature to be 129°(F) which would be about 54°(C).

I am really enjoying the visitor’s from Europe this Summer. Yesterday we had a family from the Netherlands chatting with each other around the shop in their native language (will assume its called dutch), But when the music in the store starting playing “Bette Davis Eyes”, the mom went around the shop singing along in perfect English. Oh hell, she sang pretty darn good.

Sometimes guests will come in wearing shirts that they bought in other parks. Whic h gives me an excuse to ask about parks I want to see and also places that I never heard of. Sometimes it’s as if my job is like being in homeschool. Where else could I learn about geography, culture, languages, weather, math, food, legal drinking/smoking ages in different places and many other things that pop into conversations. I probably learn more now then I ever did in high school, probably because my teachers now are from all over the world. Not bad for an old lady who has never had a passport.

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