Driving to Badwater Basin within Death Valley there are several “elevation sea level” signs along the side of the road, but nothing beats the “sea level” billboard, hanging nearly 300 feet up the cliff face, at the Badwater Basin parking lot. Badwater Basin is the lowest place in North America. Its name comes from a miner whose mule wouldn’t drink from the spring water where the boardwalk is now located. Smart mule, the water is much too salty. But we are here for the salt, we wanted to observe the geometric salt polygons that form as groundwater rises up through the salty surface and evaporates. It is about a mile from the parking lot to the salt forms. Which is perfect, since our new years resolution is getting into shapes.