After stopping to look at some strange colourful rock formations that reminded us a lot of northern Argentina near the southeastern entrance we headed to where else but the visitors centre at Furnace Creek. We had to walk a ways from the parking lot as I don't think the Dodge is allowed to park in the low emissions parking. Once inside we meandered around the exhibits and tried to imagine how hot the typical summer temperature of over 100 degrees fahrenheit really was as it was pants and jacket weather for us.
We left or camp early the next morning and actually exited the park in order to see the Rhyolite Ghost Town. There wasn't much to see and the bathrooms were closed for the winter; but we had a look around with the place to ourselves and Scout had a runabout. Back inside the park once more we turned off for the 27 mile Titus Canyon trail. The winding canyon road isn't paved but you wouldn't need 4x4 unless it had just rained. The landscape we passed was rich with mining history and we stopped several times to have a look at some abandoned mining buildings and shafts. Scout thought it was all a bit strange and didn't like the spooky old tin shacks.
The next morning Will crawled around underneath the truck to see if there was any way he could get oil into the diff but without proper tools and the truck off the ground it was basically impossible. So we walked 2km to the nearest rangers station to investigate getting the Dodge towed. There was no one at the station except a NP maintenance worker who told us which tow company he thought was best. We had our wallets but with no coins to use the pay phone we milled around wondering what to do. Soon enough a LER (Law Enforcement Ranger) turned up and let us into the office to use the phone. Quote one: $3500!!, Quote two: $1250! Yeah right i think we'll take our chances thanks mate! Back at the truck we eased her off super slow and wouldn’t you know it but the Dodge seemed ok. We waved off our LER escort after the first 10km, then turned down the park exit road and cruised on out of Death Valley thankful to be trucking under our own power.
In the morning we swung by a mechanic who had a look and found that we simply had low oil. Super relieved there wasn’t any damage we had both the front and rear diff oil's changed and hit the road for LA and the beach! Will put it down to our heavy day of four-wheel-driving and something about heating and expanding... I say as long as were still moving towards Alaska who cares what it was.
Rochelle & Will