Saturday, November 3, 2012

Death Valley and homeward bound, 10/30 - 11/3/12

On the road again Tuesday Oct. 30

Badwater Basin is the lowest spot in the Western Hemisphere.

There is a white sign on the canyon wall showing where sea level is. Badwater Basin is 282 ft. below sea level. Death Valley is also the driest place. Annual rainfall is less than 2 inches.

A prospector named it Badwater because his mule would not drink the water. It is not poisonous but too salty.

My term: "Salt Berg" sodium chloride makes up the majority of salt. There also is calcite, gypsum and borax.

The Valley's daytime summer temperatures are over 120's and nights usually above 100 degrees. Evaporation leaves salt flakes on the briny lakes.

Vast openness.

Road ahead that we'll travel to the Artists Drive.

Colors of green, gold and pink are volcanic deposits.

Hiking in the Golden Canyon.

Cathedral Rocks. It's so sunny the depth of the red color isn't showing.

On the road again

Zabriskie Point is only 710 ft. elevation but amazing view.

Many wrinkled hills.

More tight curves on the road to Dante's View.

You can't feel the depth but we are 5,000 ft. above the Valley. It was breathtaking to look down. Also windy as we are on a air.

It was a bit hazy otherwise we could see the entire 110 mile wide Valley. But a perfect last stop before we leave this amazing Valley.

We stayed at Pair-a-Dice Escapees Park, Pahrump, NV. We chatted with Hank and Lee. He's from Michigan, she from Texas. Phil asked the best way to the Midwest. Enjoyed our visit with them.

On the road again Thursday Nov. 1. Beautiful sunrise. Hank stopped by to say have a great trip.

We attended Mass at Our Lady of the Valley, Pahrump. It was a very vibrant service with many people attending the 9 am Mass. The choir was very powerful. We have experienced many different services on our travels this year. But we always feel at home.

Interesting name: "Giggle Springs."

The last of the herd of sheep crossing the highway. Last year we came upon a cattle crossing, this year sheep!

There were hundreds (a thousand?) sheep!

Sheep dog leading the sheep.

Another view of some of the sheep.

We drove on Hwys. 160, 95 and 93 to West Wendover, NV. Interestingly we have been listening to an audio book and some of the characters have the name Wendover.

It was dark for the last 60 miles. We came around a bend and WOW, look at the lights. We were in Nevada and the street was lined with casinos!!!! We stayed overnight at the Pilot Truck Center.

On the road again Friday Nov. 2 at 6 am on I-80 but within a few miles it was 7 am because we passed from Pacific Time to Mountain Time.

We watched the sun rise over the mountains. We were still west of Salt Lake City.

Love the red rocks. Hey, after I took the photo I realized...there is Mr. Moon again.

In our travels have seen thousands of fans. Also seen them being hauled down the road. The fins are LONG.

Snow fences in Wyoming. We also saw deer and antelope in the fields plus cattle.

We stayed at North Platte, NE. Flying J Truck Center. We lost another hour since the eastern 2/3 of Nebraska is on Central time. A long but successful day.

On the road again at 5:27 am. Brr, it was 25 degrees overnight. Getting us ready for Illinois weather! Again we watched the sun rise. It has amazed me to see how dark it has been at 7:45 the last two mornings. We are ready to go off do daylight saving time.

After another FULL day of driving, we are home. Whew!!! On our 48 day trip we drove 8,094 miles.....what a fantastic journey. Again not possible to say what was the favorite. Highlights: visiting so many friends and our families, visiting our last two Canadian Provinces, the beauty of the Pacific coastline, Crater Lake, Redwoods, Sequoias, Yosemite and Death Valley.

Home sweet home. Now we have to get busy raking leaves and cleaning the yard! Oh, see people wearing winter clothes!!!

Location:Death Valley, CA, Pahrump, W. Wendover, NV and North Platte, NE.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Death Valley, CA 10/29 & 30/12

On the road again Monday Oct. 29

View as we were leaving the Fairgrounds in Bishop, CA.

The roads often have dips!!!

And windy. We went around Magruder Mountain.

Looks like a pyramid.

Death Valley National Park also has windy roads.

We've seen a fair number of bikers on our journey.

Funeral Mountains

Memorial of the Harmony Borax Works, 1883 - 1888, and our RV in the parking lot.

The wheels are 7 ft. The trains were 100 ft. long carrying 30 tons pulled by 20 mules.

Tank carried 1,200 gallons of water.

Borax was the white gold of the desert.

Next two nights at Furnace Creek Campground.

On the road again Tuesday Oct. 30. The moon was setting when I got up so had to capture it.

Hiking the Mosaic Canyon

Little climbing up and over some formations.

Some of the walls are polished like marble.

Mosaic on embedded stones.

A cactus must have been blown in the canyon.

Waterfall is dry now. Our turn around point.

Wouldn't want to be in the canyon when it's going to rain.

Feels so good to hike and be in awe of nature.

Sand dunes. We tried to take full moon photos on the sand dunes last night. Didn't work out.

Scotty's Castle, the elaborate mansion of Albert and Bessie Johnson.

Joshua tree to the left of the gate.

Sun dial in the courtyard.

Death Valley Ranch entrance from the courtyard.

Courtyard steps to second floor.

Two story living room.

With two fireplaces.

Leather drapes. (sheepskin)

Three leather sofas.

Amazing chandelier.


Scotty's bedroom. He supposedly hid his gold under his bed. But no one ever found it. He solicited investors for his "gold mine." Albert Johnson was one of the investors.

Bullet splitter. Bullet shot thru the hole would split and hit invaders to the right and left.


Many antiques.

Fireplace in the guests sitting room.

Looking from one end of the living room to the guests sitting room and Solarium.

Dining room.

Interesting pottery.

Many fables why the plates are curved at the bottom.

Copper pots in the kitchen.

Kitchen sink

Fireplace in Master Bedroom's sitting room.

All the heavy wood furniture items had exquisite carvings.

Many Indian baskets throughout the house.

Sitting room for the large guest bedroom.

Smaller guest bedroom. As a teenager I stripped the paint off a bed frame just like this. So amazing to see.

Only one fourth of the entertainment room. I guess so huge I was overwhelmed to try to photo it.

Staircase going from the second floor.

Clock tower.

Staircase up the clock tower.

Clock tower.

Weather vane.

Side of the Castle.

There was a pool planned but never completed.

We took the Underground Tour to learn the methods used to provide electricity as early as 1920's in this remote desert. Electricity did not come to the Valley until1964.


Ubehebe Crater is 3,000 years old. 500 ft. deep and 1/2 mile across.

Underground steam and gas explosions sprewed cinders for miles. Cinders can be 150 ft. deep.

What a full day. We left our campsite at 9 am and didn't return till 7 pm. We traveled 138 miles. The weather warmed into the 80's and overnight it has been 54 degrees. It's a good time of the year to visit this fascinating Death Valley.

Location:Death Valley, CA.