POSTED: Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 8:55am
UPDATED: Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 9:05am
It's called Death Valley for a reason.
The sun beats down on a barren landscape.
Tourists from around the world come to see it.
"We're from Switzerland!" And to feel it. "Very hot and um, thirsty."
In an extreme heat wave bringing triple digit temps, the draw is irresistible for some.
These two are hitting the pavement, literally. Why do this? "Cause we're crazy, we love the heat."
"Well, its a novelty thing. To say we were out in the heat when it was 125, 130, run two or three miles then were' finished."
Death Valley locak Mike Wood is used to the heat, but when his shoes start melting it's time to pay attention.
"Ha, my nasty shoes? Well, the ground temperatures here can approach a couple hundred degrees so you're talking about pretty much boiling the shoes... everything that kind of holds the shoe together kind of comes apart,"
This is the exact spot where nearly a century ago, the world record was taken of 134 degrees.
With this heat wave, they're expecting temperatures close to 130.
So Rangers come out to this spot, the official weather station, they take a look at these thermometers, and yes it's for history, but it's also a little bit more important.
"Heat can hurt and if I don't take the right temperature then we may tell them, it's cool enough to go out and hike the sand dunes or go hike golden canyon. It is not!"
Ranger Jay Snow's checks and balances, "Let me check the water temperature," at this unassumming little post, is a part of Death Valley.
"When we say the temperature was recorded four foot off the ground..there it is."
"Was that the box from 1913? I have no idea but it looks like it's from 1913."
There's a bit of a debate over where the hottest temperatures are read.
Some say its right here at the Badwater Basin, which is the lowest elevation in the U.S.
At 282 feet below sea level
Tory Dunnan, CNN, Death Valley, California