Armchair Field Trip: Baker, CA

David K. Israel

Today we take a short trip to Baker, California, a small rural town located in the Mojave Desert at the junction of I-15 and CA-127. With a population of only about 900 people or so, if it wasn't home to the world's largest thermometer, you might miss it entirely. Standing proud at 134 feet (that's about 6.5 feet per local!), the thermometer was constructed by The Electric Sign Co. of Las Vegas, a company that manufacturers many of the neon signs dotting the Vegas strip.

But why 134 feet and not, say, an even 135? Simple: Each foot commemorates another degree on the hottest temperature ever recorded in the United States, 134°F "“ which hit Death Valley in 1913.

One question remains, however: now with global warming out of control, what will they do when the record is broken?