Sunday, May 29, 2016

Visiting Death Valley

Happy Memorial Day!

In early April of this year, I visited Death Valley for the first time. When I went, it was fairly warm in the lowest elevations. I came in from the west side through Panamint Valley and headed east through Furnace Creek down to Death Valley Junction where I stayed at the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel. Here are a few pictures I took. I may have to break up my photos over several posts.

Here I am just entering the Panamint Valley area after passing through an interesting town called Trona. Trona is a small mineral mining town. I believe everyone there is associated with the main mining company. Since I was there on a Sunday, I saw virtually no one in town.

The roads going up and down from the mountains were paved a dark red:

This next photo is of the sand dunes just east of Stovepipe Wells which is a good spot to stop and get gas and something to eat.

I also got to visit one of the rare pupfish ponds at Salt Creek:

Artist's Pallete is a nice place to visit as well. This area, just south of the Furnace Creek headquarters, is a paved road where you can see wonderfully colored hills. Unfortunately, I went during the middle of the day so the colors aren't as vibrant. I suggest visiting around sunset for better lighting.

The Borax museum is a nice stop right in the middle of Furnace Creek. You can see all kinds of antique mining and transportation equipment.

Here is an old steam locomotive on display. If you love old west history, you will really like this visit. There's lots of coaches, wagons and tools on display.

This next photo is of the southeastern most area of the park not far from Shoshone where you can find a place to stay, get gas or get something to eat. I was on south Badwater road which was closed about five miles from where this picture was taken. Last fall, floodwaters damaged several of the roads making most of them impassible. There are still a few areas that are still damaged including the area around Scotty's Castle, a major park attraction. It will be a long time before you can visit Scotty's Castle in case you are planning to visit the park in the near future.

I stayed at the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel, a historic landmark. It was a nice place, but it has a lot of problems such as needing a paint job on the front of the building. I liked that it was way out in the middle of nowhere and there's even wild horses running all over the area. I didn't see the horses every day, but I did get to see them at least once.

I have several more photos I may post. I didn't want to post all of them because it would make a very long and tedious page. So, I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day and have a nice day off honoring those who served so that we can all visit places like Death Valley freely.