In the deserts of Southern California,
I studied a photosynthetic community of algae and cyanobacteria that live on the undersurface of pieces of quartz rock out in the desert. This equipment measures the temperature above and below the rocks. In August '00, I measured temperatures near 70 deg. Celsius (158 deg. F) where the algae grow under the quartz!
My rental car enjoyed the view of the research area, but note the flat left rear tire 12 miles away from civilization! So on my next trip, I upgraded to a "you're in the desert so go where you want" vehicle!
While in CA, I made a few side field trips. Click below for pics.
Gotta love a sign like this when you're still driving downhill!
The lowest downtown of any city in America is Calipatria, CA at 184' below sea level.