Looking at this image it’s impossible to tell that it’s 117º F outside. Yet if you had been in the hotel room when I placed my bare foot on the threshold of the door to the balcony, you would have seen me jump and yell because of the hot metal. Shoes are a must outdoors in this heat.
Driving here in a modern car allowed me to enjoy the scenery without noticing that the temperature had been steadily rising from 80º F in Lone Pine to what it is now at the aptly named Furnace Creek. I feel lucky because the weather prediction a few days ago had been for 126º F. A few clouds rolled in to keep down the heat.
You might think that the only reason to come to Death Valley in July is to prepare for global climate change. That might be a great reason, but for me Death Valley is a stop on the way from Mammoth Lakes to Bryce Canyon. I could have motored through, but I was curious to experience what it feels like to be in a burning hot place. I found that standing in the naturally heated, spring fed pool is key to survival. And so is having an air conditioned room.